Firefox 25 released

This week saw the release of Firefox 25, and the headline news was support for the Web Audio API! It’s fantastic news for Web Audio, as having another implementation has really helped to drive the standard forwards. I’m really pleased for the Mozilla team, it’s a great milestone. As well as the announcement, the team also released a great demo and blog post showcasing some of the 3D sound capabilities of the API. If you’re at all interested in Web Audio, go and grab a copy of FF25, try some of your favourite demos and give some feedback.

Steller - a framework for composeable sound modules

The Web Audio API provides the building blocks for processing and synthesis of audio, but one of it’s design goals was to allow developers to build more specialised APIs on top of it. Steller, from Srikumar Subramanian, is an example of such an API. It follows the graph-based principle of the Web Audio API itself, buts adds powerful scheduling and graphics-synchronisation features. The demos are intriguing, and there’s a live-coding environment for trying out the API.

Novation/Focusrite working on cross-platform Web MIDI software

Novation, who build popular MIDI controllers, among other things, are attempting to solve the problem of developing the control software for their equipment on multiple platforms by experimenting with Web MIDI and web-based applications. I think there’s going to be some really interesting applications for “real world” musicians to connect their instruments to the web, download patches and share sounds with other people. MIDI is the common language that all of these devices speak, and bridging them to the web will be exciting. In this blog post, we get a interesting take on how manufacturers are starting to experiment with the API, and some of the challenges.

Listen to Conway’s Game of Life

Conway’s Game of Life is an influential cellular automata experiment that illustrates how complex behaviour can emerge from the application of simple rules. But what does it sound like? Patrick Borgeat built this version of Life but used Web Audio to turn each movement into sound.

Train Your Ears

Experienced musicians, sound designers and studio engineers have an uncanny ability to explain how a complex set of audio transforms has been applied to create a particular sound. This recently-announced online course from Queen’s University Belfast promises to train you to be able to do the same. It looks like an interesting course, is open for free registration and starts early in the new year on the UK’s FutureLearn platform (disclaimer: I work for FutureLearn, but this genuinely looks like an interesting course!)