Recreating the Birdman opening credits with the Web Audio API

Mark DiMarco has recreated the opening credits of the recent Alejandro González Iñárritu film Birdman using the Web Audio API. He uses beat detection to synchronise the jazz drumming with the appearance of the letters on screen. The code and some technical details are on github. Fantastic stuff!

Web Audio premiere at the València Vox Festival

Ben Houge wrote in to tell me about recent premiere of a piece of music that relied on the Web Audio API to immerse the performances and audience in a collective experience

The Berklee Valencia App Choir, an ensemble I founded last year as part of Berklee’s Music Technology Innovation master’s program at our campus here in Valencia, Spain, premiered my new piece “Ornithological Blogpoem,” a setting of a poem by Elisa Gabbert, at the first Vox Festival, an event we organized around the visit of the great computer music pioneer John Chowning.

My piece is very similar in structure to “The Tomb of the Grammarian Lysias,” which I presented at the first WAC last January, only now with a choir of singers. The piece has 3 technical components. Singers have a web app that displays each phrase of the piece in standard musical notation; the singers’ parts are unsynchronized, and the app supplies different timings and repetitions of phrases for each singer. The audience has another app that plays fragments of the singers’ voices at different pitches, resulting in a gradually building texture distributed throughout the venue that towards the end of the piece evokes a tree full of chirping birds. I have a third web app that I use to step through different sections of the piece and control everything.

Ben has written more about his earlier work “The Tomb of the Grammarian Lysias” on his blog, and a recent article from Priceonomics gives a great introduction to the life and work of John Chowning.

Music Visualisation with p5.js

Jason Sigal regulary runs a workshop on visualising music using the Web Audio API and his p5.js library. He’s made the slides, code and all of the demos available on Github, and they are a fantastic resource for learning how to syncronise visuals with audio using time and frequency domain analysis, beat detection, pitch tracking and other techniques.

The 2nd Web Audio Conference - Call for Submissions

The 2nd Web Audio Conference will be held April 4-6 2016 at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, USA. The call for submissions is now open, and like the first conference in Paris earlier this year, they welcome submissions from developers, musicians, artists and researchers.

Browser MIDI Is About Hardware As Much As Music

An interesting perspective from musician and developer Giles Bowkett on how the Web MIDI API isn’t just about music, it also allows our browsers to be controlled with a much wider range of interfaces than previously possible.

If you’re interested in catching up on what’s possible with Web MIDI, Create Digital magazine have recently published a great overview.

Learning the Web Audio API

A great collection of tools and resources to help you learn the Web Audio API from Singapore-based audio experience agency Sonoport.

Midem Hackday

The music industry event Midem in Cannes featured a hackday where developers worked on musical applications in 48 hours. The Midem blog has a full round up together with videos of the demos, and of particular interest to Web Audio developers is Ben Fields, Sam Phippen and Hugh Rawlinson’s hack rMIXr, an in-browser DAW for remixing contests.

A quick correction

One of the developers on the Microsoft Edge browser project got in touch to say that they will be supporting ScriptProcessorNode, after I mistakenly reported them as not doing so last week. They’re keeping a keen eye on the proposed Audio Worker replacement though, and intend to move forward with that and deprecate ScriptProcessorNode as soon as they are able to.

The sound of dialup

Do you remember connecting to the internet using a dialup connection? Ever wondered what those weird sounds meant? Wonder no more!