Comparison of Remote Music Performance Software

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When playing music, musicians must reduce or eliminate the issue of audio latency in order to play in time together. While standard web conferencing software is designed to facilitate remote audio and video communication, it has too much latency for live musical performance.[1][2] Packet-based Internet protocols subject audio signals to delays and other interference which presents a problem for keeping latency low enough for musicians play together remotely.[3][4][5]

Software created specifically to minimise or eliminate the issue of Internet-related audio latency enables musicians to perform live music together over domestic broadband connections. The use of various compression and other techniques, together with affordable low-latency audio interface hardware (which most of the systems listed here are also optimised to work with), has reached a state in which it is practical for even large numbers of musicians to play or sing together without experiencing significant problems.[6][7][8]

The following table compares key features of software written for the expressed purpose of allowing musicians to perform music together over the Internet.  It does not attempt to cover subjective features such as sound quality or ease of use. However, some software on the list may address different aspects of remote collaboration better than others, or may be more suited to certain musical genres.

Name Licence Charge Architecture Platforms Session type [a] Max. participants Synch. [b] Video Codec Sample rate Bitrate First release Current release Date
Jamstud.io Proprietary Free P2P Win, Mac, Linux Open & Closed 6 None Yes Uncompressed 48 kHz; 44.1 kHz 16-bit April 2021 1.24 2021-11-9
Sublive Proprietary Free/donationware P2P Win, Mac Open & Closed 5 Audio track[9] Yes Opus 48 kHz 32-384 kbps May 2021 0.42 2021-09-21
Groovesetter Proprietary Free plan or Free Trial P2P Win, Mac Closed 8 Locations Mixed[10] No Uncompressed From 44.1kHz to 192kHz 16-bit, 24-bit, 32-bit May 2021 1.2.13 2021-08-08
4D Jam[11] Proprietary Fremium P2P Win, Mac, iOS, Android Open At least 8 locations Yes[12] Opus & Uncompressed 2021 2.0 2021-10-01
Jamulus GPL Free Client/Server[3] Win, Mac, Linux, Android Open & Closed 100+ [13] None No[14] Opus 48 kHz 132-894 kbps[15] 2006 [16] 3.8.0 2021-06-02
JammerNetz AGPL and MIT available Free Client/Server Win, Mac, Linux Closed ? [13] None No Uncompressed 48 kHz dep. on # channels 2019 2.0.0 2021-03-21
Digital Stage Proprietary Free, restricted[17] Various Win, Mac Closed 30 Prototype testing[18][19]
Sagora GPL Free Client/Server Win, Mac, Linux, Raspbian Open & Closed None Opus 48 kHz May 2020[20] 1.1 2020-08
LoLa Proprietary Free/shareware P2P Win Closed 3 locations None Yes at least 1 Gbps 2005 2.0.0b1 2019-10-18
JamKazam Proprietary $0 - $19.99p/m[21] P2P, C/S[22] [3] Win, Mac[23] Open & Closed Unlimited (for $10+ plans)[21] Metronome Yes (paid plans)[21] 48 kHz; 44.1 kHz 2014 (?) 1.0.3950 ?
SoundJack Proprietary Free P2P, C/S[24] Win, Mac, Linux Open & Closed[14] ~60 None β (OSX)[14] 2006 ? 2021-05-12[25]
JackTrip MIT like[26] Free P2P, C/S[3] CLI: Win, Mac, Linux ? Unlimited None No 2000 (?) 1.3.0[27] 2020-08-04
SonoBus GPL[28] Free P2P via AoO[29] Win, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android Open & Closed 10 None No Opus & Uncompressed 48 kHz & 44.1 kHz 2020-08-31 1.4.6[30] 2021-06-04
HPS Jam BSD[31] Free Client/Server Win, Mac, Linux Open & Closed 256 None No - (PCM) 2020-11-19 v1.0.14 2021-05-29
Ninjam / Ninbot GPL (Server only) $60[32] Client/Server Win, Mac, Linux ? ? Delayed Sync[33] No ? REAPER 6.18 ?
Jamtaba GPL Free Ninjam Client[34] Win, Mac, Linux ? ? Delayed Sync Yes 2015-09-26 v2.1.15 2020-06-30
Jammr.net GPL Free - $9.99p/m[35] Client/Server Win, Mac, Linux Open & Closed 20 Delayed Sync No ? 1.2.92 2020-09-13
Endless Proprietary Free - $4.49[36] ? iOS Open & Closed ? Metronome No ? 1.1.2 2020-11-13
Ejamming Audio Proprietary $9.95p/m P2P(?) Win, Mac Closed 4 ? No ? ? ?
Rehearsal Live Share Proprietary $14.99p/m (directors)[37] Client/Server Win, Mac, iOS, Android[38] Closed 30[39] Audio track Yes ? ? ? ? ? ?
Solocontutti[40] Proprietary Free P2P Win, Mac, iOS, Android Open & Closed 12 Metronome Yes (limited) Opus up to 48 KHz 100 - 500 kbps 2013 1.6.2 2021-11-20
FarPlay Open source Freemium P2P Win, Mac, Linux Closed No Uncompressed 48 kHz 2021-11-18 0.3.6 2022-01-19

