Applying Intuition – COVID-19 Created a Latency Problem for Musicians

Client’s Challenging Situation:

With the onset of COVID-19 problems, it was difficult to arrange education, particularly education of music students who needed to practice with one another.

Scope of the Problem:

In addition to ensuring there are no internet “connection” problems, to perform online, highly-skilled musicians need to be synchronized. The timing of the various musicians’ audio and video need to align as perfectly as possible. Audio and video data moves extremely quickly along the wires, cables, and connections of the internet. The problem is the human ear can pick up lead-lag “latency” as small as 0.5 milliseconds.

A Canadian university presented this problem to us: their music students were struggling to practice together online because their musical sounds were not travelling fast enough between the musicians. The sound latency “disconnects” distracted the student musicians. Bottom line, the slight differences in sound timing were removing the musicians’ ability to “keep time” as a group.

Our Solution:

We presented a solution that involved connections between all the musicians and our data centre equipment at the Toronto hub and our equipment at our private data centre, in Waterloo. Our high-speed internet capabilities and high-calibre routing equipment reduced the latency problem, so it no longer disrupted the musicians when the practiced and performed.

The Value Delivered:

The university and its music students were able to “pivot”. For the university, it allowed them to get beyond the troubling challenges COVID-19 presented to music schools. For the music students, it allowed them to receive the education they had signed up for, to practice together, and to hone individual and group musical skills. For us, it was a rewarding experience to create a positive solution for aspiring musicians during those difficult early days of the COVID-19 problem.

Together our conversations can expand solutions and value

We look forward to helping you bring your ideas and solutions to life.
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