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Topic: Internet Orchestra?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Internet Orchestra?

    Could, or has a group of musicians ever played in real time together over the internet a piece of music? Wait give me a break hair. Ya know, like I understand you can play games over the Internet in real time with someone from half way around the world if desired. So, I gots to thinking (smell wood burning?) What if we could somehow all play the same score in real time over the Internet and record on to DAW at the same time? Would we all need the same DAW or ISP and what would it take? How is it accomplished with video games and can that same technology work with an idea such as this? OR! Maybe we should just meet on Orcas Island and go fishing for Trout with Brian2112 (oops, sorry I didn't mean to spell 2112 backwards.) Anysowhat, what do you thank? I know one prerequisite right off the bat. Must be good sight reader! Sounds challenging ya have to admit. Yes? No? Huh? Well! DON'T IT PUNCK? YA GOTTA ASK YOURSELF, SELF, DO I FEEL LUCKY? WELL, DO YA?
    Now stop will ya! Cheese, ferdacripesake give me some of your thoughts on dis dat dem dar idea, K? Well, ARE AY!
    Man, I can't watch Dirty Harry ever again.

    Styxx

  2. #2

    Re: Internet Orchestra?

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    <edit>...
    Could, or has a group of musicians ever played in real time together over the internet a piece of music? ...
    Once upon a time Emagic (remember them?) was engaged with a program, called Logic Rocket, that pretty much was designed to do the shared-Internet music-making thing. They partnered with someone else (I forget who). Anyway, it eventually went bust. I signed up, but never participated. Technical issues. It was probably ahead of its time. Now that everyone's machine is much faster, well, I think someone should start up another such service.
    -Rudy

  3. #3

    Re: Internet Orchestra?

    Ever try to sing a song with someone over cell phones?

    Try it sometime!

    - m
    Free MFX and other plugins: http://www.TenCrazy.com/
    Markleford's music: http://www.markleford.com/music/

  4. #4
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Internet Orchestra?

    Quote Originally Posted by Markleford
    Ever try to sing a song with someone over cell phones?

    Try it sometime!

    - m
    I've have using speaker phones. Weird. But, are we talking the same thang or having the screen make a difference. Say, if your sequencer would track what the other person is playing. Wait a minute, I just had a vision ... what a mess huh? It would have to multitrack several players at once. Two people may be possible but three or four or more? Oh well, it was just a thought.
    Styxx

  5. #5

    Re: Internet Orchestra?

    The problem comes with delay. With the example of cell phones, say that there is a one second delay between when you start singing and when he hears it. When he starts singing with you, you'll hear it one second later than he starts, which means his singing will lag 2 seconds behind yours!

    Now using speakerphone for that is less of a problem: the lag is in miliseconds, so doubling that round-trip isn't as significant. And Internet transmission time is less than that of a low-tower cell phone, but still it makes it such that syncing is problematic.

    It's sort of similar to the "latency" factor of soundcards. In that case, you can apply delay compensation, in which the host actually plays stuff a given time away from its actual start to make up for the lag. MIDI- or audio-over-ethernet systems also use this, doing a bit of "pre-roll" such that it compensates for the slowest system in the network.

    Mind you, transmission times on the Internet are subject to flux: you're not guaranteed a particular speed based upon your maximum. What you *can* do in that situation, if you're using pre-recorded content, is buffer the output and throttle it to a particular speed below your maximum. However, if you're using real-time players, that's not as much of an option.

    Additionally, I contend that performing in a group context is so heavily reliant on sight-cues for interaction between players and conductor to make a group of individuals act "in concert", as it were. As such, you'd need an additional channel to provide visual means of conveying tempo and dynamic changes for a truly expressive, integrated performance.

    In the balance, you could sync everyone to a metronome, isolate their interaction with other people, and have them send in their individual tracks to a central exchange repository to be distributed to all the players (as I think the various "Rocket" systems accomplished it). But how useful is that? There's no interaction, no *reaction* (in terms of improv contexts), and no guiding hand of a conductor to make the group breathe as one being.

    And ask those online gamers about how annoying a spotty network can be: it screws with your reaction time and can totally misguide your performance. There's a reason why they hold "LAN parties": an isolated network is more reliable in terms of timing. Yet gamers still do play on the net, because choppy gaming is better than no gaming at all, so maybe that's at least partially true in a musical context.

    Mind you, I've thought up an interactive turn-based musicial collaboration system, where you and your friends take shots at adding to an audio loop in a non-destructive capacity. It allows you to edit and retake your previous contributions after you hear the reaction of your peers, which simulates more of a "live process" than everyone playing at once "blindly". Audio snippets will be sent in a compressed format (mp3/ogg) for speed, but the full resolution (wav/aiff) clips will be cached on your own machine: when the performance is finalized, all the masters are packed up automatically and distributed to the participants for final rendering (which even gives them the opportunity to mix and remix the parts on their own).

    Ah, someday when I have time and money on my side, perhaps...

    - m
    Free MFX and other plugins: http://www.TenCrazy.com/
    Markleford's music: http://www.markleford.com/music/

  6. #6

    Re: Internet Orchestra?

    That's it.

    It is not practical right now to do this on the Internet, due to the inpredictability of the delay the network will be introducing.

    But, it would be possible to do it on a private virtual LAN made on dedicated phone lines and low delay audio codecs like Low Delay AAC, a low latency perceptual codec similar to mp3.

    ... I think I'm going to sleep right now...

    Anton

  7. #7

    Re: Internet Orchestra?

    It would not have to stream audio, it could just send packets with midi data. The delay would be an issue for playing together in real time though it would not be a problem for someone that just wanted to to play a tune for the other person. You can find out how much delay there will be by pinging the other person.
    Aaron Clark, C/C++, J2EE, Flash, Perl and PHP programming.
    Logic Pro 7.0.1, G5 1800x2, 3 Gig ram, GPO and GOS lite.
    My site: http://www.clarkaudio.com
    Where I work now: http://www.blinex.com/

  8. #8

    Re: Internet Orchestra?

    Well, that delay based on a ping is subject to change at any moment: downstream computers can hang as they GC, or can drop off temporarily, causing your packets to reroute.

    Still, if you "just wanted to to play a tune for the other person", you can use any transmission means that uses pre-buffering, just as any streaming format (digital audio or video) on the Internet already does.

    In fact, you can already find Dan Hristodorescu's "GPO Remote - MIDI Over Network" utility (Maple extensions) on the Garritan download page.

    - m
    Free MFX and other plugins: http://www.TenCrazy.com/
    Markleford's music: http://www.markleford.com/music/

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