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Re: Aiding early implementations of the web audio API

From: Chris Wilson <cwilso@google.com>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2012 10:40:10 -0700
Message-ID: <CAJK2wqXO9gPp7OEa-G-kv0Tf3-z+-wSfnqvpBjsrHci+bq8QbQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Marcus Geelnard <mage@opera.com>
Cc: public-audio@w3.org, Alistair MacDonald <al@signedon.com>
On Mon, May 21, 2012 at 4:44 AM, Marcus Geelnard <mage@opera.com> wrote:

> However, a large part of the API seems to come into good use mostly for
> "Musical Applications".


I'm not sure I agree with this.  I think you'll find that a lot of
environmental effects are easily replicated ("voice on a telephone", etc)
are easily done by using filters and convolution.  It's certainly true that
there are a few areas that this is the case - e.g. Oscillator and
DynamicsCompressor - but a lot of the other effects can make immersive
sound environments in games a lot easier to create.

This leads me to believe that the JavaScript processing node will be very
> important (for implementing custom effects and instruments, and possibly
> even for creating effect libraries), while some native nodes (such as the
> Oscillator, BiquadFilterNode, DynamicsCompressorNode and DelayNode nodes)
> will not be used as much.
>

Actually, I have to disagree there - I think you'll find a TREMENDOUS
amount of the processing to create custom processing and effects can be
easily built on top of the primitives in the Web Audio proposal today; I
think filters, delays and convolution will remove a lot of the needs for
JavaScript nodes.

As an example - for Google IO, I'm building a demo that does vocoding using
the Web Audio API.  In order to implement this, I've had to use bandpass
filters, lowpass filters, waveshapers, gain nodes in interesting ways,
Oscillators (including a WaveTable oscillator, since those work incredibly
well as carrier sources for vocoders).  I went into the project fairly
naively (I own a vocoder rack unit, I understand the basic concept, but I
had a lot of learning to do). This has prompted me - and I am NOT an audio
engineer, FWIW - to consider a bunch of the cases I find interesting to
think through, like AutoTune-like effects and harmonizers, and distortion
effects to build guitar amp simulators, etc. - even aside from my original
passion, which is software synthesizers.  I'm fairly convinced that most of
the building blocks are there, and JavaScript nodes will be needed only in
a few cases.

That doesn't mean that JavaScriptNodes are not definitely a critical case,
and should work well - and I think the first time I met Chris in person (we
work in different offices) I asked if he would add Worker-based
JavaScriptNode support.  I really would not expect developers to use it
first, though - it's a great tool, but it's not the best tool for the job a
lot of the time.

-Chris
Received on Monday, 21 May 2012 17:40:55 GMT

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