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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: On line jammming


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/362320

banjukebox - Posted - 03/22/2020:  17:10:05


I haven't been able to get out to jams lately (sheltering in place), but today I participated in an on-line jam for the first time. Three musicians in different places: Fiddle, Guitar, and Banjo. We used a program called "JamKazam". It took a little while to figure it out, but once it was set up, it seemed to go pretty smoothly. There didn't seem to be any issues with lag. To use it, you need to connect your computer directly to the router (no WIFI). You also need a mic to hook up to the computer (either USB or through an audio interface), and headphones. Next time we're going to try a video interface as well.



Gotta do something to keep from going stir-crazy.



Anybody else have experience with this or other programs that might work?

banjoak - Posted - 03/22/2020:  20:21:39


I looked into and tried Jamkazm before, it works fine for swapping tunes and ideas. However actual jamming I found the latency barely doable, playing with someone always dragging the beat... to mostly not doable at all.  IIRC roundtrip was something like 30ms at best. But part was it involved inherent latency of too much total distance and across different networks, part over copper wire.



One thing noticed was, headphones can make it seem worse, not in actual latency but has to do with how we experience sound... some how easier to deal with in speakers and air.



Just out curiosity how far apart?



 

banjukebox - Posted - 03/22/2020:  21:09:24


banjoak 60 -80 miles? I think the program said my latency was 10 msec, which put me in the "good" category. How long ago did you try it? Things may have improved, or it may just be hardware related.

debmurphy1 - Posted - 03/23/2020:  02:52:32


I've been using Band in a box for ages and it works great!



PG Music





...Deb

ApplePie - Posted - 03/23/2020:  09:16:49


I tried JamKazam when it first came out. I tried to get an old-time jam experiment going, but had no takers. I did play banjo once with someone in Israel adding electric bass, though. It seemed to work well and was kind of fun.

banjukebox - Posted - 03/23/2020:  09:44:15


I tried to set up video relays today, but JamKazam doesn't recognize my webcam or video recorder. JK's help page gives a 404 error. Researching further, I found a discussion on Reddit where one participant felt that upgrading to Catalina on Mac made the video component incompatible.
Audio - only seems to work fine.

banjoak - Posted - 03/23/2020:  17:42:12


Great that it worked for you. In the end of the day that's all that matters.



I am interested in folks feedback on this. Can't recall last I used Jamkazam, but have used a similar setups over the years to do this, figuring out ways to improve. As I am being asked to help set up something for school district music teachers (similar but slightly different).



I encourage folks to try this... but just giving a certain heads up, why it doesn't work like the marketing for many folks; and how to improve it reduce frustration, and/or about it might be futile in some cases.



Certain latency is inherent to the overall system. You can pay attention to your settings and make tweaks bring it down to a minimum. Starting with same how to set up a DAW for best latency vs stability/jitter. Using low-latency driver or kernel helps... ASIO, Core, or Jack.  There are tweaks such as sample rate; frames/period; period/buffer; bit depth. The USB bus/buffer is generally not adjustable, but introduces lots of latency (PCIe or thunderbolt might be less, or get around this to a degree). With these there is latency in (analog to digital) and latency out (digital to analog). Actual, total 10ms  return would be really good for a DAW. BTW, DAWs do not always report the actual; you probably are not getting 10ms RTT, just one aspect).



Tele-jam is not just DAW. That now has to be transferred... over Network/TCP. There are some user settings, but most of this is out of your control... how the system has to exchange data packets, and make hops, not only quick but securely without drop-outs. City to city is pretty fast over optic. The biggest latency is what they call the last mile. Sometimes going 1 mile in town is slower than 100 miles. Depends what provider(s) are involved, if using fiber optic vs cable, and local usage. There are ways to test this, ping sort of works, but there are others like traceroute.  Download/upload speeds play a role, give an idea, but that is more about bandwidth... how much data per second; and not latency.



If anyone has suggestions of how to improve these, I would love to hear it.



----------



That said, I was not trying to discourage anyone... it's definitely worth playing around with... and may work fine for individuals (even with little tweaking). Just to note... it's not just the numbers, but perhaps about actual experience and/or expectations.



If quick enough to just seem like a bit of room reverb, and can make subconscious adaption. Often we can tolerate more live and open room, than in DAW recording session and headphones; especially in monitoring ourselves. Near-zero latency monitoring your instrument, separated from mix. As I mentioned previous, I found listening to the others via speakers felt better (just have to do like stage, watch the mic/mon set up to avoid feedback) - There are some other methods that some of those apps use. One is to use a universal metronome or click track. That each person times/syncs to that universal, instead of from each other... so if you get used to that, reduces the overall feel of latency to half.



