BaseAudioContext: createPanner() method

The createPanner() method of the BaseAudioContext Interface is used to create a new PannerNode, which is used to spatialize an incoming audio stream in 3D space.

The panner node is spatialized in relation to the AudioContext's AudioListener (defined by the AudioContext.listener attribute), which represents the position and orientation of the person listening to the audio.

Note: The PannerNode() constructor is the recommended way to create a PannerNode; see Creating an AudioNode.





Return value


In the following example, you can see an example of how the createPanner() method, AudioListener and PannerNode would be used to control audio spatialization. Generally you will define the position in 3D space that your audio listener and panner (source) occupy initially, and then update the position of one or both of these as the application is used. You might be moving a character around inside a game world for example, and wanting delivery of audio to change realistically as your character moves closer to or further away from a music player such as a stereo. In the example you can see this being controlled by the functions moveRight(), moveLeft(), etc., which set new values for the panner position via the PositionPanner() function.

To see a complete implementation, check out our panner-node example (view the source code) — this demo transports you to the 2.5D "Room of metal", where you can play a track on a boom box and then walk around the boom box to see how the sound changes!

Note how we have used some feature detection to either give the browser the newer property values (like AudioListener.forwardX) for setting position, etc. if it supports those, or older methods (like AudioListener.setOrientation()) if it still supports those but not the new properties.

// set up listener and panner position information
const WIDTH = window.innerWidth;
const HEIGHT = window.innerHeight;

const xPos = Math.floor(WIDTH / 2);
const yPos = Math.floor(HEIGHT / 2);
const zPos = 295;

// define other variables

const audioCtx = new AudioContext();

const panner = audioCtx.createPanner();
panner.panningModel = "HRTF";
panner.distanceModel = "inverse";
panner.refDistance = 1;
panner.maxDistance = 10000;
panner.rolloffFactor = 1;
panner.coneInnerAngle = 360;
panner.coneOuterAngle = 0;
panner.coneOuterGain = 0;

if (panner.orientationX) {
  panner.orientationX.setValueAtTime(1, audioCtx.currentTime);
  panner.orientationY.setValueAtTime(0, audioCtx.currentTime);
  panner.orientationZ.setValueAtTime(0, audioCtx.currentTime);
} else {
  panner.setOrientation(1, 0, 0);

const listener = audioCtx.listener;

if (listener.forwardX) {
  listener.forwardX.setValueAtTime(0, audioCtx.currentTime);
  listener.forwardY.setValueAtTime(0, audioCtx.currentTime);
  listener.forwardZ.setValueAtTime(-1, audioCtx.currentTime);
  listener.upX.setValueAtTime(0, audioCtx.currentTime);
  listener.upY.setValueAtTime(1, audioCtx.currentTime);
  listener.upZ.setValueAtTime(0, audioCtx.currentTime);
} else {
  listener.setOrientation(0, 0, -1, 0, 1, 0);

let source;

const play = document.querySelector(".play");
const stop = document.querySelector(".stop");

const boomBox = document.querySelector(".boom-box");

const listenerData = document.querySelector(".listener-data");
const pannerData = document.querySelector(".panner-data");

leftBound = -xPos + 50;
rightBound = xPos - 50;

xIterator = WIDTH / 150;

// listener will always be in the same place for this demo

if (listener.positionX) {
  listener.positionX.setValueAtTime(xPos, audioCtx.currentTime);
  listener.positionY.setValueAtTime(yPos, audioCtx.currentTime);
  listener.positionZ.setValueAtTime(300, audioCtx.currentTime);
} else {
  listener.setPosition(xPos, yPos, 300);

listenerData.textContent = `Listener data: X ${xPos} Y ${yPos} Z 300`;

// panner will move as the boombox graphic moves around on the screen
function positionPanner() {
  if (panner.positionX) {
    panner.positionX.setValueAtTime(xPos, audioCtx.currentTime);
    panner.positionY.setValueAtTime(yPos, audioCtx.currentTime);
    panner.positionZ.setValueAtTime(zPos, audioCtx.currentTime);
  } else {
    panner.setPosition(xPos, yPos, zPos);
  pannerData.textContent = `Panner data: X ${xPos} Y ${yPos} Z ${zPos}`;

Note: In terms of working out what position values to apply to the listener and panner, to make the sound appropriate to what the visuals are doing on screen, there is quite a bit of math involved, but you will soon get used to it with a bit of experimentation.


Web Audio API
# dom-baseaudiocontext-createpanner

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also