You are here

Live remote 'jamming'

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Live remote 'jamming'

Postby Thunderbass1 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:19 pm

Has anyone had any success with live remote collaboration? I accept there will some latency but some sites imply that it can be manageable.
Jamkazam can be downloaded and it's set-up seems clever but it's internal links give 404 errors. Sofasessions actual site appears to be dead. I've yet to try Jammr.
Are there any other sites that anyone has managed to get working?
Thunderbass1
Poster
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:00 am
 

Re: Live remote 'jamming'

Postby alasdair thompson » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:21 am

Hi, ive used Jamkazam ( in Midlands, UK) , basically a lot of tinkering with Asio settings, to speak with people round the world saying " how do i get this to work..). out of 10 sessions only once worked well enough to play, dont know where the server i, but all players in same city in UK..

Tried Jamulus, much simpler and ran server from spare PC, worked much faster, there is delay but nothing like I had using Jamkazam. Also noted that when not using private server and using server in London ( theres a choice of servers when you log in) was even then much better than jamkazam.

Suggest you try Jamulus, the documentation is generally good, and see if you can live with slap back echo effect of online playing..

Do bear in mind don't use WI FI, and if you do run a server from home you have to open port on router, so do use a PC for that only ( not online banking etc..)

Cheers, :thumbup:

Al
alasdair thompson
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:19 pm

Re: Live remote 'jamming'

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:08 am

I am getting ready to try Jamulus. It is freeware and is similar to setting up a virtual LAN for gaming, but specialized for audio.

http://llcon.sourceforge.net/

Everyone must have an audio interface it appears.

This is a timely topic. I've got a bunch of jazz musicians asking how to do this. If we can figure this out it will make many musicians happy to be able to play together again.


Only try this with people close by (same town). Going far over the internet won't work. Speed of light.
User avatar
DC-Choppah
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1400
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:00 am
Location: MD, USA

Re: Live remote 'jamming'

Postby Jorge » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:37 am

Yeah, I don't see how you could get around the latency issue to jam in real time. The latency of internet connections can be in the range of 700 ms, which obviously wouldn't work. Even the irreducible latency due to speed of light would be over 30 ms round trip if I in New York were to jam with a group of you in the UK and we went analog, skipped the internet and used a hard wired 3000 mile copper cable across the Atlantic. That 30 ms is still too long to jam and that does not include the internet latency or any AD/DA or CPU processing latency, all of which would be added on even if I were jamming with my next door neighbor over the internet. Of course we could lay down a track at a time, then send the file back over the internet, but that would kill the spontaneity of communication and the fun of playing improvisational music.
Jorge
Regular
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 1:00 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Live remote 'jamming'

Postby ConcertinaChap » Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:34 pm

I've read suggestions that JamKazam is using UDP (User Datagram Protocol) rather than TCP packets. Unlike TCP UDP prioritises speed of transmission over accuracy and is designed not to mind a few lost packets. I can see how this might allow a reduction in latency and the odd lost packet shouldn't affect music too much but the problem with JamKazam is it is apparently difficult to set up and the site itself is moribund. It's not something I find I can recommend to non-techies at present. YMMV, as they say.

AIUI NinJam, produced by Cockos (the Reaper people) works differently by increasing latency in order to make it correspond to bar lines in the improvised sequence. Thus the music you play along with was actually played one bar earlier.

DC-Choppah wrote:I am getting ready to try Jamulus. It is freeware and is similar to setting up a virtual LAN for gaming, but specialized for audio.

I'd be very interested to hear how you get on with this.

CC
User avatar
ConcertinaChap
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8635
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Bradford on Avon
Making music: Eagle Alley, recording music: Mr Punch's Studio
We are normal and we want our freedom!.

Re: Live remote 'jamming'

Postby CS70 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:25 pm

It doesn't really help much. Using UDP is what all video/audio software available already do. You have no ack packets and the packet header is simpler to process (no biggie has it's done in hardware anyways) so there's no ack waiting or window size. But on the other side you don't have congestion control either, which in traffic conditions can and will make UDP actually slower than TCP (as anyone who's ever used skype or zoom in busy network conditions has experienced). And you still have packets switching and routing, so in traffic conditions the routing is not reliable.

A possible idea is to set up several TCP connections together and distribute the packets over them, but for real-time bidirectional communication purposes it's still a bitch. IP is just not designed to do real time. You need point to point or spoke hub topology, not packet switching - and even then it works only within a limited geographical area. Physics is physics: you can't jam with someone on the moon (or even in high Earth orbit), no matter what.

Perhaps research in quantum entanglement might one day bring options here - after all, audio and video is pure information - but definitely not there yet.

With IP things might work (a little) on a private LAN, or on WANs which are topologically near and connected by a switch (and traffic under control). So with a purpose built ip network you could probably jam with your friends so long they are relatively nearby.

If you want to jam together, get yourself some radio equipment and you're much better off :D
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5277
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Re: Live remote 'jamming'

Postby ConcertinaChap » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:46 pm

Thanks. That pretty much confirms what I thought. See you tonight, maybe?

The internal mechanism that Zoom uses to send its network messages handles two kinds of network packet: Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP).

UDP doesn’t have the kind of handshaking and packet loss prevention overhead that you find in TCP packets, making it leaner and better suited for the latency-sensitive network communications that you find in audio and video conferencing.

TCP is therefore typically used to control sessions, while the simpler UDP protocol is used to send session content.

