On the 20th and 21st of November, the BandLab developer team took some time out of the office to attend DevFest.Asia—a week of events and talks aimed at the web developer community.

The 21st was devoted to “sound hacking”—inspired by Web Audio spec author and Firefox coder Paul Adenot and Matt McKegg, a renowned web audio musician and JavaScript hacker from New Zealand.

You’re probably wondering what all this has to do with BandLab and what we do. Well, Web Audio is used extensively on BandLab’s very own web Mix Editor. The w3c specifications are written on an almost a day-to-day basis and our team actively follows and reacts to any changes and new features. For example, we added MIDI support to BandLab just a few weeks after Chrome started supporting it.

As at any Hack Day, the aim was to come up with as many cool new ideas around the given topic as possible.


Two of the BandLab team—Laurent and Gilles—developed and presented a project they called “Beatbox Detection”. The idea being that you don’t need anything more than access to a microphone (like you’ve got built into your phone or computer) to create brilliant beats.

You can go “Poom poom tchhh”? Congratulations—you’re a drummer! Because Laurent and Gilles proposed using audio processing to take those noises and identify that your “poom” is a kick drum and your “tchhh” is a hi-hat. Once identified, these could then be played on your choice of different sound libraries—anything from a blues drum kit to an electronic 808 kit.

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OK, so maybe the fact that the BandLab team work with sound every day might be seen as a slight advantage. But the group of 50 developers in attendance still voted Gilles and Laurent’s idea “Best Project” after the presentations at the end of the day.

Their celebrations might prove to be short-lived, though. Because now the pressure is on to build it for real!


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