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Cover image for Building a Simple 🎶 Music Synthesizer 🎵 /w JavaScript
Mike Vardy
Mike Vardy

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Building a Simple 🎶 Music Synthesizer 🎵 /w JavaScript

Cover Photo by Denisse Leon on Unsplash

Have you ever wanted to create your own digital musical instrument? In this tutorial, we're going to dive into the world of audio synthesis and JavaScript to build a simple music synthesizer right in your browser. With just a few functions, you'll be able to produce a variety of tones and melodies, creating your own unique musical experience.

Before we start, why not take a quick listen to what we'll be building? Check out the live demo:

HTML Markup

The HTML markup provides the foundation for our music synthesizer user interface. It consists of a catchy title, a row of buttons representing keyboard notes, and a dropdown menu to select different sound waveforms.

html code

Setup the Initial Variables

Initial Variable code

  • getSelectedWaveform: This function simply returns the currently selected waveform type from the dropdown. It helps us keep track of which sound wave shape we're using.
  • selectedWaveform: This variable stores the selected waveform type (initially set to the default selected value from the dropdown).
  • audioContext: This is an instance of the AudioContext, which is the central component for handling audio operations. activeOscillators: This object keeps track of active oscillators (sounds currently playing).

The createOscillatorNode Function:

createOscillatorNode code

Here, we define a function that sets up an oscillator and a gain node in the audio context. An oscillator is like the heart of a sound wave, and a gain node controls its volume. We specify the waveform type, frequency, and gradually increase the volume to avoid sudden clicks.

Playback Functions

stop and play code

  • playSound: This function takes a frequency as input and plays a sound with that frequency. It uses the createOscillatorNode function to create an oscillator if it's not already active. This helps us avoid overlapping sounds.
  • stopSound: When we release a button or move the cursor away, we call this function. It smoothly decreases the sound's volume to avoid abrupt cutoffs and stops the oscillator, ensuring a clean stop.

The setupButtonListeners Function:

code to setupButtonListeners

In this function, we set up listeners for each note button. When you press a button, it triggers the playSound function, and when you release it or move away, it triggers the stopSound function. This gives you interactive control over the sound.

Congratulations, you've just embarked on your journey into the world of audio synthesis!

Whether you're a music enthusiast or a curious developer, this tutorial has equipped you to create, experiment, and explore the art of sound in the digital realm.

Happy Coding!

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