[linux-audio-user] Re: Net jamming

Jesse Chappell jesse at essej.net
Sun Mar 13 18:41:31 EST 2005

On Thu, 10 Mar 2005, JP Mercury wrote:

> My take on this is that we can allow several users to connect together to form
> a session, or room. A room is populated by users, and also loops. The users
> have both live audio (inputs and outputs) and possibly their own library of
> loops. When we enter a room, we are able to preview the live audio of
> different users to hear what they are doing.

Yes, I like this concept.  Once connected, each person would make 
available a dynamic collection of loops, live audio outputs 
(which become inputs to others), and the metadata that describes 
which of the globally available loops they are using in their own 
mix at the time.
> In this way, I see a session as being a kind of quantum field of musical
> possibilities. Different users contribute new loops as they are inspired. We
> can peer into another user's sound, but we can also work on our own.

> Besides loops, we can share live audio, but we will always be hearing it with
> some latency. Perhaps we can choose whether we want the lowest possible
> latency, or to quantize to the next beat. 

Sharing live audio streams does become troublesome, but giving 
the option to quantize the latency to a musical time makes a lot 
of sense.
> Wolfgang mentioned bandwidth. I agree that's an issue. I think good results
> could be achieved with different codecs, OGG springs to mind. Good quality
> OGGs of loops could be shared quite quickly. 

Yes, oggs for active looping is good, but since each person
involved has easy access to the full quality loops they created,
the combined meta-data that makes up a session can be created at
full quality "offline" by doing the file transfers later.  

> And if this works, we could allow rooms to persist, so that a server stores
> the loops and 'scenes' (collections of playing loops and settings), allowing
> others to connect later and add to the palette.

Excellent idea.

> It sounds like both of you would be into testing such a system. If you have
> more design ideas, please let me know. And while this won't save the world, I
> do think that there is a lot of potential for a unique type of collaborative
> music making here. And I do think there are social implications whenever we
> change the way music is made.

I'm in.   I'll be coming at it from more the technical side, but 
that's usually a good thing.  We should consider designing the 
system as a library API, so different apps can integrate the 
jamroom.  For instance FreeWheeling, SooperLooper, or even Ardour 
could all be good environments to create and work in this 
context.  If not a library, at least a piece of software 
completely decoupled from UI, with some network-accessable 
interface (OSC, etc).

Of course, extending the concept to midi/osc loops is also wide 
open.  Bandwidth issues disappear in that case.


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