Real time band practice software - Zoom? FaceTime no bueno - IT people?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by teletimetx, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    With the various requirements to be confined to quarters, sheltering in place and so forth, it's not possible to gather for practice. Kinda sucks. Had just put together another band and yep, our very first gig got crushed by a certain pandemic.

    Last night, the bass player and I tried using FaceTime (on our respective iPhones) to see if we could do some live practice. I'm one of the two songwriters for this band. He likes to be able to watch my hands, for practice purposes, as any number of my songs are 3 or 4 chords to the line, with 4 line verses, etc.

    anyway, the sound sucked, it was useless. I could barely hear any notes from his bass amp, even after moving the amp next to his phone. He said he could hear my voice and guitar, but as though through a time latency warble filter.

    Most like we will resort to sending mp3 files around via email.

    But I was wondering if anyone has experience with using any kind of software for multiple call-ins. Haven't tried Skype yet, but my experience with Skype leads me into thinking it will be just as useless as FaceTime.

    Anyone have experience with any kind of software (free, prefereably) that could handle say four people dialing into a conference that would resemble real time practice? I've done conference calls for business that handle multiple locations (GoToMeeting, freeconferencecall.com, etc,) - just haven't used them for band practice.

    what you got?
     
  2. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Too much latency, audio weakness, etc. I don't think it's really viable. There have been some music-centric solutions that folks have tried but I think they end up being limited by bandwidth issues. Not enough bandwidth for the band, basically.

    I suspect an actual old fashioned analog phone line multiparty teleconference would probably work pretty decently, but the problem is most folks are going VOIP these days in which case there probably would be similar problems. But going audio only certainly helps with bandwidth since it doesn't need as much.

    Here's an article in Sweetwater about it--

    https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/online-band-practices-possible/
     
  3. Snfoilhat

    Snfoilhat Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm using Zoom almost every day to keep up with my university duties, and am still learning the ropes. I understand that to ensure the best audio, the trick is to use a phone as an audio-only device and let the laptop perform video only. When the connection lags the video will get choppy but the audio should only suffer the kind of latency telephone connections ordinarily have, which is less.

    No idea if this will be a performance increase good enough for band practice, but maybe worth trying? Interested to hear what solution you end up finding.
     
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  4. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Holic

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    I don't think playing music, real-time, with anyone over the internet is viable with much satisfaction. Internet latency, along with computer processing latency would cause issues for most people.

    My wife and daughter are both giving music lessons using Zoom but that isn't playing along with each other, it's more of a back & forth.

    Our band stopped practice last week, the drummers (where we practice) wife has concerns because she visits her elderly dad almost daily. That's fine. We'll pick up again after the all clear. Until then musicians will mostly have to keep up practice at home. Unfortunately it's the nature of the beast right now.
     
  5. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you have an an audio interface you can usually direct the software to use that as the audio source. There are often high compression settings and single sound at a time limiting factors though.

    Phone + video worth trying.

    Some tools like jamkazam are meant for collaborative music but they are folding under the demand when I tried a few of them a couple of days ago. Latency is everywhere with web stuff and only going to get worse on entertainment services.
     
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  6. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have another option. Our band will probably just set up on my lawn and remain at least 6 feet apart with everyone bringing their own beer, etc. I can wipe down the power strip after everyone leaves. If anyone needs to go to the bathroom they can go in the bushes. No latency at all. If we do it in the late afternoon/early evening or on a weekend my neighbors will actually dig it.
     
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  7. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Tele-Afflicted

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    People here (Washington DC) are using Jamulus and reporting that the 60 ms latency is tolerable. There are a lot of IT people/resources in the local musician community, and one of them generously set up a server for everyone to use for free. I haven’t used it, don’t know anything more about it, etc.
     
  8. CCK1

    CCK1 Tele-Meister

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    Unless every one participating has a phenomenal internet connection, and devices with very fast processors, latency will be a problem that will be almost impossible to overcome.
     
  9. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for this thread! Just had a disastrous Zoom practice...will try Jamulus and the phone for audio / computer for video idea.
     
  10. medownsouth

    medownsouth Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Zoom
     
  11. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Tele-Afflicted

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    Just to update my first reply. Here is the link to the guy's site. He explains in detail the hardware/software required and lessons learned (e.g. use headphones, don't use WiFi, etc.). There is some mention of current events (very brief...almost in passing), so please delete this post if necessary. Again, I have not personally tried it out, but pickers in our local forum are reporting success.

    https://www.districtjam.com/
     
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  12. DADGAD

    DADGAD Friend of Leo's

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    Following, because I'm trying to do the same thing with my band.

    Last night, I watched a live, small concert online that was great. A family did a live-stream music event. I wish I knew what camera and microphone they used as the quality was great. It was streamed live on FaceBook and Instagram from their living room.
     
  13. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Try
    Discord
    Mumble
    Overtone

    Search Gamer forums for other options.

    .
     
  14. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    We’ve been “not” doing this for the last five years. As in “not” live. I just DAW some tracks and send MP3 and arrangement (lyrics with chord changes) to band members for practice. Members are not tied to some schedule when others are available.
     
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  15. pinkpanda

    pinkpanda TDPRI Member

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    Have the same issues and am looking for a way to practice with my band. I made this video with some suggestions how bands can keep on 'practicing' while the epidemic last. Might be interesting for you OP



    Some programs like JamKazam, Jammr and others probably try to do some low latency data transfer, but haven't read about anyone succeeding in proper band practice, except for the promo vids.
     
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  16. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes, we've been doing mp3 for awhile as well. Have a newish bass player and he's just wanting to see hands playing. No bigee. All the other members are retired guys, except me, so scheduling is not as much a problem. mp3's have worked well for out-of-state gigs with other bands as well.
     
  17. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Doctor of Teleocity

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    A friend of mine who plays sax in several bands made this video (or one of the guy's did) using Zoom :

     
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  18. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    We just started plans to get the band together by boats, anchored a ways apart.
     
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  19. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Forget it. It doesn’t work well enough
     
  20. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I think I want to write an illicit love song with the line 'there is no latency in the bushes'

    awesome! Thanks Chris! good luck on your jam! We are going to do some loud weld style neil young tomorrow afternoon...
     
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