CC
User avatar
ConcertinaChap
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8635
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Bradford on Avon
Making music: Eagle Alley, recording music: Mr Punch's Studio
We are normal and we want our freedom!.

Re: Live remote 'jamming'

Postby Jorge » Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:04 pm

What is the range of latencies for UDP?
Jorge
Regular
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 1:00 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Live remote 'jamming'

Postby LarsenG » Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:29 pm

Hello everybody, I managed last week to get stable 13ms roundtrip latency with a friend living in the same city as I am with a german software called "Soundjack", check it out at www.soundjack.eu. It works best when connected with Ethernet cable and you have to spend a little time to try the best setup (couple of paramaters, everything ist explained on the website), but it worked for me. It has also experimental video support too!
LarsenG
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:23 pm

Re: Live remote 'jamming'

Postby CS70 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:07 pm

Jorge wrote:What is the range of latencies for UDP?

How long is a piece of string? :D
Latency is a property of the network. On an RFC1149 network (which was successfully tested almost 20 years ago right here in Norway) it probably averages from a couple of hours to a couple of days :D
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5277
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Re: Live remote 'jamming'

Postby ConcertinaChap » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:31 pm

Certainly it's non-trivial when Zoom is using it. ;)

LarsenG wrote:Hello everybody, I managed last week to get stable 13ms roundtrip latency with a friend living in the same city as I am with a german software called "Soundjack", check it out at http://www.soundjack.eu

Thanks, I'll have a look. I'd dearly love to get enough performance for a band practice with our colleague in the next town. I'm not nursing hopes of worldwide sessions, I have to say.

CC
User avatar
ConcertinaChap
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8635
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Bradford on Avon
Making music: Eagle Alley, recording music: Mr Punch's Studio
We are normal and we want our freedom!.

Re: Live remote 'jamming'

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:58 am

We are able to get Jamulus down to a few (2-3) msecs of latency with computers in the same house connected to the LAN.

I wanted to understand how to get rid of as much latency as I can on my end before going out to the WAN and introducing unknown latency sources.

If you use the public Jamulus server it automatically creates the port-forwarding in your network connection, but it will ask you to bypass your firewall to do that. This means anyone can see your room and jump in. This is a problem because random people seem to not realize that you have to use headphones! So they have a microphone and speakers set up and it generates feedback.

So to make a private server, you have to manually set the port forwarding in your router then give people the name of your server since they can't find it in the public server list.

So far the low latency comes down to having a good low latency audio interface and setting the buffer as low as it will go. The buffer is really the only thing that seems to be in play for the latency so far on the LAN.

You do not want to use ASIO4ALL or the microphone on the PC or your phone, etc. You do need to start with a good low latency audio interface with the buffers minimized and point Jamulus to that.
User avatar
DC-Choppah
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1400
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:00 am
Location: MD, USA

Re: Live remote 'jamming'

Postby DC-Choppah » Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:58 am

Well, going out onto the WAN, so far I can play with other people but the sound quality is really quite terrible. Sounds like playing through a bit crusher with dropouts.

We can get a 19-21 msec latency which the software says should be good to play. The buffer light is green and the delay light is green. Jamulus is setting the dither buffers automatically.

With the software as happy as I can get it, sound quality is very low-fi and kind-of garbled with spikes and dropouts and glitches regularly. Then sometimes, maybe 10 secs with no droupouts, then perhaps big droupouts. Always sound warbly, like a bad phone connection.

The professional jazzers I play with are not going to tolerate this sound quality and would walk away from it. Even in a pandemic.

You can't play anything detailed because the details are lost in the low fidelity. Then the dropouts happen and you just miss things.

This seems to be how low in fidelity the software has to set the sound quality in order to get the latency down.

The high fidelity sound we hear on Voip phones comes at the expense of delay if you have noticed. I see that they are recommending like .5 sec delays to get good quality Voip phone audio. That is the 'jitter buffer'.

So to get down to the 20 msecs latency, some serious sacrifice in audio is happening in the software. This makes the sound really just too inferior to play and do much musically with.

We are on fiber optic broadband internet (Verizon Fios) with all wired connections.

Here is an audio sample. My kids play piano while I record what you would hear if you were monitoring the jam session. The server is about 8 miles distant. Latency is 20 msecs. All the lights are green.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1p8oBf ... 8zN4ynV5wq

Now imagine that with 5-6 musicians, so the audio drops out on all of them randomly. So someone is always dropping out or glitching. It is very hard to play this way.

I agree with what others have said. The internet is simply not able to do real time transmission. Good quality comes at the expense of latency through the jitter buffers that reconstruct the audio after the packets have been lost or delayed. You can't have both quality and low latency. There is no sweet spot in the middle where they are both good.

Perhaps this is why these server rooms are a ghost town.
User avatar
DC-Choppah
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1400
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:00 am
Location: MD, USA

Re: Live remote 'jamming'

Postby blinddrew » Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:00 am

Thanks for doing all that testing and sharing the results. :thumbup:
Shame it's not what we were hoping for.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10172
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Live remote 'jamming'

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:02 pm

Still not going to work for jamming but this vid suggests a method of running online collaborations with decent sound quality. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmJUOkf0kE4&fbclid=IwAR0yS3tUJbA0kGDwpQSDXs6yW04NAuUSM9XrJX7teYMgwZkqC5hpEK1Q_vQ
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12202
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Next