midi.space shows how friction-less applications built with the new Web MIDI API will be compared to their legacy, desktop-software counterparts. Open the browser, connect your MIDI devices, drop some samples onto the on-screen pads and start creating loop-based music. If you don’t have a MIDI device, you can use your mouse/trackpad to trigger the samples.
The Future of Web Audio
When Chris Wilson, co-editor of the Web Audio API specification for the W3C and developer evangelist for audio technologies at Google, was in London recently he and Sam Dutton invited me into the Google offices to have a chat about recent developments and the future of Web Audio.
Farfisa Fast 3 Organ Simulator
A very convincing simulation of the Farfisa Fast 3 vintage analogue organ, complete with selectable tones and fast/slow vibrato. You can connect a MIDI keyboard too, and study the code on github.
Generative Jazz with Web Audio
Don Veca emailed me to share the outputs of his Web Audio-powered generative jazz engine. The algorithm is based on “groove templates” and pattern generators and exposes a simple UI to control the parameters of the generation. At the moment we only have this intriguing recording to listen to, but I’m excited to see what Don decides to do with his application and whether we’ll be able to get our hands on it!
Web MIDI wrapper library
Using the Web MIDI API, especially beyond the basics, requires some knowledge of the MIDI spec and some fairly low-level programming. While having full support for the spec is exactly what the Web Platform needs, working with it can be a bit intimidating. This library from Jean-Philippe Côté abstracts some of this complexity away from you providing a simpler API to test for MIDI capability, send and receive note messages and work with controller events.
The Art of Arrangement for Dynamic Music Systems in Games
A three-part article from composer Winifred Phillips on arranging music for computer games with particular emphasis on her work for the LittleBigPlanet series. I found it very interesting to learn about the considerations of composers when working with an atmosphere that is in constant flux due to the actions of the player of the game.
TR-808 Cowbell and Hi-Hat recreation with Web Audio
Two great articles from Ed Ball and Joe Sullivan respectively on how they recreated the TR-808’s cowbell and hi-hat sounds by studying the circuit diagrams and processing schematics and then re-creating the signal path in Web Audio. Previously, I worked on recreations of the bass-drum and snare sound from the 808 - someone should really put all of this together!
808: The Movie
And in other 808 news, I’m very excited about this upcoming documentary about the classic drum machine and its influence on modern music. Featuring legendary producers and musicians such as Afrika Bambaataa, The Root’s ?uestlove and er, Phil Collins, it looks set to be an vintage synth geek’s dream!