The Chamber Music Network

Resources to Play Online

In the spirit of coming together to play and enjoy chamber music, even in separate locations, here are some options and ways to do just that:

 

Play together 

Programs like JamKazam, Jamulus, and Jammr are used to play as an ensemble online (but take a bit of technical savviness and ideally other equipment to get the best experience).

I want to stress that these programs are not perfect! Quality of sound and connection will likely leave much to be desired. However, during these difficult and often isolated times, engaging with our musical community and our instruments can only help, and if not perfectly, these platforms do provide the best options for us to continue playing together

Read below for further information on each program. 

 

Jamkazam-- is a free program which acts as an online rehearsal room.

You don’t need any special hardware to make it work, though some extras would greatly improve the quality of the sound and experience such as an audio interface and a mic.  Another consideration is internet speed and the distances between members. The higher the internet speed the lower the latency, working optimally if the distance between members is less than 25 miles. Ethernet is recommended for slower wifi speeds.

https://www.jamkazam.com/

 

Pros:

Allows for real time playing between a group

Completely Free

All three are available for both Mac and Windows

 

Cons:

Medium level of technical ability

Quality is low without audio interface and microphone

User interface is a bit confusing

Highspeed internet is needed

Small distance between members’ locations required

Ethernet is recommended for slower wifi speeds 

 

Check out this videos to see if Jamkazam might work for you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylYcvTY9CVo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hscuHwnmoJE

 

Jamulus-- is an open source program similar to Jamkazam- also free to use.

It does seem to take even more technical knowledge of computer systems but it allows for more flexibility with other audio software. An important factor is that the Jamulus software requires an ASIO sound card driver to be available in the system. If your sound card does not have native ASIO support, there are work arounds on their site.  

lcon.sourceforge.net/

Pros:

Allows for real time playing between a group

Completely Free

Flexibility of knowledgeable users

All three are available for both Mac and Windows

 

 

Cons:

Med to High level of technical ability with computers needed

Quality is low without audio interface and microphone

User interface leaves more to be desired

Highspeed internet is needed

Small distance between members’ locations required

Ethernet is recommended for slower wifi speeds 

 

 

Check out this video to see if Jamulus might work for you:

hwww.youtube.com/watch?v=KBVBQ9ewVRY (Note this is a more advanced tutorial)

 

Jammr is another program like Jamkazaam and Jamulas with a couple of differences. Jammr is still in beta but currently all features are free. At some point there will be a monthly cost for some features. The site also has a community forum.

jammr.net/

Pros:

Free (currently)

New forum

Website claims players can be further apart

All three are available for both Mac and Windows

 

Cons:

Med level of technical ability

New so not a lot of info on the program

Audio quality is low without audio interface and microphone

Highspeed internet is needed

Ethernet is recommended for slower wifi speeds 

 

Check out this videos to see if Jammr might work for you:

jammr.net/howitworks.html

 

Playing Solo With Your Computer

 

Tom Play – Is a Swiss firm that goes beyond digitized sheet music, providing a score that scrolls across the screen in sync with the accompanying music. There is control over the accompaniment; varying the speed and adding annotations and other features. Individual pieces can be purchased but there is also subscription plans as well. In terms of chamber music selection, options are limited, but check out what is offered. Also, note to make sure get the right instrument audio score.

www.tomplay.com/

 

Music Minus One - is a library where a user can purchase individual pieces and books of works.  Recordings are accessed online using the unique code inside each book and can be streamed or downloaded. The audio also allows you to slow down audio without changing pitch, set loop points, change keys, and pan left or right. There is a wide range of genres available but limited number of chamber works beyond a single instrument and piano. Also, note to make sure get the right instrument audio score.

www.halleonard.com/search/search.action?dt=item&seriesFeature=MMONE#products

 

Other options to connect:

Remember, even if these programs and other resources do not work for you to play together, stay in touch with your regular ensembles, playing friends, and perhaps reach out to make new ones. Use facetime, Skype or another program. Also, open a free Zoom videoconferencing account and assemble on a regular basis online and stay connected (participants can also phone in). These platforms don't work for playing music together from different locations simultaneously because of latency (lag time) but why not get together, share thoughts on music you've heard and would like to play, and plan ahead.

Some players are reporting that they share ideas with their playing friends and then work on their own on difficult passages of pieces they will play together later. Lastly, an option is to record yourself on your computer or phone from wherever you are and send it to your ensemble or playing friends.