Breaking Boundaries: Improving Ensemble Performance Through Interactive Video Conference Technology - PDF

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Page 1 of 5 Breaking Boundaries: Improving Ensemble Performance Through Interactive Video Conference Technology Heather Young Mandujano Distance Learning Education Coordinator Cleveland Institute of Music
Page 1 of 5 Breaking Boundaries: Improving Ensemble Performance Through Interactive Video Conference Technology Heather Young Mandujano Distance Learning Education Coordinator Cleveland Institute of Music Part 1: Interactive Video Conference (IVC) Technology and Teaching Music What is interactive video conference technology? o Used to communicate with both video and audio live and in real time. It can: o Inspire, motivate and engage o Introduce new concepts o Reinforce o Provide remedial help or enrichment o Aid in contest preparation o Private lessons with no geographical boundaries o Provide exposure to high level music performances Part II: CIM s Background Early pioneer began using this technology in 1998! Currently, we provide instruction via video conference for: o Conservatory students o K-12 students o Senior centers and community groups connections annually Work regularly with K-12 schools around the world Part III: Optimizing Sound (see p. 5) Most video conference systems are optimized to transmit the sound of the speaking human voice in the following ways: o Automatic Gain Control o Noise Fill o Noise Suppression o Dynamic Compression Page 2 of 5 Part IV: Ways to Connect Skype Desktop Platforms (such as Vidyo) Tablet/Smartphone Apps (like Polycom RealPresence) Video Conferencing Codecs DVTS How to choose: o Price: upfront and ongoing o Connection quality: sound and picture o Options for improvement Part V: Skype Advantages: o Free o Readily available o Runs on almost anything Disadvantages: o Need a solid internet connection Hard-wired is better than wifi o Extreme ranges are easily distorted o Dynamics are compressed Ok for singing (?) Adding an external microphone: o We used Yeti Blue o Around $100 o Multiple pick up patterns for various situations Part VI: Vidyo Software-based Runs on desktop or laptop using a webcam More stable than skype or other free services Connects through a browser like Firefox or Internet Explorer One party can pay for software ($100/month) and then share with other sites to which they want to connect for an additional $5. Hard-wired connection yields best results Page 3 of 5 Part VI: Codecs CIM uses Polycom; other brands include Lifesize, Cisco/Tanberg, Marconi (mostly in Europe) Polycom has Live Music Mode o Algorithm o Allows for capture, transmission and reproduction of nearly the entire range of audio frequencies Internet2 o Nationwide, high speed, high bandwidth academic and research network Expensive, but yields best possible results Pressure from software based solutions to reduce cost. Microphone choices Part VII: Polycom RealPresence Devices o Lower cost than typical Polycom unit Software o Free app for apple and android o Paid version for desktop/laptop Buy host server and licenses Connection quality is crucially important o Compare good vs. bad wifi connections Part VIII: DVTS Digital Video Transfer System Experimental and unstable, BUT extremely high quality Requires 1,000 times more bandwidth than a typical Polycom connection Part IX: Troubleshooting Firewalls Microphone Placement Bandwidth o More is better Page 4 of 5 Part X: Using IVC in Performance-Based Music Classes Coaching sessions o Access to great teachers regardless of geography o Can coach anything full ensemble, sectionals, small groups, private lessons CIM Prep: Can enroll from anywhere and take lessons through IVC Quick Tips o DELAY: Typical ½ to 1 second Easiest to just avoid this by not trying to sing/play together Call and response/echo methods are very effective o May need to stop and start more frequently o Need cooperation of far end teacher o Test call o Use a camera that can zoom in and out Part XI: Working with CIM and/or Other Institutions Content Provider: Institution that provides educational video conferences that are aligned to national and state standards o Two in the US for classical music: Cleveland Institute of Music and Manhattan School of Music o Thousands exist, offering programming on virtually every topic. o To search, visit the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration: We schedule on demand Classes are typically 45 minutes, but we re flexible Register 4 weeks ahead o Pre-conference lessons o Test call Point to Point: $175 o Discounts available throughout the year and for multiple sessions Multipoint: Free-$50 Part XII: Grants/Cost Your school may already have the technology in place Costs of systems are coming down Software-based platforms are much more affordable o May or may not work for performance coaching Obtaining grant funding Part XIII: Time for Questions Page 5 of 5 MOST PLATFORMS ARE DESIGNED FOR PEOPLE TALKING Therefore, they employ the following features: Automatic Gain Control: o Dynamic Range= Data= Bandwidth o Very soft dynamics- interprets as background noise- more hiss o Squashes loud dynamics o Everything will sound pretty much the same range Noise Fill o Soft, high voice cranks up o Problematic for flute sound continues on in a loop Noise Suppression o Listens for background noise, like a/c unit, and eliminates it o Problem for long, low sustained notes sound will disappear Noise Compression o Squashes everything to accepted dynamic range o No compression at all would explode bandwidth **Live Music Mode (from Polycom)** Eliminates auto gain, noise fill, and noise suppression Need to be manually cautious of levels Running sound board is specific to individual instruments
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