Play a Great-Sounding Theremin in Your Web Browser: Distraction of the Day

If you want an explanation for why you’d want to build sophisticated audio into the Web, maybe it’s just because you don’t like fun. Fun is what you get out of this Web Audio Theremin toy, the work of one Luke Phillips of Femur Design. The web audio theremin is a touch friendly & responsive audio synthesizer built in javascript using the Web Audio API with HTML5 canvas. As the user interacts with the screen synthesized sounds are generated in the style of a moog theremin and the canvas displays a visual representation of the audio. “Theremin” is a loose …


Web-Connected Analog: Synths Render Sound From Your Browser, Remotely

On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog. But they just might know you’re an MS-20. Hector Urtubia – aka Mr. Book – has connected his synths to the Web and set them up for the world. Submit a music pattern, and send it off to the synths to be rendered to sound. It’s like Kinko’s, if they did analog synths instead of printers. Hector explains more: I created a web app ( which allows you to create a synth pattern, submit it and it will get rendered live in hardware on one of my synths at home. I …


Giorgio Moroder’s Music, Racing Across Your Handheld Browser, Free [Web Tech, Free Track]

Imagine the browser window – on a desktop, a phone, or a tablet – as another canvas for musicians. Hearing Web nerds talk about the latest browser tech may, it may not be immediately clear how that connects to this browser future. But with the addition of features like 3D and network sockets, suddenly you begin seeing dynamic music toys and tools that work without downloading apps. Google has become part R&D lab, part arts patron, with its Chrome Experiments. In the latest, Giorgio Moroder’s music is the soundtrack to a “race” of abstract, colored geometries as they track between …


Guitar Stompbox in Your Browser? Web Audio Adds Line In, iPhone Support, More

Watching a skyscraper go up is always fascinating. For a long time, the thing basically looks like a bit pit in the ground. After some time, you get the beginnings of a skeleton. Suddenly, the structure rises at a near-impossible pace, climbing into the clouds faster than you’d imagine. Then, it’s at a point when it looks finished, but isn’t – there’s this final, agonizing push to make it really inhabitable for everyone. Yep, new standards are often the same way. Web audio had, in comparison to conventional native development, looked largely like that gaping hole in the ground for …


MIDI in the Browser: HTML5 + MIDI Document Up for Review, Audio Improving, Too

Hey, why the heck not? (CC-BY-SA) farnea. Imagine connecting to MIDI gadgets – inputs and outputs – and sequencing musical patterns from a browser. (As a developer, imagine doing that from JavaScript. As a user, imagine doing that right inside your browser window with a music app.) For now, such things exist only on a document, but they could be coming to a browser near you. Not bad for a standard that dates back to 1983. The W3C has a document up for discussion, for those of you technical enough to get involved: The news comes from an excellent, …


Patchosaur: Audio, MIDI, and Max/Pd-Style Patching, in a Browser, Because You Can

If you’re looking to build your own instruments and effects and sequencers and play with patching, you really don’t want this software. No, seriously – while a fascinating, fun tech demo, something like the desktop Pd or Max is probably what you want. (As we saw earlier this week, Pd-extended just got much easier to use, and it’s free.) This makes sound, but it’s also buggy and in progress and likely more of interest to coders. Okay, now having scared off some people, let’s talk nerd-to-nerd for a second. Patchosaur, an open-source, GitHub-hosted project by BADAMSON, is nonetheless seriously cool, …


Max for Live Gems: Easier MIDI Mapping, Automation Recording, and Alternative Sequencing

As Max for Live has matured, this tool for extending the functionality of Ableton Live has played host to a growing wave of brilliant custom tools – enough so that it can be hard to keep track. This month saw a few that deserve special mention. In particular, two tools help make MIDI mapping and automation recording easier in Live, and point the way for what the host itself could implement in a future update. (Live 9, we’re looking at you.) And in a very different vein, from Max for Live regular Protofuse, we see an intriguing alternative approach to …


Diaspora: On a Fledgling, Open Social Network, Users Gather to Make Noise

Diaspora is an attempt to build a social network that contrasts with the locked-garden vision of Facebook, one built on open source software, open exchange of information, and distributed – rather than centralized – communication. I already let slip that we’ll be rebooting our own social endeavor, Create Digital Noise, in the new year. But it’s also telling to see the first noises emerge on Diaspora. If you wrote off this service when it was in early testing, perhaps overwhelmed by its ambition and crowd-sourced nature, you may be pleasantly surprised. As users gain invites, the service is surprisingly stable …


Bach Cello Suite No. 1, Visualized in Sweeping Arcs, and the Math Beneath

Alexander Chen, he of Kinect hacks and subways turned to strings, is back with another string visualization. Built in the browser (an interactive version is available), this work makes a visual accompaniment to Bach’s First Prelude from the Cello Suites. If you read music notation fluently, you may find the score itself suffices, but even so, the math to make this work – and the dance of circles across strings – is compelling. Alex, whose day job is with Google’s Creative Lab, talks to us a bit about the mathematics and process. First, his description: visualizes the first Prelude …


Max 6 in Public Beta; For Home-brewing Music Tools Graphically, Perhaps the Biggest Single Update Yet

Above: Cycling 74’s just-released video highlights enhanced audio quality; our friend, French artist protofuse, has a go at working with the beta and showing off the new user interface. (See C74’s official take on the new UI below. Max 6 in Public Beta; For Home-brewing Music Tools Graphically, Perhaps the Biggest Single Update Yet Just because a music tool fills your screen with tools and options doesn’t necessarily make it easier to realize your ideas. From the beginning, the appeal of Max – as with other tools that let you roll your own musical tools from a set of pre-built …