Thoughts on the Book “Instant Audio Processing with Web Audio”

I’ve recently just finished reading Packt Publishing’s book Instant Audio Processing with Web Audio by Chris Khoo.

Earlier this year I started looking into the new Web Audio API as I was busy researching how to build a timing-precise audio preview javascript library for work, which is available on my github account here. Web audio has opened many new possibilities in the browser and is quite exciting if you have any type of project that is sound-based or will incorporate a lot of audio.

As the API is relatively new and is currently being standardized, it is harder to come across a variety of useful examples to get started with. This book can get you up and running with many shorter code examples all set up with HTML/CSS. Overall it is a relatively short book at 76 pages, but provides a bonus section for download including another 26 pages of material.

I thought it was a little strange that the bonus section included the basic material such as initializing and playing back a sound sample. My first opinion was that the book spent too much time diving into talking about the “custom framework” that was used as scaffolding for the variety of examples included, and also diving immediately into UI presentation and function of the examples with HTML/jQuery. The basic usage of the API could have just been shown in the book via direct sequential javascript calls to get the fundamentals in mind first. The book becomes more valuable in its later chapters, however, when explaining and presenting ways to achieve audio ducking and build a 5-band equalizer. More visuals are then used to teach different types of audio fades and explain the examples using a graph of Web Audio API nodes.

Overall this book is a good place to refer to for more in-depth examples when learning the API and reading Web Audio’s working draft.

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Thoughts on the Book “Instant Audio Processing with Web Audio”