[LAU] Jamulus private server [WAS]: Re: online calls with decent auido for music lessons

Brandon Hale bthaleproductions at gmail.com
Fri Mar 19 15:13:00 CET 2021

I don't know, you will have to try it. The machine I run it on has a 
static ip.

Brandon Hale

On 3/19/21 10:02 AM, Lorenzo Sutton wrote:
> Hi Brandon,
> On 19/03/21 14:51, Brandon Hale wrote:
>> Hey Lorenzo,
>> As far as the Jamulus stuff, you can totally run a private server on 
>> your main machine. The person connecting would just enter your ip and 
>> port number the server is on and can connect to you directly. You 
>> have to run the server from the shell to customize the options, but 
>> you can use this command to do it:
> Thanks for the hint. Will this work also with a dynamic IP and no port 
> forwarding set-up? I can tinker with that, I guess, but probably most 
> users wouldn't.
> Ciao,
> Lorenzo.
>> Jamulus -s -n -o "*Server-Name*;*Location-name*;*area-code**(see 
>> documentation about this)*" -w"*Server name*"
>> Just fill out the text that is in bold and you can run a private server.
>> Brandon Hale
>> On 3/19/21 8:53 AM, Lorenzo Sutton wrote:
>>> On 16/03/21 09:14, Lorenzo Sutton wrote:
>>>> Dear all,
>>>> Thank you so much for all the interesting insight and suggestions :-)
>>>> Sorry if I can't answer individually for now, but I did real all 
>>>> the emails, greatly appreciated. This mailing list rocks as usual ;-)
>>>> I'll try and test some of the proposed solutions trying to factor 
>>>> in all of the elements and the fact that I need to try and not to 
>>>> overcomplicate things for my teacher who - I imagine - is having to 
>>>> set-up all of the lessons, re-schedule etc. (I'm the student 
>>>> here...). I'll report back after my first remote lesson ;)
>>> For anyone interested, it is a bit long, but hopefully interesting / 
>>> useful for other :)
>>> For our first lesson yesterday we used Zoom for the sake of 
>>> simplicity (especially for my teacher and to facilitate their 
>>> schedule). Audio quality was decent on both ends), playing together 
>>> was out of question (but expected with any similar platform due to 
>>> latency). My teacher did point out that 'original audio' feature 
>>> could improve audio quality even more... Unfortunately, as said, it 
>>> doesn't seem to be available on Linux... Which is weird as you'd 
>>> think that all of the funky 'noise reduction' / 'echo cancellation' 
>>> stuff should be 'additions' and easy to 'turn off', not the 
>>> reverse... I tried contacting Zoom but I assume they will never answer.
>>> In the meantime I did some tests (alone, using two laptops, see some 
>>> specs at the end) with:
>>> - Discord [1]: sound quality was pretty good, especially after 
>>> removing all of the noise reduction, and 'auto' features and 
>>> lowering to the minimum 'voice activation' - and it does use Opus. 
>>> It was not stereo (which for bass is ok, but would be nice to have 
>>> e.g. if playing a backing track etc.). The nice thing was that video 
>>> is included. I think that in order to have more fine-grained control 
>>> over audio you need to download the client (so not using the web 
>>> one), which does exist for Linux. Both parties need to have a 
>>> registered account to use this, which might be a bit of a hassle for 
>>> the other party who have to a) register and create yet another 
>>> account b) install yet another application. Also log-in seems to 
>>> require captcha and device verification (I guess due to abuse); but 
>>> this makes the sign-up process and first star quite cumbersome. 
>>> Audio is pulseaudio of course, which means pulseaudio sink for jack. 
>>> A 'mobile App' exists.
>>> - Jami [2]: This is a P2P calling system and uses Opus. A bonus is 
>>> that it supports Jack directly. It worked ok and included video, but 
>>> I did notice a few dropouts and high CPU usage, and one end did 
>>> crash at an instance. All in all, it didn't seem the quality was 
>>> much higher than Discord. Also mono-only. But I think that's 
>>> expected as this is probably and evolution of SIP 'softphone0' 
>>> clients (e.g. like Egika?). Account creation is easy as you really 
>>> just enter a name and username (no central email registration etc. 
>>> needed). It does require both parties having an installed client. 
