Calling online jammers

Today I had a really fun jam with a guitar player from Japan and a synth player from the US. I played drums on a Volca Sample and I’m in Finland.

To do this I used a program called Jamtaba which works standalone or as a plugin. It connects to ninjam servers and has a simple looper built in too. To those who are unfamiliar, ninjam works so that the server records every participant and sends their audio to the others after a predefined time interval. In a 12-bar blues jam the BPI as it’s called would be best at 48 (because 12 bars equals 48 beats) but for a rolling techno thing with no chord progressions you could set it to 4. This means everyone hears everyone else with a 4 beat delay.

I started out by going to an empty server and setting the tempo to taste and then just played alone for a while before the guitarist joined in. With Jambata you can listen to the “rooms” before joining and you also see a nice map that shows where people are from.

I know there’s some people here who have done this thing more (@Supercolor_T-120) so I’m looking for insights on how to set up a private server, dealing with sync (I did it by ear because I have no way to get good sync from the PC but it was a little iffy at times with the Volca… an Elektron sequencer can be nudged and set more precisely so I think that would be no problem) and anything else related to this wonderful technology that I have just started to try out.


That sounds really interesting. I’d probably prefer a more one-on-one collaboration, but I’ve been trying to make that happen for years with no luck so this might be a nice intermediary step, so I’m going to have to check it out.

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Have you checked out the app/vst endlesss?

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I’ve been wanting to be in a techno or acid duo but I don’t know people locally and don’t really have much opportunities to go partying either so I feel you.

Most of the stuff that’s played over ninjam seems to be live instruments and that’s also what it was developed in mind with it seems but having an Elektronauts server or two could be really cool.

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I have not. What does lighting-fast mean in this context? I don’t believe actual real time jamming over the internet is possible and the way ninjam embraces the latency is a thing of genius imo.

When you make a room you record a loop, it loops and someone can then loop over it, add/remove parts etc. You can go back to any of the loops created. You can plug in an audio interface and use hardware. I believe you can download stems too. If you make the room public its this constantly changing thing that develops. Set a bpm and key and people just do their thing step by step. You could do a private room for you and some artists or hit public jams, it’s a lot of fun. I don’t think the VST version is out yet though

I use this a lot. It’s really easy to setup a private server. One person goes to the ninjam tab in jamtaba and click on host a private server. Click on start and agree to the pop ups. A wee box appears with the server ip address for the room and a server port number. Send that info to your mate an they click on the ninjam tab and select connect to a private server, enter the details and that’s it.
We always beatmatch to the metronome and then drop it to the background. If the connection are stable then the timing drift shouldn’t be too bad but there can be a lot of glitches at times and we just beatmatch to the metronome again. The glitches seem to be the wifi at ether end.
In the preferences tab there are settings for buffer size and encoder quality that you can mess with if you are having issues.


You get to tweak your recording before choosing to send it out? Sounds interesting but for now I think I prefer the way ninjam works. I really like the idea of endless radio though.

Earlier I got some error as it was checking the port but now it seems to fine and I got it running. With the “normal” ninjam server thing I tried to have a few days ago I had the problem that no-one else could connect to me. Anyone want to try right now if (ip removed) works? I don’t have time to play but would like to know it’s functioning correctly. Thanks for trying @CompNutation

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Hmm yeah I got timed out on your connection.

I take it that was definitely the server ip. There is an ip for your computer…pretty sure they all start with 192. Not sure what else to change as it just worked first time for me. Could there be some firewall/antivirus thing going on???

Might be. The server window doesn’t even show there was any action so it’s probably my router or Windows 10? I don’t know how to debug this but will search the internet for tips. (I’m locally connected to 192. something but I don’t think that works from outside)

Damn, I hate it when the peripheral crap stops you from making music!!!

