Soundslice is an interactive sheet music and guitar tabulator viewer that uses Canvas and Web Audio together to help musicians learn songs and share their transcriptions and compositions. As the music plays the sheet music highlights the current note in real time. If a particular passage is proving tricky to master, the tempo can be reduced. Synthesised sounds can replace real sounds, making it pleasant to listen to even at low tempos. The polish and ease of use is really impressive, and it’s great to see Web Audio technology being used in a commercial product. I’m hoping to interview Adrian at Soundslice for a future issue of this newsletter to get an insight into the technical implementation - so watch this space.

Connecting external devices to smartphones using Web Audio

Connecting external devices to smartphones is not an easy task for the independent developer. Licensing the technology to use the “lightning” connector on an iOS device can be prohibitively expensive, for example. Colin Bookman has an interesting idea - use the Web Audio API to decode signals sent over the audio jack. In this blog post Colin presents the software and hardware required to transfer data at 16bits/s with an error rate of around 5% encoded as a stream of sine wave pulses.


MIDI HACK is a hackday hosted by Spotify in their HQ in Sweden in May. It looks to have a hardware-focus, but I’m sure there’ll be plenty of interesting things you could build using the Web Audio or Web MIDI APIs. Applications are open until the 13th April, so if you can make it to Sweden in May, go and sign up.

Listen to sorting algorithms

Daniel Stocks, a web developer from Sweden, has taken the visualisation of sorting algorithms one step further - he’s used the Web Audio API to turn them into strangely compelling random compositions.

The drum machine that changed music

“For a person like me that’s spent years around music technology, these humble little boxes tend to take on personalities.”

In this short BBC Radio 4 documentary, Graham Massey gives a fascinating overview of the influence of the Roland TR-808 machine on music, with plenty of technical detail and great examples of the machine in use.