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Musicians Demonstrate Real-Time, Simultaneous, Live Musical Performances Using Latest Network Technology At 2012 Internet2 Fall Member Meeting

Posted on Oct 02, 2012 by Doug Howell
Tags: Arts & Humanities, Audio Video Communications Infrastructure, Collaboration, imported, Internet2 Video Exchange, LOLA, Performing Arts, Tools & Collaboration, Video Services, Video, Voice & Collaboration

Philadelphia—(Oct. 2, 2012)—Internet2 demonstrated today at the 2012 Internet2 Fall Member Meeting in Philadelphia technology that enables real-time, simultaneous, live musical performances across long distances featuring low latency, audio and videoconferencing technology. Musicians--separated by hundreds of miles--showcased advancements in reducing latency by using the latest audio and video technology, called “LOLA,” via the Internet2 Network and advanced research and education networks.

Violinist Marjorie Bagley, from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro School of Music, Theatre and Dance, performed from Philadelphia with Cellist Cheng-Hou Lee at the Northern Illinois University School of Music outside of Chicago in DeKalb, Illinois.

The LOLA technology is able to reduce the latency down to effectively 35 milliseconds. This musically translates to 35 feet, which is like being on the opposite side of the stage from the musician. The technology is groundbreaking by providing lower latency than any interactive audio-video developed for this application so far, according to Dan Nichols, NIU School of Music multimedia specialist.

The Conservatorio G. Tartini in Trieste, Italy, and the GARR Italian Research & Education Network, GARR, developed LOLA, which is being used by several universities, according to Claudio Allocchio, senior technical officer of GARR. Roberto Diaz, president and chief executive officer of Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music, led a discussion explaining the benefits of this technology advancement for music education and performance.

“People are now talking of rehearsing in advance of guest appearances,” said Paul Bauer, Director of NIU’s School of Music. “Normally you have the guest artist arrive the day before and have a compressed schedule. Now we can rehearse weeks or months in advance together before they come on site. This will produce a more comfortable and more artistic performance and listening experience.”

High-speed data transfers and low latency are critical for simultaneous, live, video and audio performances. Internet2 institutions starting to use LOLA are the Northern Illinois School of Music, University of North Carolina Greensboro, New World Symphony in Miami, University of Southern California, Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music and the University of Virginia.

Musicians are able to effectively play simultaneously and remotely with latency under 60 milliseconds round trip from microphone to musician. LOLA via an advanced network provides a round-trip microphone to speaker latency between 20-50 milliseconds depending on distance and network configuration. Most commercial services produce a round-trip latency greater than 200 milliseconds. Latency in digital audio equipment is most noticeable when a singer's voice is transmitted through their microphone, digital audio mixing, processing and routing paths.

“Since Internet2's inception, all across the world I have been asked by musicians, ‘Can we play together?’ and the answer has always been no,” said Ann Doyle, director of cultural collaborations, Internet2. “It is with gratitude to the LOLA project team, that the answer is now yes!”

Internet2 and the regional operating networks capitalize on research and education to create new applications and innovation. The Mid-Atlantic Gigapop in Philadelphia and the Illinois Century Network provided technical support for the demonstration. NIU and ICN are connected to I2 via the Metropolitan Research and Education Network (MREN).

For media assistance, contact Todd Sedmak at (202) 331-5373 or todd@internet2.edu