…aand a bit of free advertisement for the IRC channel :smile_cat: might be useful in case of any question or anything else really, related or not…oh and of course :coffee: and :cookie: too

Oh right… everyone come to #elektron on Espernet for a nice realtime chat about Elektron gear, music, computers, school, work etc

@Ess could you ask your management / tell them Elektron needs this as well as an app to sync Elektron devices around the world - this would be so nice, right?!

This is the time - next pandemic is on the way!!

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i’ve been on the IRC channel and fooling with ninjam for a couple days with these folks, and it’s quite fun.

endless is cool, but ime ninjam feels more like you’re playing music with people. they’re interestingly similar though, w/r/t dealing with latency by embracing it

i really like ninjam so far. there’s a bit of a learning curve for me. it takes some time to fully come to grips with how important BPI is. and like any group audio effort, it’s not hard to get something reasonable going, but adding intent and structure gets increasingly challenging.

first few times i tried it i liked a small BPI, like 8 or 16. a couple days and i’d prefer at least 32 if we’re in 4/4.

come to IRC and/or fool around with ninjam! it’s maybe not ideal, but with the plague going on, it’s heckin’ better than nothing, it’s fun, and it’s something you can get better at.

PS I’m running a server we’ve been using on IRC channel, it’s not official but i intend to keep it running and you’re all welcome of course. to connect: port 2049


I’ve done about 30 Ninjam sessions so far and it works really well. In a recent update Reaper added some basic sync features (nothing fancy, just starting the Reaper transport in tome with the Ninjam server and making it more convenient to set the project tempo) that help keep the local clock lined up to the Ninjam clock, and that really improved things.

I’m about to go to bed but I’ll try to drop in here tomorrow and say more.

Jamtaba allows you to slave Reaper to the server which is real nice. I had a session yesterday where I again had the V Sample on drums and it was great to be able to just leave it (to focus on Minibrute) instead of having to nudge the tempo 2 times a minute like I did before. Was hell of a jam too, around 6-7 people.

I’m using a lot of pickup machines in the Octatrack usually, so actual clock really doesn’t matter - PUMs are really unreliable with even the most stable external clock I can get from a USAMO or other hardware sequencers, much less what I’d get from a USB interface, so I just set the internal OT tempo to the server tempo and use ReaNinjam’s new “start transport on next cycle” function to start the Octatrack and then let it play continuously the whole time and use it as my master clock. I usually do 90+ minute sessions and even though it’s free-running there has never been any noticeable drift over that much time so I trust it to be more than accurate enough, and way lower jitter than I can get from the computer (even the USAMO’s supposedly “sample accurate” clock has measurable jitter - not enough to hear but enough that it shows up in the MIDIpal clock analysis firmware and the OT’s tempo display will drift around +/- 0.2bpm when it’s slaved to clock from the USAMO and is enough to make it give the “overdub aborted” error consistently if you try to use a PUM. Anyway that’s not totally relevant, more just pointing it out because depending on your setup you might still want to send transport to hardware and use that as your clock rather than using clock from Reaper, because chances are it’ll actually give you better sync (but also more potential for accidentally losing sync).

Depending on your hardware (and I don’t know if the Jamtaba plugin has the same routing options as ReaNinjam) you can always route the Ninjam metronome to a different channel from the rest of the audio and then send that channel, add a clean, synced, multi-tap delay like ReaDelay to generate the subdivisions of every beat (I.E. a metronome counting quarter notes into a delay with three taps synced to 16th notes = 4PPQ, and if you adjust the time of individual taps you could even set up swing and things like that) and send it to a hardware output to get analog clock for anything that can use normal line level signals as a clock source. I haven’t tried that but there’s no reason it wouldn’t work. I always route the metronome to a separate track and record it for the first minute or so of every jam so I have a reference point if I need to adjust for latency or anything when I’m lining up the lossless stems everyone usually records locally for mixing.

I’ve mostly been doing stuff with a few people but only one person at a time, it’d be fun to join in one of these bigger sessions sometime.