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Splicemusic online December 2, 2006

Posted by oktyabr in audio, make music, splicemusic, web.

Ok, I’m guilty…

I’ve been having so much fun playing around with Splicemusic myself that I have totally ignored that fact that this website is definately aching for a blogpost! So, better late than never, let me introduce Splicemusic beta!

Ever wanted to remix some songs? Ever heard a cool drum break that got you thinking exactly what you would do with it if you had the software? Have a couple of recordings you did as the “human beatbox” on your desktop microphone and nothing fun to do with them? Well, my friends, Splice
may be exactly what the doctor ordered…

From the Splice FAQ:

“What is Splice?

Welcome to Splice. We would say welcome to the future of music, but modesty and serious self-restraint prevent us from it… either way it’s nice you showed up. So what’s the big deal? Splice gives anyone, anywhere the ability to collaborate on music right through a web browser. Users can upload or record sounds, make songs, listen to other user’s songs, make remixes, make friends and a whole lot more.

We believe in the power of music to bring people together. With Splice, you’ll never be a passive listener ever again! Make music with other users, together. Did you hear a song that really moved you? Great! With Splice, you can sing along, play your own instrument, or just rearrange it so it’s more to your liking. Or you can post the latest groove you recorded and see what someone else does with it. The possibilities are endless!”

Ok, that’s maybe a bit more sugary frosting than I would leave alone in a post on this blog so let me scrape some of that away and get to some real substance…

Splice “beta”, at it’s heart, is a relatively simple, as far as sequencers go, 12 track audio sequencer that is composed entirely out of a very advanced flash interface (advanced, as far as flash apps go!). Ideally it should allow you to work and collaborate with others on musical mixes using an “ordinary” webbrowser from any computer in the world with an internet connection. In reality it DOES work pretty well in windows, both in IE and Firefox, and works in linux… sort of.

12 tracks is all you get to work with in this beta with a pretty simple timeline slider and very basic pan and volume envelopes. To anyone that has worked with dedicated software sequencers this is, in truth, little more than a toy. But what I’ve actually found is that maybe that’s a good thing too! Software that is more powerful, more capable, tends to suck me into the complexities and I never really get anything creative done very quickly… Stuff like this FREE online sequencer however, with it’s limited track support, is maybe one of the better “creative” tools I’ve used in awhile. Pick some tracks, throw them together, see what you have. Simple, creative, and very fast to explore new ideas and sounds. Best of all I can start a project on my machine in my basement “studio”, hop over to my mother’s for dinner one night and maybe play around with it a bit on her machine too, without having to install anything!

Here is a video demonstrating what this software can do:


Now one of the catches of Splicemusic is that it fosters the use of “free” samples, specifically those covered under the Creative Commons by Attribution license.

From the FAQ:

Most amazing things were built For the sake of creativity, we think it’s important to share. This is why Splice encourages and fully supports Creative Commons licensing. Creative Commons is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative work available for others to build upon and share. All sounds on this site are protected with an Attribution Creative Commons license. This means that other people can use your sounds – but only if they give you credit. If you would like to read more about how this works, we recommend checking out The Creative Commons FAQ.

What that means to you and me is that any samples you find and use in the Splicemusic community are “free” but you MUST include information for each sample that says who actually made it… giving credit where credit is due, in other words. This also means that any sounds you create and upload yourself are ALSO covered by the same license! Sure, you’ll find the occassional 12 year old that uploads half a Metallica song as “his” sample but the community is pretty good about watch-dogging itself and this sort of illegal samples never stay around very long (nor do their contributors!)

As I said the Splice community has a very nice collection of samples to play with but it doesn’t have to end there! The Creative Commons website itself is a great source for other CC samples as is another favorite community of mine, Freesounds and if you want to remash whole songs ccMixter is another great source for samples and inspiration 🙂

So, been playing around with that guitar, keyboard or microphone as the “human beatbox”? If you don’t mind sharing your creations with others under this same license go ahead and upload them and get to mixing! No, you won’t get rich, but it IS pretty cool when someone else finds something you’ve made a valuable piece of their artistic work. Don’t have any samples? Plenty are there already! Don’t have any inspiration? Check out the Splicemusic website and see what others have been doing!

Speaking of which, Splicemusic allows you to link to your creations so you can show off to friends. You can also download your finished work in mp3 format. Find a song you think you could put a better twist on? Remixing other people’s works is half the fun!

Now get to mixing!



1. Emily - December 30, 2008

Nice, you made a blog! (:
But the website doesn’t work now, do you know why?
So weird, I need it right now TT^TT

x Emily

oktyabr - January 3, 2009

Thanks for the notice Emily! It took me a few days but I finally discovered that the home link for Splice has been changed. The new link is http://www.splicemusic.com/makemusic/intro/

Also corrected link in my “links” list.

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