Google Chrome AudioTool and HTML5 Audio Composition tools

Started by paults, November 01, 2011, 03:00:40 AM

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Quote from: Elantric on November 01, 2011, 09:28:37 AM
Its by design as the new source of revenue, the way i see it, the plan is:

* Get folks hooked on Tablet PCs  / Ipads with limited built in storage 

* Get folks hooked on uploading their archived data to the "cloud". (iCloud, Adrive, DropBox, Google Docs, MS Live, etc.)

* Get folks hooked on the idea of paying month to month for "Cloud" file access.

* Vendors start offering applications which are available strictly only as a "cloud computing resource"  - to get more people to sign up.

It's called "drugpusherware". Your first few hits are free, when you get hooked and can't live without it you have to pay for your fix.


Quote from: Frankster on April 22, 2015, 03:20:44 PM
It's called "drugpusherware". Your first few hits are free, when you get hooked and can't live without it you have to pay for your fix.
Anyone with an iPhone is at risk of addition.  You take a bunch of pictures, exceed your Photostream limit, then one day you have an option:  Pay a buck a month or spend a few hours organizing data.  Buck a month suddenly sounds reasonable.  A few months after that, you have a BIG data organization project on your hands - especially with family members sharing accounts/devices.

One of these days I have to spend a weekend just chasing down cloud content, identifying duplicates and versions, and getting stuff on local hard drives.  It's the drugpusherware equivalent of intervention and rehab LOL.


It's 32 years old. It's supported by keyboards and electronic wind instruments and lederhosen. And now you can add your browser to the list. MIDI will never die.
Yes, as of more recent beta and stable builds, Google's Chrome browser has built-in support for hardware MIDI. Plug in a MIDI controller, and you can play – well, this Web Audio MIDI Synthesizer, anyway:

Chris Wilso is the author, and describes it thusly:


Cool Things Chrome Can Do Now, Thanks to Hardware MIDI

Plugging a keyboard or drum pads into your Web browser is now a thing.
One month ago, we first saw hardware MIDI support in Chrome. That was a beta; this week, Google pushed it out to all Chrome users.
So, what can you actually do with this stuff? Well, you can open a Web tab and play a synth on actual hardware, which is pretty nifty.
Support is still a little dicey, but the available examples are growing fast. Here are some of the coolest, in addition to the MIDI example and demo code we saw last month.
The examples are certainly promising, but you may want to temper expectations. Users of browser-based solutions built on Flash will find some of this old news. Audiotool, for one, has already had a really sophisticated (semi-modular, even) production tool running for some years. (It's relevant here that Audiotool is coming to the HTML5/MIDI support, but it isn't here yet.) And while open standards are supposed to mean more compatibility, in practice, they are presently meaning far less. Even though Safari and Chrome are pretty close to one another in rendering pages, I couldn't get any of these examples working properly in any browser other than Chrome. And while I could get pretty low-latency functionality, none of this is anywhere near as solid in terms of sound performance as any standalone music software.
So, that leaves two challenges. One, the implementation is going to have to improve if non-developers are going to start to use this. And two, if this stuff is going to see the light of day beyond music hackathons, it'll need some applications. That said, I could imagine educational applications, demos of apps, collaborative possibilities, and more – and those expand if the tech improves. And, of course, this also gets really interesting on inexpensive Chromebooks – which it seems are selling in some numbers these days.

But that's the future. Here are some of the things you can do right now:

Audiotool is coming to HTML5, and Heisenberg is here now. Heisenberg is I think the coolest option yet – more than just a tech demo, you can plug in a MIDI keyboard and it's a really fun, free browser synth. Given the amount of pleasure we've gotten out of the odd Web time-waster, this is serious business.
But that's just the appetizer. The team behind Audiotool are working on porting it to HTML5. That should be an excellent test of just how mature this technology is. Audiotool is great and – Flash or not – it's worth having a play with if you are the kind of person who gets some inspiration from new software toys. (And if you're reading this far, I suspect you are.) [Flash for now, including screenshot above]

Revisit Roland. Steven Goldberg's 106.js reimagines the classic Roland Juno-106 in JavaScript. And it's just added MIDI support. Plus you can check the code out, free.

