Covid-19 Pandemic:
A Free Support & Resource Centre for String Teachers & Musicians

Real Time Collaboration

Towards Zero Latency

The holy grail for musicians, in terms of real-time musical collaboration via the internet, is 'zero latency' - or at least the perception of it. This means no delay.

In response to the pandemic, we have brought together a team of arts practitioners, educators and technologists to rapidly analyse the available platforms that are currently effective for musicians, and we will be reporting back here in the coming days!

The Current Landscape

For musicians to be able to interact in real time, minimal delay (latency) is required. As of March 2020, academically researched technical solutions do exist which can reduce this delay dramatically, but they are not yet available in an easy-to-use, end-user-friendly form.

We are working rapidly to identify these solutions and work with relevant developers to see whether their solutions can feasibly be made market-ready, and if so, how rapidly.

If you know of a digital solution that potentially has this capability, then please let us know at support@violinschool.com and we will investigate it, and help where possible by connecting developers with funders and potential educational partners.

We will regularly update this page with news as it becomes available!

Several widely-available collaboration tools can be optimised in order to achieve functional, if imperfect realtime collaboration for string instrument Teachers and Learners. This can be done in a way that is adequate for delivering educational experiences in the following settings:

  • One to One Teaching / Coaching
  • Group Tuition

Additionally, very limited but still adequately valuable musical interaction can be achieved in the form of:

  • Musical Rehearsal (Ensembles, Orchestras)

Currently, performance is not known to be possible in real time in an easily achievable way. However, we believe this to be technologically possible, and we are pushing key developers and researchers to expedite their development work in order to provide solutions to music teachers as quickly as possible.

Existing Collaboration Tools (Imperfect Latency)

The following tools are known to work adequately in a 'group collaboration' mode:

Zoom
https://zoom.us/

Skype
https://www.skype.com/en/

Facetime
https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204380

Platforms Under Review

We are rapidly investigating digital infrastructures that have the technological potential for facilitating real time communication between musicians. This generally involves software that can either be downloaded to a device or used through a web browser, that reduces the latency (delay) between interacting humans to lower than 50 milliseconds (which, by way of example, is a significantly quicker transfer of sound than a phone call).

Currently we are reviewing and testing these platforms, to determine the best current options for string teaching according:

https://now.source-elements.com/

https://www.jamkazam.com/

https://www.soundjack.eu/

We will update here soon.

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Email: support@violinschool.com
Phone: +44 (0) 20 3051 0080
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