Tuning exploration, Wicki keyboard and Karplus-Strong synthesizer

In pure JavaScript using the Web Audio API

This page presents a synthesizer written in JavaScript, which you can control with your qwerty keyboard using the Wicki note layout. You need at least Firefox 28 or a recent WebKit based browser.

Update Nov. 2014: Ported to the newer Web Audio API.
Latency can be an issue with the Karplus-Strong synthesizer, there is also a version with a low latency sawtooth wave.

Currently I'm working on a physical music instrument with the note layout from the figure below, with similar tuning exploration and much more, see www.striso.org.

This project is inspired by the tuning exploration Flash app by Jim Plamondon, whose site contains more explanation and interesting thoughts about music theory. Take a look there also for a reference for the note layout. Another interesting synthesizer with dynamic tuning and using the Wicki layout is 2032, featuring dynamic tonality, but besides that also being a good free synthesizer that stimulates exploration.

If you have comments, questions or just like the idea please send a message to pierstitus@gmail.com. Also if you use parts of the code I'd appreciate it if you send me a note. The synthesizer is using the Karplus Strong algorithm, which is a simple physical simulation of a plucked string. The code is open source and is released under GPL. You can find the source at https://github.com/pierstitus/tuning-exploration.

Created by Piers Titus van der Torren, 2010, updated to Web Audio API Nov 2014

5-tet (Indonesian slendro)
Pythagorean (pure fifth)
12-tet (Western)
1/4 comma meantone (pure major third)
7-tet (Thai, Mandinka balafon)

Drag the slider to change the tuning within the syntonic tuning continuum, or click on the presets.

In the visual note layout the pitch is on the vertical axis, so it's easy to see the distribution of the notes within an octave. The circle of fifths is on the horizontal axis, so moving left or right changes the key in which is played. The note layout is called DCompose, which has several origins. It refers to the mathematical term decompose, the layout is an orthogonal decomposition of the pitch and the circle of fifths. There is the D, the D is the central note in the circle of fifths, and as such the central note on the layout. And of course there is the musical meaning of compose.

This note layout is similar to Wicki layout, they can tranform in each other by shearing.

You can play on your keyboard using the Wicki button layout. You can press multiple keys and hold keys to sustain them. Further keys:
+ = octave up
- = octave down
space = toggle sustain pedal