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Do You Use Online Loop Stations To Make Music?

I've always been a music freak. But never tried to make music until Oct 2019. Never heard of online loop station til then either.

I have been a music fanatic my whole life. I never really studied it though in any scholarly fashion. Oh sure I had piano lessons as a kid for five years but have nothing to show for it. At 20 or 21 took a few guitar lessons--resulting in nada. Just didn't have the tenacity and dedication. So I've only enjoyed music from the side lines and I still do.

But since I started playing around with online loop stations in Oct 2019, I've gained in interest in being able to make songs from my own loops or samples-one day.

That's what laying down the tracks means after all, right? Tracks of loops or samples, be they pointed for a specific song or an odd and end track added to other loops or samples so on and so on.

So surfing the internet one evening, some music making website(s) caught my attention. I don't which one caught my eye first or which one I registered with first. This was the first I was hearing about this and it looked easy.

Yes and the easiest online loop stations to manipulate and navigate are ones someone like me can utilize. Requiring no knowledge of music theory or knowing anything about how to make a beat or construct a song. How to arrange the different parts of a song are super easy at sites like Soundtrap.com, Looplabs.com(website is no longer operating)and Bandlab.com.

I made one song early on at JamStudio but now with flash player being phased out it'll be difficult if not impossible to run it anywhere other than Firefox or Opera maybe Vivaldi.

SnapJam is a site that over the holidays last year they were offering lifetime memberships for only 10$ so I had to get it. Haven't played around with it much, it seems spammy and just off somehow.

I had quite the joy and upheaval at Looplabs.com. I've had a lot of fun with this site but it's been equally as frustrating. They finally went ~blip~ down for what looks like good, a couple months ago, after warning folks on LL facebook page only that to download all ones songs by "by the end of the month" and that message was on Aug. 24. 2020. No warning on the site. Left a lot of real unhappy folks out there. The site was up for the following month of Sept but rendering came to a stand-still.

I was just starting to mess with LL again during September, didn't know about the fb warning but was starting to redo some old songs I'd put together last Oct/Nov of 2019. I ended up rendering songs at Sodaphonic.com just so I could retrieve the them. Only managed to redo and retrieve 2 tracks. "Guts For Garters (Reanimated & Gutted Again)" But it's fine, I wasn't as pissed as some of these other people. This music thing is a frivolous endeavor for me, I wasn't relying on the site for a job presentation or a school grade.

Soundtrap interface

Soundtrap interface

Soundtrap.com is a site that I have had no problem at all with. Everything is functional and in working order: no buffering, no crashing of the browser, no head ache trying to match up tempo and pitch-it does all that for you. Yes it's a serious cheat but it is helpful and encouraging to a non musician like myself. I've a lot of fun here as well and have made some decent music there. "Cloister Dora-Teura", "Curandera" "Red Rhythmic Serpent in Solfeggio I"& "Unfinished Business (In The Wild, Wild West)" are among some of those.

It's been my favorite one to work with so far. My only beef with Soundtrap is the white background of the interface. Get a dark background Soundtrap! White backgrounds seriously mess with the eyes. Rally to get everyone on the same dark background page on the internet! It will save a lot of headaches and eyestrain.

Bandlab.com..it's touch and go with this site. When I started this hobby on my crappy old computer, Bandlab never crashed. But on my good computer, it crashes invariably. It's extremely frustrating, if you don't save it every 30 seconds you run the risk of losing the last copy of whatever you are working on. Sometimes in the heat of making a song you forget to save and ~poof~ it's gone..Hateful.

And the pitch and tempo capabilities are kinda dumb but it's simple enough to use just time consuming tweaking the tempo just so. They have you go thru painstaking steps to get it right, aggravating. It's as if the site makes things harder than they need to be to work correctly. But I've managed to scrape together some decent music by the site like this : "Royal Star of the Lion", "So Woke, You No Longer Dream"

Once in a while I'd use two sites to get the desired results in one song. Like for "Gold Towns, Ghost Mines & Negentropy" first half I made at Soundtrap the second half I made at Bandlab.


Bandlab.com interface

Bandlab.com interface

I have to state right here that I do use a lot of outside loops and samples from Looperman.com. You can find some really quality samples by some very talented musicians. Samples from here I use quite a bit in songs. "Contrived Chaos" is almost entirely made from Looperman.com contributors. These guys are from all over the world so and I love exotic music and instrumentation from everywhere.

There are a lot of songs I've been recently making on yet another music making interface but Mixpad isn't online, it's downloadable from NCH Software. I had already been familiar with Videopad, having used it for years on my Youtube channel to make music videos, so I knew the basic layout of Mixpad.

Most of the songs I've done on Mixpad are made from Looperman.com samples and loops. They have the best well rounded selection of any instrument and style you could want. A lot of these guys look to collaborate with creators directly especially if you are looking for a specific sound that you can't find, whether they do it for free or they ask a nominal fee, someone will make it for you if you ask!

Out of 9 songs I've made at Mixpad I think 6 are almost entirely made from samples by contributors from Looperman.com. I rely on them more and more. Mostly because it gives the music that well-roundedness of being a little bit from everywhere, so that when I put the song together it doesn't just have one singular regional sound or genre.

I'm not that adept at MixPad, yet. The tempo controls are hard to manipulate, I suppose I should look at instructions or peep a tutorial video.

Doing all of this is making me want to make my own loops, which I've started to do-making loops but not use them yet. Of course there have been a couple of songs I've already done with a few of my own loops but nothing spectacular by any stretch. Just to get a feel for for doing it. I would like to get to the point where I am making all my own loops, it's going to take a little time.

I have a Soundcloud channel where I've uploaded tons of songs I've assembled if you're interested in hearing it: Cazimi~Kush

Mixpad interface

Mixpad interface