Day 419 @ ITP: The Code of Music

Midterm Project: Tone.js Synth Interface




I mentioned in an earlier blog post for class that I have always felt limited by how it seems necessary to have several hardware synthesizers in order to be able to get a certain combination of sounds, which is cumbersome and expensive.

Software also has its own limitations of a prebuilt interface that you work within.

For these reasons, experimenting with customizing an interface and its sounds was appealing to me, to see what I could come up with without restrictions (besides the restriction of coding, which is a restriction of its own for sure, but I did learn a lot!)


This was created by combining HTML events with CSS and P5.
All the sounds were made using Tone.js.

There are still some clicks/pops and glitchy sounds happening with the Tone.js sounds, and I’m not sure why. I learned a lot about using HTML events while creating this interface and would like to explore that more. The sounds are still not where I would like them to be, and I would have liked to add more sliders to affect filters on the sounds, but I ran out of time. I do however feel that I have more tools now for experimenting with Tone.js and it took me a long time to get to this point.

For the final, I am torn between improving this sketch or working on a hardware instrument. I am leaning more towards creating a hardware instrument with customized sounds, but if I do that I would continue to work on Tone.js experiments on my own.

I would carry on some elements from this midterm, such as 3 options that are tones (with the added option to manipulate them), 3 options of arpeggiations, and 3 of percussion, or something consolidated from this idea. It would be to create one piece, but then could be an instrument for creating other pieces in the future by swapping out the patterns/sounds.

MIDTERM PLANNING SHEET (click to enlarge)