An updated version of SongStarter for Chrome is now live on the Chrome Web Store! This update includes a handful of bugfixes from the desktop 1.0 release and other small changes:
Fade the drum loops in when previewing to eliminate a click (will be fixed in the next desktop version too)
In the Jam Setup screen, the BPM now changes when you select each drum loop.
Adjusted the volume of a few of the instruments
Integrated the new instrument engine from the desktop version, though no new instruments for Chrome yet. We want to keep the download size small to make everything load quickly but still add more instruments, so there’s a bit of work to do there before we add instruments powered by the new engine to the Chrome version. (In the meantime, the desktop version has all the instruments!)
Other changes included from the desktop 1.0 version include stability improvements, new graphics, and lots of bugfixes.
And if you dig what we’re up to, don’t forget to rate SongStarter in the Chrome Web Store!
After many months of development, I’m pleased to announce the release of SongStarter 1.0!
The new SongStarter 1.0 Release
SongStarter is an organic music production app for jamming. It’s a sandbox for musicians that lets you write music naturally by recording and layering loops.
We created SongStarter to give musicians a new way to write music. We love jamming away from our computers because it’s easier to get into a groove, but it takes more work to transcribe or record our ideas. But when we’re at computers, sometimes the complexity of a digital audio workstation is distracting, and we miss the flow of a real live jam.
SongStarter is a bridge between these experiences – It feels like a live jam yet captures all your ideas so they can be loaded into a DAW and produced later. All that’s left is for you to jam and experiment. So download the trial today and find out what you can make with SongStarter.
Many thanks to everyone who downloaded the SongStarter beta and send us feedback. Several new features were added recently as a direct result of your comments and suggestions, including the external recording feature and improved instruments.
Here’s some of the changes in SongStarter 1.0 that were made after the last beta:
Added System Default soundcard on Mac OS X (especially useful on Mac OS X Mountain Lion)
Fixed the Freestyle Recorder going bonkers sometimes with the built-in instruments
Added a slightly better loading indicator for instruments
Added a close button to the instrument picker (if you couldn’t figure out how to close it the first time, you weren’t alone!)
Reworked the loop recorder widget again so it paints short notes now
Added scanning for DAWs on Windows
The final beta release will continue functioning until October 2nd, but if you’d like to check out out these latest changes earlier, you can grab the SongStarter trial version.
We’re also currently working on SongStarter for Chrome, which is still in beta. We hope to offer an updated version with better instruments within the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more information about that as we get closer to a release.
Whoops, time for an emergency SongStarter beta update. The old desktop beta releases expired yesterday and redirected everyone to download the latest beta update from September 17th – except that I botched the beta activation code (again), and it turns out that updating wouldn’t actually reactivate your expired copy of SongStarter.
Today’s beta update should actually work and reactivate your copy of SongStarter until October 1st, and includes a number of other bugfixes from the last few days:
Fixed freestyle recorder tempo detection graphics (beat chooser)
Fixed buzzing bug if you tried to add a beat before previewing a freestyle loop
Fixed one rare assert (*cough* crash) on saving
Freestyle recorder properly restores the loop length when you bail on creating a freestyle loop
Freestyle recorder now wraps MIDI notes properly
One obscure Jam Setup bugfix
Fixed bugs in the project modified logic
But last but not least, this beta shouldn’t expire until it’s meant to expire. (Oct 1st, 2012)
This new beta release takes us very close to a final 1.0 release, and we’ll be focusing solely on bug fixing for this final development sprint. There’s a couple more known issues that we need to iron out over the next two weeks, but this latest beta is a huge improvement over our first beta release back in August.
The new instruments are not quite ready for the Chrome version of SongStarter yet, but we’ll be updating it over the next few weeks as we start to wrap up the desktop version of SongStarter.
Stay tuned for the final release, and in the meantime, happy jamming!
Available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Google Chrome
It’s with great excitement that I get to unveil the newest creation from Oscillicious, SongStarter!
SongStarter is a “music brainstorming environment”, built around a live looping workflow. It’s designed to help you jam out ideas as quickly as possible and build them into up into melodies. When you’re done layering up the heart of a great song, you can drag and drop MIDI export your tune into your DAW and continue producing it with the workflow you’ve already mastered.
You begin in SongStarter by picking a beat and a tempo, and then can rapidly build up a melody using the collection of 21 built-in instruments. The instruments we’ve got fall into three categories:
Jam Essentials: A collection of sampled instruments with character, covering a range of sounds, from the Dusty Piano to the old school Cruise synth.
SodaSynth: Seven of our favorite SodaSynth presets for your jamming pleasure, providing classic, clean synth sounds.
Analog Extracts: Rounding out the collection is 5 sampled instruments created from our analog synth sample pack, providing quirky synth sounds taken from a legendary analog modular synthesizer.
We’ve tried to make SongStarter as easy as possible jam with, and we think you’ll have a lot of fun with it. With any luck, it might just help you come up with your next big hit.
Check it out, here’s an unscripted jam session I had from earlier today with SongStarter:
Lastly, in addition to the live looping jam workflow, SongStarter includes the Freestyle Recorder that we teased last week. The Freestyle Recorder is a different approach to starting a jam, which works by always recording what you’re playing, and then automatically chopping it up into segments when you stop playing. You never have to take your hands off your MIDI keyboard.
Once you’ve created some segments with the Freestyle Recorder, you can then create a seamless loop from one, just by tapping along with it. At the end, SongStarter can drop a beat right over your loop, and then throw it all over to the live looping jam workflow. (I find the Freestyle Recorder is really great for capturing ideas with huge amounts of swing or weird grooves.)
We’re excited to finally get SongStarter into the hands of more musicians, and that’s really what the free public beta is about. Oscillicious is fuelled by the feedback of musicians like yourself, and so we’d love to hear what you think about SongStarter.
Have you downloaded SongStarter or tried it in Chrome yet? What’s your impression? Leave a comment below or email us directly! We’d love to hear from you.
Oscillicious is pleased to announce the release of SodaSynth 1.1!
This new update includes 4 new presets (Sleep Walker, Sleep Walker Remix, Squish, and Crystal Strings) and brings full compatibility with 64-bit AU and VST hosts on Windows and Mac OS X 10.6+.
Here’s a new video that starts off with a brief demo of two of the new presets (Sleep Walker and Crystal Strings), and then goes on to show some sound design possibilities by taking Sleep Walker and tweaking a bunch of the knobs.
The SodaSynth VST and AU plugin is also fully compatible with Mac OS X Mountain Lion and Windows 8.