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Apr 5, 2020 - 6:05:16 PM
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2457 posts since 9/13/2009

Been interesting setting folks up with this, various options. Jamkazam seems the easiest option for most folks... and it has some reasonable success.

I would encourage folks to ignore the myths, give it a try. It really isn''t that complex to set up; the sound quality has been mostly very good; especially with good (DAW type) audio setup. But doesn't really require much special equipment or geeky technical stuff (there might b a "slight" learning curve for some folks, but can usually be fixed fairly easily).

So far can get it to work fairly well, but some bugs to work out for some folks. We had the regular weekly jam last Thursday, with 7 participants. Have also been doing some local one on one or with 2-3 participant jams with good players and it works pretty well.

Could get a reasonable doable latency (<30) in town with most folks, even fairly basic setup; some using their built in computer/laptop mic; some using wifi to their router (still works). Some using pretty old slower computers, (like mac book from 2009); it's not that critical.

Have done some longer distance, getting (40-50ms from Alaska to West coast); and there are different ways to play that it can sort of work;  at least for some tele-music experience (some jamming does work).  If noting else, hearing others from all over the world play tunes and then being able to real time discuss, is quite interesting. 

Again I would encourage folks to give it a try for yourself... it's not difficult; opens a lot of possibilities.

I will post another about some observations about what folks issues and find improve the experience.

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 04/05/2020 18:07:47

Apr 5, 2020 - 6:30:34 PM
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2457 posts since 9/13/2009

Internet and software aside, a big initial issues some folks I've been working with have been having is some basic stuff. Most folks who have done  recording in Audacity, Garageband or any DAW, have easier time it's essentially the same setup and experience.

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First is just understanding the hardware and set-up. It's not overly complicated to set up or resolve issues. It doesn't take complex set up... nor very expensive or special equip. (that's perhaps another post). Just pointing out that is an intimidating/ frustrating part for some, where they get stuck... but with patience, it is usually easy to fix.

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The other observation I notice is in part is just getting used to playing in microphone and monitoring yourself and others via headphones, getting the sound balance right (and dealing with hearing no room reverb/latency. This is the same if you were in a studio, (not over the internet) - It can through peoples experience and affect timing, takes a bit getting used to.

Of course some of the issue related to this... is the basic music skills and listening skills; ability to hold a steady beat. That in a live jam you can seem to perhaps tolerate (or ignore?) loose sloppy timing a bit, rush, drag and catchup seems easier. With mics and headphones, that seems much more noticeable. Some folks never really had great listening skills, themselves to others (esp listening to the beat), this monitoring amplifies that issue.

There are a few things that can help, it really helps if one person can just keep holding steady beat, and everyone focus on that. Or using click track/metronome. But again these things can be a bit of getting used to. If you do it long enough, get comfortable with it, it usually gets more relaxed and better. F

Again, some of this is also a bit of paradigm shift for some folks, the experience of playing music. Not unsurmountable. or some folks, this process (like recording)... working thru this might even help improve your listening and timing skills. (because you have to). And perhaps might be a bit of paradigm shift in music interactions, teaching, and performing as well.

I had an idea about how busking online... maybe with like Facebook Live, or some youtube streaming?

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The internet latency of course is part of the issue...  it compounds the above. But if get used to the above, the internet lag can be easier to deal with. As mentioned before, playing with solid players, esp if used to recording, the experience can be fairly good with latency is less than 30ms participants.

FWIW, once in Jamkazam with another, gives a total latency measure between players, not sure how accurate, but give good guide. There are other apps you can also do other speed/latency tests between you and folks you want to play with. For rough estimate of how much distance, I believe speed of light thru backbone, adds about 1 millisecond RTT per 62 miles. (most of the speed issue is the last mile, from backbone to your house).

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 04/05/2020 18:37:06

Apr 5, 2020 - 6:52:50 PM

57 posts since 9/17/2017

Tried to access this. Sounds very cool but it seems like that they are not able to handle the demand at present.

