Sound Design in Web Audio

I love articles about sound design, the process of creating new sounds from scratch using simple synthesis building blocks. In this in-depth two-part article Nick Thompson recreates the bass sounds common in “NeuroFunk” music using a subtractive synthesis approach. There’s some great theoretical detail about resampling, waveshaping and oscillator phasing as well as loads of code to dig into. Great stuff!

Senior Frontend Developer for IDAGIO

Our mission at IDAGIO is to help classical music become a leader in the digital entertainment market. We work with some of the world’s leading musicians, including the Vienna Philharmonic and the London Philharmonia Orchestra. Within the next weeks we will gradually roll out our web app into beta testing. As a senior frontend developer you join a small, interdisciplinary team that builds and owns all aspects of this app. We use a technology stack based around React, Redux and Node.js.

The job is based in Berlin, full-time. We do offer help with visas and relocation.

A Tale of no clocks

Joe Sullivan discusses the use of offline audio rendering in this blog post. The article talks about a variation of the all-at-once scheduling strategy, as outlined in Chris Wilson’s blog post ‘A tale of two clocks’, that works particularly well with loops. It avoids on-going interaction with the UI thread by scheduling events in advance for offline rendering in an OfflineAudioContext. As we start to build more sophisticated applications in Web Audio, performance will become more and more important and articles like this will be incredibly useful.

Visualising audio waveforms in polar coordinates

This project from Matt DesLauriers generates beautiful visualisations in real time using Canvas2D and the Web Audio API. On the demo page, if you open up a console, you can change the parameters and choose a different Soundcloud track to render.

The Pentaphone

We first met Bill Gathen’s Pentaphone back in issue 33. It’s a music performance tool that uses pentatonic scales to make it easier to play great-sounding harmonies and chord sequences. Bill’s updated the app, using the Web MIDI API, to support Novation’s Launchpad MIDI controller. If you have one of those the video tutorial shows you how to use it with Pentaphone.

Virtual Audio Graph

Virtual Audio Graph is library by Ben Hall for the declarative manipulation of Web Audio node graphs, in a similar way to how React or the virtual-dom work for the HTML DOM API. Rather than connecting nodes together using the standard, imperative calls to the API, we can instead declare the state we want the node graph to be in, for example:

  0: ['oscillator', 'output'],
  1: ['gain', {key: 0, destination: 'frequency'}, {gain: 10}],
  2: ['oscillator', [1, 'output'], {type: 'triangle', frequency: 1}],

and the library will figure out the changes it needs to make to achieve this. It’s a very interesting approach, and if you want to see how the library works in practice it’s worth reading the code for Ben’s ‘Elemental’ synth which uses this library.

iOS 9 Problems with Web Audio

With the release of Apple’s iOS9 operating system some developers have noticed issues with Web Audio applications and ‘user initiated interactions’. Adrian Holovarty is collecting some resources and workarounds as they appear.

Creating UIs for the Web Audio API

A talk from Stephen Band at the SwissJS conference on creating user interfaces for live music performance using the Web Audio API. The talk starts with a live performance for saxophone and browsers, introduces the concepts of the Web Audio and Web MIDI APIs, and then goes on to introduce a live-performance tool which allows on-the-fly modification of microphone input.

Find the invisible cow

It’s hiding behind the shouting.