June 10th, 2010 – Aviary, developer of online audio editor Myna and a host of graphic design applications, has released Roc, an online music creation tool. Unlike Myna (which I assume will be integrated into Roc later down the road according to their feature list), Roc is a grid based sequencer. While Myna allows you to drag in waveforms and loop them, Roc is similar to piano rolls and matrix sequencers.
The beta below allows you to sequence single note instruments (eg. a high hat hit, or an Eflat from a piano), on a grid. In the beta, about all you can change is the BPM. As far as I can tell, you cannot create patterns longer than 4 beats and you are stuck with a 4/4 time signature. Of course this is just a teaser of what Roc will be, so you will undoubtedly be able to perform most sequencing tasks once it’s released. As it stands, you can unlock some additional features by inviting friends to try out the beta.
To be honest, I’m not comfortable sequencing melodies in the Roc layout. Having to choose one specific note sample, load it in an available slot, and then be only able to trigger that pitch is not my idea of a fun songwriting session. For percussion samples I can understand the appeal, but for traditional instruments, it’s a pain. Nifty concept though. I’m interested in seeing where they take Roc on its release.