Finally, keep in mind that the effect of latency is subjective; in what they might notice and/or tolerate. Similar to jamming with others, what might notice/tolerate in timing. A loose relaxed session with friends can be quite tolerable even if not perfect.



 

banjukebox - Posted - 03/23/2020:  21:55:57


We had another jam today (fiddle, banjo, guitar) all in different locations. We played for quite a bit longer today and I was able to listen more closely to the other participants. We used the metronome provided to keep us all at tempo. With closer listening, there was definitely a slight lag. I was concentrating on the fiddler - staying right in step - I heard the guitar player just slightly behind. I'm sure the other players heard the same thing with my playing. According to the website, our monitored lag was between 10 and 33 mSec. The main take-home, though, was that we had fun and didn't take the chance of spreading any communicable diseases.

banjoak - Posted - 03/24/2020:  18:08:16


If you want to improve the experience; from my past experience... the best latency results were using Jacktrip. If set up right was fairly good.



The main problem is getting folks set up on it; and intimidation factor. It's really not that complex to install, but.... 



1. It uses Jack, which is standard for Linux audio, DAWs, but works on Mac, (there is a version for Windows, integrating with ASIO). Everyone should or needs to have same settings for sample rate and frames.  



2. Jacktrip setup itself requires using a terminal window, command line prompts. It's just a few, but that aspect intimidates folks. The basic setting is not a lot, but you have to make sure to type in the commands exactly. Need to set up one person as server and one as client. (more than 2 requires an additional command instruction dealing with ports, again not complicated if follow instructions). There are additional commands and tweaks for improvement, again not overly complicated, but it starts requiring a little more.



For me, it actually took less time to setup than Jamkazam; but I am fairly used to Linux, Jack and terminal.



 

banjukebox - Posted - 03/24/2020:  20:41:34


banjoak Thanks for sending those suggestions along.

banjoak - Posted - 03/25/2020:  05:43:55


quote:

Originally posted by Cyndy

I tried JamKazam when it first came out. I tried to get an old-time jam experiment going, but had no takers. I did play banjo once with someone in Israel adding electric bass, though. It seemed to work well and was kind of fun.






I'm setting up a FHO tune swap session on Jamkazam for tomorrow evening, for FHO members.



Probably not jamming... I myself am too far away. But just to experiment, swap tunes, see if it might work for some folks closer. Am also working to get our local jam folks setup.



Played in some Jamkazam sessions last night... from France to Australia. It was interesting.



I might try to schedule a BHO one as well... or perhaps someone else would like to set it up?


Edited by - banjoak on 03/25/2020 05:52:48

banjoak - Posted - 03/27/2020:  03:36:40


So got a non-techy friend set up... thought I's post a bit of rough result.



This was a very rough initial test about 15 miles apart. With not optimum setup, no tweaks. Banjo using computer mic, and on wifi, and not accustomed to playing with headphones, mix.



It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Could be tweaked to be better... but might work just fine for some folks; loose casual jamming, practice, possibly teaching... My friend was quite satisfied with out session for what he wants out of it.



Interesting the program lets you record the session, and saves individual tracks as well as mix. So here's a rough initial test.



 


Aradobanjo - Posted - 04/02/2020:  04:32:44


Hello,



Wow! I am actively attempting to get Jamkazam running. I would like a poll of your ISP bandwidth from those who have it working.



Too many ISP throttle back speeds from stated levels. Too much demand on a subscription line is problematic also. I use speedtest.net to understand network saturation. Ensure all wiring is CAT 6 rated minimum.

banjukebox - Posted - 04/02/2020:  08:22:08


I'm currently having problems with JK. I tried to sign into a jam last night and was unable to. Tried rebooting- no help. Tried re - downloading the APP and then my computer tells me it can't open it because of the possibility of malware. Tried on another computer- same thing.

BrooksMT - Posted - 04/02/2020:  08:39:03


I see slower response from my ISP on my emails and other uses. Also, I can't open multiple copies of websites, eg. opening all the BHO threads I am interested in.

So, maybe the jam online software is normally fine, but under current situation of "everyone home who's bored is going online", the jam software is running slow or not at all.

banjoak - Posted - 04/03/2020:  00:07:36


quote:

Originally posted by Aradobanjo

Hello,



Wow! I am actively attempting to get Jamkazam running. I would like a poll of your ISP bandwidth from those who have it working.



Too many ISP throttle back speeds from stated levels. Too much demand on a subscription line is problematic also. I use speedtest.net to understand network saturation. Ensure all wiring is CAT 6 rated minimum.