Apr 5, 2020 - 7:20:50 PM

2457 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by indianajones

Tried to access this. Sounds very cool but it seems like that they are not able to handle the demand at present.


Not that I'm aware of... seems  to be working fine.

However... folks were having issue with, not the server, but how they tried to sign up due to their app/interface... like getting past the I'm not a robot thing. It seems to work best if you sign up online for account first. Then download the app to your computer. And ignore some of the things that indicate it not  working.

There servers aren't really doing much... just initially making an account, and providing a point to download  app; which doesn't take much space or traffic.

Once you have the app set up and running it's on your local machine. The actual audio/video stream doesn't go thru their server, you are just doing a peer to peer connection. The server just manages the session peers... very small

Apr 5, 2020 - 7:33:49 PM

57 posts since 9/17/2017

I will try it on my laptop using windows. I use Ubuntu on my desktop. I created an account but it errorred when I tried to download software for Linux. I see that there is another thread related to this. It let me search sessions but I did not see the one you mentioned you had set up for Wednesday.

Apr 5, 2020 - 8:23:54 PM

2457 posts since 9/13/2009

Yeah, I don't see that they have the actual app working for Linux. I would much prefer that. Not sure if it would work under WINE (runs windows apps on shell within Linux). For now am using Windows 10. It works on Mac OSX, but I think you need 10.9?

The Wed session I set up was just one time, so expired. I think there's a way to do recurring schedule... however, the time and date always seems messed up, I think you have to use GMT.

If folks get set up, and are interested, we can set up a time, to play around with it, test lag, tweak, maybe swap a tune.

Apr 5, 2020 - 11:38:07 PM

2135 posts since 8/23/2008

I eventually downloaded the proper driver for the Focusrite and haven't had a decent connection since, it's been so bad I wouldn't even try to play.

Apr 6, 2020 - 9:23:07 PM

2457 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by indianajones

I will try it on my laptop using windows. I use Ubuntu on my desktop. I created an account but it errorred when I tried to download software for Linux. I see that there is another thread related to this. It let me search sessions but I did not see the one you mentioned you had set up for Wednesday.


The session was only set up for one time; expired. If folks are interested can do another FHO session for testing.

Yeah Jamkazam don't seem to actually have a Linux version; which I would prefer. Not sure if it would work under WINE. There are some other Linux options, like JackkTrip, Jamulus, and SoundJack(and others?) I've done those and they work, (on Linux OSX, and Win) but set up, while not really that hard, is probably less user friendly. You have to be use jackd and Qjackctl. (in repo or GitHub) Installing the actual JackTrip/Jamulus/SoundJack apps requires a bit of command line, and/or building; and of course tweaking. These would work well for a band, or friends; but most of the folks just don't have the patience to do these.

Apr 6, 2020 - 9:41:06 PM
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2457 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by buckhenry

I eventually downloaded the proper driver for the Focusrite and haven't had a decent connection since, it's been so bad I wouldn't even try to play.


Not sure what mean by connection, but to say the Focusrite (or any sound equip/drivers/apps) have nothing to do with Internet connection.

Lot's of folks use Focusrite, it works great. I believe Focusrite has native ASIO drivers that should work great. (check their support pages for driver downloads). Using the  ASIO for mic and headphones should bypass the computers soundcard completely.

Although should work with WDM drivers as well. The problem is likely a conflict with computer sound card and those drivers. Realtek esp have some issues, solved by going to Realtek and installing those. As well some Sound Control Panel set up that might be conflicting.

You can test and understand your setup by using a DAW, there are some free ones.

Good luck.

Apr 7, 2020 - 1:16:32 AM

2135 posts since 8/23/2008

Thanks George, I have since discovered the problem is my computer runs to full capacity when on JamKazam causing the audio issues. Im in the process of upgrading to 64bits.

