app or service for online jamming

merlin666

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Many jams and uke circles are being cancelled around the world and the only option to play with others for people like me who are in self isolation is using screen devices. Today I met up with some local players using Zoom and it did not work well. It's a great service for meeting, but it was not possible to play as a group and even if all were muted and only one person allowed to take the lead the sound quality and lag were distracting. So what other options are there for meeting online and making music where everyone can be heard?
 

Brad Bordessa

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Here's some interesting discussion on the subject with math and such on WHY it's not really feasible (but also with other links to options that supposedly use work-arounds): https://www.gearslutz.com/board/mus...st-online-remote-band-rehearsal-software.html.

I've never had any such luck, but maybe you can figure out a way to bend the rules. If so, please do report back!

EDIT: It looks like close distances are feasible if you can handle the 25ms~ latency (it would drive me nuts), but you need sophisticated equipment. It's not going to work with your stock setup.

A work-around would be to "follow the leader", but you have to have somebody who's willing to drag everyone else along as there is zero group enjoyment for them. The leader would have to mute the audio on their side so as not to hear the followers.
 
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Peter Frary

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Record an audio track and email/dropbox it to a friend. They then drop it in GarageBand/Logic Pro/Whatever and record themselves playing along along while streaming on Zoom/Facetime/Whatever. They could pass it along a few times maybe before it becomes a mess. I've actually done this a few times for backing instruments I wanted but couldn't play but, of course, without the streaming aspect.
 

Cielofanders

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This Jamlink box isn't new either. It doesn't use your computer...it goes straight into the Ethernet connection. How it works...I will find out. There are connections for guitar/headphones/mike.....you don't need any special soundcard. Then you log in to a web site set up for Jamlink and you connect to anyone who has a box.
 

YorkSteve

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If anyone does find something that works, I would love to hear about it.
Sadly, it seems the problem of latency (the time it takes for the strum of one person to reach the ears of another) is always going to be an issue. I know a group which used Zoom this week, having appointed a "leader" to play each song. The leader muted all of the other participants, so they could see but not hear them. And each of the other participants could see and hear the leader, to play along with them, but not hear the others. So in effect, each person had a one-to-one playalong with the leader. Not ideal, but better than nothing.
On a different tack, I have just signed up with BandLab, where you can record, upload, and collaborate with other musicians. Given the amount of spare time I am going to have in the next few weeks/months, I am sure I will be able to put together a track or two for other people to add to.
 

merlin666

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Thanks for the suggestions. I installed JamKazam but was not able to get an acceptable configuration to work with the built-in laptop microphone and external speakers. I will have to view some of the videos and read more of the documentation to see if this is even possible without professional audio gear.
 

KohanMike

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After testing a couple of services, our leader is settling on a paid Zoom with only the leader's audio on, everyone else is muted while playing, then we're unmuted to talk to each other, but even that is tough because if two people talk at the same time they get cutoff, and I have a very fast over 400 Mbps service, our leader 200 Mbps.

Tomorrow at 3:30 PM will be our first large group session, maybe 15-20 people. Our leader feels the paid version is worth it so she can start doing one on one real time paid classes.


This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
9 tenor cutaway ukes, 6 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 41)

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
 

Ziret

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Our group tried this last night, passing the lead from person to person. Everyone said they were satisfied, but my guess is most were politely lying--I sure was. I hated it and never want to do it again. BUT it was good to see everyone. More trade offs.

After testing a couple of services, our leader is settling on a paid Zoom with only the leader's audio on, everyone else is muted while playing, then we're unmuted to talk to each other, but even that is tough because if two people talk at the same time they get cutoff, and I have a very fast over 400 Mbps service, our leader 200 Mbps.

Tomorrow at 3:30 PM will be our first large group session, maybe 15-20 people. Our leader feels the paid version is worth it so she can start doing one on one real time paid classes.


This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
9 tenor cutaway ukes, 6 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 41)

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
 

KohanMike

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Thanks for the suggestions. I installed JamKazam but was not able to get an acceptable configuration to work with the built-in laptop microphone and external speakers. I will have to view some of the videos and read more of the documentation to see if this is even possible without professional audio gear.

No matter what professional computers, speakers and microphones you use, it's all down to how the internet works, you just can't all be in sync live unless all participants have a very very expensive internet service.
 

KohanMike

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We did our big test yesterday with Zoom, 52 participants. It was the same as our other tests, the leader's audio is on, the participants are muted. I enjoyed it, especially the visual part. I find it a good alternative in this time of virus concerns. Seems most everyone also responded positively.

One person insisted on us all being unmuted, I said it will not work, but she's not a good listener so we did it (I actually didn't). The person who was playing the loudest was the only one heard and totally out of sync with anyone else.
 

merlin666

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We did our big test yesterday with Zoom, 52 participants. It was the same as our other tests, the leader's audio is on, the participants are muted. I enjoyed it, especially the visual part. I find it a good alternative in this time of virus concerns. Seems most everyone also responded positively.

One person insisted on us all being unmuted, I said it will not work, but she's not a good listener so we did it (I actually didn't). The person who was playing the loudest was the only one heard and totally out of sync with anyone else.

The Ottawa ukulele group did the same thing last week and I attended as a guest. There were also more than 50 participants and with everyone muted except leader(s) it worked quite well. The host made sure that everyone was muted and in between song people were un-muted for greetings and comments etc. I thought it worked great for this kind of setting. However, I play in several acoustic jams with different instruments (fiddles, mandolins, banjos, guitars, vocals, accordions, bass, etc) where there is no list of songs, just going round and it's a different group experience. This has become a major part of my life and it seems like there will be no virtual substitute.

Zoom may also be suitable for an open mic kind of thing where is just one performer and people can take turns.
 

glennerd

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In case you missed it, google "zoom privacy issues". It's been a huge news story recently as people are able to hack into your meetings quite easily.

There are some safeguards you can take, such as requiring a password and a few other settings, which I forget because I don't Zoom. Anyway, worth looking into how to make your Zoom meet up safer.
 

mds725

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The ukulele class I attend has been using Zoom and, as people point out, it only really works if you mute everyone but the person leading the song (in our case, the instructor). I recently heard about JamKazam (mentioned by rf-harris in comment #12 above) and suggested it to my class's instructor, who's going to look into it. I've posted a link to a video overview JamKzam that was posted on YouTube in 2014, when it was beta testing. It's YouTube channel has a number of tutorials. Has anyone used JamKazam? Does it work as advertised?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC38nc9MMZgExJAd7ca3rkUA
 

Jerryc41

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Many jams and uke circles are being cancelled around the world and the only option to play with others for people like me who are in self isolation is using screen devices. Today I met up with some local players using Zoom and it did not work well. It's a great service for meeting, but it was not possible to play as a group and even if all were muted and only one person allowed to take the lead the sound quality and lag were distracting. So what other options are there for meeting online and making music where everyone can be heard?

My group meets three times a week using Zoom. Naturally, everyone but the leader is muted, but that's okay. I get to play for ninety minutes with my group. I hear the leader's singing and playing, and I hear my own playing. On Wednesday, we have open mic, and there is always a "serial song." Several people sing part of the song, and the leader puts all the pieces together into one performance. Very nice.