In looking into some of this, it's pointed out on some sites that bandwidth is not necessarily the most critical aspect... (though can play a role). Bandwidth is "how much" data can go thru per second. A duplex audio alone isn't a particularly high amount of data... if that's all that's going thru. Each network hops/buffers and distance add certain latency no matter how little data is going thru. But of course if others in your house (or perhaps neighborhood) are using a lot of bandwidth, (such as streaming videos), then that will add latency and/or network jitter.



I have had reasonable success connecting locally in town (20-30ms total), probably within about 15 miles; but a lot depends on which individuals, their hardware setup and specific internet connection. Total RTT latency is your hardware latency + their hardware latency + network latency.



Interesting, some folks are using fast wifi (WLAN) on their end and we can still achieve about about 30 ms total latency.


Edited by - banjoak on 04/03/2020 00:09:54

Aradobanjo - Posted - 04/03/2020:  03:32:48


Hello,

This pandemic and its fallout is straining every optional service provided to us. The note on their site says their Test Server is failing. Hmm. Singular words hint a limited vision scope. But DNS says this is behind a network F5 like load balancer.

Demand is bigger than anyone anticipated. Even the backbone between cities may not be sufficient for a total shutdown.

The case of a 60 person choir in Skagit County Washington (having 40 getting COVID-19 with 2 dead so far) says breathing spreads the virus. Yes. That is obvious. But, being deadly is the reason for the national self imposed quarantine. Other countries didn’t think they could be impacted.

No need to stress our healthcare with an illness which requires specific costly equipment be highly trained professionals. A company now sterilizes N95 masks in bulk. This disease is very costly in multiple ways.

Thank you for the responses. The replies confirm my suspicions.

On a separate option, ZOOM seems to be working.

banjukebox - Posted - 04/03/2020:  07:17:33


Really! you can jam using Zoom??? Didn't know that.
I'm back on Jam Kazam. They sent a new upgrade for Mac OS Catalina. Now the computer recognizes my webcam, but no one on the other end could see my video. (I could see them). I'm using cat 5 cables and they seem to be working ok.

Aradobanjo - Posted - 04/05/2020:  06:45:56


Hello,

CAT 5E is the minimum copper type to use with multimedia. CAT 6 or better is recommended within a building. Outside of the building is where bottlenecks are guaranteed to exist. Many ISP providers are held together with duct tape and baling wire.

Copper is copper. The number and frequency of wires and twists improve the bandwidth.

BruceS2 - Posted - 04/10/2020:  17:41:52


I've also just setup and tested JamKazam. It's interesting. Worked ok with 3 or 4 local players but others would just jump in and that tended to upset the sound. Last night was HA, CA and NY. Sorta like musical ham radio, if any you remember those days:)

As latency hits over 40ms, it's noticeable and hard to play unless you are used to the other players. I played with my friend, he on his mando and me on the banjo and would dance around the timing (we were at 50ms)...he would adjust to me and me to him and the delay would change, la-de-la. I want to try it with good solid bass and guitar with some song we all know and see if its any better. Need to make it work...we could be on lock down for another month or two.

Its a peer-to-peer network so there is no server, other than to set up the sessions. So performance is all about fast audio gear and the Internet. I'm on a 5 year old MacPro Quadcore and a direct wired Internet using AT&T...my Speedtest speed is typically 100mb down, 20 up and ping is 22ms 50miles away.

BruceS2 - Posted - 04/10/2020:  18:05:52


quote:

Originally posted by banjukebox

Really! you can jam using Zoom??? Didn't know that.

I'm back on Jam Kazam. They sent a new upgrade for Mac OS Catalina. Now the computer recognizes my webcam, but no one on the other end could see my video. (I could see them). I'm using cat 5 cables and they seem to be working ok.






I've tried Zoom...didn't work at all for me...audio is not full duplex...whoever is loudest takes over and the of the rest sound is reduced...makes for real mess.  Did not like it at all.  Hence the search for something like JamKazam.  



By the way, it seems JamKazam was developed back about 5 or 6 years ago...they made a good effort and spent some serious dollars.  But it must not have taken off and lost funding.  Its now a bit of zombie app now...I think one of the developers is trying to support it but its free, so part-time?  I'd gladly pay something to use it if there was a bit more support. Now is when we need this!!

banjoak - Posted - 04/10/2020:  21:36:51


quote:

Originally posted by BruceS2

I've also just setup and tested JamKazam. It's interesting. Worked ok with 3 or 4 local players but others would just jump in and that tended to upset the sound.






In Jamkazam you setup sessions so thar other can: 1. join at will;  2. ask to join by approval;  3. by RSVP invitation.



As far as latency... there might be some tweaks that might reduce it, keep it <30. For me, 40ms gets fairly unusable for most moderately fast music.



One thing that helps is tyo designate one person as the "master" and the other(s) sync to that person; probably main rhythm player. The metronome or click track works too.