>>> Again this last point might prove a bit of an additional hassle. A 
>>> 'mobile App' exists.
>>> - Cleanfeed [3]: audio-only, web-only, freemium. Primarily aimed at 
>>> online broadcasting / podcasting / news. Considering that this works 
>>> out of the browser (Chrom* ones (including -ium) only officially 
>>> supported but they try to make it work also on Firefox), I was quite 
>>> impressed by the audio quality of the 'Music' setting available with 
>>> the free account (they offer even higher bitrates with the paid 
>>> ones. As a bonus 'music' is in stereo. I contacted support with a 
>>> couple of questions and they were very friendly and helpful and seem 
>>> also quite knowledgeable about Linux. The interesting feature here 
>>> is that you just provide a link to the other party who join through 
>>> a browser. This being browser-based also means you need pulseaudio 
>>> and the sink if using jack (like in all my tests). No video means 
>>> setting up some other (muted) video service for that. The 
>>> browser-only link thing could make this relatively easy to propose 
>>> by just sending the link to my teacher once we start the zoom call 
>>> and having them use it for audio and mute their zoom, we shall see. 
>>> They are also quite straightforward in saying that this is not 
>>> primarily intended for online 'jamming'.
>>> - Jamulus [4]: audio-only, realtime online jamming-oriented with 
>>> public 'servers', jack-native. This was actually real fun to test 
>>> and play with. I tried some close-by servers and jammed a bit in the 
>>> central one. With 128 frames set in JACK and using Jamulus' own 
>>> direct monitoring latency was definitely acceptable and the audio 
>>> quality pretty good. Audio-quality and music-friendliness wise this 
>>> is probably the nicest to use. Only thing for a teaching setting is 
>>> the public-only servers (the documentation mentions 'private' ones, 
>>> but I haven't looked into if this is possible without actually 
>>> 'hosting' a server), there is a workaround via soloing or muting 
>>> others, but I don't think most teachers (nor students) would feel 
>>> comfortable with anyone possibly coming in and listening to the 
>>> lesson. Also video should be provided via some other tool and, of 
>>> course, all parties need to have the software installed.
>>> That said this software is really well made and fun to use.
>>> (aside note there were a couple of 'troll' events in one of the 
>>> public servers, and although they say don't feed the trolls 'audio 
>>> trolling' can hurt your ears... Not sure how this could be solved, 
>>> maybe some 'reputation' system like on Stack overflow or similar.. 
>>> but that does have its flaws.. and it's another topic :-)
>>> In all tests my set-up was the following:
>>> Hardware:
>>> - Bass -> cheap Bass DI [balanced out] -> ZOOM H5 in | [H5 also 
>>> providing microphone input via the included X/Y mics (so in 4-track 
>>> mode]
>>> In all cases the Laptop I hooked the ZOOM H5 to was connected via 
>>> network cable to the router. I'm also using (since about 1 week) an 
>>> FTTH connection. With the exception of Jamulus, I also tried 
>>> connecting the other test laptop via thetering 4G just to test what 
>>> the other user would potentially hear, and the results were always 
>>> pretty good (I did not however test the reverse).
>>> Software:
>>> - Jack
>>> - Zoom H5 shows 4 inputs in jack: the L/R mics and the inputs 1 and 2
>>> - Where Jack was natively supported mic1+2 and input 3 were sent to 
>>> the application
>>> -  Where Jack was not supported I added the pulseaudio sink (I 
>>> always start that manually via a script I have since ages), with 
>>> similar routing.
>>> - All of the software (with the exception of Cleanfeed which is 
>>> web-based), I was able to find packaged for Manjaro either in the 
>>> official repositories or in AUR.
>>> Things I'd like to try but din't have the chance to, yet:
>>> - SonoBus [5]
>>> - SoundJack [6]
>>> - JackTrip [7]
>>> [1]: https://discord.com/
>>> [2]: https://jami.net/
>>> [3]: https://cleanfeed.net/
>>> [4]: https://jamulus.io/
>>> [5]: https://sonobus.net/
>>> [6]: https://www.soundjack.eu/
>>> [7]: https://ccrma.stanford.edu/groups/soundwire/software/jacktrip/
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