Conclusion...I DON'T see an instrument like this working in a battery setting.....YET.........we still lack the technology needed to overcome all of the obstacles mentioned in my paragraph above. Again...supporting my point in my first paragraph. The fact that it's been around for four years now and not ONE DCI drumline has used it in the battery...not even for an EXPERIMENT says it all.
There is a very simple and obvious reason why this had not been used in a battery setting yet. The battery moves, but the sound source is stationary and in FRONT of the performers. This is a phasing nightmare.
Have you ever tried to talk on the phone with a slight echo and delay, where you hear your voice just slightly behind? It becomes impossible to talk. It is the same sort of thing here.
This could work only if the battery was stationary for the duration of playing and the sound source was immediately behind them... or if there was a reasonable enough speaker (projecting enough to be audience audible) connected to the device.
One final way it could work and one that is most ideal... is that the source from the instruments on the field is connected to a computer. This computer is running a software application with receivers that detect the individual performer's exact physical distance from the receiver and has their anticipated movement and velocity (based on dril charts). The software would basically process the sound as if it were an acoustic instrument, using algorithms to mimic natural acoustic behaviors, sending the signal to the speakers on this sort of elastic delay based on the distance from the speaker and movement of the player.
It would be an interesting experiment... but not so practical and a hell of a lot of work.
Where I do see these instruments as being VERY interesting, however, is in CLEANING a line. Score is in the computer... software analyses the performer's playing and marks the score in spots that need to be fixed. Learn and clean on digital... fine tune on acoustic.
Edited by danielray, 17 February 2012 - 12:27 PM.