Table Heading Notes[edit]

[a] - Whether the system supports public or private performance or playing.
[b] - Whether the system has a built-in mechanism for helping or enforcing the musicians to play together. For an explanation of "delayed sync" method see https://jammr.net/howitworks.html

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Zoom: online rehearsals (vocal) | Making Music". www.makingmusic.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2020-12-04. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  2. ^ "Playing Music Together Online Is Not As Simple As It Seems". NPR.org. Archived from the original on 2020-12-26. Retrieved 2020-12-27.
  3. ^ a b c d Rosen, Peter (2020-11-15). "Social Distancing For Musicians: A Quick Guide To Low-Latency Audio". Archived from the original on 2020-12-01. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  4. ^ Fischer, Volker. "Case Study: Performing Band Rehearsals on The Internet With Jamulus" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-01-18. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  5. ^ Carôt, A.; Hoene, C.; Busse, H.; Kuhr, C. (2020). "Results of the Fast-Music Project—Five Contributions to the Domain of Distributed Music". IEEE Access. 8: 47925–47951. doi:10.1109/ACCESS.2020.2979362. ISSN 2169-3536.
  6. ^ Wise, Brian (2020-09-07). "Long-Distance, Online Performances Without the Latency?". Brian Wise. Archived from the original on 2021-01-18. Retrieved 2020-12-27.
  7. ^ "Virtual Jamming: The Latest Tools for Playing Together in Real Time". Acoustic Guitar. 2020-05-15. Archived from the original on 2020-12-22. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  8. ^ "Networked Music Performance: An Introduction". SmartMusic. 2020-09-25. Archived from the original on 2020-10-06. Retrieved 2020-12-27.
  9. ^ Backing track with 'Sendahead' for synchronised output.
  10. ^ None under 400 miles. Delayed synch at longer distances.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2021-10-31. Retrieved 2021-10-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Includes screen sharing and recording.
  13. ^ a b Limited only by server resources
  14. ^ a b c "SoundJack: Real Time Online Music". Ian Howell, DMA. Archived from the original on 2020-11-01. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  15. ^ "Quality, Delay and Bandwidth – Jamulus Wiki". jamulus.io. Archived from the original on 2021-03-03. Retrieved 2021-06-25.
  16. ^ "June 2020, "Community Choice" Project of the Month – Jamulus - SourceForge Community Blog". Archived from the original on 2021-03-29. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
  17. ^ Free for members of artistic associations and project partners.
  18. ^ "Features". digital-stage.org. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  19. ^ Kurtz, Holger. "Noch ruckelt die digitale Konzertbühne | Ausgabe: 5/20 | nmz - neue musikzeitung". neue musikzeitung. No. 5/2020. Archived from the original on 18 January 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  20. ^ "Sagora - Agora Sonora". sagora.org. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  21. ^ a b c "What Are JamKazam's Free vs. Premium Features?". JamKazam. 2020-12-05. Archived from the original on 2021-01-24. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
  22. ^ Free version is P2P only, commercial chooses faster route.
  23. ^ Wilson, David. "What Gear Do I Need to Play on JamKazam?". JamKazam. Archived from the original on 2021-02-26. Retrieved 2020-12-27.
  24. ^ "Server - Soundjack". Archived from the original on 2020-12-29. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
  25. ^ "Dev Status - Soundjack". www.soundjack.eu. Archived from the original on 2021-06-25. Retrieved 2021-06-25.
  26. ^ "jacktrip/jacktrip". GitHub. Archived from the original on 2020-12-05. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  27. ^ "Releases · jacktrip/jacktrip · GitHub". Archived from the original on 2020-11-19. Retrieved 2020-12-27.
  28. ^ "SonoBus License". GitHub. Archived from the original on 2021-10-31. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  29. ^ "Audio Over OSC". GitHub. Archived from the original on 2021-10-31. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  30. ^ "SonoBus Releases". GitHub. Archived from the original on 2021-10-31. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  31. ^ "hselasky/hpsjam". GitHub. Archived from the original on 2021-05-30. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  32. ^ Requires purchase of a REAPER software licence.
  33. ^ Marraccini, Fabio (2020-04-06). "Best services for online music jam (2020)". AudioGeek11. Archived from the original on 2020-12-03. Retrieved 2020-12-27.
  34. ^ "elieserdejesus/JamTaba". GitHub. Archived from the original on 2020-12-25. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
  35. ^ "Get premium! | jammr". jammr.net. Archived from the original on 2020-11-28. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  36. ^ Includes in-app purchases for advanced features.
  37. ^ "Pricing/Ordering". Rehearsal Live Share. Archived from the original on 31 October 2021. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  38. ^ "Hardware Recommendations". Rehearsal Live Share. Archived from the original on 31 October 2021. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  39. ^ "FAQs". Rehearsal Live Share. Archived from the original on 31 October 2021. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  40. ^ Redactie, Onze (2013). "Op afstand samen muziek maken" (PDF). Klank Wijzer: 50–53.