Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA)
Stanford University

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What would a Webchuck Chuck?
Chris Chafe
Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, cc@ccrma.stanford.edu

Ge Wang, Mike Mulshine and Jack Atherton (CCRMA, Stanford University)

Take all of computer music, plus

    *   advances in programming digital sound

    *   the web and web browsers.

That's Webchuck.

What would it chuck?

Foremost, musical and artistic projects in the form of webapps featuring real-time sound generation.

The Metered Tide is a composition for electric cellist and the tides of San Francisco Bay. A Webchuck webapp produces a backing track that plays in a mobile phone browser.



Rapid protoyping of webapps with built-in DSP.

Tracheal Acoustic Monitoring uses the Stethalyzer webapp prototyped in Webchuck to visualize breath and heartbeat for post-operative care in surgical departments. Live coding was used to tweak the program during development and then locked and hidden in the deliverable. The webapp has a scrolling FFT display, right to left, with contrast options.


Musical instruments as webapps.

The WindMachine Webchuck application was developed to simulate the orchestral wind machine called for in Richard Strauss' Don Quixote. Strauss calls for a hand-cranked instrument that creates wind-like swells alongside the orchestral music of Variation VII. The player manipulates the instrument directly on the scrolling FFT display.


Teaching 1.

TubeDemo is a self-contained example of the kind used for teaching DSP basics using live coding. It's a demonstration of a simple waveguide resonator that plays a series of repeated tones after the start button is pushed.


Teaching 2.

Sonification workshops use the next example to live code various enhancements that demonstrate how to bring out qualities of the data set. Suggested one line modifications include changing the oscillator's waveshape (to sawtooth), changing the mapping of data to frequency (by increasing or decreasing the excursion), and speeding up the update rate so that playback happens an order of magnitude faster or more. These hints are a starting point for taking the sonification in directions where nuances and traits in the data are more audible.


Teaching 3.


A new Webchuck integrated development environment makes a wonderful learning tool. All Chuck examples are at the student's fingertips.


Live coding is fun.
What else can I say?

    *   Jack Atherton, Mike Mulshine, Ge Wang (co-authors)
    *   Terry Feng, Celeste Betancur (IDE development)

also thanks to the Fall 2022 Music 220a class "Fundamentals of Computer Generated Sound" at Stanford University