Oh ****, another JamKazam thread...

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by skyline_01, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist: Nordstrand Audio, Tsunami Cables

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    Hey all,

    So I know that there have been a number of threads on the subject before (and I've searched most of them) but I was just curious as to how many people are still regularly using JamKazam. After an initially frustrating time trying to set it up a couple months ago I can say with confidence that it's working pretty successfully for me and I enjoy getting on and playing/chatting with folks around the globe.

    I'm merely curious as to what people currently think about it now that it's been in the spotlight for a while, and has had several updates and improvements since its debut. I also wonder about several specific things, like...

    - do you have many problems with it? If so, what kind?
    - what's your gear setup/signal path? Internet speed?
    - do you use any of the accessory functions (band/artist search, RSVP jams, friend lists, VST functions, etc) or do you just find a random jam and go?
    - do you use it on a regular basis?
    - do you think that it's boosted your confidence and/or improved your playing?
    - ___________ (your own question)

    Thanks for indulging! And no, I'm not affiliated with the product/service. :)
     
    BluesOnBass likes this.
  2. blakelock

    blakelock

    Dec 16, 2009
    hey!!
    i love the idea of it but, of course, it's a little hit or miss. i love the idea of just dropping into a random room and trying to make good sounds. (kinda' musical chat roulette :jawdrop:)

    - i run line out from amp to focusrite solo through macbook air (~2014)
    - cable internet connection (not sure of speed)
    - i get about the same latency wireless or wired
    - it works well but my ~slow computer processing causes some pops/distortion on my end (collaborators don't hear my distortion...its just on my end)
    - i don't use it regularly enough to have improved my musicianship but i sure it would help...although face to face communication helps a lot.
     
  3. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist: Nordstrand Audio, Tsunami Cables

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    Yay! Thanks for weighing in!

    Yes, it IS a little hit or miss sometimes but it has dramatically improved even in the couple months I've been using it. I still get an occasional crash on their end where I have to restart the software, and sometimes endure issues generated by other users, but all in all I really enjoy it and I try to get on at least every other day for a while. I have several people on my "friends" list who recognize me when I enter a session, and vice versa. There are some very friendly and talented people there!

    I'm with you on the slow computer thing. I think that's the weak link in my setup -- it's a pretty basic PC (i5 processor I think) with so-so memory. I'd like to upgrade at some point but it's not a priority right now.

    Otherwise I'm good to go -- 400+ Mbps internet with direct ethernet connection and a nice Presonus 6/8 interface. Lately I've been using the preamp section of my EBS Reidmar 750 before I go into the interface. Gives me extra EQ if needed, plus it has a good one-knob compressor.

    Feel free to keep me updated on anything JK related! And if you're ever interested in finding me I go by my name "Jeremy Nichols".
     
  4. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    With a powerful PC and 5ms of latency on my audio interface, i couldn't even play to the "jamtracks" because the latency was ridiculously awful. Sounded fine soundchecking, until i hit play and then i would hear what i was playing well adter i played it. I never even bothered trying to jam online because it couldnt handle jamming offline. With the at least 15ms of latency added by my ISP i don't see how it would ever even maybe work...
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  5. Tosh

    Tosh

    Jul 12, 2020
    Salem, Oregon
    Pretty much gave up on it since our band has resumed rehearsals. It was very hit and miss for me. When I lived in Austin, and JK was new (2014), it seemed to work petty well. However, it went into decline due to lack of funding, and when the pandemic hit, wham - too much load, too many useless accounts, too many "session jumpers", and too much load on the internet overall.

    I was able to identify a BIG latency problem with a router operated by my ISP, but it was not rectified because it was not broken (too much buffering for JK purposes, no problem for all the people stuck at home binge-streaming). The result was that I could get terrific performance when I was in a duo-session with my singer/strummer friend living a mile away, but any other session was a crap shoot and many times I was a victim of the "no audio" scenario.

    I have read that they released an update to fix that problem, but I haven't had the time nor inclination to go back and try it out. It's summer now, we're rehearsing again, and I got work to do.

    FWIW my system is as follows:
    keyboards, bass, and vocal mic (I talk, not sing) into a Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 via FireWire
    Macbook Pro 2012 i7 2.9GHz 8 Gig RAM OSX 10.11, Logic X 10.3, some AU add-on goodies
    1Ghz Ethernet -> MOTU AVB switch -> Cisco SG-200 08P switch -> Cisco RV320 router -> Netgear DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem -> Comcast, 200Mb/s down + 6Mb/s up
    Latency, measured by JK, was between 7 & 8 ms, and jitter below 15 ms.

    Should have been "perfect", but mostly was a PITA.

    BTW I gave them a C note on their Go Fund Me. I think it's a terrific idea, and they have worked really hard to make it happen, but....
     
    nozkcb and skyline_01 like this.
  6. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist: Nordstrand Audio, Tsunami Cables

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    Damn... sorry it didn't work out for you. Sound like you have a pretty capable setup too. Internet provider issues maybe? Who knows...
     
