This tutorial will examine some of the challenges and opportunities in Networked Music Performance from a musician’s perspective in a home environment. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of playing music with other people in many people’s lives, and playing online has allowed this to continue throughout enforced isolation. This tutorial will first look at the two main approaches: asynchronous (or the ‘virtual ensemble’) and synchronous, including the pros and cons of each approach, the particular considerations around how to choose which approach to take, and musical examples.
The tutorial will then go on to focus on the synchronous approach – playing together in (near) real time. The Internet was not designed for real-time transmission of audio, and data packets may arrive late, or not at all, introducing latency and glitches to the received signals. Latency is a major consideration for musicians, and we will discuss the ways it can be used creatively. We will also discuss bandwidth issues, and the trade-offs around this, as well as the impact of different approaches to monitoring. We will give examples of accessible software that musicians can use in their own homes for Networked Music Performance.