Play a 60s Yamaha combo organ. The oddest of this bunch is also my favorite sonically, just because it's so quirky. The Foo YC20 is an emulation of Yamaha's 1969 organ, the YC-20 combo – "features and flaws" all included. And now it feels more like an organ, since you can connect a MIDI keyboard.
Users should like it: if you're not fond of running it in your browser, you can also run it as a VST plug-in for Mac or Windows or standalone or as an LV2 plug-in on Linux.
Developers will like it, too: apart from some surprisingly authentic open source recreations, it's all coded in the Faust programming language, a functional language for DSP.

Run a full modular DAW. No need to wait on Audiotool: is already a full-featured semi-modular DAW built in HTML5 with MIDI support (and audio input). It's got a full assortment of instruments and effects, too – and some interesting ones, so it complements Audiotool.

Run a bunch of microtonal synths. Mitch Wells' Web Synths is a deep microtonal instrument, capable of some unique sound designs, and perhaps the richest actual synth of this bunch. Patch sharing shows one powerful feature of putting browsers on the Web – the ability to share with others.

Live-code your own synth. Maybe this is the application that makes the most sense. While it's tough for the other proof-of-concept toys to compete with your desktop instruments, it's kind of tough to beat the ability to live-code with Web tech in a browser.
And by "code," you hardly have to be a hard-core coder. The coding is radically simplified here, spitting out JavaScript from basic commands – fun for even the most entry-level hacker to play around with.
Vult by Leonardo Laguna Ruiz was built at MIDIHACK, the hackathon I was part of here in Berlin this month.

Play a synth – with colored lights and more. is a three-oscillator synth with some interesting extras. There's a tracker-sequencer built in, and you can play a "live" mode with color output.
The nerdy stuff behind the scenes demonstrates some potential for other projects. Apart from the new MIDI mode, the server mode offers up other possibilities. (, Node.js, live server, NeDB database holding patterns, if you're curious.)
What does that mean in practice? Developer Filip Hnízdo writes in comments:
"One of the features I'm most proud of is the live websocket server so any pattern that gets pushed to it is played live to a page where anyone can hear what anyone else has created in realtime. Especially fun with MIDI routed into soft synths or hardware. If enough people pushed patterns in you could just leave it on in your bedroom and constantly hear new music as it arrives. The patterns are all encoded as URLS too so easy to share."
Having just read a history of the first networked, first first-person shooter in the 70s, it's worth saying: this stuff can lead to unexpected places. And Filip is looking for collaborators.
Got more for us? Let us know in comments.
And if you have any tips on audio performance or how this is developing (since I complained about that), or likely applications (since I mused about that), we'd love to hear that, too.


Drum machines in your browser, and more places to find Web Audio and MIDI

Open a new tab, and suddenly you have a powerful, sequenced drum synth making grooves. Give it a shot:
Or read more. (This latest creation came out in June.)
This is either the future of collaborative music making or the Single Greatest Way To Make Music While Pretending To Do Other Work I've ever seen.
But, as a new effort works on sharing music scores in the browser, it's worth checking up on the Web Audio API – the stuff that makes interactive sound possible – and connections to hardware via MIDI.
And there's a lot going on, the sort of fertile conversation that could lead to new things.
Web Audio and Web MIDI are quite fresh, so developers around the world are getting together to learn from one another and discuss what's possible. That includes the USA, UK, and Germany:
New York:
Paris was also host to an annual, international conference, which took place this year at famed research center IRCAM.
Online synths and other proofs of concept are likely just the beginning. Web music development began as a sometimes muddled conversation about whether browsers will replace traditional app deployment (so far, probably not). But as the tech has matured, developers are instead looking to ways to use the Web to create new kinds of apps that perhaps didn't make sense as standalone tools in "native" software (or, for that matter, hardware).
That's why it'll be interesting to watch efforts like Yamaha's to add browser-based patch editing and sharing for their Reface line. There are also more ambitious ideas, like using the browser to share audio for interviews, radio conversations, backup, and works-anywhere recording and streaming.
And there's more.
Keith McMillen has a great two-article series introducing you to Web MIDI.
It explains what this is all about and what it can do – whether or not you are a developer, worth reading. And if you are a developer, code snippets!
There's even some explanation of how to use MIDI code outside of Chrome. (Firefox and even Microsoft's new Edge promise support soon.)
Making Music in the Browser – Web MIDI API
Making Music in the Browser – Web Audio API, Part 1
And their blog in general is full of surprisingly geeky wonderful stuff, not the normal marketing stuff. (In fact, let's be fair, you'd fire your marketing manager if they did this. But... kudos.)
When we first started using the Web, it seemed like a clumsy way to duplicate things done better elsewhere. Now, it promises to be something different: a place that takes the software and hardware we love, and makes it more useful and connected. There's something wonderful about switching the Internet off in the studio and focusing on making music for a while. But in this model, when you do turn the Internet on again, it becomes a place to focus more on music rather than be distracted.


