GridSound – An Audio Workstation In Your Browser

If you’re into creating music, you’ll have a surprisingly large variety of open source options at your disposal, ranging from Audacity as rather simple audio editor to Ardour as a full-blown, studio-worthy DAW — and LMMS, Rosegarden, MusE etc. for anything in between. With [Thomas Tortorini]’s GridSound project, you’ll have one additional choice on your list now, except this one runs in your browser. So if you find yourself in a sudden moment of inspiration, all you’ll need is a browser and off you go.

From the feature set’s point of view, GridSound leans towards LMMS and offers a drum kit, piano roll, and synthesizer. It appears that you won’t be able to record real world instruments at this point, but it’s also a work in progress, so who knows what the future will bring. The code is available on GitHub and you can explore GridSound itself here — no login required, unless you want to save your work. Running in a browser, GridSound is naturally written in JavaScript and uses the Web Audio API to perform the actual audio tasks.

What’s impressive is that [Thomas] opted against any UI framework-of-the-week, but instead implemented everything from scratch in pure vanilla JavaScript. In fact, the entire code base seems to be self-contained without any third party dependencies, and that alone deserves some respect. Sure, JavaScript isn’t everybody’s cup of tea — “real developers use assembly” — so if you prefer something more physical, how about some cardboard music?

10 thoughts on “GridSound – An Audio Workstation In Your Browser

  1. Apparently GridSound has around since 2018 or so, but it’s new to me thanks to this HaD post. After stumbling around for ten minutes (give or take) I managed to play with most of GridSound. Help documentation is next to nonexistent. I discovered the key is to hit the space bar to start or stop the composition loop. The rest of the controls are pretty intuitive, just play around with them.

    There can be lots of floating panels involved making for a cluttered screen, and the whole thing got annoyingly laggy on my little 1366×768 11.6″ Dell laptop running an old Pentium N3700 dual-core/quad-thread processor, 4GB SDRAM, and the latest Firefox mainstream browser. I suggest you use something with more oomph. Overall, I’m impressed with GridSound. If you don’t like cloud apps, a decent free and open-source stand-alone Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) alternative is LMMS:

    LMMS (formerly Linux MultiMedia Studio) used to be a Linux native application, but no longer. There are now LMMS binaries available for Linux, Windows, and OSX.

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