Apr 7, 2020 - 6:05:03 AM

2457 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by buckhenry

Thanks George, I have since discovered the problem is my computer runs to full capacity when on JamKazam causing the audio issues. Im in the process of upgrading to 64bits.


It's probably not Jamkazam; but rather just trying to optimize the audio like the Focusrite for ultra low-latency; or quality. (same issue with DAW setups).

The lower latencey and higher quality you go the  more you push the computer. For quality stick to 16 bit/48000 sample rate. 24 bit sampling adds unneeded dynamic range, and a lot more of computing. 96K, or 192K is unnecessary. 

You can mess with the buffer and frame/period settings and opt for perhaps a little more latency, (less work, more stable); should be able to get 256 buffer, perhaps 128. (frame is usually 2 or 3).

Apr 7, 2020 - 6:27:30 AM

2457 posts since 9/13/2009

I was messing around with Jamulus on Linux and got online with a few folks, it works fairly similarly. I guess the Windows install is even easier (I'll try that soon). It also works for OSX.

In some ways is easier to use, has less bells and whistles, more stable. In Linux I can route everything thru my DAW; and that also allows midi. Haven't quite figured out their listed public servers quite work.. and most are very far from me. But seems there's a way to make a local private server, to which you give bandmates the IP. I'll be looking into that.  If anyone wants to connect (despite latency); let me know.

Apr 7, 2020 - 4:14:19 PM

2457 posts since 9/13/2009

Update:

So I installed Jamulus on Windows and it is really easy to install and set up... like 5 minutes.

It also comes with server app; for easy to set up a public server connection; for your band, jam mates. I made one called FHO jam... worked fine. I disconnected for now. Still trying to work on some private settings; the public looks like anyone join.

So for an option, and for Linux folks that program seems to work as well. (works on OSX too) - Linux took a bit more to install, maybe 20 minutes build... but follow instructions works fine. I like Linux because I can route things thru DAW, including midi. Still messing with that.

More basic GUI interface... so might seem easier for folks. No video with this... if that's important, just does audio.

Apr 7, 2020 - 7:07:06 PM

57 posts since 9/17/2017

I did not have any luck with jamkazam on windows 10 laptop running ethernet cable for connection. Giving up on that. Might try the jamulus option especially if I can run it on Linux. No video is a bummer.

Apr 7, 2020 - 7:43:45 PM

2457 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by indianajones

I did not have any luck with jamkazam on windows 10 laptop running ethernet cable for connection. Giving up on that. Might try the jamulus option especially if I can run it on Linux. No video is a bummer.


Downloading and installing the app?

or setting up and running the app?

Seems to work fine on Windows 10. Other than, as mentioned...  some sound card setup that might need to be done. But that will need to be done no matter what program. Did you set up a audio profile..add gear? Some folks skipped that step and it doesn't work. (don't use system default)

The Jamulus app was easier to install on Windows than Linux. AFAIK ther is no auto install, so you have to build it from the tarball. Not too difficult, read and follow instructions. (including part about Qt5).

Apr 12, 2020 - 8:40:49 AM

Doglady

USA

7 posts since 6/23/2007

Are headphones and mics required to use JamKazam? How about any other associated software? Our little jam group is only interested in an online place to play together, not in recording or fancy stuff.

Thanks!

Apr 12, 2020 - 2:21:45 PM

2457 posts since 9/13/2009

Yes a microphone is needed to pick up the sound; it doesn't have to be a high end mic, some folks have built in mic in monitor/laptop/webcam and just use that. You can also find inexpensive mic to plug in that would work, which allows you to play closer to the mic.

Yes, you will likely need headphones or earbuds... otherwise it will echo or feedback squeal. Again doesn't need to be high end... make sure it has a long enough chord to  play comfortably.

The only other things might need is an ethernet cable to connect your computer to the router. WiFi does work though, just not as well.

Shouldn't need any other software. Might have to play around with tweaking settings to get reasonable results.

Good luck

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