[AG-TECH] Real Time Music Collaboration

Ivan R. Judson judson at mcs.anl.gov
Wed Mar 13 13:56:32 CST 2002

Ivan imagines something like a space shuttle mission with no pre-established
protocols -- then Ivan winces as the ISS plunges into the ocean, . o O ( I
said COPY! )


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov [mailto:owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov]On
> Behalf Of Osland, CD (Chris)
> Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 9:41 AM
> To: 'Lisa Childers'; Bob Dixon; Markus Buchhorn; ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
> Subject: RE: [AG-TECH] Real Time Music Collaboration
> You are right that neither method 1 or 2 lends itself to jam
> sessions, as the essence of them is that the musicians can
> hear each other, and the latency of the AG means that by the time
> they do hear, it's too late to contribute!
> If there's a method 3 that deals with this, that would be great.
> The only classical piece that almost lends itself to jam tactics
> that I can think of is "In C" by Terry Riley.  I heard it once
> about 12 years ago done by 8 musicians.  Each has the same set of
> fragments, numbered.  Against a 'metronome' of the top two Cs on
> the piano at about 120 bpm (from memory), each player starts
> playing fragment 1 in a loop when they feel like it.  Whenever
> they wish they move to fragment 2.  When all players have done
> all the fragments (there are about 58 IIRC) the piece ends.
> (Any resemblance to the instructions for a Caucus Race in Lewis
> Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" are purely fortuitous!).
> Whether Terry Riley would approve of a rendering in which the
> interactions between the players were reduced, I don't know.
> For a long time he was living in California - someone may know
> where he is these days.
> Cheers
> Chris
> ____________________________________________________________________
> Chris Osland                         Office tel: +44 (0) 1235 446565
> Digital Media and Access Grid      Medialab tel: +44 (0) 1235 446459
> BIT Department             Access Grid room tel: +44 (0) 1235 445666
> e-mail:   C.D.Osland at rl.ac.uk               Fax: +44 (0) 1235 445597
> CLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Bldg. R18)
> Chilton, DIDCOT, Oxon OX11 0QX, UK
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lisa Childers [mailto:childers at mcs.anl.gov]
> Sent: 13 March 2002 14:48
> To: Bob Dixon; Markus Buchhorn; ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
> Subject: RE: [AG-TECH] Real Time Music Collaboration
> Part of me rebels against the formality imposed by this scenario,
> though in
> its own way it is very interesting.  Perhaps we might consider a two part
> experiment in our collaboration: one being formal, perhaps trying
> to address
> issues of synchronization, and a second which is more of an emergent jam
> session.
> Lisa
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov [mailto:owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov]On
> Behalf Of Bob Dixon
> Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 8:03 AM
> To: Markus Buchhorn; ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
> Cc: Bob Dixon
> Subject: RE: [AG-TECH] Real Time Music Collaboration
> Thanks for remembering this Marcus. Yes indeed we did the barbershop
> quartet, and it worked wonderfully well. The method used was
> essentially Method 1 described below. We created a CD in advance of
> the event, which contained the songs that were to be sung. We ran 4
> simultaneous point-to-point H.323 video
> conferences. The outgoing audio to all sites was the CD audio. the
> outgoing video was the audience. Each singer sang in time and in tune
> with the audio he received. At the concert audience location, all 4
> incoming audio streams were mixed, using adjustable analog delay
> lines to synchronize them. The timings were measured and set in
> advance by having each of the remote sites hold their microphone
> close to their speaker, and playing a metronome out to them all. This
> tactic overwhelmed the remote echo cancellers with enough volume to
> make the return ticks audible.
> The returning metronome ticks were all displayed on an oscilloscope,
> and then the delay lines were adjusted until all the return ticks
> coincided.
> The return video from each singer was combined in a video mixer, and
> presented as a large projected quad split screen to the audience. The
> singers never saw or heard one another. The conductor (Maestro
> Roberto) was also never seen by the singers, and he in fact just
> conducted in time to the video and audio being displayed to the
> audience. The audience was never aware of any of this, and so it
> appeared to them to be a perfectly normal concert.
> The prerecorded CD had a countdown sequence before each song, so the
> singers could start smoothly. Each song track of the CD was started
> manually from the central location as the song announcement was
> finishing.
> The final song was the premiere performance of the Internet2 song.
> This was to the tune of "This land is your land", with new lyrics
