Imagine telling a producer or engineer in the ’70s, “Fifty years from now, people will be making music on the internet, sitting on on their couch.” “The what?” would be their obvious response, but time-traveling aside, technology has really revolutionized the way music is made. It’s gotten to the point where not everyone even needs a DAW, and instead can opt for an online sequencer.
What Is an Online Sequencer?
An online sequencer just refers to a web-based music production environment. That means it can offer some basic recording and editing functions, along with built-in virtual instruments, loops, samples, drum sequencing, and more. Usually you’ll get a good handful of common effects as well, like EQ, compression, reverb, delay, and perhaps saturation and modulation.
Others, and we’ll look at a prominent one in the list, are more traditional. As in, they’re based on old school hardware sequencers, and don’t offer the sort of DAW-style functionality you’ll find in different options. Still, these can be really fun tools if you just want to mess around.
When Do You Need an Online Sequencer?
Online sequencers are great for anybody looking to experiment in music and audio production. They’re the perfect gateway, in that the apps tend to be free, and you don’t have to download or install any software. As long as you have an internet connection, you can open up an online sequencer and get to work.
How Does a Music Sequencer Work?
In many of them you’ll have your typical arrangement window where you can view, record, edit, and arrange clips. You can add tracks, virtual instruments, effects, etc., just like you would in a DAW.
Ultimately, these apps are designed to be intuitive. Anyone can jump in, start experimenting, and figure things out with relative ease.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you plan to record any of your own instruments, you’ll need to have an audio interface. Apart from that, you can get a lot done all inside an online sequencer.
- SEE ALSO: Step Sequencing – What Is It and How to Use It
- SEE ALSO: Squarp Pyramid Review (Hardware Sequencer)
The 5 Best Online Sequencer Options in 2023
PatternSketch is a really cool and simple drum machine. It clearly takes inspiration from classic Roland 808 and 909 machines, and even includes those in a selection of nine different drum kits. Have fun making beats with this sequencer, and you can export the audio to save and/or import into a different session.
AudioTool is a complete DAW in your browser. All you need to do is register a free account to gain access to an elegant, feature-rich music production app — all online. Part of the AudioTool experience is being able to sift through a massive and ever-growing sample library, as well as comb through as many as 200,000 (you read that right) presets for virtual instruments and effects.
3. Chrome Music Lab
Chrome Music Lab is a collection of web-based tools, most often used as an educational resource. You can arrange songs in the “Song Maker” app, learn about arpeggios and chords, make drum beats using “Rhythm,” and a whole lot more. This is definitely something to play around with as opposed to a DAW like AudioTool, but it’s a really cool free resource.
AudioSauna turns your web browser into a production studio, complete with built-in instruments/effects, like virtual analog synthesizers and vintage tape delay. The Piano Roll is easy to use, and the classic arrangement window is totally familiar to navigate.
5. Soundation Studio
This online sequencer emphasizes electronic production. It comes with over 20,000 loops and samples to start building arrangements. Also included are multiple software instruments, effects, and the ability to collaborate live in the same session.