Creating an accessible breakout game

David Rousset writes about creating an accessible Breakout clone using Web Audio and SVG, with particular focus on making the game playable by blind and partially sighted players. By spatially positioning sounds relative to the player using the Web Audio’s PannerNode the player can hear which direction to send a ball to break the blocks. The post covers some other accessibility techniques too, and I particularly enjoyed reading about how testing the game with users revealed further enhancements and ideas.

Kodo Games Web Audio Tutorial

A great article from Nicola Hibbert introducing the Web Audio API to games developers. Nicola covers loading sounds, the creation of sound sprites, and how to cross-fade. It’s good to see tutorials focused on that audience in particular because although the concepts introduced are similar to those used in musical applications, the use-cases and terminology are quite different.

Microtonal Web Synth

Mitch Wells has been working hard on this Microtonal Web Synth since we last looked at it back in issue 27. It’s a web synth with an emphasis on micro-tuning of the individual keys to allow the creation of custom scales and tunings. The synth supports Web MIDI, so you can hook up your controller keyboard, and has a comprehensive routing system for filters.

If you’re interested in microtuning and weird-and-wonderful scales from the history of music, the tune.js library from Andrew Bernstein and Ben Taylor includes a massive catalogue of over 3,000 of them. It comes complete with an API for accessing and creating new ones, and a demo synth to try them out.

Online course: Audio Signal Processing for Music Applications

Stanford have announced this course on signal processing, with an emphasis on applications in music technology. It looks to have a comprehensive syllabus and covers practical applications using the Python programming language. The course starts on the 21st September and runs for 10 weeks.

Cat Purr Noise Generator

Online noise machine specialist Dr. Ir. Stéphane Pigeon has added another noise machine to his stable, this time to create the soothing sounds of a purring cat. You have control over the exact frequency content of the purring sound, or you can choose from a range of presets such as “Quiet Presence” or “Tiger Sleep”.

Audio Sampling and the Delay Node

In this article from Sonoport, Tommy Robinson shows how to build a sampler using the QWERTY keyboard library AudioKeys. The sound is made more interesting with the introduction of a delay effect, and Tommy goes into detail about how to use the various parameters of the Web Audio DelayNode to add depth to the sound.

Dub Siren

Just in time for the Nottinghill Carnival last week, French sound system Zongo Sound wrote in to tell me that they’d created this simple Dub Siren.

Responsive Drum Machine

This Web Audio drum machine from Vincent Choqueuse is particularly interesting for its clean bootstrap-powered user interface which scales to your screen size, and for its use of “pages” to flip between the step sequencer and the waveform editor.

WebMIDI “now working” on Firefox

An intriguing tweet from Kyle Machulis showing the progress so far on bringing WebMIDI to Firefox. The patch still has to be cleaned up and reviewed before it can be considered for inclusion, but it’s exciting to see the progress.

wOOfer-The Second Pie

A live-coded music video demonstration made with SonicPi on the RaspberryPi.