When I first started looking into Web-based music sequencers and digital audio workstations last year, Audiotool was one of the first I came across. I was instantly impressed by this slick, Flash-based tool and the features that the team of Cologne based developers had already packed into it. I’d even go as far to say that it was a big contributing factor to me deciding to cover this kind of tech in-depth over at Audio Silver Lining.

Audiotool is essentially a Web-based sequencer tool that lets you create music, remix and collaborate with others all from within a web browser. It launched with a pretty impressive range of digital emulations of drum machines (essentially copies of Roland’s classic 808 & 909 boxes), a 303 style bass synth and a versatile analog synth, as well as an impressive range of FX boxes and loops.

Additional elements such as a sample based drum machine and rather cool sound mashing tool called Rasselbock have been added over the past year and, after a period of beta testing and seemingly hardcore development, a major new version – Audiotool 2.0 was released this week.

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This new update introduces some essential features for music makers who have traditionally used non-cloud based applications – namely MIDI and the ability to record your own samples. There’s also a new site for the tool itself, which includes some great music discovery features for people looking to listen to and remix existing users tracks. Although this doesn’t quite bring it on par with applications such as Reason or Ableton, it does offer something that they don’t in the form of a music production tool that can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and one that promotes easy collaboration with other music producers.

Beyond its rather impressive, browser-based functionality, one of the things that appeals to me the most about Audiotool is that it allows pretty much anyone with an internet connection to start making electronic music for free and with relative ease. Bearing in mind that even entry-level music production software is still well out of the price range of the average teenager or casual beginner I think that any platform that offers this degree of creative freedom with zero investment should certainly be applauded. Try it now.

Screen shot 2011 03 26 at 17.20.12 520x259 Audiotool 2.0   Music making on the Web just got serious