Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beat Circles

Make beats. Tweak them by shifting each channel. Save and send to friends.

If you have Chrome or Firefox, try it! (Recent versions of Safari may also work).

My novel layout shows the repeating loop as an actual circular loop.

Some demo beats I came up with (but you really should put together your own):

Use the icons on the left for more adjustments:

Load a demo. Change the number of divisions, so that you can make the 7/4 beat you always wanted. A shortcut: after it is clicked, when you create a drum-hit in the upper-right quadrant, the corresponding drum-hit is also turned on in the other three quadrants.

Because the sound is generated in real time, you can edit the rhythm, and even tempo, during playback. If the volume of a channel is very high, I 'distort' the sample by intentionally causing clipping.

I made this for fun. Real software is more complicated.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Laser Sounds

It's another real-time audio experiment, this one even less serious. Click the 'play' button and drag the dot across the screen to make "laser sounds".

Try it! (in a recent version of Chrome or Firefox).

An example - but there are other sounds to be made that I haven't discovered yet.

Moving left to right will increase frequency, moving downwards will increase harmonic content. Moving slowly to the left with a square wave can make 90s arcade-game like noises. Increase the 'sparkle' to create even older-sounding arcade game noises.

What's going on? I am playing one tone and quickly changing the frequency. When the frequency is changed slowly, one hears a typical siren like one would expect. If the frequency is changed more quickly, the result is a "tshu" pulse sound. Finally, if the frequency is changed very quickly, the entire quality of the sound can change. This is called FM synthesis, where FM stands for frequency modulation. Radio transmitters use Frequency Modulation, changing the pitch of a single note very quickly, to 'move' a signal in frequency to a very high frequency. Video games in the 90s also used FM synthesis; when putting this program in square wave mode and moving to the left, the sound resembles that of a DOS game or GameBoy handheld. Maybe I'll follow the work of some musicians (Bibio, Crystal Castles) in incorporating arcade-like noises into music.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tremolo Machine

If you have Firefox: this is a machine that makes sounds. It's not a very serious project, but I find it entertaining. Click and drag the dots in order to move the levers, and click the play button to hear the result. (Further changes are not picked up in real time; you have to click play again.)

Try this:

Bubble music

Curious drill

Beach things

Click the eye icon for more examples (be prepared to turn down the volume).

'vib' is vibrato, causing the pitch to change pitch over time.
'trem' is tremolo, causing the sound to become quieter and louder over time.
'vib10' and 'trem10' are more potent versions of 'vib' and 'trem' (the frequency is 10 times faster).
trem10 with a high frequency can be an interesting effect. vib10 with a high frequency can in effect use frequency modulation to create another pitch.
vibc is the cooing of a bird; it plays one quarter of the vibrato and silences the rest.

The smaller control to the right of the modification type can adjust phase.

The button on the left, above the eye, will enable 'layer audio'. Now whenever you click play, you hear the previous results too, and can layer sounds upon sounds.

To make fine adjustments, click the textfield button to manually enter a value. Alternatively, click save and make adjustments to the data in the url.

Try it!
(Chrome or Firefox only)