By Jon Fingas
Normally, bringing out your smartphone at a classical concert is a surefire way to get kicked out, or at least receive some disapproving stares from everyone in the room. Not so at the Yale Concert Band’s next performance, though. When it holds its season-opening concert on October 6th, it’ll want you to keep your phone out for a key segment. The band is performing Cody Brookshire’s “Honeycomb,” which uses any web-capable mobile device as part of the performance — what you see on stage is just one part of a much larger show.
The piece uses SynkroTakt technology to synchronize 32 audio tracks between your phone and the band’s performance with virtually flawless timing. When there’s a call-and-response section, for instance, the audience’s phones will play their part in harmony. It’s effectively adding hundreds of speakers (SynkroTakt can handle 250 or more devices) throughout the concert hall.
This isn’t a one-off use. Brookshire has been performing “Honeycomb” elsewhere, and SynkroTakt is useful for just about anywhere that synced audio could add a dramatic effect, such as TV shows and art installations. Just think of Yale’s performance as exposing this invention to a wider audience.
Cody Brookshire, Richard Saney, Nick Saney, and Jake Reeves were awarded a 2015 ICE Mini-Grant to create technology allowing for the synchronized streaming of different audio tracks to web-enabled devices for immersive live music. For more information visit http://www.SynkroTakt.com.