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An arpeggiator made with SVG!


Before attending the An Event Apart 2017 conference in Chicago last month, I didn't know much at all about SVGs, or even what an arpeggiator was. One of the speakers, Chris Coyier, gave a fascinating talk about the possibilities of the vector image format. And some of the examples he used included things like logo animation, shape morphing, spinners, art.

He even had a music example - an arpeggiator created on CodePen by Jake Albaugh.

If you're interested, there's a great article about arpeggiators here. In short, an arpeggiator is commonly found on a synthesizer, and 'provides synth players with an easy way of playing complex synth parts via simple chords'.

Besides being built entirely with SVG, Albaugh's arpeggiator (which you can interact with) has a good user experience too.
  • Areas of the screen are clearly labeled and the bright yellow color stands out for selected items, 
  • The screen is laid out well - you select options in each section and finally simulate the chords by tapping the large Play button on bottom right,
  • The subtle bounce animation of the Play button is very helpful on a dense screen (it's not distracting) to grab the users' attention, and
  • The keys at the top of the screen and sounds simulate the chord progression in a clear, helpful, and fun way.
All of this done by using SVG - it's a very interesting and useful application to music.



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