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Real Time Jamming over the Web - Possible?

fjabjr

Member
Messages
838
Just wondering is it possible to jam with fellow musicians over the web, in real time? My guess would be probably not but if anyone has any ideas on how to this might work, I'd love to get your thoughts.

Thanks to facebook, I've connected with a buddy that I haven't seen in 25 years. We used to play in bands together back in high school. He's now in Maryland, I'm in Colorado. We thought it would be cool to jam over the web. I'm sure we could try Skype and just trade licks/chord progressions back and forth, but what about actually trying to play in real time together? :dunno
 

trickness

Analog with a side of DSP
Messages
1,901
I worked for a company that did this, and it was really complicated stuff. the web has inherent latency, so no matter how good the software is (which obviously can also be subject to significant latency) you're dealing with an adaptation period.

we actually made deals with ISPs to "shortcut" the router path - if you connect with a buddy in CA and let's say you're in NY, your connection bounces to different hubs all across the USA. we put servers all over the country and built a network to minimize latency, and got it down to about what a landline phone is (and way less than a cellphone).

But there was still an adaptation required - I don't think this video is 100% real, there is always a little bit of latency, even if you are close to the person - unless they're using a click track or they've already adapted themselves to time difference and they're choosing not to mention it in the advert.

There are physics involved here that can't really be avoided, unless of course you know how to travel faster than the speed of light. Somehow I think the guys in the video haven't solved that one yet :)
 

supergenius365

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,421
Don't know a lot about it, but I just read some info about the new Fender GDEC and some software/website which allows you to do this. I think it is called "eJammin" or something similar. Check the Fender site under the new GDEC.
 

iaresee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,838
NINJAM: http://www.ninjam.com/

I'll let them explain how they handle latency:
The NINJAM client records and streams synchronized intervals of music between participants. Just as the interval finishes recording, it begins playing on everyone else's client. So when you play through an interval, you're playing along with the previous interval of everybody else, and they're playing along with your previous interval. If this sounds pretty bizarre, it sort of is, until you get used to it, then it becomes pretty natural. In many ways, it can be more forgiving than a normal jam, because mistakes propagate differently.
It's weird at first, but it does work. I wouldn't use it rehearse for a gig, but for writing collaboration it can work.
 

cram

Member
Messages
13,953
all I know is that it is no longer possible for me to listen to the radio broadcast calling a sports event and watch it on tv..

:)
 

trickness

Analog with a side of DSP
Messages
1,901
NINJAM: http://www.ninjam.com/

I'll let them explain how they handle latency:
The NINJAM client records and streams synchronized intervals of music between participants. Just as the interval finishes recording, it begins playing on everyone else's client. So when you play through an interval, you're playing along with the previous interval of everybody else, and they're playing along with your previous interval. If this sounds pretty bizarre, it sort of is, until you get used to it, then it becomes pretty natural. In many ways, it can be more forgiving than a normal jam, because mistakes propagate differently.
It's weird at first, but it does work. I wouldn't use it rehearse for a gig, but for writing collaboration it can work.

This is a Ninjam based product? I didn't see that on the site.

It's not really real time if it as, as described by you above.
 

JamonGrande

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,779
I worked on a telematics project involving both composed pieces and structured improvisations between UC San Diego, Stanford and RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE. You can find more info on the project here.

