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  • Quee MacArthur

Telluric Jam

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

As a part of our online collaboration project Luke, Joseph Charlie and I started off with a bit of discussion and a zoom jam together. It soon became apparent that any kind of music with which involved playing in time was not really going to work. It is kind of obvious given the delay, but we wanted to try anyway to see what it was like. We then tried a free time ambient jam which we concluded worked a bit better but was a bit like the longest intro ever played! So what next?

I had read some good things about software called Jacktrip which can reduce the delay between computers and allow real time jamming or rehearsing together with good quality audio. The first hurdle is installing the software, which is a lot more involved than just running an install application. It involves copying and pasting code into terminal on the mac which is something I was a bit nervous about as previous experiments with terminal have ended up with me having to re-install my OS. After reading up on the details of this and discussing it with everyone we concluded that none of us was had the technical knowhow to be really confident with doing this at this point.

The prospect of messing up the OS of our computers was enough to put us all off. There are of course other software platforms that have easy to install software which allows online jamming. We all installed Jamulus which was very easy for us to set up and it is possible to all join an existing server if no-one else is using it. Jamulus is all about jamming and other people can join in from anywhere in the world, if you want to run a private server is is possible to have your own virtual jamming room but we just wanted to check it out. It worked really well and seems very stable except of course the delay which is inescapable when long distances are involved. Luke lives in Tasmania so we quickly ran into the same issue with delay, as signals cannot travel faster than the speed of light. We tried with just Joseph Charlie and I but Charlie's only way of connecting is to use mobile broadband so that made it a lot like sitting very far apart in a big room. If everyone had a wired connection and lived in within a limited distance it works really well. Luke suggested a kind of chain of audio where it is consecutively passed on form one musician to the next. It's a great idea but we have to figure out how to do it now!

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