Making the Most of Wifi: Optimisations for Robust Wireless Live Music Performance

TitleMaking the Most of Wifi: Optimisations for Robust Wireless Live Music Performance
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMitchell, Thomas, Madgwick Sebastian, Rankine Simon, Hilton Geoffrey, Freed Adrian, and Andrew Nix
Conference NameNew Instruments of Musical Expression
Abstract Wireless technology is growing increasingly prevalent in thedevelopment of new interfaces for live music performance.However, with a number of different wireless technologiesoperating in the 2.4 GHz band, there is a high riskof interference and congestion, which has the potentialto severely disrupt live performances. With its hightransmission power, channel bandwidth and throughput,Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11) presents an opportunity for highlyrobust wireless communications. This paper presents ourpreliminary work to optimise the components of a Wi-Fisystem for live performance scenarios. We summarise themanufacture and testing of a prototype directional antennathat is designed to maximise sensitivity to a performer’ssignal while suppressing interference from elsewhere. Wealso propose a set of recommended Wi-Fi configurationsto reduce latency and increase throughput. Practicalinvestigations utilising these arrangements demonstratea single x-OSC device achieving a latency of <3 msand a distributed network of 15 devices achieving a netthroughput of ?4800 packets per second (?320 per device);where each packet is a 104-byte OSC message containing