Tags: sound

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JavaScript Systems Music

A massively in-depth study of boundary-breaking music, recreated through the web audio API.

  1. Steve Reich - It’s Gonna Rain (1965)
  2. Brian Eno - Ambient 1: Music for Airports, 2/1 (1978)
  3. Brian Eno - Discreet Music (1975)

You don’t have to be a musician or an expert in music theory to follow this guide. I’m neither of those things. I’m figuring things out as I go and it’s perfectly fine if you do too. I believe that this kind of stuff is well within reach for anyone who knows a bit of programming, and you can have a lot of fun with it even if you aren’t a musician.

One thing that definitely won’t hurt though is an interest in experimental music! This will get weird at times.

Why strong sound design is critical to successful products - O’Reilly Media

From Designing Products with Sound by Amber Case and Aaron Day:

Sound eases cognitive burdens.

Sound is also a powerful brand differentiator.

Sound is emotional.

Finally, sound impacts productivity.

But also:

Not every product needs sound design.

UI Sounds: From Zero To Hero | Icons8 Blog

Following on from Ruth’s piece, here are some more thoughts on sound in UI from Roman Zimarev, the creator of icon sounds.

He makes a distinction between notification sounds and interaction sounds, as well as talking about sound identity in branding.

Form Validation with Web Audio | CSS-Tricks

An interesting idea from Ruth—using subtle sounds to augment inline form validation.

There aren’t any extremely established best practices for this stuff. The best we can do is make tasteful choices and do user research. Which is to say, the examples in this post are ideas, not gospel.

Poco Apollo

Here’s a beautiful use of the web audio API: Enoesque generative music composed right in your browser. Each piece is generated from one of the 14,226 photos in NASA’s Apollo archive. The darker and murkier the picture, the moodier the music.

SolarBeat

Luke just demoed this at Codebar. It’s a lovely audio/visualisation of the solar system—a sonic orrery that you can tweak and adjust.

Hypnotic.

ARP Observatory (@ArpObservatory) | Twitter

In July we started receiving audio signals from outside the solar system, and we’ve been studying them since.

Tweets contain sound samples on Soundcloud, data visualisations, and notes about life at the observatory …all generated by code.

ARP is a fictional radio telescope observatory, it’s a Twitter & SoundCloud bot which procedurally generates audio, data-visualisations, and the tweets (and occasionally long-exposure photography) of an astronomer/research scientist who works at ARP, who is obsessive over the audio messages, and who runs the observatory’s Twitter account.

Open Access at ESA

Images, videos, sounds, and 3D models are now available from the European Space Agency under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license.

Hatnote Listen to Wikipedia

Listen to the sound of Wikipedia’s recent changes feed. Bells indicate additions and string plucks indicate subtractions. Pitch changes according to the size of the edit; the larger the edit, the deeper the note.

RadioEight

This is rather lovely: explore a network of nodes, each of which contains the audio of a child describing a dream.

Inspired by the concept of an 8th continent to which all children belong, RadioEight is an interactive soundscape dedicated to the hidden world of dreams.

THE WALK OF LIFE PROJECT

The thesis: any film is improved by playing Walk Of Life by Dire Straits over the ending.

The proof: this website.

(this is absorbing and brilliant)

Introducing Soundslice offline mode | The Soundslice Blog

Adrian documents how he’s using Service Workers on Soundslice. I could imagine doing something similar for The Session.

Museum of Endangered Sounds

Sounds from our collective technological past.

(I’ll look past the fact that the sound labelled “ZX Spectrum” is using an image of an Amstrad PCP 464)

Chipmunks on 16 speed

This sounds genuinely good—Alvin and the Chipmunks slowed down to reveal their true ’90s post-punk goth-grunge nature.

Responsive Day Out 3 by adactio on SoundCloud

If you were at Responsive Day Out on Friday and you liked the music that was playing during the breaks, here’s the track listing. Creative Commons licensed.

Sound Mirrors

Before there was radar, there were acoustic mirrors along the coast of England—parabolic structures designed to funnel the distant sound of approaching aircraft.

Responsive Day Out 2 by adactio on SoundCloud

Here’s the Creative Commons licensed music that was playing during the breaks at Responsive Day Out 2.

Hatnote Listen to Wikipedia

Wikipedia edits converted into Eno-esque sound.

Soundslice: Tabs have never sounded so good

A lovely new service from Adrian that allows you to sync up guitar tabs with videos. It’s a very impressive in-browser app.