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Google's Song Maker is a music sequencer for your browser

Tap out a new song in no time with this simple songwriting tool.

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Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
songmaker
Dan Ackerman/CNET

Google on Thursday launched a browser-based  music sequencer, allowing would-be songwriters and producers to peck out simple tunes. Called Song Maker, the new web app joins a set of tools called Chrome Music Lab, which Google describes as "a website that makes learning music more accessible through fun, hands-on experiments."

Song Maker presents a basic sequencer grid, with room for a melody on the top part, and a rhythm section below. The options are limited: Just a piano, strings, woodwinds, synth or marimba for the instrument (and just one at a time), and a kick/snare drum combo, conga, wood blocks and electronic drums for the beat. In the settings menu you can change the overall length, beats per bar, key and a few other tweaks, but again, it's pretty limited.

Besides manually clicking on a sequencer box to add a note, you can also plug in a MIDI keyboard or even sing into your computer's mic, although that didn't work especially well in my brief test. Below is a quick sample I kicked up in just a few minutes. If you think you can do better, the app is located here.