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Music

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

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

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.