New tech enables musicians to stay in synch while far apart

NHK -- Mar 28
The Tokyo Philharmonic orchestra has staged thousands of concerts in its long history, with all its musicians gathered inside a concert hall. But this wasn't the case at a recent event. Some of the players took part from a location far from the venue.

It was made possible by a new technology that shrinks the latency, or lags, on networks to levels unnoticed by the human ear.

The trial performance was held in Bunkamura in Tokyo. The musicians assembled on a stage, as usual. But two trumpeters were about 10 kilometers away in a studio.

The technology was developed by a subsidiary of communications giant NTT.

Super-fast optical signals carry uncompressed audio and visual data. The lag time can be reduced to about 0.02 second by skipping the compression process.

The trumpeters followed the conductor by watching a video link. It all went according to plan, with the playing in synch.

Conductor Tsunoda Kosuke said he was able to relax because there was nothing to worry about.

The NTT unit is considering holding concerts with some musicians in Tokyo and others in more distant locations.