Low Latency Audio Streaming for Internet-Based Musical Interaction

Low Latency Audio Streaming for Internet-Based Musical Interaction

Alexander Carôt (Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-831-5.ch015


With the current Internet bandwidth capacities and machine processing performance the personal computer has become an affordable and flexible multimedia platform for high quality audio and video content. Besides the delivery of services such as TV, telephone and radio, the Internet can also be used for the instantaneous bidirectional exchange of musical information. Due to the variety and complexity of already existing remote music and communication approaches, an elaboration on this topic is mandatory, which covers any relevant musical, technical or interdisciplinary aspect of remote musical interaction. Therefore, this chapter gives an overview of currently applied technologies and possibilities with their theoretical background.
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2 Fundamentals In Music Cognition

The speed of sound of about 340 m/s [Everest, 2001] results in signal delays depending on the physical distance between rehearsing musicians. Hence, two musicians’ beats can never occur in precise synchrony. In a number of cognitive experiments the author simulated this effect up to any desired dimension with an artificial delay [Carôt/Werner, 2009]. Based on the experiment’s results the author introduced a model, which is illustrated in figure 1. It shows the time shift between a local and an external pulse. In the following this is defined as the “inter pulse delay” (IPD). According to the outcome of the experiment’s trials, the maximal IPD, music can be performed with, depends on the musician’s personality and style. However, it decreases with an increasing rhythmical resolution and the speed of a tune: Depending on style and personal rhythmical attitude, musicians consider the time of a musical piece more or less as a fixed and precise beat reference. As a result a musician’s motivation to play precisely on the beat can vary significantly and – depending on the skill – one might even consciously play in advance or behind the beat or in a changing manner. Depending on the value of this stylistic device it is possible to define a time spread around the theoretical beat reference, within a played pulse can be perceived and considered as correct. The so-called personal beat shift range (PBSR) describes a musician’s temporal range of acceptance, which can be divided into the left range before the theoretical beat and the right range after the beat [Carôt/Werner, 2009].

Figure 1.

Visualization of human musical interaction

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