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Old 05-24-2020, 12:57 AM   #2
Human being with feelings
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 12

Well I too, like many others, have been recently and… spontaneously interested in the so called "online jamming" and I have been testing NinJam (through JamTaba, actually) together with some friends.
I have to admit, however, that we were quite disappointed. Maybe I'm wrong, but I find it really difficult to understand how, in describing the features of such a software, we can talk about "jamming together", “jamming with other people”.

As far as I understand, NinJam intentionally introduces a considerable delay in sound delivering, in order to "compensate" for the many network delays so that the sounds of the various sources reach their destinations in a coherent and synchronized manner.
However, if on the one hand this is an advantage in terms of listening, on the other hand it greatly penalizes the very perception of "playing", because while you play you do not listen to what you (and the others) are actually playing: you listen, instead, to what you played many seconds before. Likewise, the notes you play right now will be heard (by both you and the others) several seconds later.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the "feeling" of playing itself (that is, the direct relationship between what you do and what you hear) is missing to a large extent. Which is, to say the least, quite unnatural.

The issue becomes even more... twisted if you play an acoustic or semi-acoustic instrument, such as a sax, a guitar, a drumset (also an electronic one) or... your own voice; an instrument, namely, that emits sounds even without any connections to sound equipment.
In that case, indeed, in addition to hearing through the Internet the things done (by you and by others) many seconds ago, YOU also hear through your ears (even if somehow muffled) the things you are doing now, on top of all the rest. A kind of strange and continuous... overdubbing, in which everyone almost plays... blind (or, to put it better, deaf).
Not to mention what you "feel" not with your ears but with your hands, fingers, throat...

Undoubtedly if you play a repetitive groove, without significant variations and at a constant rhythm (not by chance NinJam includes a showy metronome), the “overdubbing” can be somehow covered up, but you still remain quite far from the concept of "playing an instrument" and very far from that of "jamming together".
I'm sure that such a system can be useful and even fun in particular situations, but I really wouldn't call it suitable, no way, for those who hope to simply “jam together” with others through the net.

Or maybe my friends and I didn't understand how NinJam works and made some serious installation or configuration mistakes… :]
harmand is offline   Reply With Quote