Building an audio rich experience

I’m a huge fan of Director from back in the day. It’s too bad it’s dead. Everywhere I’ve looked I’ve been lead to here, but with all the research that I’ve found about Hype, I can’t seem find anything close to what Director did.

Is it possible to have an audio rich experience in HTML5? Is it possible to come close to the “whiz-bang” of something like this?:

Man I’m a huge fan of “You Don’t Know Jack”.

I don’t really want to build this in a game engine like Unity because of the horror stories I’ve heard of making it work in a browser. I also don’t want my audience to have to download an app.

Thanks a bunch everyone. Hype so far is great, but adaptive audio seems to be limited and difficult to work with, at least for me.

This can be done in Hype. The key issue would be resource loading. This would be done by breaking things into scenes, and having various resources wait to load until needed. Strategies would include:

  • Creating symbols that could be reused
  • Sleight-of-hand, such as running something to cover the load time between scenes.
  • Tiling bitmaps wherever possible
  • Disguising reused elements via CSS styles
  • Keeping your audio files small would also be a help - lowering the bit rate, etc.
  • Streaming video from a dedicated service such as Wistia, etc.

Note that iOS requires an action on the part of the user to play video / audio.

I was a major Director and Lingo guy. Never made a fortune, but one game I created in Director sold 80K units. I never made the leap to JS, but it would come in handy in a major way for a project like this.

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This is great news!

From my research on audio in HTML 5, there isn’t much flexibility such as loop points, jumping to markers, etc. I’m also assuming that mixing would depends on the device and/or the OS too?

I’m a video game audio guy so I’m used to tools like FMOD. I know I shouldn’t expect that type of audio engine power but I’m curious to see what the absolute limits are with HTML 5 audio.


Unless you script things, the audio elements run at the same relative volume.

I do all my mixing in Audition with a project containing all audio content on separate tracks. Depending on the cue, I use the various background music as a bed and set the levels for other cues relative to the bed. This also makes it easy for matching levels of various background music selections side-by-side.

In addition to using this to set relative levels, I will also adjust the EQ on the cues so that they can cut through the mix without having to kick up the volume.

When I’m done, I’ll solo the channels and output them individually.

I don’t output in stereo unless I have a good reason, such as something that simply must be panned.

@h_classen No wonder Director’s dead. haha. Thanks for this. This is great! I’m sure I’ll have my hands full for the next year or so now.

Yeah all the heavy lifting will be done in Pro Tools and Cubase for what I plan to do. Then I’ll check out howler. It’s been a while since I’ve built anything for the web. Kind of nice to leave the Unity interface for a while.

I’m a wimp these days, doing clip editing in Audition and fancy stuff in Reason. I haven’t touched Logic in years, as I kind’a hate it (but it is way better than it was when I knew it as C-Lab Creator / Unitor on the old 1040 ST – complete with 3"x7" dongle).

Actually Reason works well with my rig - running through a 24/12/8 mixer to a MOTU 828 for eight live tracks into Reason, along with MIDI and timecode. With all the stuff in the rack, I run a HDMI monitor for the overflow.