Tone.js is a very well thought out wrapper library for the Web Audio API. It’s targeted at two groups of users - those who want to build musical applications, and those familiar with traditional graph-based environments such as Pure Data or Max/MSP. For the former, Tone.js offers a robust, powerful sequencer library and some built in synthesisers with sensible presets. For the latter, it offers a comprehensive set of building blocks for performing signal processing tasks. Using the native nodes provided by the Web Audio API, the author, Yotam Mann, has created wrappers that allow standard arithmetic operations (addition, modulo, multiplication), logic operations and signal routing. All of this has been achieved without relying on ScriptProcesserNodes so they can take advantage of the low-latency native audio generation. Tone.js looks like a very useful library at an ideal level of abstraction for any Web Audio project.
True, A Web Audio Music Video
Brightly are an indie/electronic band who have been recording, performing and releasing music for several years. They also feature Charlie Gleason who has considerable programming talent! Their new video uses the Web Audio API to synchronise the music to the visuals, and is really very beautiful to look at and listen to.
Web Audio Hackdays
There were two Web Audio-themed hackdays this month. Web Music Hackathon #3 was held in Tokyo, Japan and almost at the same time Web Audio-hackers convened for a special session at jsfest.berlin. I’m hoping to cover this events in a bit more detail in the next newsletter, but for now here’s a quick taster:
- The winning hack from Tokyo was this face-tracking drum machine thing.
- Eiji Kitamura has written up a full report of the event too.
- Over in Berlin, organiser Jan Monschke pointed me at Jaume Sanchez Elias’s hack which combines d3.js with Web Audio to flexible interfaces.
- Soledad Penadés produced a great “intro to Web Audio” slide deck for attendees of the Berlin Hackday.
Leon Theremin - CIA Nemesis
A recent Freedom of Information Act request to the CIA, resulted in the release of many back issues of the US intelligence organisation’s in-house magazine /Studies in Intelligence/. Among the articles was this cracker on Leon Theremin, inventor of the eponymous instrument, and his role as a soviet spy.