Music and Sound Initiative


Musical Telepresence

We have developed a music telepresence system that employs the Internet to enable remote musical interactions. Musical interactions require short delays (low communication latency) that are far less than that required for spoken conversation. We have conducted extensive tests to assess the level of latency in communication that may be tolerated in interactive musical performance and found that round trip communication delay of 0.05 to 0.1 seconds are required, somewhat less than the few tenths of a second typical in commercial teleconferencing systems. To meet this demanding level of latency we have developed custom software that vastly reduces audio and video encoding/decoding delays and has been demonstrated in a distributed three point audio-video system to give latencies of less than 50 msec over distances of 1000 miles (Rochester – Miami – Dayton, OH). Other important factors for creating a satisfying interactive musical experience are the recreation of an aural “scene” at a remote location, which requires the recreation of the 3-D acoustic field, echo cancellation, and teleportation of the visual environment. Work is ongoing in all of these areas.