April 26, 2013 at 11:06 am

So Now People Are Trading Dubstep Compositions in a Chrome App

dubstep piano

The top trending music app in Google’s weird Chrome web app store today is ButtonBass DubStep Piano (direct web link).

If you ever wondered what Skrillex is doing back there, this will give you an idea; it works in a similar way to the MPCs and other equipment used by pros to trigger samples. This somewhat cheesily-designed, ad-laden app presents a somewhat misleading but recognizable interface: the piano keyboard.

You can turn all of these dubstep-sounding loops on and off by hitting the piano keys with your mouse pointer, or with your computer keyboard. One crucial trick: the spacebar syncs up all your loops into a lockstep groove, so they sound better. Another: The enter key makes it all just stop.

Web toys are quite literally even less than “a dime a dozen,” but this one’s interesting:

  • It makes dubstep, and people like dubstep, or at least making fun of it.
  • It lets you record your songs and save them as text files that other people (or you) can reupload into the instrument in order to play those compositions.
  • To keep things even simpler, people simply trade a sequence of letters around in the bulletin board underneath the keyboard. So right there, on a single web page, you have music being composed, created, shared, modified, and commented.

Say what you will about dubstep as a genre, but you don’t see classical fans doing this sort of thing.

We particularly like the top one, which simply reads “P8JKZXCVBNM and sync!” Try it yourself, if you have a minute (remember, spacebar is “sync”). Pretty amusing, no? You can remove the loops by pressing any of those letters again, or add new ones, syncing periodically with the spacebar. Or, you can hit the spacebar over and over to create a stutter effect.

Considering that some EDM artists admit to basically just pressing play and then messing around with some EQ sweeps, ButtonBass Dubstep Piano might actually represent a step forward in terms of the creative performance potential of this strange new(ish) format.

Speaking of dubstep apps and today being Friday, the Evolver.fm database’s dubstep keyword now has 41 apps for your perusal.