Brian Ginsburg

A Computer Science student at Portland State University and a QA tester at FREDAsoft.


20 Jun 2017 » elm, javascript, webaudio

Minima is simple web audio application for experimenting with minimalist music patterns. Minima is written in Elm and JavaScript.

Try the live demo below or visit the full page version.


Minima uses a simple web audio synthesizer written in JavaScript. The Elm application treats the synthesizer as “hardware” and sends it note messages through ports provided by the Elm architecture.


The minima model consists of a score, ticks, clock, and voices.

type alias Model =
    { score : Score
    , ticks : Int
    , clock : Int
    , one : Voice
    , two : Voice
    , three : Voice
    , four : Voice

Minima plays notes from the score. The clock tracks the current beat up to ticks before returning to 1. On each tick of the clock, Minima plays all notes in the score with a matching value for ticks. Each note has a frequency, duration, and tick.

type alias Score =
    List Note

type alias Note =
    { frequency : Float
    , duration : Int
    , tick : Int

A Voice has a pattern of notes and a frequency. A Pattern is a list of actions, which are read into the score as notes or dropped as rests. The option is represented with an algebraic data type Action.

type alias Voice =
    { id : String
    , frequency : Float
    , pattern : Pattern

type alias Pattern =
    List Action

type Action
    = Play Int
    | Rest Int

More on Minima

Minima was my final project in the Spring 2017 Functional Languages course at Portland State University. The source code is available on GitHub. In addition, I submitted the paper Minima: A Web Audio Playground for Minimalist Music which describes minima in depth.