Feature Updates / 1 November 2019

Try out the BandLab for Education Sound Playground

Hey teachers, want to have a break from assignments or an option to just jump in and play with sounds? The BandLab for Education Sound Playground is for you! 

What’s the Sound Playground?

The sound playground is a blank-canvas sequencer. It’s a fun and easy way for students and teachers to experiment with assembling sounds with the help of automation. 

If your student doesn’t have any music-making experience, don’t worry. The notes in the sequencer are all in C Major, and currently has a Marimba sound. No matter how students click around, the song should sound uniform.

Great! Where can I find it?

Start a session by opening this link.

You’ll see something like this:

The sequencer is a blank canvas to create sounds with.

There are various options in this view.

  • NEW SESSION: this opens a new session. Use with caution – it’s like when Google Doc opens a new document.
  • INVITE: you can invite collaborators (teachers or students) to your session
  • TEMPO: adjust the tempo with the slider, or type in your own
  • PAUSE: pauses the sequencer
  • RESTART: wipes the slate clean, within the same session

How to create sound

Click around to add sounds to the sequencer.

Our sequencer is divided into three sections: the upper part is for creating a melody, and a smaller part at the bottom for rhythm.

We suggest adding the drums first to set the rhythm. To do this simply tap anywhere in the bottom section and you’ll see a note added there. The drum notes appear as blue tiles when clicked, like this:

We’ve added a drum line here.

Add a melody

Once you’ve added the drums, you can start creating a melody. Tap/click with your mouse anywhere in the two lighter green sections at the top of sequencer to try the different sounds. 

We’re adding more elements to the sequencer. Note that the lighter section is a higher octave and the darker section is a lower octave. All the notes on the grid are in C Major and use the Marimba sound bank.

Invite students to collaborate

Now that you’ve added a pattern to your sequencer, it’s time for the fun part – collaborating with your students!

Click on the “Invite” button and copy the link in the box:

Invite collaborators via the URL. Each URL is unique to each session.
Share the URL on the class feed, or anywhere you like.

We recommend posting the copied link as an announcement in your class to share it with your students.

Students join the session via the ‘Invite’ URL

Once your students open the link, they can collaborate with you on the sequencer, e.g. by clicking around and adding tiles/sounds of their own. They can also make changes and all the participants will see them real time! A bit like real-time musical tetris.

Students can also start their own session to work individually

Students can also start individual sequencer sessions by clicking ‘new session’ (and not inviting anyone to join):

Students can start a new playground session of their own

Or, students can invite collaborators of their own

If students want to open a new session link with other students, they can copy the URL and share it, e.g. via the BandLab for Education chat or in comments to an assignment or announcement.

Recording the session

You can’t export the song from the sequencer right now, but you may want to capture a screen recording. Or, remember the pattern and re-use it in the Mix Editor. 

A note on technical requirements:

The BandLab for Education Sound Playground works on the Chrome browser on desktop, and Android tablets.

Try it here!

Enjoy and let us know any feedback via chat, or at support@bandlab.com!

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