 

BruceS2 - Posted - 04/10/2020:  21:56:20


Yes, the idea of syncing off one player is what I want to try next.

Disco Kid - Posted - 04/11/2020:  08:56:42


I haven't been on Jam Kazam in a while. I've tried many times but eventually give up.



The only time that I've gotten decent results with JamKazam was with a dedicated workstation (music only, no games, office applications, etc), a Presonus firewire interface and plugged hardline straight into the cable modem, not through a router which is a security roll of the dice. Even then it was touch and go but that was also before we upgraded to 100mbs. Anything to reduce latency. I will say the higher bandwidth quality Firewire interface over a USB2 interface was a big difference. I'd tried the inexpensive Behringer they recommended with no luck. The generic drivers were terrible.



I haven't tried a good usb-C interface yet, still figuring which one to go with but they should work real well. Good not necessarily being expensive. Presonus, MOTU, etc.


Edited by - Disco Kid on 04/11/2020 09:08:36

Disco Kid - Posted - 04/11/2020:  09:05:47


quote:

Originally posted by BruceS2

quote:

Originally posted by banjukebox

Really! you can jam using Zoom??? Didn't know that.

I'm back on Jam Kazam. They sent a new upgrade for Mac OS Catalina. Now the computer recognizes my webcam, but no one on the other end could see my video. (I could see them). I'm using cat 5 cables and they seem to be working ok.






I've tried Zoom...didn't work at all for me...audio is not full duplex...whoever is loudest takes over and the of the rest sound is reduced...makes for real mess.  Did not like it at all.  Hence the search for something like JamKazam.  



By the way, it seems JamKazam was developed back about 5 or 6 years ago...they made a good effort and spent some serious dollars.  But it must not have taken off and lost funding.  Its now a bit of zombie app now...I think one of the developers is trying to support it but its free, so part-time?  I'd gladly pay something to use it if there was a bit more support. Now is when we need this!!






It was an Austin Texas funded site. Any time I log on it seems to want to update so it's not Zombie and they have been adding jam tracks, etc. They offered crowdfunded, dedicated interfaces a while back that seemed to work well but they just disappeared. Their user group/support site was very active and well moderated. All the makings for a successful product that just couldn't connect people.

lavrgs - Posted - 04/11/2020:  09:26:51


I am starting to play with Ninjam. It's a module within the REAPER DAW*. It takes care of lag in a unique (?) way. You are actually playing behind by X number of beats...if a measure is 16 beats you don't hear anything for that initial time (upon start 1-16) then you hear what others are playing (beats 17-32) assume you are playing 17-32 then everyone hears you 33-48. Maybe this is too much information and it is explained better on the Ninjam forum... They have been working extensively to make improvements on the fly as the Covid thing make it a high priority. This includes setting up a bunch of servers and creating the ability to have "private rooms" *

REAPER can be used for free if there is an interesting trying it out HTH


Edited by - lavrgs on 04/11/2020 09:30:28

Aradobanjo - Posted - 04/19/2020:  06:32:30


Hello,

Thank you for the suggestions. I researched NINJAM and came up with Windows 98. Current support was non existent.

I am sticking with JamKazam. I figured out the peculiarities of the hardware I chose. Supported hardware is key. Using the manufacturer’s ASIO driver is best. Using ASIO4ALL is a 2017 software package which will link all audio hardware devices under ASIO control. My sessions are now between yellow and green.

banjoak - Posted - 04/19/2020:  15:33:17


I have also been able to get some reasonable results with some others on Jamkazam as on Jamulus. They both work about the same, as far as creating a peer to peer connection, just different interface. Jamulus is a much simpler user interface and easier for many to install and set up, can be used in Linux as well. It's an open source project, (not a big commecial venture) and the developer has been active and very responsive to users (and coders) suggestions, working on improving aspects on daily basis.



The initial main issue folks have any program is just sound equipment; quite similar to if using a DAW. Understanding it, and setting it to get optimum performance/stability/quality. Then a big part is learning to listen/monitor differently then they are used to. That is, some folks can have similar difficulty in recording situations and getting in sync. with previous tracks. One factor shows up, is difference in how folks listen to beat (even acoustically), how solid/steady they play on the beat, that affects the outcome.


Edited by - banjoak on 04/19/2020 15:37:13

Disco Kid - Posted - 05/16/2020:  21:36:00


A good article I saw today.



acousticguitar.com/virtual-jam...eal-time/

banjukebox - Posted - 05/16/2020:  22:10:50


Thanks for sending that info!

TheChaplain - Posted - 05/16/2020:  22:49:19


Very nice! Do you know of any chat rooms for acoustic players? No one seems to utilize the one on here.

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