Jamulus, Latency, Timing, Feel and Groove

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by SteveCS, May 22, 2021.

  1. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    I don't know if this is a real phenomenon, something in my imagination, or something else.

    As with most players, getting together to play, be it rehearsal or shows, has been a no-no recently. Since last summer, following a false start with JamKazam, we have been using Jamulus once or twice a week, between 3 and 5 hours at a time. I've also taken the opportunity for 'moonlighting' - surfing other active servers and joining in sessions with other musicians, which has been great. Probably 70% of my playing over the last 6 months has been on Jamulus.

    But, and here's the issue. I think playing most of the time in 'near-real time' with 20-50ms latency has messed with my 'real-time' sense of time. If I play with a metronome or drum track now I find myself getting in front. Not really rushing - more just 'over-anticipation'. It is not blatant, but just enough to feel like I'm pushing out in front of the beat. I notice it also if I am tapping along to music in the car. I just feel like I am tapping just a little in front and I have to make a conscious effort to hold back, so it feels like a slight ebb and flow in my timing, but not in a good way. It doesn't take long to readjust but I have to do it mindfully, whereas before playing 'on line' I could very much rely on my internal time to just be there.

    I just wonder if anyone else has experienced the same or similar phenomenon. It's not such a big deal that's looking for loads of "have you tried..." advice; rather it seems like an interesting 21st century topic to discuss.
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
    enzodm and JRA like this.
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    yeah, steve: i think it is a "21st century" thing. i haven't had the pleasure of playing/working jamulus, but if i use my pro tools + Ui24R 'too much' over a long enough period of time (and if i monitor in a certain way), the compensating affects my timing sensibilities enough that i have to consciously 'reset'....and i doubt that i'm experiencing more than 12-15ms between the two units (as they are advertised, i've never tested the latency for accurate numbers).

    but the experience of having to recalibrate is real --- at least it is for me.
    SteveCS likes this.
  3. enzodm


    Mar 3, 2016
    Not sure it is the same, however the only time in the last year we met in presence, we played sensibly faster than usual. It was somewhat funny, not unpleasant. In a couple of weeks we will be back in presence, we will see.
    By the way, with Jamulus we avoid to play songs when bpm is too high - some of us have around 70ms of delay, at 120bpm it's more than 1/8.
    However, I think learning the delay does not take much, thus also going back to almost realtime will take not much. The issue is having both modalities together...
    SteveCS likes this.
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