Online band jamming
April 6, 2020 11:26 AM   Subscribe

My band stopped practicing in person, for obvious reasons. Is there a way we can still play together online? We're a typical electric guitar-bass-drums outfit. We're moderately technically savvy. (Well, the other guys are.) I understand "latency" is an issue?
posted by gottabefunky to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
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posted by brainmouse at 11:31 AM on April 6, 2020 [4 favorites]

TLDR: Ninjam solves the latency problem by increasing it and stabilizing it. Imo it is the best current solution for online improv jams.
posted by SaltySalticid at 11:39 AM on April 6, 2020 [4 favorites]

I understand "latency" is an issue?

Latency is the amount of time that the transit over the network takes. Let's say that there's 100ms of latency from one band member to another.

The drummer counts off and starts playing. The bass player hears the count off and first notes 100ms after the drummer actually played it and starts playing as if the drummer was in the room with them. As far as they know, they're synced up with the drum beat. However, the bass arrives to the drummer a total of 200ms after they played, which is a pretty noticeable space.

This isn't to say you can't jam together, but expect it to get a little sloppy.

Back in the day, we used ISDN for real-time collaborations between studios, as its latency was around 10ms, which is just barely noticeable.
posted by Candleman at 1:27 PM on April 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

There's also 'jitter' which is the amount your latency can change between packets. It's sorta sad that ISDN and ATM sorta fell out of the market in favor of VoIP.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:31 PM on April 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

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