Sonic Field - Try It Yourself!

The Sonic Field website front page.
Finally, I have gotten around to setting up a demo version of Sonic Field as an Applet.

Applets are natureally restricted and so this version will not generate sound files or play performance files. It will interpret and run a Sonic Field Patch Layout and play the result if audio is available.

So what can it do? 
Well, this applet contains the latest audio engine from Sonic Field. There is no attempt to make this release grade code; it is 'play with' grade code. However, given enough memory and a powerful enough CPU there is no reason the applet could not render an entire performance like Taco. However, it currently just runs individual patches rather than sequences of patches like those used to create Taco.

The new Applet 'try it yourself' page for Sonic Field

Applets do not let you cut and paste from the system clipboard by default; All is not lost though, you can turn this feature on for just Sonic Field, very easily:

On Windows:
1. Run: C:\Program Files\JavaSoft\JRE\\bin\policytool.exe
2. Click ‘Add Policy Entry’
3. In the CodeBase field, enter: http://
4. Click ‘Add Permission’
5. In the field next to ‘Permission’, enter: java.awt.AWTPermission
6. In the field next to ‘Target Name’, enter: accessClipboard
7. Click Ok
8. This will bring you back to the Policy Entry screen
9. Click Done
10. On the Policy Tool interface, select: File > Save As
11. Save the file as:
    Win2000/XP: C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\.java.policy
    Win7: C:\Users\\.java.policy
    (notice this is: javapolicy)
12. Reopen the browser and you should now be able to paste into your ITIM applets.

On linux and the Mac you need to save the file in you home directory - which ever that is. On my Ubuntu machine I created this set of images to show me setting it up. Click on the images to see them full size in a new tab.

What you might want to do with it?
At some point soon I hope to release a desktop version of Sonic Field. I am not sure of what sort of licensing and what features it should have yet. Anyhow, it is far too rough for that at the moment. However, I do think the applet version might have some uses. It could be used to education. I simple script like:

((0,10),(10000,10000))Slide Monitor

Is a great demonstration of the nature of pitch. One can then go on to shaped that sound:

((0,10),(10000,10000))Slide MakeSawTooth Normalise Monitor

The above will then produce a saw tooth wave.

We can then show the effect of filtering:

(((0,10),(10000,10000))Slide MakeSawTooth,1000,2)DirectLowPass Normalise Monitor

Or load the entire patch for Modulator and trip out ( the patch is at the bottom of the post at the link ).

Here the applet is rendering then playing Modulator. This takes
a few minutes and around 4 gig of ram.
And so on...

However, my main hope is that once I have installed a way to save audio from the applet it can be used to create sounds and people will share their patches and give feedback.

Have Some Fun:
When the applet loads it has a patch which plays the tune from "First Encounters" with different wave forms and feed back delay. It you add the following to the end of the patch it will play the same thing with increasingly large amounts of distortion using the simple Power wave shaping processor:

        (>signal,0.9)Power Normalise Monitor !signal

This is an applet and so on a 32 bit machine it will be slow! On 64 bit machines it should be OK. But Sonic Field makes little attempt to be kind to processors and memory; its aim is high quality audio. So, do not be shocked if you run out of memory or it takes a bit of time. Future improvements to the interface should make it possible to abort out of jobs which take longer than expected.

Giving Feedback:
OK - telling me Sonic Field is shit is not going to get you very far. However, if it does not do what you want and crashes etc, please just send me an email with the patch or a screen shot to

Please check out the section on 'Cut and Paste' at the top of this post to see how to cut and paste patches and log messages to/from the applet.