Oh, sure, some developers think it’s a big deal if their software runs on Mac and Windows. (Whoo!) SunVox has a different idea of cross-platform – a slightly more complete one.

Alexander Zolotov is a mad genius. His SunVox has all the patchable sound design of a modular synth. But it also has all the obsessive-compulsive pattern editing of a tracker. So on any single platform, it’s already two tools in one.

And it doesn’t run on just one single platform. It’s on Windows (pretty much any version). It’s on macOS – all the way back to 10.6. (Kudos, Alexander is I think the only person outside Apple apart from me who correctly types that “macOS” according to recently-revised Apple convention.)

It runs on Linux. Oh, does it ever. It runs on 64-bit Linux. It runs on 32-bit Intel Linux. It runs on Raspberry Pi and ARM devices. It runs on 64-bit ARM devices (PINE64). It runs on the PocketCHIP. It runs on Maemo. It runs on MeeGo.

It runs on iOS – all the way back to 7.0.

It runs on Anrdoid – back to the truly ancient 2.3.

It runs on Pocket PC and Windows Mobile and Windows CE. (just on ARM, but … who’s counting at this point?)

It runs on PalmOS.

You get the idea.

And now, impossibly, Alexander has gotten the whole thing running in JavaScript. The library is just 1.3 MB – so (shamefully) probably smaller than the page on which you’re reading this. And song files are just a few kilobytes.

That’s a big deal, because not only does this mean you could soon be running SunVox in your browser, but Alexander promises a library other websites could use, too.

This is all experimental, but I think it’s a big sign of things to come. Check it out here:

http://warmplace.ru/soft/sunvox/jsplay/

The other reason to talk about this now is the secret sauce that’s running this. You could turn your own efficient C code into browser form, too. I don’t think that necessarily means you’ll want to release music software in-browser, but it could be a huge boon to educational applications (for example), and certainly to open source projects that run on both hardware and software:

http://kripken.github.io/emscripten-site/

Anyway, while you wait, you still have no excuse for not running SunVox if you aren’t already, unless you’re using a really non-standard platform. (Yes, Jane, I see you with your AMIGA.)

Or, you know, hit play and sing along.

  • Dante

    Well you can spell macOS but ya can’t spell Android

    • HA!

      Uhhhh… maybe I was drooling on the keyboard or something? 😉

      • Dante

        anw. The Raspberry Pi version is fantastic , people literally made standalone pseudo-modular synths with it.(E.g Moonbox)
        And why doesn’t nobody check out the Micromonsta synth

  • It barely registers CPU usage – and that’s with other tabs running on Chrome. Truly impressive.

  • Sjakelien

    Interestingly, it SOUNDS like an Amiga
    So, is there an SDK?

    • Hey, where you think the tracker came from?

      For now, it’s a proof of concept. I’ll get an update soon!

  • Greg Littlewood

    Thanks for this, Peter. All hail Comrade Z. His $6 Sunvox app puts most $20-$50+ iOS “DAWs” to shame, feature wise and elegance wise

  • David Diogo

    Warmplace says it all ! Terrific modular / tracker software . The other software available is also great. It seems Rob and Sean from AE made a couple of tracks with it.

  • TeamOth

    Sunvox is great, I’ve been pretty much using it daily since 2009 (on a Palm Zire 72 back then and on an iPhone now). Alex (the dev) even helped me get it running on my Sharp Netwalker the other day. Top bloke and top software in my book. It’s the kind of software that goes as deep as you want it to. I’ve bought a heap of iOS music making apps, but the only one I consistently return to is Sunvox.

  • Sean Keller

    I’ve been using the Sunvox since the first iPhone. It was my introduction to working within the tracker method, and it’s possible it was the first synthesis environment available on the iphone. Congratulations to Alexander.

  • Thomas Haferlach

    webassembly is a more modern take on compiling any language to the browser with much better performance than emscripten. check it out i think it will have a lot of impact on possibly high performance audio applications in the browser