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Jamkazam & JamBlaster
Old 1st May 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Jamkazam & JamBlaster

Hello all,

Back from being away for rather a while. And now not sure this is the right forum to ask my question to. If it isn't, I hope a mod will transfer this thread to the correct one.

What I'm writing in for is the following.

Two new options for jamming online have come to the fore, of lately:
  • Jamkazam
. Medium: desktop or laptop;
  • Jamblaster
. Medium: smartphone.

Jamkazam offers an outlook on jam sessions in real-time, with musicians all over the world. Some promotional vids on YouTube, plus a 'mwah' review. But next to nothing as to user reviews.

Jamkazam also developed Jamblaster. And judging from that YouTube review of Jamkazam, aforementioned, Jamblaster may well be the better bet. But yet again, not a word from users, anywhere online, on what Jamblaster is like.

I'd opt for Jamblaster for two reasons:

1) Jamkazam looks like a great idea, in promotional videos, but in practice seems in need of improvement. A couple of flaws definitely to be ironed out, in years to come;
2) I'm not sure whether or not Jamkazam is compatible with Linux. The OS on my production machine Kubuntu 16.04 LTS "Xenial", by the way.

Now, if anyone on this forum has already experimented with Jamkazam, I'd very much like to hear of their experiences. But my first preference would be Jamblaster, to be honest, so I'd love some feedback on what setting up international jam sessions this way is like.

Thanks in advance for any information you can give me.

Veerstryngh Thin
Old 5th May 2018
  #2
Here for the gear
 
Works well

I've been using Jamkazam for at least a year, you are right there isn't much presence on the net about it. Their forum's site is even gone. This is a good program and has been updated a few times in the last 6-9 month's I'd say.

You do need speedy processing though, but if you have a decent computer and an audio interface it's very good. Be warned that if you can't past the latency test where Jamkazam tests your gear, you will not be able to play with other people.

I've been jamming online quite a bit over the last 8-10 years, normally at a distance of around 350 miles (550 Kms) and enjoy my evenings jamming greatly.
This program is the best I've used so far.
Old 3rd September 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 
Hi guys! Do you guys know if Jamkazam is still active? I cant find any recent posts of anything since 2018...
Old 3rd September 2019 | Show parent
  #4
Here for the gear
 
I just started looking into JamKazam as well. Funny to find someone else replying to this year old thread at the same time.

I just found this reddit post that links to this Discord chat for an online jamming community called Discord Online Jamming Central (DOJC). They seem to mostly use Ninjam, but some of them have used JamKazam. I'm interested in seeing how well JamKazam can work at longer distances on fiber internet speeds.
Old 5th September 2019
  #5
Here for the gear
I pop in JamKazam every now and then... its best if you have a few you know you can jam with.
Old 27th February 2020
  #6
Here for the gear
Jamkazam w/new 4i4 Focusrite (WRONG)

I was using / enjoying Jamkazam for a few weeks UNTIL
I upgraded to Focusrite Scarlett 4i4. (from Presonus Audiobox 22vsl).
Cannot pass latency test in any way...."gear failed".

Just a friendly FYI.

BTW, Jamkazam help / contact links = 404 Page not found.

Too bad.
Old 14th March 2020
  #7
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Unfortunately, after years of trying, I've kind of given up on them. I purchased a top shelf iMac new and a Scarlett which, at Kazams approval of a comparable Behringer 2x2 nothing helped... and have cable internet but to no avail. The IT guy they had, Seth, was an extremely helpful and diligent guy... for hours on numbers occasions... to no avail.

It's the greatest thing I ever came across but spent more hours and mojo killing ambition.

Any updates or better suggestions I'm all for it

TRD
Old 1st April 2020
  #8
Here for the gear
 
Hi guys,
Firstly, I’ve just been using it for a couple of months - so limited experience.
As far as passing latency tests go .... first thing is to make sure you have correct drivers installed. Generally you want the ASIO drivers (but not ASIO4ALL), I had to
1. Disconnect focusrite box 2. manually remove all previous focusrite & ASio4all drivers 3. Download latest focusrite drivers for product and finally 4. reconnect focusrite box. Doing this in the right order prevents the wrong drivers being downloaded automatically as soon as you plug in the box to USB port.
Next thing is when setting up audio gear in Jamkazam it will fail initially, but then you have to adjust ASIO settings to reduce the buffer size (little pop up window pops up and it’s on the second page). Latency arises from the length of time to fill up the big buffer(packet of data) before it is then transmitted, so smaller buffer = smaller latency. Focusrite are good bits of kit and should be able to get latency much lower than 20ms max for JAmkazam.
Experiences for band practice - very good indeed for upto 3/4 persons with decent wired internet(fibre). Latency not noticeable, sound quality very good as long as everyone has gain set up correctly and using headphones rather than monitors/speakers(then you can get echoes). With larger bands 7-8 people it’s been problematic with cutting in & out and losing people (but maybe it’s just us - some don’t have fast internet, and some over WiFi rather than Ethernet cable to router - which is not recommended).

