Here’s a short guide to getting started with Sequencer Party.
First, start a new session by going to https://sequencer.party
You cannot name, or save the session, unless you’ve logged in.
Let’s get right into making some noise. Sessions are made from one or more tracks, with one or more plugins loaded. There are many types of plugins. Some generate MIDI, some generate audio, some are MIDI effects, some are audio effects. Each track also can have any number of ‘Modulation’ plugins, as well.
These plugins are unfortunately not AudioUnit, or VSTs. Neither of those technologies work on the web, but we’re in the process of writing a new standard for audio modules on the web, aptly named ‘Web Audio Modules’. More on this soon. Suffice to say in the future, third parties will write all sorts of cool modules for making music on the web, and these modules will all work together on a variety of hosts.
Let’s make some noise. Add a track:
Each slot below the track name is a space for a ‘Clip’. Not all sequencers support clips, but most do. Other plugins also have per-clip ‘patterns’, for example the ‘step modulator’ sequencer supports different patterns for each clip. In the future, some plugins will introduce audio clips, playing a different audio track for each ‘clip’ in the session.
Let’s create a clip by double-clicking in a blank square.
Don’t forget to play the clip! Otherwise when you hit ‘play’, nothing will sound. Play the clip by hitting the triangle ‘Play’ button.
Ok, the Clip will now play, but it is still blank and the track has no plugins loaded. Click on the clip itself to go to the ‘track’ page for track one, clip one.
To make some noise, we need something that generates MIDI, and something that turns the MIDI events into audio. So lets load a ‘Piano Roll’ into the Sequencing slot by clicking the ‘+’ and choosing ‘Piano Roll’:
You should now see a big ‘piano roll’ show up on track one, like this:
Now lets make some noise, add an instrument like ‘Synth-101’ by clicking “+ Add instrument” and picking Synth-101. You should now see a blue synth show up under the piano roll.
Click in the piano roll to add some notes to the bar, and hit the play button in the top right. Congratulations, you’re making some music!
Some other fun things you can do from here:
- Go back to the whole session using the ‘Mixer’ button in the top bar, and add a second track. Add some drums, or add another instrument using the JS sound fonts.
- Add some FX after your synthesizer to change it’s sound.
- Add modulation to the Synth-101 instance by pressing the ‘Modulation’ button in the Synth-101 plugin’s header bar. Pick what type of modulation you want, and what parameter you want to change over time. This will add an additional plugin at the bottom of the track where you can control the modulation that is now controlling that parameter.
- Send your session URL (that you’re currently at) to some friends. When you make a change, it updates in their browser, and when they make a change, it gets updated to yours. Collaborate and build tracks together!