Should your web audio app have a limiter?

Did you come across digital clipping in web audio apps? I certainly did several times (mostly in my own apps though). This undesired effect occurs when you play several sound sources at the same time, which results in a signal that is louder than the maximum of 0 dBFS. Since a digital system is unable to reproduce higher amplitudes, you will hear nasty distortion and get an unworthy waveform looking like this:

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Beatsketch

I just wanted to mention that I did this thing called Beatsketch last year. It lets you make music on the web without having to know much about making music.

BeatSketch from Sebastian Zimmer is a collaborative music production tool that Sebastian developed for his Master’s degree in Computer Science. A song consists of multiple tracks, and each track is backed by a grid-based sequencer. Any changes you make are synchronised between connected collaborators immediately. It also supports mixing the final song down to a WAV file for downloading. An impressive set of features and a very useful exploration of possible methods of implementing collaborative working.

Chris Lowis on Web Audio Weekly #43

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CAAT – Custom audio algorithm tester

CAAT, the custom audio algorithm tester is a page that let’s you try out your own simple audio filter algorithms.
Just (mis)use the textarea for coding and listen to what you get. There are some examples on how you would do basic things.

It helps me sometimes, when I just want to check something out very quickly.

Of course, this is a very unperformant way to implement audio filter algorithms for several reasons. This is just a demo. If you’re interested in how to implement algorithms the right way, I recommend using Web Audio API’s Audio Worklets or the talk “C++ in the Audio Industry” by Timur Doumler.