The Web Browser As Synthesizer And Interface

Roberts, Charles and Wakefield, Graham and Wright, Matthew

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Web technologies provide an incredible opportunity to present new musicalinterfaces to new audiences. Applications written in JavaScript and designed torun in the browser offer remarkable performance, mobile/desktop portability andlongevity due to standardization. Our research examines the use and potentialof native web technologies for musical expression. We introduce two librariestowards this end: Gibberish.js, a heavily optimized audio DSP library, andInterface.js, a GUI toolkit that works with mouse, touch and motion events.Together these libraries provide a complete system for defining musicalinstruments that can be used in both desktop and mobile browsers. Interface.jsalso enables control of remote synthesis applications by including anapplication that translates the socket protocol used by browsers into both MIDIand OSC messages.