  7. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist: Nordstrand Audio, Tsunami Cables

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    I wish I had known about it when it was newer. Sounds like the operation was a lot smoother. However, I have had a degree of success with it over the past couple months. They've had many software updates and, aside from the occasional crash, it's been fairly hassle free even on my average PC (but having a 400Mbps ethernet connection surely doesn't hurt).

    My band has not used it in a practice scenario; rather, I've used it to randomly play with people just for the fun of it and to keep up chops while regular band practice is suspended. I've really been enjoying it -- I'm sorry your past experience hasn't been that great, but surely your generous financial contribution has helped others who use it!
     
  8. JKos

    JKos

    Oct 26, 2010
    Surprise, AZ
    Shouldn't you be using local monitoring (zero latency if your hardware supports that), not loopback monitoring?
     
  9. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    20 or so ms of latency to one's ISP is pretty normal. I have no idea how this software works for anyone, physics says it should not.
     
    skyline_01 and DirtDog like this.
  10. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    It doesn't say to do that in their instructions, they have controls inside the app for adding effects and volume / pan adjustments... seems they expect you to monitor through their app. My audio interface only adds about 5ms of latency, monitoring through a daw while tracking gives me no noticeable latency.
     
    skyline_01 likes this.
  11. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Standing 5ft away from my speaker cabinet introduces about 5ms of latency.
     
    JKos likes this.
  12. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Stand 25 feet away and you'll notice the latency.
     
  13. Tosh

    Tosh

    Jul 12, 2020
    Salem, Oregon
    if you use local monitoring exclusively in your system while running JK, (not all systems will support that, BTW) then you won't hear any of your peers in the session. If you mix local monitoring with remote, then you will be out of sync with your peers.

    When playing piano, I can tell there is a short delay between the keystrike and the note sounding - roughly the same as being about 20' away from your speaker.

    It helps a lot if you have experience in a marching band ;-}
     
  14. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    The Macarena guys once performed at halftime at Candlestick park during the height of their popularity. Their only source of monitors was clearly the stadium PA embedded in the crowds and several hundred feet away from them. They lipsynced everything *except* the words “Ayy Macarena” at the end of each chorus. The delay was so bad and jarring it was obvious and a total embarrassment. It was Milli Vanilli 2.0.

    Now I insist on IEMs when I’m performing at large stadiums where I’m likely to be a hundred or more feet away from my amp, possibly rappelling from the lighting fixtures, or halo diving from 120,000 feet up.
     
    And I likes this.
  15. flatwound251

    flatwound251 Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2019
    Los Angeles, Ca.
    I am using Jamkazam almost weekly to work with a keyboard player and drummer. We are spread between Los Angeles and Oregon, and yes, there are some latency issues, but recently the latency problem has improved, I think, because the software has been upgraded. Also, once we are online and ready to play, we turn off the video capability, which does improve the overall latency. We use Jamkazam mostly for working on arrangements, and not so much real-time playing. It has taken a while to work out the equipment settings, but at least we have a viable and cost effective way of collaborating for now.
     
    skyline_01 and LBS-bass like this.
  16. Tosh

    Tosh

    Jul 12, 2020
    Salem, Oregon
    I'm wondering - where does the drummer sit, in terms of latency? low/mid/high on your scale, in relation to the other participants?

    seems as though I will be returning to JK, as we are no longer having in-person rehearsals (the virus spread is to fast and furious)
     
    longfinger likes this.
  17. flatwound251

    flatwound251 Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2019
    Los Angeles, Ca.
    Individually the drummer and I are about 10 on the latency scale and the keyboard is about 18. The drummer plays an Roland electronic kit. Our combined latency is about 45. While these numbers are higher than desirable, we find that using the JK metronome helps keep us together. Also, turning off the video helps improve the latency. We are continuing to look for ways to improve the latency, but at least we are now able to collaborate using the software.
     
  18. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Just thought I would chip in and add that we've had rather better results in terms of general stability (no crashes as yet), jitter consistency and packet loss artifacts (very few 'squelches' and seemingly faster recovery without too much 'wow and flutter') using Jamulus. So if anyone only needs to connect audio and has no interest in the other JK features like jam tracks, video, etc, it might be worth a look. Only real binding constraint is your interface must have an ASIO option. YMMV.
     
    skyline_01 and Tosh like this.
  19. Curse you for reminding me that such a thing once existed!
     
    DigitalMan likes this.
  20. Tosh

    Tosh

    Jul 12, 2020
    Salem, Oregon
    ASIO if you're on Windows, yes. On Mac, Jamulus works on Core Audio. I had setup a server on a Macbook Air, but have yet to test it with a remote client.
     
    SteveCS likes this.