I was thinking we can try to test it during the soundcheck before next OM, alternatively I am up for scheduling it with anyone from anywhere really. I think Mark is closest to me distance wise?
Yeah I think so Adi, I’m on the Surrey / Berkshire border, you’re Oxford way?. Soundcheck may get a little frantic if we’re up at 20 or so performers to get through.
Thanks @TheMadman_tobyjenner! Yes, great to see Zoom still has an eye on what might enhance the experience for musicians and music teachers.
I suspect that this setting won’t enhance the audio quality unfortunately as I assume whatever they are doing to decrease latency will probably have an adverse effect on quality, but I could be wrong. I’d be thinking the compression Zoom uses to help with transmitting audio will be what causes the level drops you notice, so perhaps that will be further exaggerated with this setting maybe? I guess we’ll have to see after some testing!
We had a quick try of it at work here and picked up on a couple of things. We did a (in theory) point to point call but according to Zoom’s stats we were still routed through a Sydney server regardless, so my theory on that could be wrong. It showed our latency at about 45ms which I believe is about normal for a ping from my work computer in Dunedin to a server in Sydney. This didn’t change when we enabled the setting and in fact I didn’t notice any difference except that our audio was not captured in the Cloud recording whilst that setting was enabled. As my colleague wasn’t a musician, we just tried counting in sync to see if that would work (not sure if that’s a reasonable test but we tried it anyway ), however just didn’t work unfortunately.
As such I think for us in NZ we be hampered by the tyranny of distance, however for yourselves in the UK/Europe perhaps you’ll have more luck given your proximity to servers? I am hoping so, it would be exciting to see something like this integrated seamlessly into a common desktop application without too many technical hurdles. Maybe Zoom will eventually put servers in NZ so we could benefit too
In addition to the incredible wealth of information Keith has provided, this article also explains the challenges really well. Worth a read if interested…
How latency makes jamming together in real time nearly impossible
That article looks interesting Jeff but I unfortunately got a 404 when I tried the link.
Ah !! The embedded address is truncated, can add LE to the end of IMPOSSIB ?
Interestingly mine is only updating to 5.13.11 so there must be some sort of staggered rollout. Although I did notice I had update settings set to SLOW rather than FAST so that might have an impact. I’ll give it a try when I get that version.
If you upgrade to 5.13 and then check for updates again, it should update you to 5.14.
Ah!! My apologies!!! Good spotting Toby! Thanks for picking up on that! It should be all good now
Just returning to this thread for a couple of related points…
Had meeting yesterday with our Zoom account manager and dedicated tech support, turns out both are guitar players (the account manager even gigs with his band) and they are both big advocates for pushing development of the live performance setting, which they confirmed is still a work in progress… They also advised that they are helping to push my case around getting the Original Sound option reinstated to be ON by default once you set it to be on. The case is currently sitting with the product managers, so… fingers crossed! Nothing is committed to on this of course but at least it appears to be being considered
My account manager also talked about the Elk Live software, which is his go-to for real time jamming over the internet whilst Zoom is working this capability out. They have hardware which can be purchased but have also apparently recently released a free software app (still in beta) which achieves the same (Mac only at this stage but working on one for Windows). The video below gives a really good overview. @Majik have you had any experience with this yet? Looks pretty cool
I’m aware of the Elk Live, but I’ve been burned investing in a similar solution before, and it turned out to be an expensive door-stop.
The initial problem (in that case) was that they mainly promoted it in the US, and most of the user-base were in the US. Outside of the US there weren’t many users.
And this sort of technology relies on you having a other users who are relatively local, otherwise you start getting too much latency.
In practice that means within roughly 1000 km of each other (subject to network, often it’s a lot less). In the UK, that limited me to jam with other people in the UK or a small part of Western Europe.
Unfortunately, there were very few people on their system in these areas. Whenever I tried going online, there was never anyone to jam with that didn’t have too much latency.
I even tried with a friend in central France, and the latency and quality was rubbish.
The other problem was that they didn’t support it with updates and, eventually, dropped all support for it, so now it no longer functions.
Based on that experience, I would be reluctant to invest in some other, similar, hardware unit.
That’s especially given my current geographic location. When I have used other tools like Jamulus, which are pretty popular, there usually very few other users near enough to jam with.
Thanks Keith, totally understandable!
I wonder if having a free app solution (assuming it works as described) will change this consideration and get more users onboard given the removal of the cost barrier. Will be interesting to see how this progresses I guess
Not sure it can be believed, but in the video above he said Elk reached out to him to correct the range of their hardware system (under optimum conditions I assume) is now up to 1000mi/1600km… that’s a pretty big range. As the crow flies (which I appreciate is probably not an accurate method ) this would cover London to most of Western Europe?
Section of video that refers to this
Although for the App they don’t really give a range more an estimation that up to say 1000km might be possible on their FAQ page.
But, in that case, I don’t see what they offer as being any different or substantially better, or more popular than existing, established solutions like Jamulus or Jamkazam.
The big advantage, to me, would be the hardware and the plug and play nature of it and the potential to reduce local latency by using dedicated hardware. Without that, it’s just another option from many.
By the way, when I use Jamulus (which I suspect has far more users globally than Elk Live)) here in Singapore, there are a few local users, but not many. Most nearby users are in Australia or similar, which is too far away.
That’s the point. I think that is a bit deceptive because they talk about speed in a fibre, but none of us has an as-the-crow flies fibre to everyone else.
In practice, it will go through several different fibres and multiple pieces of equipment and route which will be far from optimal.
Just going through a router will burn 1ms or more. Over that sort of distance it’s not uncommon to go through 10 routers or more. So you’ve burned at least 10ms right there before you even consider the latency through fibre.
The practical distance, based on my personal experience in the Telecommunications industry working with such networks, is approximately half of this, so about 500 miles.
I will add that the latency across the Internet, between two Internet access points (for instance between your Internet connection in your house and mine) is the same for everyone.
There is absolutely nothing that Elk Live can do about that. They will get exactly the same latency across the network as any other application.
They make a big fuss about using UDP, but everyone uses UDP. It’s Internet 101. People were doing this more than 30 years ago.
The ONLY thing they can do to improve latency is to have dedicated hardware which interfaces to your Internet connection, which bypasses any latency caused by PC audio interfaces, USB busses, and OS buffering.
That is what they are doing and it’s really the only thing that is any different from the half-dozen other online jamming solutions that have been around for years.
And even then, it’s not really any different from what Jamkazam were doing in 2015.
Do you think it will ever happen, the ability to jam with others around the world? It must be something that is really hard to achieve. I mean you can ping a server on a local gigabit network and you get a ms delay, so surely just the fact that nothing can travel fast enough to make it like you’re all jamming in the same room?
Based on our current understanding of Physics and the limits of our physical universe, no. It will not be possible.
The limit of how fast we can transmit Information is the speed of light, and we are already at that limit.
There may be new networks in future that are more direct and, therefore, have lower latency, but that’s the only improvement you can expect to see.
I thought that was probably the case Keith.
A shame really as it would be quite a cool thing to be able to do.
And just in case anyone was thinking it:
Point to point worm hole networks?
And that was going to be my next question.