Thu, 01/14/2016 - 06:35 -- nbatzdorf
Web Browser Synths blog header
Here are two really great online synths to whet the appetite for the category. They work really well on computers and iOS devices, including iPhones. And of course they're donationware or free.There are lots of these online – just do a search for "HTML synth" – but these two stand out because they don't beg to be played via MIDI. You can't play online synths from your keyboard; browsers don't have MIDI in!

My favorite is this Theremin, because the iPhone or iPad touch interface works so well. But you can use it with the mouse just fine. It also has some musically useful and controllable sounds:

This TR-909 drum machine emulation is also cool, because you can just record its output as an audio file into your DAW:

Normally their output – the computer/computer device system output - appears in your audio interface's first two outputs. If you're one of those people with fantastic taste who own an iConnectivity interface, this is a great reason to connect that iOS device you've been planning on connecting one of these days.

By youthvulture on Sun, 01/17/2016 - 08:52
QuoteYou can't play online synths from your keyboard; browsers don't have MIDI in!

This isn't necessarily true! WebMIDI is enabled as standard in Chrome now! Here are some cool examples:[/i]

Browser music making for the Bank Holiday

by Robin

HTML5 Drum Machine

If you're in the mood for killing some serious time this bank holiday weekend (or any time for that matter) then check out these cool free synths and drum machines that run, for free, right inside your internet browser. There are loads out there with varying degrees of cleverness and sound quality but for sheer enjoyment here's my top five in no particular order.
HTML Drum Machine. Ok this is really three different drum machines because they're all really good. The first one appeared about a year ago called simply the HTML5 Drum Machine built by Jamthom which looks and works every bit like a Roland 808 but it actually has 5 different kits to play with.

HTML 808

HTML 909
But more recently a less copyright shy Teemu Kallio created a fabulously emulated HTML-808 and HTML-909 Rhythm Composer. Your drum machine needs have been met.

Orbit Sampler  Staying with Jamthom for moment he also has cool circular sample player which lets you stick in a load of notes and drums to create complete repetitive tunes. You have 5 melodic tracks and 5 percussion tracks and you can sequence away to your hearts content. I'm pretty I just something very similar appear on the iPad recently called "Patterning". Anyway, the Orbit Sampler is a very absorbing way to spend some time.

Webmodular. On a bit of a scrappy website we find a nice and simple modular synth, perfect for working out how to wire the building blocks of synthesis together and create some sounds. It has an onscreen keyboard you can click or you can enter a melody in Music Macro Language (MML) and have it play back while you fiddle with wires and knobs. Shame it doesn't support Chrome's web MIDI API extension although the developers g200kg are working with an idea called WebMidiLink which allows instruments in different browser tabs to talk to each other.

Web Synths. If you'd like to try out a bit of Chrome MIDI then the unexpectedly looking Web Synths is a good place to start. It has 137 presets, 3 oscillators, 2 filters and a bunch of effects in these three scrolling panels. There's a virtual keyboard at the bottom which is totally multi-touchable and the synth is polyphonic. One thing to note is that when you make a change you have to retrigger the note to hear the result. There's an amazing amount of stuff going on in there even if the looks are less than inspiring.

