Jamming Online (Jamulus and other apps)

Hello everyone…

As I am about to complete a year with my bass learning journey, it always saddened me not being able to play with other musicians due to all this limited freedom period (Covid-19 for people who will read this 5 years later)…

I have made several experiments with Zoom and skype but most of it was with friends that don’t have the gear investment (external audio interface or a decent microphone)…

Last week I heard about Jamming online with dedicated software and had a chance to try out Jamulus! In my first night I got very very lucky and met a Turkish drummer who has been jamming there for over a month now.

With most servers being in Europe I get about 10-25ms latency most of the time and it is absolutely fine.

I noticed that this topic was not discussed here to the depth (at least not with Jamulus) and what I would like to offer additionally having the “B2B Hangs” on Jamulus!

I have followed @PamPurrs @JerryP and @peterhuppertz 's work on the subject but could not participate my self due to my bad timing and maybe with Jamulus that can also be rejuvenated!

For whom who wants to check out how it is here is a video!

I am also considering to start a server for B2B on weekends or late night during the week days.

Cheers
Fahri

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Hi @Fahri - wow, that looks complicated - especially for the guy setting up the server…

I have been dabbling a bit with JamKazam and, while there are also a number of parameters you need to set and tweak, it seems a bit more streamlined to get success. I have jammed with a keyboard player and a drummer (e-drums) the other day and, after some initial struggles, it worked fine. I was hooked up by cable to my router, while the other two used wireless… they have now recognized that this is not the best way to do it and will in the future also be wired.

Is there a cost associated with Jamulus? Because there is for JamKazam, if you intend to use it more seriously and more regularly. On the other hand, they have lots of features and additional options, such as making your own mixes, as well as playalongs (with stems) that you can buy for an extra fee and then, for us, mute the bass track to play along and practice (and record!).

It also should give you video with your bandmates, but we haven’t done that yet for fear of getting latency issues… so, yeah, it works, you can talk to the others, but you can’t see them, which is still less than optimal for interaction with other musicians.

Interesting topic, for sure…

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Hey there! Well setting up a server is indeed complicated but also not immediately necessary. You just download the software and the available public servers pop up. Of course if you are on a public server anyone can jump in anytime so for a band practice one should invest a little bit of time to figure it out.

Here is a more written guide

That is the coolest part. Jamulus is open source and free. They accept donations and/or help for develeopment, troubleshooting etc. That is why it is so spartan (only the server can record I believe and not so many fancy things otherwise) but it gets the job done well.

What you play into your audio interface goes to server and comes back to you with other people’s music combined in stereo. They suggest you not to use the local monitoring so that you can hear yourself in sync with others.

I have also come across a group of people who are trying to make it run on Android. My current instructor in Turkey does not have a PC but a really good android phone for example and I have been thinking to lend a hand on the development on spare time…

That is indeed a big no no. Because WiFi works with buffering the data and here everything should be streamed in real time almost like the radio. In fact sometimes I cannor resist the urge to look up the chords of a song and just clicking the link of Chrome causes a drop in sound quality.

So they suggest:
-External Audio interface (for ASIO drivers because windows or mac OSx drivers are simply too slow)

  • Ethernet cable connection to network
  • No bluetooth or wireless headphones or instruments (obviously they add to latency)
  • Close every other app that might be using the network (also Chrome even if you are not browsing)

I chose to browse with my phone if I need to. Also use a mixer if I want to introduce some structural sound like a drum machine or metronome…

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This guy accumulated tons of information on the subject. It is an easy read too!

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@Fahri that link is indeed gold, if you want to understand how to us it.
I’ve tried this before and couldn’t get it to work. (Used an older laptop with Linux) I’ll give it another try, thanks for the info👍

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Thanks for this. Our singer moved out of state (also a close friend). He happens to be an IT guru, so he will set this up, and if it is decent it could enable us to continue forward!

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Thank you so much for this. Will try it with a couple of friends and let you know how it worked!

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This is a really cool idea. Unfortunately my computer & bass stuff is 3 rooms away from my modem/router so kind of impossible for me to plug in directly via ethernet (sad face).

Would having a big ethernet cable just for those occasions be out of the question?

Btw, I followed the tutorial. The only extra thing I had to do, was installing the ASIO drivers (i’m on a pc). Hopefully will try it with real people over the weekend.

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Yeah I might try that, though the cable would probably need to be close to 100 feet long so not sure if that would hurt the latency much. Also don’t have ethernet port on my laptop, but they do make adapters. Will give it a shot if in-person jamming continues being inadvisable for much longer.

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@bjams the length of your cable is most likely not a factor in your overall network latency. I wouldn’t worry about it.

I agree to @Mike_NL 100 feet is nothing for an ethernet cable. They sell those things up to 100 meters. Mine is some cheap stuff that I bought from a dollar shop 25 meter long and works just fıne…

I was having other people mostly higher volume than me by the way and asked about it on the Facebook page (really hot comunity there!) And this response really did the trick tonight

Set the new client level at 75%. (By default it is %100)

If there are a lot of people you previously encountered in the server, then press Ctrl + L to reset everyone in the room to 75%. Then if you are quiet, then you have extra boost over others…

Reset clients to new client level is also in the view menu

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I install JamKazam yesterday…a friend sent me an invite for today…he started the session… after a little operator error on both ends - headphones in DAW not AI and a microphone not plugged in tight - we went right to jamming…easy peasy and still free

That sounds great mate. I didn’t have a chance to try Jamkazaam out yet. I can see that it is the similar principle with Jamulus

I wasn’t getting along with JamKazam. Might give it another try. Haven’t tried Jamulus yet. Main issue for me is that the group I play with isn’t very interested in online jamming. They just keep waiting for lockdown to end (we all live within 5 min of each other).

One thing we did like though was Soundtrap (by Spotify). However, that is more like baton passing. You basically can record tracks individually on the same song and then see what each other are doing.

That was my problem as well. My friends back in Turkey are not invested in this tech. (audio interface, stable internet connection etc) so I did what I always do when I start a new thing…

Instead if wasting energy trying to pull my friends in, I go out alone and find people who are already doing it…

Jamulus is great for that and Jamkazaam seems to be too!

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