[chuck-users] Internet Jam Suggestion

Mark mark.cerqueira at gmail.com
Wed May 18 17:40:24 EDT 2011

My senior thesis focused on measuring/alleviating synchronization issues over local-area networks (like a laptop orchestra in the same room on a single router): http://lorknet.cs.princeton.edu/ and my junior paper (pdf hidden in here: http://www.markcerqueira.com/projects/jp/Final%20Report.pdf ) focused on similar issues of synchronization over networks. 

The background sections of those documents covers a lot on past projects regarding issues with live music performance over wide area networks and the issues with such undertakings.

That said, it has been done. The GIGAPOP Ritual was a concert between McGill University in Canada and Princeton University in the US. There was also a concert the SoundWire group at Stanford put on between Stanford and Beijing that relied on setting the tempo of the piece to be the average round-trip time between the two locations. There is more stuff buried in those documents.

Probably the most useful code I wrote out of there for your specific case would be TOSC (Timed OSC) code from my junior paper. It relies on the forward synchronization principal - you use the NTP code in there (it's crude) to synchronize everyone's notion of time and then schedule packets to be opened in the future rather than immediately. Jascha, a music graduate student at Princeton, has ported it over to SuperCollider too I believe!


On May 18, 2011, at 4:09 AM, Les Hall wrote:

> I'd like to address the topic of delay and synchronization during internet jams.  I feel that the very approach of trying to accomplish audio synch in the current medium of audio over the internet is somewhat inappropriate.  In a way it's kind of like trying to get flute sounds out of a guitar.  Maybe it's possible, but it's really not in the nature of the beast.  
> To be sure there will come a day when the lag monster is largely defeated and we can jam with simultaneous artists, but that day is not today.  I remember the frustration expressed by my fellow grad students whose simulators kept their workstations or even supercomputer accounts busy for long periods of time.  I had no such problems as I had chosen to restrict my simulation constraints such that compute times were short.  Looking back, this was appropriate as I was matching what I wanted to accomplish to what I had as a resource.  
> In a similar way, perhaps we should not be attempting to defeat the lag monster, but rather to create novel musical jamming techniques that operate within the timing constraints of the web.  Now, that's easy for me to say and do because via the power of ChucK and my amateur musician status I can do just about whatever I want, and others may not have that luxury for various reasons.  So please accept my apologies if you are limited in this way creatively beyond your control, however I do maintain that we should be doing what we can do, not what we want to do.  
> Back when I constrained my simulator complexity within the available compute constraints, I suffered the consequences of riling up anger and derision from those without that freedom or that choice.  I hope that will not be the case with this message.  Rather, I wonder if we can discuss ways to create music that fits the web rather than discuss programming that accomplishes synchronization over a web that denies it.  
> I welcome your comments on this topic and I apologize in advance if I have offended anyone.  Just my two cents, eh?  
> Les
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