AudioTools  And finally, AudioTool has been around for quite a while but it's still the daddy of web based music fiddling. It has your 808 and 909, plus a 303, a Moog a fabulous tenori style matrix sequencer, sampler, mixers, splitters, crossfaders and then a whole load of rack and pedal style effects. In has an inbuilt sequencer, lets you drop in audio files and samples – it's just completely bonkers. It reminds me of the Creamware Pulsar DSP platform from many years ago. If you want to save your tracks all you have to do is sign up and it all gets stored in the cloud for you access from anywhere. How genius is that?

LaunchPad Pro
Bonus entry – Launchpad Pro. This came in just as I was finishing off my top 5 and it's an online browser version of their Launchpad Pro which enables you to mess around with a bunch of preloaded loops from Harry Coade. You have an 8×8 grid to trigger loops and hits and it all works together as a track. It's a load of fun and looks a lot different in Edge than Chrome but both work fine and it would good to see more of this, or maybe make it available as a new way to offer your own content.

So go, take some time off and play in a browser – I'd recommend Chrome for the most trouble free experience.




Works on Chromebooks

There are several ways to get started with Launchpad. If you already own Launchpad hardware, you can install Ableton Live Lite for free, or connect to the Launchpad App on your iOS device.

The easiest way, however, is with Launchpad Arcade — you don't even need a Launchpad! Go to Launchpad Arcade now

Launchpad Arcade is a place where you can get straight into making music with Launchpad's familiar clip-based user interface. You can perform tracks from an extensive loop library, and you can even design and play lightshows, too — if you already have a Launchpad device. Launchpad Arcade works inside your browser (Google Chrome is recommended). All you need is a computer and an internet connection to get going.

Launchpad Arcade is ready for players at all levels. Whether you have zero music-making experience, or you're an intermediate or advanced user, the quick setup guide will fast-track you to the action.

Use Chrome Browser


Europa by Reason: Propellerhead release their first VST plug-in
Europa by Reason
Europa by Reason  ·  Source: Propellerhead

I don't know about you but I'm still shocked by the fact that Reason can load VST plug-ins and that happened a year ago! Now in another shocker Propellerhead release their flagship Europa wavetable Reason synth as a VST and AU plug-in.

Reason and VST
VST support is the one thing Propellerhead said they would never do but then they did. I get the impression that something has changed and the possibilities are quite exciting. Reason has its own unique flavour and way of working which doesn't naturally lend itself to the structure of VST plug-ins. But they overcame it and far from becoming just another DAW they have managed to open up VST plug-ins and instruments to their CV modulated architecture in very interesting ways. But they retained their own unique sound sources within the Reason format. This latest development has them releasing some of their sonic blueprint into the larger world – is this just testing the water or the beginning of something new?

Synths like Thor have already materialised on the iPad so I guess moving beyond the restrictions of tablet processing power into VST/AU formats makes a lot of sense. Can we expect to see other parts of Reason become plug-ins for other DAWs? I really don't see why not. Although I'm sure getting into bed with VST caused a bit of a blip with Reason users I believe it's all the stronger for it. It was great to see Noise Engineering recently embrace the Reason way of doing things in their first ever software module releases. Reason remains unique and interesting with its own workflow and creative tools but Propellerhead also has a back catalogue that people who want to work differently could really benefit from.

Europa by Reason
Europa is a spectral wavetable synthesizer with three sound engines. There are over 30 engine models and wavetables, 24 filter types, all sorts of modulation and some cool effects. You can load your own samples and wavetables not only as sound sources but also as spectral filter shapes. It morphs beautifully between waveforms and has a comprehensive modulation matrix that'll run everything into everything else in very pleasing ways.

If you'd like to try it out then Propellerhead have a version that runs in a browser. If you've got a web-MIDI compatible browser like Chrome you can even play it from a keyboard. Check it out here.

If you're still not convinced then you can also download a trial version and run it in your DAW. Until the end of June Propellerhead are offering Europa by Reason for $99. If you are an existing Reason 10 user then you get it for free. Go to your account to find your license.

Everyone wins.

More information
Europa by Reason page