Build a web assembly synthesiser with iPlug 2

Learn to use iPlug2 C++ audio plugin framework to create a synthesiser that runs on the web.

iPlug2 is a new C++ framework that allows you to build cross-platform audio plug-ins, using minimal code. One of the exciting features of iPlug2 is that it lets you turn your plug-in into a web page that anyone can use without a DAW (see for example In this workshop participants will learn how to build a web based synthesiser using cloud based tools, and publish it to a GitHub pages website. We will look at some basic DSP in order to customise the sound of the synthesiser and we will also customise the user interface. The same project builds native audio plug-ins, although in the workshop we will focus on the web version.

Note from Oli: Even though the workshop might use lots of unfamiliar technologies, iPlug2 is designed to be simple to use and has many of the more confusing aspects of cross platform programming solved for you already. Don’t worry if the technology sounds scary, everyone should be able to build a custom synthesiser using the example projects and workflow.


Useful links

About the workshop leader

Oli Larkin is an audio software developer and music technologist with over 15 years of experience developing plug-ins and plug-in frameworks. He has released his own software products and has collaborated with companies such as Roli, Arturia, Focusrite and Ableton. For many years he worked in academia, supporting audio research and sound art projects with his programming skills. Nowadays Oli is working as a freelancer, as well as focusing on his open source projects such as iPlug2

Getting started with MSP

In this series of 23 videos you will explore fundamental sound generation and synthesis techniques and concepts when working with Max, empowering you to begin to build your own synthesis patches and devices that you can deploy in your own music and multimedia projects.

Through a series of guided exercises you will engage in the pragmatic creation of a basic synthesis device that features a wealth of sound manipulation options. This series of workshops aims to provide intermediate Max users with suitable skills to deploy audio DSP and synthesis skills within the Max environment.


  • A computer and internet connection
  • A good working knowledge of computer systems
  • Intermediate skills working with Max (i.e. ability to construct basic patches, familiarity with Max workflows, understanding of signal flow, use of messages and lists, creation of objects and adaptation of their properties etc).
  • Some familiarity with music creation applications such as a DAW
  • Access to a copy of Max 8 (i.e. trial or full license)

Session 1 Learning Outcomes

By the end of this session a successful student will be able to:

  • Identify key elements of the MSP domain
  • Create MSP objects and route patch cables
  • Compare and contrast possibilities offered by objects within the MSP environment
  • Locate and utilise the Max help & Reference system

Session 2 Learning Outcomes

By the end of this session a successful student will be able to:

  • Construct MIDI signal routing
  • Deploy MSP oscillators & filter objects
  • Build envelope generators for synthesis devices
  • Route and sum signal flow

Session 3 Learning Outcomes

By the end of this session a successful student will be able to:

  • Build multi-function LFOs
  • Configure modulation routing within synthesis devices
  • Utilise BPatchers within patches
  • Successfully apply data management techniques

Session 4 Learning Outcomes

By the end of this session a successful student will be able to:

  • Construct and deploy GUI designs
  • Utilise presets within Max / MSP patches
  • Transform MSP patches into M4L or standalone devices
  • Explore further possibilities within MSP

About the workshop leader

Phelan Kane is a Berlin & London based music producer, engineer, artist, developer and educator. For over twenty years he has been active in both the music industry and the contemporary music education sector, with a focus on electronic music and alternative bands. His specialism is sound design and production techniques such as synthesis and sampling, alongside audio processing and plug-in development. His credits include collaborations with Placebo, Radiohead, Fad Gadget, Depeche Mode, Moby, Snow Patrol, Mute, Sony BMG, Universal, EMI and Warner Bros. He holds an MA in Audio Technology from the London College of Music, University of West London, an MSc in Sound & Music Computing at the Center for Digital Music at Queen Mary, University of London and in 2008 became one of the world’s first wave of Ableton Certified Trainers. He is a member of the UK’s Music Producers Guild, holds a PG Cert in Learning & Teaching, is an Affiliate of the Institute for Learning, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy