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Best App to have on-line band practice

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Best App to have on-line band practice

Postby forumuser825317 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:16 pm

Hi,
There's been a lot of discussion since Hugh Robjohns promoted on-line music collaboration in 2004.

But I'm still trying to find software that enables musicians to rehearse together
- IN REAL TIME - on line.

Is this a pipe dream ?

Has anyone found an app that runs on Windows, Andriod and apple that allows you all to play together at the same time ?

Cheers, and thanks for any input you wish to add. All welcome.
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Re: Best App to have on-line band practice

Postby ian2 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:56 pm

I'd love to be proven incorrect but...

Let's say that there's a 200ms delay between you singing/playing and a collaborator hearing the sound at their end. (Most of this delay will surely be internet transport time.) To keep things simple, suppose that there are only two of you in the collaboration. Your collaborator reacts to the sound of your instrument/vocal (or instrument + vocal mix) by plucking a guitar string. He/she is quite happy with their experience. But by the time you hear the sound of their plucked note let's say another 200ms have passed, again mostly because of network transport delay. You perceive their plucked note as commencing 400 ms late. You are NOT happy with your experience!

With more than two collaborators things would be even less workable.

Now, someone prove me to have missed some wizard technology that can solve this problem :-)
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Re: Best App to have on-line band practice

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:06 pm

forumuser825317 wrote:There's been a lot of discussion since Hugh Robjohns promoted on-line music collaboration in 2004.

It was a long time ago, but I don't remember doing that... ;-)

Is this a pipe dream ?

Yes!

Has anyone found an app that runs on Windows, Andriod and apple that allows you all to play together at the same time ?

Not that I'm aware of! Contributing individually to an online group is definitely do-able, but having multiple remote musicians playing together simultaneously in real-time, with everyone listening to each other's live playing for cues, isn't because of the inherent propagation delays of any form of Internet technology.

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Re: Best App to have on-line band practice

Postby CS70 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:31 pm

forumuser825317 wrote:Is this a pipe dream ?

As of now, pretty much. But things can change.

There's two aspects which are an obstacle - the performance of the client devices and the performance of the network. This latter is by far the hardest - even in the most sophisticated server farms in the world (a la Google and Amazon) the bottleneck is always the network speed and bandwidth.

In a well engineered wired LAN, it may work - say people in different rooms of the same building - so long the switching and topology are chosen accurately.

On a WAN, with current techs - and no constant and guaranteed arrival time of data packets - it does not. It may work for a few secs and then drop. Internetworking is engineered for the max likelihood of data arrival, not for real-time transmission. You need very different protocols and design to achieve that - and as with any real-time computation, to accept the cost of losing the occasional piece of data.

Also, as fast the speed of light is, it's still finite - and the further the locations, there is an inherent delay between transmission and reception which grows linearly with the distance. So jamming between Paris and Los Angeles might be tough: there's about 10.000km to go (assuming perfect surface transmission in a point to point fiber optic cable) and at the speed of light in vacuum that that's about 33ms. Two way transmission, you gotta double that. And in practice there's no dedicated cable - you will have to go thru multiple switches with varying degree of congestion, not to count the possible physical packet losses due to - well, physics :-) and the unavoidable computation overhead of a packet-switching protocol.

That said, it's not like the internetworking speed between two much nearer points (say two flats in the same city) can't improve, and in many areas it already has, statistically, a well defined latency ceiling (albeit often, still too high for real-time audio exchange at the speed required for playing together). With better and faster cabling and switching, that latency ceiling could go down. Still in probability terms, but in practical just as good as "for real".

So there's hope :)
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Re: Best App to have on-line band practice

Postby hobbyist » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:37 pm

forumuser825317 wrote:Hi,
There's been a lot of discussion since Hugh Robjohns promoted on-line music collaboration in 2004.

But I'm still trying to find software that enables musicians to rehearse together
- IN REAL TIME - on line.

Is this a pipe dream ?

yes!


forumuser825317 wrote:Has anyone found an app that runs on Windows, Andriod and apple that allows you all to play together at the same time ?

Cheers, and thanks for any input you wish to add. All welcome.

Wont work in RT. Such an ap cannot exist now or near future.

You might be able to do it batch so one person can practice with the rest of the band playing on his stereo or whatever.
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