Downsides - not that easy to set it up, sometimes need to wait 10 seconds after pressing a button for it to respond and do what you wanted, requires a bit of patience at times.

Hope that helps. I don’t know of anything else which allows musicians to play together as if they were in the same room. I guess in time they’ll iron out the glitches, but for now it’s free(as long as you have an audio interface behringer umc22 for £40 seems to just about do the job rather than spending £100+
(I have a background in IT and sound engineer so perhaps find easier to figure out what to do than others might)
Old 1st April 2020
  #9
Here for the gear
 
Meant to say on distances. Our regular band are relatively close (within 30 miles)

We are in the UK and have jammed with a guy in Denmark and Germany withomuch latency problem.
However when we did a transatlantic link up then we did have very noticeable latency which made it pretty hard to all keep in time. When the Americans left the session it then improved dramatically.
Sometimes the “resync” button can help resolve things if Jamkazam has got itself in a pickle.
Old 3rd April 2020
  #10
Here for the gear
 
So, very new here. Our Thursday Night Jam group would love to play together even though we are all in self-imposed quarantine. They are all in Milwaukee area - I'm a snow bird, caught in Florida at a time when we usually head north. Any help you can give me would be very appreciated...
Old 5th April 2020
  #11
Here for the gear
 
Sharms, I too have had a lot of trouble using my Focusrite Scarlett 2i4. Terrible latency. Rejected by Jamkazam. It crashed when I tried to adjust the buffer rate on the ASIO. Jamkazam does like my Mackie DL32S. Our guitar player two towns away is going to try using his Mackie ProFX6. But others in the band are needing to get audio interfaces. Did you actually try the Behringer UMC22? I'm going to try to update my Focusrite driver like you suggested but I don't have your IT background. Wish me luck!
Old 5th April 2020
  #12
Here for the gear
 
Kathy Sommers, This will help you when you try to set up accounts with Jamkazam. DO NOT ATTEMPT IT FROM THE APP! You have to set up a Jamkazam account on their website and then download and run the app. Then it is easy to log in. If you try to set up a new account for your friends while your Jamkazam app is running it will fail the "I am not a robot" test.
Old 6th April 2020
  #13
Here for the gear
 
Hey Sharms - We're also a band based in UK and I'm hoping to get my guys all set up with Jamkazam over the next week or so.
I downloaded and trailed Jamkazam for the first time on the weekend and after some initial techy issues (I'm also in IT) got to grips with the ASIO driver needed using my TASCAM US-322 USB2.0 Audio Interface.
I hooked up with a session with some 8 guys around the globe, one from Holland, one from, Louisianna USA, and another from Pembroke Wales UK, so a good spread to check with and I've got to say, the jam worked very well, so got some very encouraging results.

My drummer was setting up Jamkazam yesteday/today and it didn't recognise his Steinberg CI2 Audio Interface, however I think we've sussed it tonight, as he revealed that he was using the online web version and hadn't yet downloaded the actual application, so guys, I recommend that you ensure you do download the program in order to then configure and use Jamkazam - this helps illutrate what 'David G' said in the thread above from yesterday.
Anyway please feel free to message me or invite me for a jam, as I'm registered on Jamkazam under [email protected] username: Tony Eve


Last edited by TonyEve; 6th April 2020 at 09:58 PM.. Reason: typos!
Old 7th April 2020
  #14
Gear Nut
 
Ukiah Bass's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Can anyone point us to a resource that explains how the Jamkazam architecture works? I'm in early stages but notice (frequently!) that the app won't conduct the connection tests because a "server is not available." Is this a 100% peer-to-peer scheme where I can't link to a session because Johnny and Suzie and Frankie all have their PCs turned off? Is my PC acting as a server for the Jamkazam network at all times? Only when the app is running? Etc. etc. I've scoured google searches and have come up empty on technical details other than how to connect and use the system. How this company operates is a black box.

