Web-based and pixels-based collaborative synthesizer
Source code repository for the Fragment app. which can be found at : https://www.fsynth.com
Fragment is a graphical audio synth. / collaborative audiovisual live coding web. environment with a pixels based (image-synth) real-time sound synthesis approach, the sound synthesis is powered by pixels data generated from live GLSL code and Processing.js code with many different types of input data available.
Many videos of most features are available on YouTube
Fragment has only one fragment shader which has the particularity to be shared between the users of an online session, it update and compile on-the-fly as you or other peoples type, some settings are also synchronized between users such as slices and some global settings with the exception of inputs data which are not synchronized between users.
Fragment has many features making it a bliss to produce any kind of sounds associated (or not) with visuals, it is aimed at artists seeking a creative environment with few limitations to experiment with, a programmable noise-of-all-kinds software.
To output any sounds the client need to be used with the Fragment Audio Server which is a high performance native digital synthesizer.
Fragment require WebGL 2 compatible brower, audio can be produced independently from the visuals with the synthOutput vec4 uniform.
For any questions, a message board is available here
Note on performances : Fragment has excellent performances with a modern multi-core system and a browser such as Chrome however due to browser UI reflow you may experience latency sometimes especially when typing in the code editor, this can be solved by using the independent code editor.
Fragment is able to do real-time distributed sound synthesis with its audio server, it support any number of machines over the wire and multicore support, this feature also need the fas_relay to work (see below)
Fragment capture pixels data (1px wide slices) from a WebGL drawing surface at the browser display refresh rate and translate the RGBA pixels value to notes, the notes are then interpreted and played by one or more synthesis method in real-time.
Common to all synthesis methods, the canvas represent frequencies (exponential mapping) on the vertical axis and time on the horizontal axis.
It can be seen as a front-end for a huge bank of oscillators / filters.
Audio synthesis is powered by an independent audio server, Fragment doesn't output any real-time sounds on its own.
External synthesizers can be triggered via MIDI out.
Slices data can be sent via OSC bundles to use Fragment as an interface.
Fragment support MIDI inputs and MIDI outputs with compatible browsers.
External synths can be triggered from pixels data via MIDI OUT, MIDI devices can be assigned to one or more slice, RGBA channels can be assigned to user-defined MIDI messages from the slice settings, Fragment has limited MPE support for output (non-standard for now) to support polyphony through 16 channels, every sounding note is temporarily assigned to its own MIDI channel, allowing microtonal, individual stereo panning and polyphonic capabilities.
If you need to control more parameters, see OSC below.
Fragment support OSC input and output, an OSC relay which translate WebSockets data to UDP packets should be used for this feature to work.
Fragment uniforms can be defined through OSC with two methods :
You can send a message to the /clear address to clear all OSC defined uniforms
Open Stage Control can be used to control partials or more parameters through OSC via faders etc.
Many tools are available to enhance Fragment.
All servers are clustered for scalability and smooth updates.
Fragment client rely on few dependencies (CodeMirror, sharedb, Recorderjs etc.) and rely on some specifically built libraries such as WUI which handle all the UI widgets.
The client use a custom / simple build system and is architectured around its 'code injection' feature within a single function (see
app_fs.js), all other files roughly follow a Fields declaration / Functions / Initialization structure, code injection and initialization calls is only done in
Most backend apps are built using NodeJS.
Fragment is built with a custom build system scanning for changes in real-time and which include files when it read /*#include file*/, it execute several programs on the output files such as code minifier, the build system was made with the functional Anubis programming language, a programming language based on cartesian closed category theory.
Since the Anubis language is mainly private, a simplified (without live check & build) Python port of the build system is available, check out pyNut
If you want to build it by yourself, install pyNut script somewhere in your PATH then call
pynutbuildshell script in the
appfs_ and appcm_ are the entry point files used by the build system to produce a single file and a production ready file in the dist directory.
You may need to install these dependencies (code minifier) globally through NPM :
The Anubis build system can be found here and the build system is called by the shell script named
Fragment make use of NodeJS, NPM, MongoDB and Redis database (all defaults port so should work out of the box), install steps with APT (adapt to your package manager) :
On Windows the installation is also easy, just download & install each dependencies above, Redis does not have a Windows build but it may be replaced by memurai
Once those are installed, it is easy to run it locally:
Under Linux : proprietary GPU drivers is recommended due to performance reasons.
If you just want to try it out without the collaborative feature and GLSL code save, you don't need MongoDB and Redis, you just need "fsws" then point your browser to http://127.0.0.1:3000
If you want to use it with an OSC app like the SuperCollider fs.sc file or Open Stage Control, please look at the osc_relay directory.
To use the OSC relay :
To use the FAS relay :
Libraries : * alot of them can be found in
app_fs.cssPapers : * The Scientist and Engineer's Guide to Digital Signal Processing * L'audionumérique 3°ed by Curtis Road
Data : * Brushes
The repository for the early proof of concept can be found here.
Simplified BSD license
The main inspiration for all of this is Alexander Zolotov Virtual ANS software
Heavily inspired by Shadertoy as well.