MalLo: A Distributed, Synchronized Instrument for Internet Music Performance

Jin, Zeyu; Oda, Reid; Finkelstein, Adam and Fiebrink, Rebecca. 2015. 'MalLo: A Distributed, Synchronized Instrument for Internet Music Performance'. In: 15th International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME '15). Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States 31 May - 3 June 2015. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

The Internet holds a lot of potential as a music listening, collaboration, and performance space. It has become commonplace to stream music and video of musical performance over the web. However, the goal of playing rhythmically synchronized music over long distances has remained elusive due to the latency inherent in networked communication. The farther apart two artists are from one another, the greater the delay. Furthermore, latency times can change abruptly with no warning.
In this paper, we demonstrate that it is possible to create a distributed, synchronized musical instrument that allows performers to play together over long distances, despite latency. We describe one such instrument, MalLo, which combats latency by predicting a musician’s action before it is completed. MalLo sends information about a predicted musical note over the Internet before it is played, and synthesizes this note at a collaborator’s location at nearly the same moment it is played by the performer. MalLo also protects against latency spikes by sending the prediction data across multiple network paths, with the intention of routing around latency.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Additional Information:

ISSN 2220-4814


Networked Performance, Novel Musical Interface, Object Tracking, Network Latency Reduction

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Computing > Embodied AudioVisual Interaction Group (EAVI)


31 May 2015Published

Event Location:

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States

Date range:

31 May - 3 June 2015


Funding bodyFunder IDGrant Number
Project X Fund at Princeton UniversityUNSPECIFIED

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

22 Mar 2016 09:16

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:15


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