During this time of social-distancing, we wanted to give you some quick tips for how you can jam together online.
1. High-speed internet. You and everyone in the jam session needs a high speed internet connection. This is an obvious necessity.
2. Latency is bad. Latency is the lag or delay that you may experience in online chats. We want to reduce this as much as possible. Ideally, you want the latency to be less than 50ms or about a 1/20 of a second. The lower the latency, the better. This will allow everyone to play together in perceived real time.
3. No WiFi if possible. Sorry, we know wifi is super convenient. However, wifi will add precious milliseconds to your latency. So in the pursuit of low-latency, we highly recommend that you and all jam participants wire directly into your internet routers using an ethernet cable.
4. Location. Physical distance matters. The greater the actual physical distance between people, the greater the latency. With this in mind, we recommend keeping your virtual jams between musicians located within a 100 mile radius of each other.
5. Application. There are many good video chat programs out there. We like Zoom quite a bit for it's reliability and simplicity. Others include Skype, Google, Facetime, etc. A company that specifically works on virtual jams is Jamkazam.com -- they are worth checking out as they take significant efforts in trying to reduce latency between musicians as well as allowing users to record their live sessions on individual tracks.
6. Mic and Headphones. Yes, you can probably get by with your laptop's mic/speakers, but it will be a much better experience if you connect an instrument/vocal mic and use isolation headphones.
If you have any other tips, please feel free to share.
Best of luck to all of you! Stay safe and happy virtual (for now) jamming!
-The BandMix Team