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paulbuzz

Online live musical collaboration without lag... How?

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Apologies in advance if this topic has already been well covered somewhere here.

In our current socially-isolated conditions, I've been wondering about the prospects of playing music online together with others.

I've really only got as far as realising that the most obvious options (using a webcam with Zoom, Skype etc) seem to be out of the question, as there's far too much lag to make it possible. (Seems to be usually about a third or half a second, as far as I can tell - I'm not sure how you would measure it accurately.)

Not sure where the delay might originate (cam, browser, internet connection...?) , or whether it could be reduced to an acceptable amount.

So... has anybody here managed to do this successfully without a whole load of grief?
What do I/we need to do?

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Jamakazam. Loads of grief though. I could not have set it up myself. If you can deal with ASIO settings, buffers etc and will to put a couple of hours tweaking in then you should get it working. I would work in tandem with someone who sings and plays acoustic guitar and who knows also know what they are doing. It’s not perfect but it’s not bad.....slight latency and some clipping. We use audio only btw

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I can lend you our guitarist who seems to play ahead of the beat quite often.

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There’s a tool in Reaper that I’m told works well. It’s called NinJam, it actually uses the latency, rather than trying to get rid of it. I haven’t used it myself, I know people who have. 

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12 minutes ago, ambient said:

There’s a tool in Reaper that I’m told works well. It’s called NinJam, it actually uses the latency, rather than trying to get rid of it. I haven’t used it myself, I know people who have. 

From reading https://www.cockos.com/ninjam/ it sounds interesting but also a bit odd - it's not "real time"; instead, when you are recording the current measure, you're actually playing along to the previous measure of all the other musicians. 
So it might work better for riff-based music, but not sure what happens if e.g. there are many chord changes.
 

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5 minutes ago, jrixn1 said:

From reading https://www.cockos.com/ninjam/ it sounds interesting but also a bit odd - it's not "real time"; instead, when you are recording the current measure, you're actually playing along to the previous measure of all the other musicians. 
So it might work better for riff-based music, but not sure what happens if e.g. there are many chord changes.
 

It worked for the person who told me about it. He recorded an album remotely; across a continent with a violinist. I get the impression it was quite complex music. I’m trying it in a few days time with someone I know. I’ll let you know how I get on.

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Thanks for the replies, folks.

JamKazam looks interesting and nicely thought out. Lowlandtrees' experience of the amount of fiddling and grief involved is somewhat offputting but not unexpected.

Reaper's Ninjam also sounds interesting if a bit mysterious! I'll investigate further.

I imagine that loads of people would like to be able to jam online like this, so the fact that so few people actually seem to be doing it may be a fair indication of how hard it is to get it to work satisfactorily!

In general there seems to be a consensus that you're always likely to be struggling against lag, and everyone involved had better be using a decent computer; with a decent audio interface; ethernet rather than wireless connection to the router; and a good internet connection.

I'll try some practical testing when I've got lots of spare patience and time for the tweaking. And have managed to acquire a giant ethernet cable...!

Any further suggestions or experiences are more than welcome!

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I tried Jamkazam, as soon as I logged in it told me I needed a wired internet connection, not WiFi. So that’s another consideration. I’d have to set up in the hall by the front door.

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33 minutes ago, ambient said:

I tried Jamkazam, as soon as I logged in it told me I needed a wired internet connection, not WiFi. So that’s another consideration. I’d have to set up in the hall by the front door.

Was that just advice, or would it not even let you continue on a WiFi connection?

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11 minutes ago, paulbuzz said:

Was that just advice, or would it not even let you continue on a WiFi connection?

It flashed up that a wired connection was required. 

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"Connectionopen".

Fourteen days free trial. It's worth downloading and trying with other musos. As I said on another thread, I know two people using it and it works well for them. 

https://connectionopen.com/?fbclid=IwAR0oEpa0n66Su59d7lyS2qOI5-Xx7E0WlHprWfB2379xzem4Z1VahTbHWQ4

 

Steinbergs' VST Connect (Cubase/Neundo) is another option that works well. 

https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/vst/vst_connect/start.html

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, lowdown said:

"Connectionopen".

Fourteen days free trial. It's worth downloading and trying with other musos. As I said on another thread, I know two people using it and it works well for them.

Thanks - another interesting-looking option, though as a confirmed skinflint, I am slightly averse to paying for stuff!

Also, from their testimonials section, it appears that they have the endorsement of the protagonist of the Die Hard movies, who I thought was a maverick cop but seems to have an additional career as a sound designer in Las Vegas...

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