We’ve seen various musicians doing it in grid video style, all singing and having fun with the rest of the band members, and the sound is somewhat stunning and inspiring. Jamming with friends. So, what is it? What makes a successful jam, and how do I make sure everyone has a good time?
How To Have A Successful Online Jamming?
First off, the success of a virtual jam session varies from player to player, audience, and sound quality. For most, a jam session is a group of musicians playing together with no one being ‘the boss.’
Everyone listens to each other while creating music. It is not that different from playing with a band at your local pub for fun and drinks, except that you will be the only person who can see what everyone else is doing in their editor window. Also, when jamming with friends, there are several things to consider when joining/starting an online session:
- Know your internet connection limitations. If you are playing with people in another country, it will put an extra strain on your connection (and if you’re hosting, you’ll be the one putting that stress).
- Make sure your friends know how to work with their editors since they can do things differently than what is expected of them when jamming. Also, different sequencers have different features, so it might be a good idea to write out the ‘basics’ of using your sequencer before jamming.
- Depending on which sequencer you are using, make sure you know what version of the program you are running. Software updates can change how things work, and if everyone has an older version, it can lead to a night of confusion and possible bad sounds.
- When the jamming starts, if you have a microphone, it might be a good idea to inform your friends that they should test their microphones before starting the jam session. The Behringer umc202hd can help you do that. If everyone has good sound quality, singing/playing will go much smoother without interruptions or complaints of people being too quiet or loud.
- If you have a webcam, it would be a good idea to have that going during the lives of your jam sessions. This allows your friends to see what you are doing in real-time and know when you need help/suggestions etc.
In some cases, if everyone on the session has good internet, excellent sound quality, and no outside distractions, there might be little to worry about. All you have left is the music! And that’s what makes live jamming so much fun.
What Musicians Need To Know And Prepare
Virtual collaboration is nothing new, but it has become more popular with the growth of interest in ‘jamming’ online.
Since musicians often have different sequencers to work on, they need to know how to use their software fundamentally. This can be determined by exchanging information about your setups before you start jamming. In addition, understanding the basics of your sequencer is a huge help when you need to quickly edit or change a specific parameter during a live session with people in another country.
Prepare Your Guide Track
It is a good idea to prepare and record a guide track for the rest of your jam partners before you all get together. This way, when everyone gets in their sequencer and presses ‘play’, they can be assured that they will sound at least somewhat like what everyone else is doing. Also, it makes it easier when one person records the guide track instead of everyone doing it simultaneously.
Collect All Videos
Let everyone send their files to one person to upload them to a video hosting site such as Youtube or Vimeo. This way, everyone can access the videos whenever they want to check them out.
Listen Before You Play
Before you start jamming online, it’s a good idea to communicate beforehand about the song choice and set length. This gives people time to choose songs, practice parts if needed, and prepare gear setups that they will need for the session. It also eliminates any surprises when the time comes to start playing.
Start Editing Audios
Collect, mix, and edit all songs together to create the final product. Make sure you listen to everything in its entirety before starting so you can catch any mistakes, inappropriate noise, etc., rather than later. At the same time, it’s difficult to fix an error without re-doing other people’s parts.
Edit The Whole Video
Putting the entire jamming session in a single video is an excellent idea if someone didn’t get a part or if you want to cut out something. While the process is time-consuming, it is indeed worth the time and effort.
Once the final cut is finished, it’s a good idea to post the video online for everyone to see. This creates more exposure and gets your group noticed by more people who enjoy jamming on the internet.
It has been a challenge for all of us to get together and create music, but thanks to technology and the internet, we can do it from anywhere in the world. Whether a new song or collaboration with another musician, online jamming is a lot of fun, and it’s the best way to get in touch with people over long distances.