> composed by Maestro Roberto. It starts out "This net is your
> net....". It was an audience singalong, and a second large screen
> showed the words to the audience, using karaoke software running in a
> laptop.
> The audience was wildly enthusiastic, clapping and cheering, and then
> getting into rhythmic clapping, shouting "encore, encore!".
> Unfortunately we had not prepared an encore.
> We had several redundant systems in operation to record the event.
> Tragically, they all failed. Some of the equipment (including the
> main recording VCR) was damaged during shipment to the hotel. The
> concert hall was not ready when we arrived the previous day to set
> up, despite advance arrangements. So we lost much time waiting for
> power, room audio and network connections, and ran out of time to
> debug everything properly. Also there were only two of us there and
> the equipment setup was extensive and complicated. I saw several people in
> the
> audience recording the event with camcorders, but we have never been
> able to find these people and get a copy of their recordings.
> I would be interested in following this discussion.
>                       Bob
> At 9:28 AM +1100 3/13/02, Markus Buchhorn wrote:
> >G'day All
> >
> >[I've left the whole message in for Bob's (cc'ed) information...]
> >
> >During the previous H323 Megaconference(2) event, Bob Dixon (OSU)
> >coordinated a virtual barbershop quartet (or tried to?). I don't
> >know how it was done, or how it worked out as I missed the event,
> >and there's nothing on the web site about it. Bob - some Access Grid
> >folks are looking at a similar project, and would be interested to
> >know what you did and how it went (if it went).
> >
> >Cheers,
> >         Markus
> >
> >
> >At 01:07 PM 12/03/2002 +0000, Osland, CD (Chris) wrote:
> >>I see, by looking back at an e-mail I sent last week, that I
> >>rather buried two possible solutions to the latency problem.
> >>May I restate them, as I think they have some mileage...
> >>
> >>Method 1 - "Audio Conductor"
> >>
> >>One site produces in effect an augmented click track, with enough
> >>of the melody for people not to get lost.  This goes to all
> >>players, who just listen to this and play in time with it.
> >>Hence the term "audio conductor".  All feeds from the players
> >>go to one site, which retimes them individually, having worked
> >>out which node is last to arrive.  This site then rebroadcasts
> >>the resulting mix to everyone but only the listeners, not the
> >>players, listen to it.  This is rather like an orchestra doing
> >>the score for a film, each listening to parts of what is
> >>happening on headphones.
> >>
> >>Method 2 - "Round Robin"
> >>
> >>One site lays down a bed for the piece - maybe a drum track.
> >>A second node listens to this and plays (=adds) their player(s)'s
> >>contributions.  This feed goes to the third playing node, which
> >>does likewise.  The feed from the n'th node (if n nodes are playing)
> >>is the one that all the listening nodes listen to.  Typically the
> >>n'th node will be the vocals (if the piece is pop/folk/rock/vocal).
> >>This is rather similar to the multi-layer approach taken by
> >>groups that do the drums in LA, the guitars in London and
> >>the vocals in the Seychelles, by lugging a 24-track tape or
> >>ProTools system around.
> >>
> >>It has been pointed out to me over lunch that many classical
> >>pieces (e.g. string quartets) cannot be done this way, as at
> >>different times each of the instruments may lead the timing;
> >>possibly a non-recorded harpsichord continuo would be appropriate
> >>in this case!
> >>
> >>The person who noted this is a classically trained cello player,
> >>so I guess I can lob that in as a possible contribution from
> >>here as well.
> >>
> >>Cheers
> >>
> >>Chris
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>____________________________________________________________________
> >>Chris Osland                         Office tel: +44 (0) 1235 446565
> >>Digital Media and Access Grid      Medialab tel: +44 (0) 1235 446459
> >>BIT Department             Access Grid room tel: +44 (0) 1235 445666
> >>e-mail:   C.D.Osland at rl.ac.uk               Fax: +44 (0) 1235 445597
> >>
> >>CLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Bldg. R18)
> >>Chilton, DIDCOT, Oxon OX11 0QX, UK
> >
> >
> >Markus Buchhorn, Information Infrastructure Services,   | Ph: +61 2
> 61258810
> >Markus.Buchhorn at anu.edu.au, mail: CompSci,CSIT Bldg #108|Fax: +61 2
> 61259805
> >Australian National University, Canberra 0200, Australia|Mobile: 0417
> 281429
> --
> Robert S. Dixon, Ph D, PE
> Chief Research Engineer
> Ohio State University, Office of the CIO
> and
> Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARNet)
> Postal address:                  Office Telephone: 614-292-1638
> Office of the CIO                Lab Telephone:    614-292-7425
> Ohio State University            Fax:              614-292-7081
> 1971 Neil Ave                    Email:        Bob_Dixon at osu.edu
> Columbus, OH 43210

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