WebRTC and the Web Audio API as a Means for a Real Time Collaborative Performance Environment

Presented during the IRCAM Forum @NYU 2022

WebRTC's stable release in 2018 gave a significant improvement to internet communications and has since been adopted by a multitude of consumer applications. The framework allows for low latency audio and video streaming directly in the web browser and coupled with the Web Audio API can give a fully formed musical performance environment without the need for any native software beyond the browser itself. The following paper will illustrate the construction of a practical performance environment of a digital synthesizer and audio processing units built with the Web Audio API, coupled with WebRTC granting capabilities of streaming high quality audio data between users for compelling remote collaborations. With this exchange, two users can be patched into a central location without the requirement for either being present in the performance space, with all included audio software is housed directly in the web browser. Performers may also tool the environment to process and manipulate each other's audio streams, exchange visual data, and construct custom web elements, for an even greater expansiveness of live performance.