Posted by & filed under Blog, Making Music in the Browser, Simple Synthesis, Tutorials.

In our first Simple Synthesis Addendum we learned how to connect a VCO to a VCA and control their ‘frequency’ and ‘gain’ AudioParams using a MIDI controller via the Web MIDI API. Good stuff! We now have a simple synth we can play. In this post we’ll learn how to shape our notes by building a Envelope Generator with configurable attack, decay, sustain and release using the Web Audio API’s scheduling methods. We’ll also give our Envelope Generator a ‘Mode’ setting, which will give us the ability to create some really long envelopes to play with.
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Posted by & filed under Blog, Making Music in the Browser, Simple Synthesis, Tutorials.

Emmett Corman has a great introductory series on the basics of synthesis (using modular synths), called Simple Synthesis. I thought it would be of value to those without access to the hardware to be able to explore and interact with the concepts that Emmett covers directly in the browser, using the Web MIDI and Web Audio APIs.

In this complementary series, I’ll cover each synthesis topic and show you how to build various synth modules right in your browser. Play, edit, and combine the code to make your own web-based modular synth!

It’s highly recommended that you read my series Making Music in the Browser as well as the corresponding Simple Synthesis post before these complementary posts so that you can more easily dive in.
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Posted by & filed under Blog, Interviews.

Steve Lawson is, among many other things, a bassist and blogger based in the UK. I recently read a piece he wrote called The Future’s Bright, The Future’s Tiny – Why Small Is The New Big (which I highly recommend checking out) and had a couple of questions for him about navigating the modern musical world and balancing economic and creative sustainability. Steve was gracious enough to oblige me with an interview wherein we touched on the topics of forming musical relationships, the “conversational economy”, and Bandcamp’s new subscription service for artists. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Blog, Simple Synthesis, Tutorials.

When an LFO is routed to modulate an oscillator’s pitch, the result is known as vibrato. Speed that LFO up to audio rate and you’ve got what’s called Frequency Modulation Synthesis, or FM for short. Although used in digital synths like the Yamaha DX7 since the 1980’s, FM synthesis has been a part of modular technique ever since the creation of VCOs. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Bitwig Studio, Blog, Tutorials.

In the last article we managed to bundle a bunch of transport related code into one function and import that function into our script. This is great for encapsulating code, but we are overlooking one of the biggest boons of javascript: the ability to create objects. Everything in javascript is an object. Functions, variables, arrays, everything. You can give objects properties and you can assign objects functions (called methods). For more information on working with and defining objects in javascript I encourage you to consult THIS PAGE from the Mozilla Developer Network. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Blog, Interviews.

Eddie Ojeda is the lead guitarist in arguably the hardest working, hardest rocking band of all time: Twisted Sister. 40 years at the mast of an outfit like that imbues one with a particular brand of wisdom and panache, and Eddie was gracious enough to answer some questions about the band, his rig, his mobster sobriquet and his very own brand of cherry habanero hot pepper sauce. Yeah! Read more »

Posted by & filed under Blog, Making Music in the Browser, Tutorials, Web Audio.

Simply put, the Web Audio API is awesome and powerful! It makes it possible to synthesize, manipulate, spatialize, and visualize any sound, limited only by your imagination and processing power. The ubiquity of the web browser allows for an unprecedented environment to compose, instantly share your music, and collaborate with the world. The Web Audio API also gives you a unique advantage over any other music making tool, the ability to connect and control your sound with any API on the web (SoundCloud, NASA, Twitter) or on your laptop/smartphone (accelerometer[motion/tilt], geolocation, vibration), you can connect to them all.

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Posted by & filed under Bitwig Studio, Blog, Tutorials.

Last time we took a look at creating observers and using them to get data from Bitwig out to our controllers. While doing that we started to gather a decent amount of functions throughout our script. Eventually this will become messy, hard to read, and time consuming to update. Luckily, we can create external javascript files that can contain function, variable, and object definitions. In this post we will group our transport control code into a single function and host it in an external file. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Blog, Interviews.

In 1964, in the garden shed of a house in Putney, Peter Zinovieff- a mathematician, engineer and inventor- installed the first computer housed in a private residence and changed the history of electronic music forever. Over the years, composers, musicians and bands ranging from Harrison Birtwistle and Karlheinz Stockhausen to Paul McCartney and David Bowie to Pink Floyd and Kraftwerk would all make the trip to visit this strange and exciting experimental studio. The Electronic Calendar: The EMS Tapes is a retrospective on the work done in early electronic and computer music at EMS (Electronic Music Studios) from 1965 until its dissolution in 1979. The recordings are presented as a deluxe two CD set with extensive liner notes, exclusive photos and Zinovieff’s own diary entries compiled by Sonic Boom a.k.a. Pete Kember (of Spacemen 3, Spectrum, EAR, et al). We caught up with Peter Zinovieff and Sonic Boom, who were kind enough to field some of our questions about the release of the retrospective, the history of the studio, and visions for the future of electronic music. Read more »