Playing duets while separated by 3 states

April 27, 2009 at 12:48 AM ·

My wife and I are separated by 1500 miles while I build my skills as a violin maker.  Thankfully, we are able to see each other daily via the webcam.  But playing duets -- she on oboe, recorder, or cello and I on violin -- is something for which we are still trying to adapt the technology. 
The internet delay was our first challenge, but we minimized that by being connected by phone while playing.  If we both donned headsets, we found we were getting closer to our goal.  But it is still difficult for each of us to hear ourselves and each other playing as we would were we in the same room.

We are thankful for having solved the problems of the heart (we met , fell in love, married, and remain happily so) and of feeding the soul (why, music of course!), and would be most grateful if someone can suggest a technological solution that enables us to season that food with duets over the miles.


Replies (6)

April 27, 2009 at 10:39 AM ·

Your question reminds me of something I recently heard here in Cambridge.  Some musicians that met in Cambridge and now live on different continents still compose and play music together, all online.  They recently gave a performance (digital, without having to fly here!) for the science festival.  The father of one of them is my husband's boss, he said they do this in their free time for fun.    Here is their website:  full of performances, blogs, etc.  Perhaps if you contact them they will have some useful suggestions from their experience!


Best of luck, I'm sure you will find a way!

April 27, 2009 at 04:30 PM ·

Hmm.. the phone idea wasn't a bad one, an issue I can think of is the sound quality, personally think the audio quality of phone lines is horrendously poor.

If you are looking to use the computer I do have some advice.

1.  Use skype and while playing duets only transfer audio. The reason why I recommend skype is because it is free and it has the highest quality audio of all the internet chat programs. Only sending and receiving audio allows the computer to focus only on that.

2. Go hardwired, wireless is notoriously poor at keeping up with real time transmissions.

3. Turn off other computers and close all other programs that might be using the internet.

4. This step is less important but if one knows how one should open up a port for skype. More info here

5. Also less important but if either one of you use high speed cable internet try playing early in the morning when less people are sharing the master neighborhood connection.

Hope those helped, give me an update and I will see what else I can do to help.

April 27, 2009 at 05:03 PM ·

The above then post your performance on Youtube.


April 27, 2009 at 06:15 PM ·

Have you considered eJamming? 

It does have a subscription fee, but I think there is also a free trial period.

April 29, 2009 at 01:00 AM ·

Our gratitude to everyone who responded.  We now have several new avenues to explore and will begin the next level of beta testing this weekend.  Stay tuned for an update early next week!  Again, many thanks.  Julian

May 23, 2009 at 11:01 PM ·

Gosh, when you said playing "in 3 states," I thought you meant something like the states of exhilaration, exhaustion, and confusion.
:) Sandy

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