If you’d asked me, speaking as a piano guy and sometime digital music maker, I would’ve said controlling one piano with another across the Internet in realtime was, well, improbable. It’s not that Internet latency is too high (that is, delays incurred processing network data), but I don’t need to tell you how the Internet’s a fickle creature. Anyone who’s watched their ping times surge inexplicably during a Call of Duty, Battlefield, or World of Warcraft game session knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Then again, high-speed cable or DSL connections average 100ms or less in terms of latency, and in ideal situations, that can drop as low as 25ms, which is plenty fast if all you’re sending is MIDI note data. And if you’re blessed with a stretch of relative stability, you can send pretty much anything you want.
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That’s what Mike Garson did just a few days ago. You know, Mike Garson. David Bowie’s pianist? Worked with Nine Inch Nails and The Smashing Pumpkins? Avant garde jazz master?
Check out the above video of him playing a Yamaha Disklavier piano in Los Angeles, California (on the TV) that’s connected through the Internet to another Yamaha Disklavier in Fort Wayne, Indiana (the piano that appears to be playing itself). Pretty awe-inspiring stuff.
(Hat tip @feelthevoid)