Interactive: Femur Design Theremin

A Web Audio Theremin built in Javascript using the Web Audio API with HTML5 canvas

A theremin is a musical instrument that, visually described, will often go unrecognized. However, we're fairly confident that the immortalised sonics of the Doctor Who intro' music will re­acquaint you with it. The Theremin has a long term association with the sci­fi genre and its set up alone can create an otherworldly scene. You can see the theremin in action here.


Now, thanks to Femur design which specializes in websites and music app design, there's a web theremin that lets you play for yourself. The Web Audio Theremin is a touch friendly and responsive audio synthesizer, built in Javascript using the Web Audio API with HTML5 canvas. As the user interacts with the screen, synthesized sounds are generated in the style of a Moog theremin, and the canvas displays a visual representation of the audio.


Of course the web theremin is no match for the mystical vibes you get when hand waving to play the real thing, but for us music geeks it's still lots of fun. There's also a few effects and parameters to play around with, including delay, scuzz (distortion) and sound wave. We also think it's a great place for kids to begin to experiment and interact with music. Plus it's free to use.