• WAC - 1st Web Audio Conference
  • Jan. 27, 2015
  • Ircam, Paris
  • Program note: WAC
  • Bill Walker (conférencier)
  • Brian Belet (conférencier)

This presentation and live audio demonstration explores the capabilities of using the Web Audio API as a digital audio workstation (DAW) to manipulate sounds from massive server-side databases. Sonic source material comes from a database of birdsongs recorded worldwide by volunteer recordists at xeno-canto.org. Sounds from xeno-canto are chosen to match recent, nearby bird sightings submitted by volunteer birders at eBird. The result is a virtual soundscape derived from the sounds of birds currently present in the user’s physical environment.

Our software delegates database queries and archival storage to the server, leaving the client to concentrate on the aesthetic context of sound modification and manipulation. Engineering issues include separation of client versus server concerns and mashups of crowdsourced databases. Aesthetic issues include which tasks are automated server-side, which are user-controlled client-side, and why. Social issues include single user versus multiple user paradigms, artistic soundscape composition versus commercial applications (e.g., games with evolving sound tracks) using public domain sound sources, music as foreground art versus background audio content, and the larger role of sound and music in current society. Audio results will be demonstrated as each topic is addressed.

All the source code for this project is free available under the MIT License.

WAC - 1st Web Audio Conference Jour 2

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