Mallo: A distributed, synchronized instrument for internet music performance

Zeyu Jin, Reid Oda, Adam Finkelstein, Rebecca Fiebrink

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-298
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event15th International conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, NIME 2015 - Baton Rouge, United States
Duration: May 31 2015Jun 3 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Instrumentation
  • Music
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications


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


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