[LAU] Jamming over WiFi?

Arnold Krille arnold at arnoldarts.de
Thu Nov 19 03:44:42 EST 2009

On Thursday 19 November 2009 09:27:35 Lorenzo wrote:
> >> I am working on a project in which I want 5 musicians to walk around a
> >> building and play.  They will carry netbooks (mics and headphones) and
> >> their signals will be sent to a concert hall where it will be
> >> broadcasted.  Additionally, a "conductor" will decide which individual
> >> stream will every one of those 5 musicians listen to.  So I need a
> >> 2-way communication on each netbook and 5 in and 5 out on the server.
> >> The server will be wired.
> Although some attempts have been made (see for eg.
> http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/MMCS.1999.778626) it
> looks like currently network (even cabled) latency issues are still too
> much for performing remotely.
> If I understand correctly what you have in mind, and considering the
> relatively small space-range (a bulding) you might be better using
> wireless (radio) audio equipment (like radio mics and audio
> transmitters) which seems to be more established and reliable, although
> there will always be 'some' latency.

You could circumvent some of the latencies on the cable when not using the 
full network stack. But then you have to deal with that yourself and can't use 
standard switches and router. And it fails miserably on wifi.
The radio-transmitter latency is not detectable for human ear because 
everything electronic happens at light-speed at least in the analog domain. 
When using digital transmission, you get some latencies because of conversion 
but if these devices are aimed for live-usage, latencies will be below 20ms 
(and be advertised as "zero" latency).

If you want fixed latency and a digital bus, use firewire (its _not_ dead).

> > Might Ninjam suite your needs? Long time since I tried it, but when I
> > did it worked quite well.
> Keep in mind that Ninjam introduces a 'fixed latency' (in musical terms
> it's usually 1 beat 'out') to try and sync all palyers, which is clever
> and suits some kind of applications like jamming, but not real-time
> remote playing.

Last time I looked it wasn't 1 beat but one bar. Which makes much more sense 
musically... And leaves more time for the network to catch up.

Have fun,

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