Magical Music Creation with Roc from Aviary

Music mixing and editing apps for the desktop cost dearly and is a huge stumbling block for those who are testing the waters & to those bootstrapped garage bands. Thanks to Aviary’s music creator, Roc, now anyone can create music and beats completely from scratch and right from within their browser.

By simulating almost 50 different instruments, from orchestral instruments like harps and flutes to more obscure instruments like the balarimba and hammered dulcimer, Aviary’s music creator is quite feature rich. We’ll take a look at Aviary’s newest app after the jump.

Overview

Aviary‘s music creator can help users simulate dozens of musical instruments including the famous and widely used ones like piano, guitars and drums. With Aviary’s music creator you can create music loops and patterns, which can be used as ringtones or for further editing in Aviary’s audio editor (Myna).

Overview

Overview

Aviary’s music creator has a simple sign up process that does not require email activation. As with all Aviary apps, Aviary’s music creator is also free to use.

Creating Music

Upon launching the app, a splash screen asks us whether we want to create music by selecting an instrument or start tinkering on a sample music file. Since I am like the third cousin of Kevin Federline when it comes to music acumen, I chose to go with the sample music option.

Creating Music

Creating Music

The dashboard of Aviary’s music creator is incredibly simple and also full featured, enabling both novices and experts alike to create music to their taste. Beginners might enjoy the ability to record their voice, upload and edit custom sounds with their voice etc. For people who have advanced knowledge in music, Aviary’s music creator allows them to mix and match any type of instrument.

Dashboard

Dashboard

The instruments available at Aviary’s music creator library are listed on the right side of the web app. Once a particular instrument is selected, the sounds available for the instrument are listed in a panel below it. You can choose to add all files or choose & select a single sound that entices you. Each and every one of these sounds can be previewed before being added to a track.

On the left side of the app we have the list of sounds that make the sample file we just selected. Right next to this list of sounds is the gorgeously designed beats panel. The beats matrices are aligned in line with their respective sounds to avoid confusion. You can play each one of the sound and can change the beat on it accordingly. Changing the beat is as simple as clicking on the right spot in the beat matrix.

Beats

Beats

Adding a new instrument sound can be achieved by just dragging and dropping the sound from the right side of the app to the list of sounds on the left pane. Volume levels can be customized for individual sounds by using the knob like icon right next to the name of the sound.

To kindle your creativity, Aviary’s music creator has an option to randomize all the current beats. The resulting music could be a mess, but sounds different on every randomization. On the other hand, if you are not satisfied with the beats you have created so far, you can clear them all in a single click to start afresh.

Once you are satisfied with your composition, the file can be saved to Aviary’s servers. Considering that the entire editing & normalising process happens online, the process is pretty quick and takes just under 20 seconds. Remember – you can use the Aviary’s music creator even without signing up or logging in, but in order to save the file, you need to login. Aviary’s team should be commended for allowing users to save the music created without an account instead of making them start all over again after signing up.

Saving Music

Saving Music

Sharing Files

Aviary’s music creator stores the file in .egg format for future editing at Aviary. The music can be downloaded in mp3 and wav formats to share or to test on HiFi speakers. Aviary’s music creator gives you multiple embed codes to share the file in your blog, forum and even a direct link to edit the file directly.

Sharing Options

Sharing Options

Unlocking Hidden Features

Aviary’s team not only has a sound engineering team, but also has a shrewd marketing team. Even though the web app is absolutely free, some features are hidden. These hidden features can be unlocked by sending out 5 beta invitations to your friends asking them to check out the awesome online music editor. A great way to market the product indeed.

Unlocking Hidden Features

Unlocking Hidden Features

Some of the hidden features are:

  • Record your own voice
  • Upload your own music
  • Trim custom mp3s
  • Solo and mute individual tracks
  • Control the overall track speed (Beats per measure)
  • Control the “velocity” of beats (i.e. how soft individual beats are played).
  • More custom track controls

Final Thoughts

Aviary’s Roc allows you to use the music created with the free online music editor in any manner you please. You can sell it for a price or can distribute it free without any licensing restrictions. As a gesture of goodwill, Aviary has even released the entire library of sounds under the Creative Commons license. With so many glowing features, the only drawback in using Aviary’s Music Creator is that it tends to be a memory hog at times. If you have a decent amount of RAM, Aviary’s Music Creator can definitely jumpstart your dream of becoming a musician.


Summary

Use Aviary's music creator to simulate dozens of musical instruments including piano, guitars and drums. Create music loops and patterns for use in Aviary's audio editor (Myna) or as ring tones.

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  • “Sorry, you need to have an Intel-based Mac to run Aviary’s audio editor.”

    Too bad for me !

  • Thanks for the great helping post.
    i was looking for this type of software.
    keep posting.

  • It reminds me good old days when you had to have special software to have fun. This one is really amazing. Good entertainment for friday evening.

  • Too bad you’re restricted to 32 beats… how are you supposed to create anything worth its while when you can’t make it longer than this?

  • I agree 32 beats is not enough i cant even get though the chorus of any songs that i make it will be better once they extend that definitely