MusicShake is being marketed as ‘the easiest way to make music in the world’ and they’ve got a point. What they should also say is that it’s as addictive as…well the most addictive thing on your list of addictive things.
There’s lots of music making sites and programs out there, and on the face of it this one is no different. You create tunes by arranging blocks of instrument and vocal samples on a timeline. So far so normal. What makes this Korean version stand out – really stand out – is the fact that you have a huge selection of superbly recorded samples to choose from, and an almost infinite variety of arrangements which you can assemble. By the end of 2008 the site plans to offer over 1.5 million samples.
And yes it really is incredibly simple to use – just select instrument, key, style and click to place on the timeline. You can build a near complete song in minutes. However what actually happens is you spend literally hours just playing around and having fun with different variations, each one of which can really make a difference to your opus. Most music makers quickly get boring because of sample inflexibility and clunky interfaces, MusicShake doesn’t. It’s superb piece of coding in that regard.
It’s beta at the moment, so it would be churlish to talk about gruesomely slow performance in some of the admin and song loading sections, but we will anyway. Thankfully the song making module is fast enough not to be frustrating, although the live sound sampling can involve a bit of a wait as a pattern loads. The other really annoying thing is the Internet Explorer only focus, presumably because they’re using a heavily protected ActiveX control. I can understand why they’ve done it, as their eventual business model will revolve around licensing user generated tracks for a fee which is shared between the site and the creator. It’s worth noting in this regard that the copyright of any song is owned by Musicshake, not the creator, unless they upload their own recorded material (e.g. a vocal).
The Web 2.0 stuff involves all the usual suspects – community rankings, charts, comments and the like, but obviously these will take time to fill out and add real value to the service. In the meantime I’m going to spend some time funking out to the sounds, dude. Oh and I’m guessing that the vocal samples are really just there to act as a guide vocal track to encourage people to craft and upload their own material instead of relying on the near gibberish lyrics that come as default.
If you’re into fun with music, play with this now!
MusicShake is a Korea-based online music creation service developed and distributed by SilentMusicBand Corp that provides music composing solutions aimed at the general public without previous musical knowledge or expertise. The service lets users create personalized, professional quality music using various tools and pattern-combination methods. They hope to meet the growing demand for customized ringtones and personalized music that mobile phone users and Internet users have for adding personalized creativity to their personal blogs, websites and social network pages.