A Small Introduction / Tutorial to BandLab

Music is Art. Music is Passion. I think I could say everyone would love to be a musician! Sort of…

Thanks to technological advancement and the Internet, it is easier than ever to be sonically creative and compose music, without having to have the fundamental knowledge of music theory or sound engineering. With social networks being a driving force in terms of connecting (virtually) with others, collaborations are also a huge part of making music.

In this post I would like to introduce to you BandLab, an online music platform founded 7 years ago in Singapore by Kuok Meng Ru and Steve Skillings. Throughout the years the company has greatly expanded and owns a variety of music-related brands by now.

In a nutshell, BandLab is a free online cloud based “Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)” that can be used for composing music and collaborating with other musicians. It offers many more functions which will be mentioned later on. BandLab can be used in the web browser or with a standalone app.

Signing up is a simple matter of either linking your existing accounts (google, apple, facebook) or using your email address, as you can see below.

Create an Account / Sign Up Page (Picture: BandLab©)

Afterwards Bandlab asks you a couple of questions how you would to use it, to select an account name and also why and as what you would like to use it.

BandLab asks you what is your main reason using it. (Picture: BandLab©)

Below you can see a screenshot of the main page which acts like your news feed, time line, where you can create projects and also find other users to connect with.

Main Page (Picture: BandLab©)

Once you pressed the create button, a new window opens up and BandLab asks you with what you would like to start your project with. You have plenty of options to select from, depending what you would like to use.

Start Page (Picture: BandLab©)

This is is your main editing window. Here you can create more instruments or audio tracks, cut, arrange or insert effects to make your composition sound the way you want and like. You have also the option to just simply drag and drop audio or midi files into your project.

Main Sequencer Page (Picture: BandLab©)

I am going to introduce and explain the most useful features of BandLab. The cloud based music sequencer is very easy to use and quite intuitive, by this I mean quite self explanatory. Nevertheless I have added screenshots to help understanding specific options or features.

Lets start with how to compose your own music. If you click on + Add Track on the top left and selected an Instruments Track, after it got created, press on the bottom left on “Instrument”. The lower half of the screen will open up the instrument editing window. With the keys of your keyboard or clicking on each key with your mouse, you can virtually play. The Grand Piano is your standard instrument, which you can change to a different one with the convenience of a mouse click.

On the lower half you can see and play the Instrument you have selected (Picture: BandLab©)

One of the most powerful tools for composing is the MIDI editor. Can be selected on the bottom left as well and opens the editing window of your selected Instrument. In here you can arrange your melody or chord progression. If you don’t own a MIDI Piano Keyboard to play it in, on the left side you have basic options to make changes.

MIDI Editor shown on the lower half (Picture: BandLab©)

A superb feature of BandLab are the included Sample Packs, which you can select on the right side of the screen. They give you immediate creative solutions for producing music, if you don’t have any experience with compositions. Lots of different musical genres are at your disposal and you can find the individual audio samples within the pack you’ve selected. Below you can find 2 pictures showing the sample packs and also the individual files within the selected pack.

Sample Pack Selection on the right side (Picture: BandLab©)
Individual sample selection of selected pack (Picture: BandLab©)

Another superb feature is the fact that you can easily work together within the same project by sharing it with other users by clicking on the top right symbol next to “Start Session”.

You can easily share the session either with your friends directly inside BandLab or share the link (Picture: BandLab©)

Finally, I have included screenshots of the BandLap Tutorial itself, explaining the basic features.

I hope you enjoyed the written Introduction and Tutorial to BandLab. Of course there are many more in-depth options and features to explore. Feel free to experiment on your own, but if you have a moment check out the video below. This user called Eumonik created a short but detailed and informative video about all the nice features of BandLab. Enjoy it.

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