Asynchrony between tactile and auditory feedback (action-sound latency) when playing a musical instrument is widely recognized as disruptive to musical performance. In this paper we present a study that assesses the effects of delayed auditory feedback on the timing accuracy and judgments of instrument quality for two groups of participants: professional percussionists and non-percussionist amateur musicians. The amounts of delay tested in this study are relatively small in comparison to similar studies of auditory delays in a musical context (0 ms, 10 ms, 10 ms ± 3 ms, 20 ms). We found that both groups rated the zero latency condition as higher quality for a series of quality measures in comparison to 10 ms ± 3 ms and 20 ms latency, but did not show a significant difference in rating between 10 ms latency and zero latency. Professional percussionists were more aware of the latency conditions and showed less variation of timing under the latency conditions, although this ability decreased as the temporal demands of the task increased. We compare our findings from each group and discuss them in relation to latency in interactive digital systems more generally and experimentally similar work on sensorimotor control and rhythmic performance.

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