Last weekend, Music Tech professor Tom Beyer worked with students to create a long distance collaboration. Students performed at Steinhardt’s Loewe theater as students at Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina streamed a concurrent performance via webcam. These performances have been pushing life performance and streaming technology since the mid-nineties. In the early years, rather than a simultaneous performance, Steinhardt would fax notes back and forth between collaborating schools. Today, the performances use several HD camera and 8 channels of streaming audio, to preserve the independence of each signal.. Performers learn to compensate with the latency of the signal to create an entirely live, cross-continental performance. It’s worth mentioning that these themes of latency and audio streaming will be discussed in Richard Einhorn’s MARL talk this Thursday, 12/15.
Due to the nature of the performance, sending audio from once place to another, and then back to the source, feedback is a major concern. The video and audio for last Sunday’s performance required a full day of setup, where the crew had to get particularly creative with the microphone placement to ensure that no unpleasant feedback occurred. Despite the complexities of the signal path, all of the performances of the afternoon sounded great. Check out the photos!