Also, has anyone reverse engineered this app to find out exactly what it might be doing that would be questionable, such as scouring the PC for Personally Identifyable Information etc.? These days you can't be too safe! Thank you!
Old 10th April 2020
  #15
Here for the gear
 
My 2 cents...I just found out about JamKazam about a week ago and downloaded the app and set it up. I have a few friends that do a bluegrass jam weekly and we wanted to keep it together through these times. Anyway, I too have a Focusrite Solo and I'm using a 5 year old MacPro, Quad Core with a wired Internet. Generally works ok. The system is painful to get set up but once you do it works ok. With local people, the connection is good and latency can be good...less than 50ms. When playing at this latency however, you can hear it and can be a challenge to stay in time...more practice needed!
Old 11th April 2020
  #16
Here for the gear
 
where can I buy a Jamblaster?

where can I buy a Jamblaster?
Old 14th April 2020 | Show parent
  #17
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by seashanty ➡️
where can I buy a Jamblaster?
i dont think you can anymore.. i could be wrong
Old 14th April 2020
  #18
Here for the gear
I had always preferred sofasession.. but it seems to always be down recently.. soundjack is okay but can be little technical..
Old 23rd April 2020
  #19
Here for the gear
 
A friend who pointed me to jamkazam told me that the app takes the person with the most latency and syncs everybody else to them. I think I saw someone else say that there is a central server. I had the same experience in trying to create an account from the application. From the webpage, that worked fine. I haven't used it yet, but look forward to it. I have fiber to my house and then both ethernet and wifi to my laptop so I have reliable 120 MB plus up and down. I can turn off the wifi if necessary. I'll probably use the microphone on my HD webcam if that works. If not, I have some radio quality mics that I would have to somehow interface with my MacBook Pro. I used to produce a radio show on my ancient Mac G4 with a sound card and a Mackie mixer plus good software.
Old 30th April 2020
  #20
Here for the gear
 
Some great posts. I think Beringers have the lowest latency right now besides the unavailable JamBlaster. I am using the UMC202 HD with latency just a bit over 4 mSec, but any model is about the same. The Behringers and the FocusRites out of the box come by default with WDM drivers making it difficult to get latency < 15-20 msec, hence, quite marginal as the WDM protocol/driver is quite slow intrinsically because of the bulkiness of the processing and what is installed on virtually every PC and Laptop). Absolutely necessary is to install the latest ASIO drivers and selecting the lowest ASIO buffer size your system can tolerate. This will get you connected easily. From experience, during low traffic times, latencies can be quite low (even transcontinental), but most commonly, intolerable latency delay is fueled by fluctuating internet speed at times > 50 to even 300msec even among friends with good internal latency and direct cable ethernet. It took time to learn volume and mic adjustments and for recording learn about using the Master Mixer for the person that sets up the session (CNL) (Shift) M which when balanced can greatly improve audio balance absent clipping.
Old 7th May 2020
  #21
Here for the gear
 
I just wanted to post this as I'm a musician and software engineer with a lot of past networking experience. I have been trying to explain the math/physics behind why this will not work to many of my musician friends. They always point me to some new product or some new idea to make it happen. I've even gone onto various streaming apps and just clapped along to a metronome to show them how hard it will be to keep in sync. The reality is simple, the underlying infrastructure is not equipped for this. The latency needs to be so low that after 5min of playing the lag would be barely noticeable to the human ear. I have a 1gb fibre connection, as does my friend (att fibre in the city, about 1.5miles from me) and we attempted that simple clap test to a metronome and within about 10-20seconds we loose sync completely. I'm not saying people have not gotten lucky spurts of super low latency and moments of jams that were in sync (probably not great even then), but I find it highly unlikely that anyone has had "killer jams" for any length of time on our current internet infrastructure. Here's a great article that details the problem: https://medium.com/thsppl/music-coll...e-e1c6448fc3d4

I also heard they solved this by syncing everyone to the person with the most latency? How will that work, say i'm a drummer with the best latency, yet the keyboard player hears me at sometimes 1/14 second behind (250ms bursts)? That means that by the time I get their first reaction to my playing i'm hearing something from them at least 1/2 second behind (remember, they have to get my sound to them then their response back). How am I supposed to keep time with that happening? The only way I can conceive this to work is by having only players being able to hear other players that have a better lag time than they do, therefore cascading from best to the worst. And if that were the case, that would mean that the drummer would absolutely have to be that person with the best that all can follow. Highly unlikely. Basically, it's the same as just having your drummer play by himself to a click, then send you the track, and you layer, and so on. it's not "live", and simply can not be, at least not consistently for any reasonable length of time.

My advice is don't waste your money on software that claims to have solved this problem. it's not a problem that can be solved with software, it's an infrastructural issue that we just aren't ready to handle yet. I do believe we will get there some day, but probably, and hopefully we will have a vaccine for covid long-before then.

