Apres midi

Categories: Software Prototypes/Non-Commercial Products

Submitted by:Joel Janson Johansen

24 May 2023

Elevator Pitch

Apres midi

Our smartphones could be used in so many creative ways. This prototype scratches the surface and makes your digital software sound more analog.

Product Description

Apres midi

One of the most powerful components in music creating is the element of surprise. The moment you play a note that you did not intended or when someone you music with harmonizes something differently and it opens up a new world. Those moments are for me quite rare in a digital environment, often there's either too much control or completely random. This prototype is a first out of many ideas where the maker of sound can use their smartphone or tablet to control parameters of their synthesizer, in this case the modwheel and pitchbend. What this does, at least for me, is opens up for the element of surprise while still maintaining a bit of the control. It's also a very fun way of interacting with common controls in a new way.

How It's Innovative

I think that using the browser for MIDI makes a lot of sense and opens up for so much potential. In this case it's only about sending modwheel and pitchbend values with a smartphone but the sky is the limit really. And what I think is innovative and game changing about it is that it does not require a download, it's a link a way to start playing. Using the browser also opens up for so many new ways of thinking about user interfaces and I think that there is a possibility to be a lot more free than if building an actual plugin since both the production and distribution cost is so much smaller. So, this prototype is just scratching the surface of a huge potential and a ton of creative midi-instruments online. A footnote is that currently, some browsers (Safari) does not support the WebMidi API. I have also only tested this prototype with smartphone devices running iOS.

Most Inspiring Use Cases

As mentioned before, I think the most inspiring use is that you start using the pitchbend and modwheel in a new way. Not thinking about them as a pitchbend and a modwheel but as something physical and that makes me play my synthesizers in a totally different way. It does not replace the pitchbend and modwheel, it adds new functionality to them. Another thing that has been inspiring is using a DAW and mapping the values to other parameters such as the wetness of a reverb or delay time of a delay. A functionality that I hope to build into the next instrument.

Expansion Plans

Even though it is a quite limited prototype, this instrument is quite powerful. I think since it piggybacks on the power of midi I guess. With that in mind I want to expand this prototype to include some more functionality, such as setting pitchbend range and allowing the user to map the data to any parameters they want without making the instrument to complex. That as well as doing more testing and making sure it works on all platforms. After that I want to create more of these browser-midi-instruments. The next project being a creative and intelligent sequencer.


Since both the production and distribution costs are so low, the current plan is to try to develop more of these instruments and make them available free of charge. But I gather at some point I will want to sell some of the instruments, the ones that take more time to develop and has more functionality.