Neuron

Play music in your browser without knowing theory

Aug 3, 2017 Note: Neuron was an experiment to see if I could build a music tool for regular people. Regular people liked it quite a bit more than I expected so Neuron has evolved into NeuronLoops (find it on jackrometty.design), and is presently in beta while I refactor the code and add features. Loop updates will be far less cadenced than Neuron’s monthly refresh. The following was published on Feb 15, 2017.

NEURON: https://jackrometty.github.io/neuron/

Music is awesome and I suspect that everyone has wished to play an instrument at some point. But life is busy and instruments requires years of practice to feel familiar. Neuron let’s you flex your creative and musical muscles with no practice. You don’t have to learn anything, you just get to play.

Now it’s not perfect because you can’t play anything. To be specific, you can only play a carefully curated set of things at any given moment: one drum loop, one chord loop, and one melody instrument. If real musical instruments are the beach, Neuron is the backyard sandbox. You’re just a kid to music so a sandbox is still going to rock your world and let you build cool castles. Beaches, like piano, are beautiful and dangerous at the same time. You can play 10 simultaneous notes on a piano, but even two of them don’t agree you and everyone with working ears will hear it. how do you know which notes love each other? Music theory and pracice. Years and years of it. I have set this sandbox up with toys that mesh nicely no matter what you do with them, the musical answer is that each month is 100% diatonic. You can go crazy and never worry about messing up. but that’s not even the best part.

Every month you get new sand

Every month on the 15th I’m going to refresh everything. The drum loops, the chord loops, the melody instruments, everything. I love experimenting with different sounds and textures, so each month is going to be a total surprise. Although genre will change, I am always going to primarily focus on approachability. This is a tool for regular people, not musicians.

So how do I play old loops?

You don’t. When last month’s loops are wiped clean, they are erased forever. Even from my laptop. They are G O N E. Neuron isn’t about finding something good and holding on, it’s about enjoying what’s currently in front of you. There is no way to play the past again in real life, so don’t worry about messing up.

To be updated when Neuron is refreshed with new loops, subscribe to Neuron’s monthly email.

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