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A virtual 303, 909 & effects setup in your browser!
April 4, 2008 9:16 AM   Subscribe

303, 909, FX, MIXER = ACID VARSITY. In other words, two virtual 303s, a 909, effects and a mixer running for free right in your browser.
posted by 6am (41 comments total) 76 users marked this as a favorite

 
If I only had a better work computer...
posted by 6am at 9:21 AM on April 4, 2008


Wow -- this is surprisingly high quality. It's like an upgraded Rebirth without the pesky installation (and cross platform, no less!).
posted by spiderskull at 9:27 AM on April 4, 2008


Very cool. Anybody know how this is done? the UI is all in Flash but the audio output seems to be java (and I didn't think you could do much synthesis in flash anyway)
posted by neustile at 9:30 AM on April 4, 2008


Very nice.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:32 AM on April 4, 2008


Bwaaaaaaaohwwww. This is good.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:35 AM on April 4, 2008


Joy
posted by empath at 9:38 AM on April 4, 2008


This is just fantastically cool. I don't really have the patience to actually make music with old-school synth interfaces, but it sure is fun to play with at work.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:39 AM on April 4, 2008


Now if only there were a global sequencer or some way to record automation...
posted by spiderskull at 9:46 AM on April 4, 2008


Wow, how very Roland-centric! Even the virtual pedals are all Boss-y.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:46 AM on April 4, 2008


OH MY GOD
TASTES LIKE AWESOME!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:47 AM on April 4, 2008


Very sweet.
Makes me want to take my SH101 back from my son and play along.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:03 AM on April 4, 2008


I can imagine this is awesome. But after triggering a signed Java applet alert, a demand for a Flash upgrade, and a request to unblock ports in my firewall I designed not to find out.
posted by Nelson at 10:07 AM on April 4, 2008


er, "I decided not to find out". good snark ruined by think-o.
posted by Nelson at 10:07 AM on April 4, 2008


Holy shit this is fun.
posted by phaedon at 10:19 AM on April 4, 2008


Very cool. Anybody know how this is done? the UI is all in Flash but the audio output seems to be java (and I didn't think you could do much synthesis in flash anyway)

If anybody cares, I did some poking around. The flash talks to java over a socket (which is why nelson got a firewall message, but I think it's harmless relatively, just talking to another process on the same machine.) Java does all the audio output, and uses some tech from Mandolane for mixing on the client. I can't yet figure out if flash or java is doing the actual synthesis computation. If it were me I'd be using jsyn and java to do it but I can't find any of those jars.
posted by neustile at 10:26 AM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


*head explodes*
posted by 40 Watt at 10:37 AM on April 4, 2008


Is it synthesising the audio in the browser, or is it communicating with a remote server and streaming audio back from it?
posted by acb at 10:39 AM on April 4, 2008


Well there goes my productive weekend. Thanks for posting 6am.
posted by orbit at 11:03 AM on April 4, 2008


oh, hell yes. Thanks for an awesome post.
posted by xbonesgt at 11:09 AM on April 4, 2008


Sweet, it has a screensaver mode after a period of inactivity. The lights go down and you are left staring at a bunch of glowing LEDs. Glowing, utterly incomprehensible LEDs.

*pokes and prods*
posted by Kyol at 11:33 AM on April 4, 2008


Wow, this is seriously fun. I just lost a half hour of work to it. THE HORROR.
posted by bobot at 11:40 AM on April 4, 2008


I can't scroll up! all I see are the pedals and the bottom of the synths.
posted by hellphish at 11:54 AM on April 4, 2008


wow, this is incredible.
posted by feloniousmonk at 11:54 AM on April 4, 2008


I can't scroll up! all I see are the pedals and the bottom of the synths.


Just click in some deadspace and drag the window around.
posted by stenseng at 11:55 AM on April 4, 2008


Thanks stenseng.
posted by hellphish at 11:58 AM on April 4, 2008


16 and a half shapes of great - there goes all my free time this evening....
posted by davehat at 12:02 PM on April 4, 2008


Tutorial
posted by Rafaelloello at 12:22 PM on April 4, 2008


So on their FAQ they talk about how it can work without Java. This then must mean that they are doing all the synthesis computation in actionscript and can also optionally output PCM samples in flash directly (flash 9 only, it's still very wonky.)
posted by neustile at 12:42 PM on April 4, 2008


great find. thanks for posting this.
posted by Outlawyr at 1:01 PM on April 4, 2008


Oh, hell yes.
posted by chimaera at 1:25 PM on April 4, 2008


Wow, this is totally awesome. So it's actually doing some kind of software synthesis, and not just playing a bunch of oneshot samples? Killer. It's like ReBirth in your browser.

