Hear you later alligator: How delayed auditory feedback affects non-musically trained people’s strumming

Larsen, Jeppe and Knoche, Hendrik

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Many musical instruments exhibit an inherent latency or delayed auditory feedback (DAF) between actuator activation and the occurrence of sound. We investigated how DAF (73ms and 250ms) affects musically trained (MT) and non-musically trained (NMT) people’s ability to synchronize the audible strum of an actuated guitar to a metronome at 60bpm and 120bpm. The long DAF matched a subdivision of the overall tempo. We compared their performance using two different input devices with feedback before or on activation. While 250ms DAF hardly affected musically trained participants, non-musically trained participants’ performance declined substantially both in mean synchronization error and its spread. Neither tempo nor input devices affected performance.