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Thread: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

  1. #1

    Question Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    Zoom only lets one person speak at a time. I'm looking for a program where local and non-local people can jam on Old Time Fiddle tunes and on mandolin once a week. Where we can all play together, hear each other, and have no "delay" -- anyone know of such a program?

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    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    I wish such a program existed. The closest I have found is JamKazam -- https://jamkazam.com/. It works better for playing with others in your general geographic area, although there will always be some latency, but I have not found it to be a suitable substitute for in-person jamming. It requires a USB interface and a direct computer connection (i.e., not wi-fi). The good part is that it is free, and they have been working on improvements that may make the experience better. It is worth trying out.

    Alan

  3. #3

    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    Quote Originally Posted by acinva View Post
    I wish such a program existed. The closest I have found is JamKazam -- https://jamkazam.com/. It works better for playing with others in your general geographic area, although there will always be some latency, but I have not found it to be a suitable substitute for in-person jamming. It requires a USB interface and a direct computer connection (i.e., not wi-fi). The good part is that it is free, and they have been working on improvements that may make the experience better. It is worth trying out.

    Alan

    I joined JamKazam. Do I have to have headphones to use this program? One musician friend and I are going to try it out tomorrow, Saturday afternoon at 2:00. It's very daunting to me. I'm not sure I'll be able to handle this program.

    Stringalong

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    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    You will need headphones. You will also need a microphone plugged into a USB interface. I had reasonable success with this one:
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...udio-interface

    A friend of mine tried using an older USB interface and found it didn't work very well.

    You will also need your computer hooked up directly to the Internet via ethernet cable.

    It took several frustrating attempts with friends to figure this out. Before you start, you will need to set up your audio and video gear (look in dropdown menu under your name in upper right corner). When you think you have done it right, click on "Create session" on the main page and then click on "Quick Start Private" to see if everything is working.

    This is a pretty quirky program. If you run into problems, there is a user forum that might be able to help.

    Alan

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    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    I forgot to mention that your headphones should be hooked up through the USB interface.

    While you can use a webcam for the video, you cannot use the webcam microphone. I wasted a lot of time trying that.

    Alan

  6. #6

    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    Quote Originally Posted by acinva View Post
    I forgot to mention that your headphones should be hooked up through the USB interface.

    While you can use a webcam for the video, you cannot use the webcam microphone. I wasted a lot of time trying that.

    Alan
    I'm not sure JamKazam is the program I need. I don't have a computer guru who knows how to set up this program with the probably hundreds of dollars of hardware that I would have to buy.

    Suggestions for other jam programs? I'm totally stumped right now.

    Stringalong

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    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    There are no cheap and easy answers.

    JamKazam is probably the most user friendly. There is a program whose name I do not recall from Stanford that is supposed to be better as far as getting good sound in synch. It is used by some serious jazz guys. But it really does require real computer science background to use.

    The other problem is physics. The signals take a certain amount of time to go through the cables. If you are more than a few hundred miles apart no program can make up for it. And a certain amount of time is processing. Even close by you have to have your internet connection plugged into the wall. Wireless does not cut it.

    At this point in time you will not find something that is push a button and go.

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  9. #8

    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    CarlM, I'm hoping that two musician friends will be able to figure out how to use JamKazam without having to buy hundreds of dollars of hardware to make it work.

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    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    I recently tried a program called Jammr (jammr.net) which worked well but is equally 'quirky' (requires some fiddling). Might be something you could also give a go.
    I am a luthier specialising in historical and world stringed instruments. You can see more info at my website.

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    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    So far, all the potential jam sites people have looked into are all very quirky, so I have a new plan/format for my musician friends. I'm hosting a weekly talent show for my old band members and a few others, on Zoom. That way, we can take turns playing and singing for each other. I just sent an invitation to two of my former band mates, and hopefully they can come to the Talent Show this coming Sunday. If it works out, I will subscribe to Zoom so that I can have more than 3 people in the meeting. In the free Zoom version, they limit the time of more than 3 people to 40 minutes, and my talent show will be for two hours every week. I have set it up to happen every week through the end of May, 2021.

    Stringalong

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    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    You need the audio interface, microphone, and headphones to use Jam Kazam. No way around it. I spent a bit less than $200 and was able to just plug and play on a Mac. Windows is more fiddly according to others in my jam group. It works pretty well — well enough that we keep coming back every week. By the time all is said and done, the $200 in hardware costs is about what I would have spent on the gas, beer, tickets, etc associated with getting out to jams and events that aren’t happening.
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    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlM View Post
    There are no cheap and easy answers.

