KS3 - Free Browser Based Music Software
Please click on a title below to expand the information and access links. Recommendations have been made as to which key stages the software is suitable for. Please see this page for free lesson planning associated with some of the software listed below.
Browser based free software
Chrome Experiments – Chords - KS3 & 4
Chrome Experiments – Melody Maker - KS1, 2 & 3
Chrome experiments – Melody Maker
KS1, 2 and 3 - https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Melody-Maker - Melody maker is a piece of software which allows learners to quickly create single note melodies using 8 beats. The tempo can be altered and there is a delay effect which can be added to create a nice effect.
Html5drummer - KS2, 3 & 4
KS2, 3 and 4 - http://www.html5drummachine.com/ - Html5drummer is a fairly simple and quick tool that can be used to compose a drum beat. With an "old school" drum machine type appearance; this software can be used to compose two separate bars from a range of drum and percussion styles including: Hip Hop, Electro, House, Techno and Acoustic. Bars can be bounced down to WAV for use and manipulation in other software.
Music Shake - KS1, 2, 3 & 4
KS1, 2, 3 and 4 - http://eng.musicshake.com/create/ - Music Shake is a piece of software that offers a large range of loops in different keys, tempos and genres. These loops can then be layered and arranged, using a format similar to other professional loop based software. There is a quick start option, to allow a range of loops to be preselected for quick creations, or you can start from scratch, selecting and choosing loops according to preference.
Novation Launchpad Arcade - KS2, 3 & 4
Novation Launchpad Arcade
KS2, 3 and 4 - https://intro.novationmusic.com/harry-coade?overlay=intro – Launchpad Arcade is a versatile tool which can be used to create live arrangements and performances using an extensive range of loops from a large range of genres. Some samples can be triggered to play and loop automatically, allowing for learners to focus on timbre, texture and arrangement. Alternatively, some samples can be triggered, using the keyboard, and need to be held down in order for them to carry on playing. This allows for pupils to develop skills relating to live performance, time keeping, rhythm (as well as selecting samples with timbre, texture and arrangement in mind).
To access a free Lesson Plan for this resource, please click here and scroll down to Launchpad Arcade – KS3 Lesson Plan and Slides.
Online Sequencer - KS3 & 4
KS3 and 4 - https://onlinesequencer.net/ - Online Sequencer is piano roll style compositional resource that can be used to notate and compose on a large range of instruments. The instrument voices can be entered and played simultaneously to create an entire piece using a range of instrumentation. Using a midi style form of note entry, this software could be a valuable resource, particularly for secondary music students.
Pattern Sketch - KS3 & 4
KS3 and 4 - http://patternsketch.com/ - Pattern Sketch allows users to create up to 4 bars of drum and percussion rhythms. With variable tempo, steps (quantisation), a good offering of sample sounds and the option to save composed rhythms as WAV or MP3, Pattern Sketch is a quick, clean and stable drum and percussion sequencer.
Pixel Synth - KS1, 2 & 3
KS1, 2 and 3 - https://ojack.github.io/PIXELSYNTH/ - Pixel Synth is a very unique and interesting piece of software which musically responds to graphical information. Specifically, users can either draw or upload an image to the software for it to interpret as pitches. A timeline moves across the screen triggering pitches as it encounters changes in the image. The tempo, scale, starting note and octave ranges can all be set by the user.
Pulseboy - KS3 & 4
KS3 and 4 - http://www.pulseboy.com/ - Pulseboy is a musical sequencer which uses a tracker style system to create retro arcade sounding pieces using a range of 8 bit sounds. With up to 16 sounds being played at any one time, this software caould be used to compose jingles, YouTube intro music, backing for pixel animation or a piece of music in its own right. With a short sharp learning curve, it would be recommended to watch the tutorial video before teaching on this software. Pieces can be bounced down to WAV for playback on other devices.
Sampulator - KS2, 3 & 4
KS2, 3 and 4 - http://sampulator.com/ - Sampulator is can be a live performance tool, with samples being triggered rhythmically using the computer keyboard, or a compositional tool, with samples being played in, edited and arranged to create up to 16 bars. As well as a good offering of high quality drum and percussion sounds, there are a selection of vocal samples, including some from the recognisable voices of Drake and DJ Khaled, that can be triggered and sequenced into composed bars. There are several examples which can be shown to learners to help inspire.
Sheep Beats - KS1, 2 & 3
KS1, 2 and 3 - http://www.onemorelevel.com/game/sheep_beats - Sheep Beats is a visually fun and simple piece of software based around creating drum rhythms. Using a midi style note entry system, the user can compose a single bar using either the kick, snare or hi hat sound. This can then be layered with a double bass and keyboard type sound to create a one bar riff. Colourfully animated, this software can be used to help teach rhythm composition.
Soundation - KS3 & 4
KS3 and 4 -https://chrome.soundation.com/ - Soundation is a loop based programme which allows for instrumental loops to be layered and arranged. With a professional DAW (digital Audio Workstation) appearance, each track can have a comprehensive range of effects applied to it. This could be used as an introductory piece of software before going on to use similar looking DAWs such as Cubase or Logic.
Viktor - KS3 & 4
KS3 and 4 - http://nicroto.github.io/viktor/ - Viktor is a virtual keyboard synthesiser tool which allows the user to explore and tweak sounds using a range of parameters. Viktor contains a keyboard with modulation and pitch bend facility. The keyboard is mapped to the computer keyboard to allow for live playing and performance.
Websynths - KS3 & 4
KS3 and 4 - http://www.websynths.com/ - websynth is a comprehensive and versatile web based synthesiser with an extensive range of customisable features to allow users to create, tweak and perform using their own synth sounds. Having a large library of pre-set voices, this synth produces some very rich and full sounds which can be played using the computer keyboard.