So keep practicing your chops, deal with recording/layering for now and be ready to blow your friends away with all your killer licks when we finally come out of this hole and can jam together again!
Old 10th May 2020
  #22
Here for the gear
 
Speaking as a musician and a software engineer who worked for Cisco for > 20 years AND (most importantly) one who actually jams on JamKazam every day, the previous post, quoted below, is "irrelevant," as 7 of 9 would say. Download JamKazam. It works. It's free. Which isn't to say latency isn't an issue. It will sound bad if latency gets large. Things you have to do to reduce latency are: use a decent audio interface, plug in to a wired, not WiFi network, jam with people in your own region. Intrastate works pretty well. It can even work about halfway across the USA, if your internet provider's latency speeds are decent.
But ignore the naysayers who claim that it is impossible without even trying the particular software offerings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotvim72 ➡️
I just wanted to post this as I'm a musician and software engineer with a lot of past networking experience.......
My advice is don't waste your money on software that claims to have solved this problem. it's not a problem that can be solved with software, it's an infrastructural issue that we just aren't ready to handle yet.
Old 11th May 2020
  #23
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
i downloaded it over weekend expecting a friend to help me test it ... they did not ... but i am setup on my end ... with Babyface Pro / wired connection / 2014 macbook pro ... looking forward to trying it .. keeping my expectations low for now ..

drag is the people that i would most like to connect with right now, are 2500 miles away in new york .. need to get out and make new friends ... ooh Wait !!! oops none of that !!!
Old 12th May 2020 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
gravyface's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FluteSeason ➡️
Speaking as a musician and a software engineer who worked for Cisco for > 20 years AND (most importantly) one who actually jams on JamKazam every day, the previous post, quoted below, is "irrelevant," as 7 of 9 would say. Download JamKazam. It works. It's free. Which isn't to say latency isn't an issue. It will sound bad if latency gets large. Things you have to do to reduce latency are: use a decent audio interface, plug in to a wired, not WiFi network, jam with people in your own region. Intrastate works pretty well. It can even work about halfway across the USA, if your internet provider's latency speeds are decent.
But ignore the naysayers who claim that it is impossible without even trying the particular software offerings.
How do you tolerate the latency though? 30-70ms would drive me crazy as a drummer.
Old 12th May 2020
  #25
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface ➡️

How do you tolerate the latency though? 30-70ms would drive me crazy as a drummer.
I seem to average about 30-40ms regularly (using Jamulus, connected to a fast local server) during rehearsals. One thing that helps me, I use an electric kit, so there's very little acoustic sound in the room with me. That gives me the option to hear myself either the instant my kit makes a sound (effectively instantly), or after it's made the round trip to everyone else and back. Using the latter option, it's easier for me to strike the drums that split second before I expect to hear them. For singers, or others playing acoustic instruments, hearing yourself through the software will give you a sort-of slap back echo, which I imagine would get confusing, so I'd think most of them would want to have their own return signal muted in the software.

I've joined sessions with higher latencies and it does become more challenging to physically play that far ahead of the beat, but 30-40 is doable. Is it a tight solid satisfying groove? No, but I can work around that to make progress with the band.
Old 12th May 2020 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
gravyface's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thugdrummer ➡️
I seem to average about 30-40ms regularly (using Jamulus, connected to a fast local server) during rehearsals. One thing that helps me, I use an electric kit, so there's very little acoustic sound in the room with me. That gives me the option to hear myself either the instant my kit makes a sound (effectively instantly), or after it's made the round trip to everyone else and back. Using the latter option, it's easier for me to strike the drums that split second before I expect to hear them. For singers, or others playing acoustic instruments, hearing yourself through the software will give you a sort-of slap back echo, which I imagine would get confusing, so I'd think most of them would want to have their own return signal muted in the software.

I've joined sessions with higher latencies and it does become more challenging to physically play that far ahead of the beat, but 30-40 is doable. Is it a tight solid satisfying groove? No, but I can work around that to make progress with the band.
e-kit over here too and man, when I've had SSD5.5 loaded up and forgot to switch my interface into low latency mode, it was unplayable and I bet roundtrip latency was ~15ms at 512 samples.

Still, conductors could be as much as 20-30 feet away from a timpani section, so we as humans can compensate for it.

And honestly, anything to get away from the click would be nice for a change, so I'll have to try it again.
Old 14th July 2020 | Show parent
  #27
Here for the gear
 
Hey Sharms. Glad you had success with Scarlett2i2. Mine is a second generation. What generation is yours? It says on the back of the unit in fine print. Thanks in advance.!!
Old 20th July 2020
  #28
Here for the gear
 
I have the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd gen) on PC and finally passed JamKazam latency test after: I switched my PC to high performance mode from balanced mode; called my internet server to check speed (50mbps ok) and update my router/modem firmware/drivers; double checked my driver was Focusrite's, closed all my other apps but opened task manager to watch CPU's, and I upped my ASIO sample rate from 96000 from 48000. This got a latency of 11.56, fair, but worked trial jams. I'm open to further tweaking but suspect the 4i4 works best on MAC.
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