It was a unique performance experience that I can't really compare to anything else. At times thoroughly confounding, others very special. The latency was low enough (due to the resources available to the project) that synchronization of polymeters and polyrhythms was possible. It was actually the simpler things - proper monitoring of mic'd acoustic instruments that slowed things down. Trying to locate a feedback loop between 3 locations (while the ichat connection used as a talkback channel goes wonky) was a real pain.

my involvement was pretty minimal, but I can see how others are really trying to develop it as a new artform/mediated musicking.

joe
 

iaresee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,838
This is a Ninjam based product? I didn't see that on the site.
Are you asking me if NINJAM is a "NINJAM product"? As in: is the product based on the product itself? :huh

It's not really real time if it as, as described by you above.
Yes: NINJAM isn't realtime. It's delayed measures. Still, you can make music with it, in collaboration, over the internet. Just not the music you're used to. :cool:
 

trickness

Analog with a side of DSP
Messages
1,901
Are you asking me if NINJAM is a "NINJAM product"? As in: is the product based on the product itself? :huh


Yes: NINJAM isn't realtime. It's delayed measures. Still, you can make music with it, in collaboration, over the internet. Just not the music you're used to. :cool:
Sorry, misread your post, thought you meant Ninjam was the enabling technology for the product above.

And yeah, I know what Ninjam is, as I said I worked for a company that did realtime jamming. Ninjam has been around for a while and hasn't gained much traction. eJamming has been around for ages too, they just signed a deal with Fender.

The problem with all of this stuff is that there are very few musicians inclined to jam online regularly, and fewer still willing to pay for it. Plus, no matter what any of them say, it's glitchy - such is the nature of internet connectivity.
 

torquil

Member
Messages
1,636
There are physics involved here that can't really be avoided, unless of course you know how to travel faster than the speed of light. Somehow I think the guys in the video haven't solved that one yet :)
You need all the musicians to be in an entangled quantum state, LOL.

But seriously, a radio signal only uses around 10ms of time from New York to Los Angeles, if it could travel in a straight line. An interesting bit of physics trivia is that if light could travel in a circle around the earth, it would make around seven revolutions per second!

An electric signal in a copper wire from New York to Los Angeles takes about 20ms.

I think the main delay experienced in the real world comes from the signal processing that occurs on each end, and on the way. Often the delay experienced in TV interviews is a lot more than the delay caused by the finite speed of a radio or electric signal.

- Torquil
 

trickness

Analog with a side of DSP
Messages
1,901
You need all the musicians to be in an entangled quantum state, LOL.

But seriously, a radio signal only uses around 10ms of time from New York to Los Angeles, if it could travel in a straight line. An interesting bit of physics trivia is that if light could travel in a circle around the earth, it would make around seven revolutions per second!

An electric signal in a copper wire from New York to Los Angeles takes about 20ms.

I think the main delay experienced in the real world comes from the signal processing that occurs on each end, and on the way. Often the delay experienced in TV interviews is a lot more than the delay caused by the finite speed of a radio or electric signal.

- Torquil
If you're talking about the internet, you're also dealing with the router hops of various ISP's. Of course the signal processing is another latency factor, but you can have zero latency with software/D to A, and still be screwed because of ISP bottlenecks. We had dedicated servers all over the country to lower the latency and shortcut the hops, but it was expensive, and ultimately, there are a limited amount of musicians that are interested in doing it.
 

fjabjr

Member
Messages
838
You guys have been posting some really great info here. Thanks. I think for our web jamming needs we'll go with something very basic for now, like Skype. We're not trying to record via the web just have a couple of fun jam sessions now and then. Even if it's just trading licks back and forth.

If I ever I become a wealthy man, maybe then I'll look into trying to really get the latency problem minimized.
 

trickness

Analog with a side of DSP
Messages
1,901
You guys have been posting some really great info here. Thanks. I think for our web jamming needs we'll go with something very basic for now, like Skype. We're not trying to record via the web just have a couple of fun jam sessions now and then. Even if it's just trading licks back and forth.

If I ever I become a wealthy man, maybe then I'll look into trying to really get the latency problem minimized.
company I worked for went thru about 3 million from venture capitalists before the cash dried up, make sure you bring more than that :)
 

fjabjr

Member
Messages
838
company I worked for went thru about 3 million from venture capitalists before the cash dried up, make sure you bring more than that :)
hmmm...think I could find something a little more interesting to spend $3 million bucks on. :D
 




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