Hey, Music makers! In the past few months, my family and I have discovered an amazing web-based music recording tool that we just had to share. I believe that some of the best ideas in life come from ideas mixing. In the world of music making, we love having the opportunity to elaborate or jam upon the ideas of other musicians. It’s a core experience. The website BandLab.com makes it possible for music makers to build music in a fun and social manner.
I had the amazing opportunity as a kid to learn musicianship deeply. From my mother, I learned a great deal of discipline and habits required to become a proficient violin player. I learned to appreciate classical music and the joy of making music with others. These lessons also empowered me to serve in my church and use my gift of music to uplift others. My father, gifted me with the perspective and skills of a rock keyboard player. My brother and I grew up listening to a lot of classic rock with Elton John, Billy Joel, Eagles, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Chicago, etc. While I loved classical music, I also desired to play like an Elton John. Being computer geeks, my dad invested very early in getting us access to MIDI music recording equipment and a simple keyboard. As a teen, I can remember losing many hours during the summer learning how to record electronic music. We even recorded some of my dad’s songs too. These are some of my most precious memories.
With this story in mind, I want to create these experiences for my kids too. It’s been fun to explore BandLab.com with my kids and explore their musical creativity together. For my little singer, we record some Disney tracks. One of my boys really enjoys building techno right now. And BandLab.com makes it easy. I hope you consider checking out BandLab.com to explore music making in your family too!
Kid Techno Samples
Key benefits of BandLab.com
- It just works in the browser: BandLab.com is like Google Docs for musicians. To get started, you don’t need to install software onto your computer at all. Open up a web browser and navigate to BandLab.com and register for an account. From there, you hit the “create” button and you’re ready to start making music.
- It works with your MIDI/audio controller: In our house, we have a pretty inexpensive MIDI/audio recording box. It’s a USB device that connects my laptop to my MIDI keyboard and our recording mics. It blows my mind that Google Chrome and BandLab.com can interface with audio recording and MIDI devices. Putting geek stuff aside, I can use BandLab.com to record small keyboard and audio fragments completely in the browser. Crazy!!
- For R&B and techno oriented creatives, BandLab.com has a robust library of audio loops for mixing. All of these loops can be layered and arranged in a multi-track manner.
The best ideas come from mixing with other musical ideas. With BandLab.com, you can now share your music in the same manner that you would share a Facebook post or a Google document. This creates an opportunity for creators to market their skills, connect with new musical friends, and gain inspirations from others.
- A great deal of band lab works on mobile devices and phones too. This can be fun if you’re feeling creative on the go!
Quick tour of features
BandLab.com provides an user experience to support multi-track recording. For creatives who want to leverage basic software-based synths in their MIDI creations, you can expect the common piano roll interface. I have to say that I enjoy the simplicity as compared to other recording tools. Unfortunately, I have not found a way to output my MIDI back to my external keyboard device. This matters for professional musician use cases where you have an amazing library of sounds on your keyboard. I do like that the multi-track experience enables you to mix different types of musical ideas: MIDI keyboard recordings, raw audio, drum loops, and audio loops.
The Drum patterns interface enables you to define a collection of drum patterns. For the pattern A, you might define a drum pattern that works for a verse. For pattern B, you might define another drum pattern for your chorus. You can define another pattern that you might use on a bridge. As I’m trying to engage my kids in music making, I like to share the drum pattern maker with them. They instantly get it and enjoy iterating on ideas.
Are you curious about BandLab.com, but don’t have a keyboard? Don’t worry! They have you covered. They have a simple interface for playing notes using your normal computer keyboard. For simple techno recording, you can still have fun with this interface.
To give you more perspective, check out this YouTube video from Eumonik. I like his honest review and tour of BandLab.com.
Hope you enjoy BandLab to create async-JAM sessions with your music friends and family.