    JamKazam is probably the most user friendly. There is a program whose name I do not recall from Stanford that is supposed to be better as far as getting good sound in synch. It is used by some serious jazz guys. But it really does require real computer science background to use.

    The other problem is physics. The signals take a certain amount of time to go through the cables. If you are more than a few hundred miles apart no program can make up for it. And a certain amount of time is processing. Even close by you have to have your internet connection plugged into the wall. Wireless does not cut it.

    At this point in time you will not find something that is push a button and go.
    Jacktrip is the Stanford program. It optimizes what the data that is sent over the internet to reduce the latency problem. It does require some pretty specific setup work on the computer.
    www.jacktrip.org
    https://ccrma.stanford.edu/software/jacktrip/

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    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    Quote Originally Posted by stringalong View Post
    So far, all the potential jam sites people have looked into are all very quirky, so I have a new plan/format for my musician friends. I'm hosting a weekly talent show for my old band members and a few others, on Zoom. That way, we can take turns playing and singing for each other. I just sent an invitation to two of my former band mates, and hopefully they can come to the Talent Show
    That is the real solution, I think. Simultaneity is hard enough to achieve in person. Over the internet it is impossible. Perhaps maybe someday it won't be, but the breakthrough will be a real innovation, not just doing what's being done but better.
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    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    Quote Originally Posted by jefflester View Post
    Jacktrip is the Stanford program. It optimizes what the data that is sent over the internet to reduce the latency problem. It does require some pretty specific setup work on the computer.
    www.jacktrip.org
    https://ccrma.stanford.edu/software/jacktrip/
    This looks pretty promising! Have you tried it out yet?
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    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    Quote Originally Posted by standing.wav View Post
    This looks pretty promising! Have you tried it out yet?
    Can't say I have. I was looking into it a few months and other things got in the way.

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    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    I don't think you're gonna get away from such delay in the near future. Here's my simplistic interpretation:

    Remember "static" on old-time radio & televison? It could come from many sources, like lightning, electric motors arcing, or the metal-core spark plug wires on my girlfriend's car driving by (yes, really!). Such intrusions can't completely go away when the signal is digital, but they are routinely minimised to the point of not very obvious. And that takes TIME: Send the signal, receive and record the signal, review the signal for errors, correct or minimise the errors, send the signal on to the next step. If it's a long chain of transmission, maybe includuing a sattelite or two, such correction will happen several times, each adding its little bit of delay. Send the signal out and back, and the time delay, from your viewpoint, doubles.

    The next time a TV interviewer in Washington has to wait 3 seconds for their subject in London to respond, you'll be reminded why your cross-town jam mate seems to play a half second behind the beat!
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    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    Quote Originally Posted by EdHanrahan View Post
    I don't think you're gonna get away from such delay in the near future. Here's my simplistic interpretation:

    Remember "static" on old-time radio & televison? It could come from many sources, like lightning, electric motors arcing, or the metal-core spark plug wires on my girlfriend's car driving by (yes, really!). Such intrusions can't completely go away when the signal is digital, but they are routinely minimised to the point of not very obvious. And that takes TIME: Send the signal, receive and record the signal, review the signal for errors, correct or minimise the errors, send the signal on to the next step. If it's a long chain of transmission, maybe includuing a sattelite or two, such correction will happen several times, each adding its little bit of delay. Send the signal out and back, and the time delay, from your viewpoint, doubles.

    The next time a TV interviewer in Washington has to wait 3 seconds for their subject in London to respond, you'll be reminded why your cross-town jam mate seems to play a half second behind the beat!
    You lose about .8 milliseconds for every 100 miles the signal travels over fiber optic cable. You can't fix that (the speed of light in a non-vacuum). That delay gets a lot worse every time you go through a switch or router, or convert from optical to copper, or those delays caused by your internet provider. Then there are the delays in your computer network card, operating system, microphone, and jam software. Even if your system is awesomely fast, the other players in you network are adding their delays as well. In short, no matter how good the software is, it can't compensate for all the transmission delays

  20. #18

    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    The JackTrip website, which jefflester shared earlier, has a really great explainer on internet latency. As others have noted, there's no getting around it, but there are ways to minimize it.

    https://www.jacktrip.org/technology.html
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  21. #19

    Default Re: Seeking a virtual program where we can jam

    I've been told about three other online jam sites. Supposedly one does not need special equipment to jam at at least some of these. Has anyone tried these?

    NimJam
    Jamulus (live jamming, software free)
    HX Stomp

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