I'm trying to solve the cocktail party problem (Independent Component Analysis) in a real application. So let's say there are two speakers and two microphones. What I'd to know is if it's mandatory that the two microphones start to record exactly at the same time. Thanks for your time.


1 Answer 1


It's not exactly mandatory to start recording at the same time, but it would be helpful.

You definitely need to be able to align the timeseries recorded by the microphones. If they start recording at exactly the same time, then the time-series will already be aligned. If they don't start at the same time, then you need to know exactly how much time passed between microphone 1's start time and microphone 2's start time, so you can align the timeseries after-the-fact. Also, you won't be able to run ICA for the time period when microphone 2 was off.

  • $\begingroup$ thanks! I expected this answer :) sadly it's exactly as hard to start simultaneously than to know time difference there is between the two records. $\endgroup$
    – Moleson
    Nov 19, 2019 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ How are you recording from the two mics? I imagine a lot of audio recording software will automatically sync up the recordings from two input sources. Then it would just be a matter of cropping the recordings so that they are the same length. $\endgroup$
    – zachdj
    Nov 19, 2019 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not yet at this point in the project, we wanna use smartphones however it's a uni project so we are not really allowed to use extra software. A distributed project so we wanna synchronize the phones via wifi even if as you say, is not the smarter way to solve the problem. $\endgroup$
    – Moleson
    Nov 20, 2019 at 21:13

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