The snob in me, though, wants to say "YOU CAN'T EMULATE A 303!", and that every attempt has fallen short, since the magic of the 303 is in the portamento and the wacky 3-pole (I think) filter, and no one really understands how they do what they do. You can make 303-ish sounds on a SH101 or MC202, but true acidheads will know the difference. If you trigger a 303 with external CV without using the builtin interface, it sounds like a really cheap monosynth (which it basically is). However, the idea is so incredibly cool that I won't. Er, wait.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:05 PM on April 4, 2008


Any way to export the sound? Because I'm not wasting another half hour if I can't output...
posted by klangklangston at 3:07 PM on April 4, 2008


We might as well open the vote for "Post of the Year" right now...

Thanks!
posted by DreamerFi at 3:07 PM on April 4, 2008


There is no way that that is doing the DSP computations required to emulate oscillators, filters and effects in ActionScript. IIRC, ActionScript is a dialect of JavaScript, a language whose only type is the string. If it's performing string manipulations for each sample it processes, it would take a lot more than 2GHz to produce acceptable performance.

I suspect that either (a) Flash has an audio subsystem comprised of a number of primitive unit generators such as filters, wavetable oscillators and convolutions, written in C/C++, and ActionScript functions for assembling and running networks of these, or (b) the synthesis code runs on a remote server and the Flash applet just sends knob movements to it and streams the audio back.

But if this is doing the actual synthesis in ActionScript, I'll eat my hat.
posted by acb at 5:19 PM on April 4, 2008


There is no way that that is doing the DSP computations required to emulate oscillators, filters and effects in ActionScript. IIRC, ActionScript is a dialect of JavaScript, a language whose only type is the string.


I did some searching. It is in flash. Andre Michelle worked on it. He says: The underlying audio engine is based on dynamic digital signal processing to provide very complex audio compositing in Flash.

Here's some of his previous work: TR-909 emulator in pure Actionscript, 303 clone in actionscript, Flanger in actionscript.
posted by neustile at 5:40 PM on April 4, 2008


ps please don't eat your hat, it's not good for you. I am very surprised as well (delightfully so, as I am trying to get some complex audio stuff on the web)
posted by neustile at 5:42 PM on April 4, 2008


those pedals really make it something different - now why didn't the rebirth people think of that?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:32 PM on April 4, 2008


Saw this a few weeks back when it got a write-up on CDM (good site to bookmark for computer audio geeks, btw), but you had to sign up for beta accounts to play with it back then and I never bothered. Nice to see it's progressing quickly, performing pretty well, and fun to play with too :)
posted by p3t3 at 1:04 AM on April 5, 2008


It's great, and fun to play with, and I realise that for the sake of verisimilitude that all the instruments shown have to have knobs, but please can music software developers stop making us use knobs that are designed to be twiddled with fingers and not mice? (So many opportunities for knob jokes, but I refrain, I refrain...)
posted by awfurby at 7:45 AM on April 6, 2008


Hey does anyone know how you get a single beat accent (the default patterns sometimes have brighter lights than if you click on a beat yourself)?
posted by juv3nal at 2:15 AM on April 10, 2008


can music software developers stop making us use knobs that are designed to be twiddled with fingers and not mice?

This. Please.

Switching from one piece of software to the next -- especially among VST plugins -- the user is constantly forced to figure out the idiosyncrasies of their respective knobs. Sometimes they need vertical mouse action, sometimes horizontal; once that's figured out, there's still the matter of how much movement is required for each degree of knob rotation, as some knobs are more sensitive than others. And then sometimes it's necessary to click the knob and rotate around it... It's pretty dang annoying.

So, yeah: Faders or go home. (Bonus points if each fader has a little text box for entering exact values.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:24 AM on April 10, 2008


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