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Your Favorite Methods to jamming online with a DAW & Live instruments?


Brisbot
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Friend and I like to jam together but being around each other physically is a one month in 2 or 3 years thing. We hang out and jam a lot during that time but it always feels bittersweet we never get much done musicwise. Every year we come back and enough has changed to where we prefer to make new sounds and it's been like this for a few years now.

So I've been trying to think of ways to jam online. No different than jumping into a multiplayer game. That would open up a lot of windows to where we don't have to be physically present, and could do frequent 1 or 2 hour jams.

I use FL Studio primarily for collaboration, and he likes to play guitar/piano/sax live. So as a setup idea, it would be coming from his end as he would have to be the one with no latency. Whereas everything I do which is digital and manipulated in a DAW, can afford to be if we are trying to make interesting sounds.

So what methods are out there? I have googled it but nothing beats first hand experience for this kinda thing.

Edited by Brisbot
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Me and @TubularCorporation have been using Ninjam (https://www.cockos.com/ninjam/) for something like 1,5 years now to do a weekly jam session online and a while ago we also started livestreaming the whole thing as it happens. You can run your own private server and there is a VST version that is compatible with the protocol that you can just stick on your master buss in any DAW (https://jamtaba-music-web-site.appspot.com/).

How it works is basically you decide a kind of master tempo (like 120bpm) and a delay factor (default is 8 beats -> 2 bars at 4/4) and then you always hear the others' sound exactly after that delay. This means that everything can be perfectly in sync when it comes to beats and all that, but you also do not hear what the others are playing in real time.

It really depends on the type of music that you are making, but we have found that it works nicely and it's fun to improvise from the comfort of your nicely sounding studio and not some seedy basement where someone has urinated in the bass cabinet.

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On 11/18/2021 at 2:24 AM, thawkins said:

Me and @TubularCorporation have been using Ninjam (https://www.cockos.com/ninjam/) for something like 1,5 years now to do a weekly jam session online and a while ago we also started livestreaming the whole thing as it happens. You can run your own private server and there is a VST version that is compatible with the protocol that you can just stick on your master buss in any DAW (https://jamtaba-music-web-site.appspot.com/).

How it works is basically you decide a kind of master tempo (like 120bpm) and a delay factor (default is 8 beats -> 2 bars at 4/4) and then you always hear the others' sound exactly after that delay. This means that everything can be perfectly in sync when it comes to beats and all that, but you also do not hear what the others are playing in real time.

It really depends on the type of music that you are making, but we have found that it works nicely and it's fun to improvise from the comfort of your nicely sounding studio and not some seedy basement where someone has urinated in the bass cabinet.

Thanks! I was hoping someone would reply to this thread though Two Player DAWing hasn't caught on yet really. Every person I tell about this are surprised it's even possible and like me initially dismiss it due to the assumption there would be no way around the lag.

That said my friend will be moving halfway across the world soon, so hopefully the lag doesn't become a problem then. 

 

Out of curiosity, how good is your internet and your friends? I have to use my phone as 4g tether so my latency is gonna be like... 30 or 40ms. Then plus his latency.

Have you tried any others? Or looked at them in comparison? There seem to be a lot of options now.

Edited by Brisbot
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1 hour ago, Brisbot said:

Thanks! I was hoping someone would reply to this thread though Two Player DAWing hasn't caught on yet really. Every person I tell about this are surprised it's even possible and like me initially dismiss it due to the assumption there would be no way around the lag.

That said my friend will be moving halfway across the world soon, so hopefully the lag doesn't become a problem then. 

 

Out of curiosity, how good is your internet and your friends? I have to use my phone as 4g tether so my latency is gonna be like... 30 or 40ms. Then plus his latency.

Have you tried any others? Or looked at them in comparison? There seem to be a lot of options now.

If you are asking about the lag, it means you did not get the point of Ninjam at all.

The way Ninjam works is that it's not real-time, you always hear the other person 4 seconds later (if you set tempo at 120bpm). But it will always be synchronized to bpm which is cool if you are doing electronic music obviously.

So as long as your latency is below 4 seconds (that is 4000 four thousand milliseconds), and you can send receive like 500 kilobits of data per second (this is approximately 64 kilobytes, 0,06 megabytes per second). I feel like this should be doable on 3G and definitely on 4G if you have a nice connection.

I have a fibre connection at home, but Ninjam needs ridiculously little bandwidth:

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The main requirement for running the server is outbound bandwidth. For example, a 4 person jam needs approximately 768kbps of outbound (and only 240kbps inbound) bandwidth, and a 8 person jam requires approximately 3mbps of outbound (and 600kbps inbound) bandwidth.

 

Really, if you have two laptops at home or something like that, just try it out and see how it works and whether you feel like this way of jamming works for you.

I don't know what other collaboration things there are because a) I never did much research and b) there physically does not and can not exist anything that can do realtime jamming without something like 100-200ms of lag.  I guess there is Endlessss, which kind of works on the same principle - you have loops loops loops looops did I say loops and other people are making loops and you can use those loops in your loops and then you mess around with the loops.

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ninjam looks interesting, need to try that out. What worked best for me is jammr+audio routing software, with a free account you get a 90kbps .ogg stream that is perfectly in sync. BPM fluctuates a little, but identically for everyone so you get these mad delay shifting FX artifacts, it's great.

Now to figure out the technology to find people to jam with.. :catcry:

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4 hours ago, Rubin Farr said:

Doesn’t your phone get crazy hot using hotspot for extended periods of time?

I tether it directly to my computer or laptop using PdaNet for Android: http://pdanet.co/

If you have iphone there are tethering options too. 

It works pretty well. 20-40ms latency in online games and such. Variable download speed depending on time of day. From 500 kb/s to 1.5 mb/s. When I have to hotspot it's usually like... 60-80ms latency and 300-500 kb/s so yeah tether is much better. When 5G finally comes to my area I'll finally have a decent internet for the first time ever.

And my phone doesn't get hot at all really, even if I have to DL something overnight.

 

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f you are asking about the lag, it means you did not get the point of Ninjam at all.

yeesh, nevermind then.

Edited by Brisbot
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