Creating the Shepard Tone audio illusion with JavaScript

Jan 3, 2015

The Shepard Tone is an audio illusion that creates the impression of an endlessly rising or falling tone.

Back in 2009 I rendered an example of it using Lilypond, which was pretty hacky.

Having recently played with the Web Audio API for my Winamp2-js project I realized it would be easy to create this effect using Javascript.

You can hear for yourself, just turn up the volume:


Check out the ~40 lines of code on JSFiddle or GitHub