Party like it’s 1991 – your browser’s invited. A full-blown music production tool has been directly ported from the desktop to the browser using Flash, modeled with a tracker-style interface for fast, precise music editing. (In fact, a tracker, thanks to speedy entry from a QWERTY keyboard, seems to me an ideal interface for browser music. Trust me – it looks arcane at first, but trackers can be extremely friendly music interfaces. Just be prepared to look like a total geek once you’ve worked it out, because it’ll look even more arcane to everyone else)

The resulting tool comes with all the modules you’ll need, and it’s completely free to use. There’s even an included sample library.

Now, the next time you’re stuck in an Internet cafe, you can compose a song.

Creator Ruben Ramos says this is the first tracker on the Web, and shares his development process with us:

The sourcecode of the application is the same than the desktop version, it’s C++. I used a research project from Adobe Labs to build my sources for the AVM2 (ActionScript Virtual Machine 2), which is the last virtual machine used in Flash. This way, I got a binary version as a .swf of my original desktop-based application.

I wrote some parts code for this version, but only a few. For example the graphic rendering: in the desktop version was using the graphic card acceleration; for this version I implemented a software renderer.

After it, I added some special features for this version. For example, I implemented a filesystem with remote access to allow the load of resources stored on the server. With this feature songs and samples can be loaded from the webserver, which is good to have a base sample library available on the server.

Try it out for yourself:
http://www.skale.org/

  • http://www.renoise.com Bantai

    Congratulations on this unexpected and innovative reincarnation of Skale. Going entirely web based is certainly a good concept: instant cross-platform support and portability of both app and resources. Makes you wonder what's next in store for the mobile platform!

  • http://rekkerd.org/ ronnie

    That is impressive, well done!

  • kid versus chemical

    Awesome!

    I hope the browser based stuff keeps on getting bigger, I love the idea, especially for suggesting to friends who are new to computer music and have no expensive daw's.

    I wish my iPad could do flash, that's what I'm now and I,m dying to try it…

  • http://www.mutable-instruments.net/ pichenettes

    The most worrying thing is that Skaled showed me that there's a part of my brain who still perfectly remembers the FT2 menu and keyboard layouts.

  • Tom D

    How awesome, takes me right back to the FT2 days. Thanks for posting, put a big smile on my face :)

    Would be great to have this on a mobile device – SunVox on iPad is as close as I've got (and it is awesome). I'd be surprised if an Android device was able to just run this as Flash seeing as it uses ~80% CPU on my Macbook, but please feel free to prove me wrong!

  • http://www.jeremyabel.com Jeremy

    Bitchin'! Now there's even more reason to figure out how to use a tracker. My one question is this, though: is it intuitive from a notation kind of standpoint? Like, I'm used to figuring out a bass line by playing my bass till I get something I like, then just plonkin' the notes down in ableton. Does it take a while to adjust to not seeing an actual staff or piano roll, but seeing a series of numbers instead?

  • http://www.4ormal.com formal

    @Jeremy – Usually trackers will allow you to input the notes via your QWERTY keyboard. This way you can noodle around before you record/input the notes to find what yer looking for. (like ableton or FL Studio works)

  • TweakingKnobs

    great ! ill check it out , but it would have been awesome , if it was done in some open source standars , not flash.

    anyhow, lets check it out.

  • echolevel

    Actually, here's the first tracker on the web (and it's been around a LONG time):

    http://engramstudio.com/craptracker/tracker.pl

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @echolevel: I had a feeling someone would know of one. So I *think* this may be the first Flash-based tracker, at least. craptracker, awesomely named offering, was made in Java.

  • echolevel

    Actually…someone had a Flash version of ProTracker out last year. I didn't mention it because I *think* I recall that it was only a player and not an editable tracker. So your revised statement is most likely correct ;D

    I also made one last year which was only briefly online (my self-respect prevailed), but now the thrust of my effort is towards my cross-platform (Processing) mod/xm/s3m replayer library with a vast array of live performance features. Roll up at a party, borrow your host's browser and net connection, load its dual-decks with modules from online archives, then mess about with them in awesome ways.

    If you're interested in hearing more/trying it out, I'll commit the updates I've been working on and bend your ear about it :)

  • Rich-o

    Talking of trackers, have you covered ReVisit on here? Just did a quick search and couldn't find anything but I may just be inept given that it's a fairly common word as well as the name of a piece of software.

    Basically a fully fledged tracker that sits inside a VST plugin. Comes with multiple outputs, surround capability etc etc.

    Good alternative to doing the ReNoise / ReWire thing if you like using a traditional DAW for musicy bits and a tracker for nerdy programming as I do.

    It's free, the catche being that it's part of a research project so you have to agree to provide feedback. Not much of a catch really.

    http://www.nashnet.co.uk/english/revisit/

    Windows only.

  • creep

    @Rich-o

    With revisit you dont even have to provide feedback, only if you want if I remember correctly

  • http://bedroomproducersblog.com/ bedroom producers bl

    great, great stuff. lets you work on your music ideas on any computer with access to internet.

  • RichardL

    This works great on my laptop.

    I can't get it to run on Android. It may have something to do with the use of Alchemy, but I have gotten other Alchemy stuff working on Android.

  • flonk

    Has this been posted here?
    http://audiotool.com/app
    Not without flaws but a impressive patching/studio enviroment nonetheless.

  • HEXnibble

    HTML 5 Tracker currently in development that you can already try:

    http://vimeo.com/15107463

    http://jonbro.tk/blog/2010/09/19/html_5_chip_trac

  • http://diydsp.com DIY DSP

    Hi! I was just wondering if you got a chance to try this out… It appears to be a Windows program, not an online application! Or am I missing something? I would love to be able to use a tracker online ….