Get Started Making Music with Ableton

This wonderful, interactive series of lessons helps you learn the basics of music composition and production. There’s an emphasis on electronic music forms (this comes after all from the folks behind the ubiquitous Ableton Live music production software) but plenty to learn for anyone who is curious about how music is made.

The Web Audio-powered examples in each section are beautifully executed and elevate what would be a textbook into something altogether richer and more effective.


MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) is an extension of the standard MIDI 1.0 specification which allows individual notes within a chord to have independent pitch bend applied to them. The standard is implemented in, for example, ROLI’s Seaboard controller keyboard. Oscar Dub has written the mpe.js library to allow developers to access these capabilities using Web MIDI. The library is well documented with examples and a quick video gives a good overview of the concept.


Hacking Soundcloud

Attila Haraszti’s post explains how to automate interactions with the Soundcloud service to progressively alter an uploaded track based on user interactions. This sounds like the kind of thing that an API would be ideal for - but in lieu of that, because Soundcloud is a web application it is possible to add some user-interface tweaks that are a bit too niche for the company to include themselves and in doing so allow a digital artist to express themselves in the way they want to.

Google Doodle for Oskar Fischinger’s 117th Birthday

This recent Google Doodle uses Web Audio to celebrate the birthday of Oskar Wilhelm Fischinger (22 June 1900 – 31 January 1967) a pioneer of animation, motion graphics and musical artwork. The doodle is a 4-voice step sequencer with beautiful animations that pulse in time with your composition.

Jam Together

Jam Together is an online service from Kevin Decock that allows musicians to collaborate together with each other in private “rooms”. The app works with a midi controller, but also with the regular computer keyboard. You can currently play with a piano, a synth, and a drum pad and “more instruments are definitely in the pipeline” according to Kevin. Jam Together are looking


Japanese freelance developer Hiroyuki Takakura has created this music-making application which combines a chord generator, rhythm box and sequencer together in an application which puts the emphasis on fun, simple music making. I was a little confused by the acronym DTM at first - apparently this is how computer music is referred to in Japan (it stands for Desk Top Music / デスクトップミュージック).

Choirplayer needs your help

Choirplayer is a multitrack music player from Peter Woods which is specifically designed for choirs. It features timed lyrics for each part and the ability to mute and solo tracks - very useful features when you are learning or rehearsing a part. The application is still in development and Peter is looking for some help to develop it further. If you can help hit reply and I’ll put you in touch with Peter.

This cybernetic synth contains a brain grown from the inventor’s cells

The core of this synthesizer was grown in a lab from actual living cells sliced right out of its creator. Skin cells are transformed into stem cells which then form a neural network – one that exists not in code, but in actual living tissue.