low latency.audio

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Processor

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Input


Choose one:

Digital piano

Docs




OS

Video

Entry-level Soundjack setups

For authoritative references, see Dr. Ian Howell and Kayla Gautereaux's Soundjack bootcamp video archive, Dr. Ian Howell's comprehensive Soundjack guide, and Dr. Alex Carôt's 10 commandments.

FMB Pro placeholder content was added to this page 2022 January 30. I don't have an FMB Pro and haven't had a chance to make sure that the FMB Pro instructions are correct.

Shopping list: Total > $0.00

ConnectivityComputer and USB Audio InterfaceMicrophone and headphones

Broadband, low-jitter internet connection

You have fiber-optic internet.
You have cable internet.
Note: DSL might also work, but will likely require contacting the phone company to disable interleaving; a technician might be dispatched to move copper wiring around to reduce line noise.

Home networking

(A) Main router that can be reached by Ethernet cable from computer without repeater/extender
(B) Ethernet cable ft
Ethernet hub
Ethernet switch (if it is preferred to run a single cable for most of the length between the router and computer)
(C) Computer

CPU.1

Soundjack and video will run on the computer. An additional fastmusic box will not be used.

≳ 4-core vintage 2017 laptop Core i7

The processor need not carry the i7 moniker. For example a desktop quad-core Core i3-8100 @ 3.60 GHz and a laptop quad-core Core i7-8650U @ 1.90 GHz have comparable benchmarks. If a CPU has at least 4 cores and a benchmark at least in the 6200ish range, I think the CPU is fast enough for Soundjack (assuming some other process isn't hogging CPU).



CPU.2

Soundjack will run on a fastmusic box. The computer will be used for video.

(D) Ethernet cable ft

(E) Fastmusic Box (FMB)
Buy prebuilt $268
Buy parts & assemble (~$190)
(F,G) USB cable & Audio interface

Latency data are found at the Symonics website.

For a mic, and possibly a monaural connection to a digital piano:
Behringer UM2 $45 (MSRP $74)
Scarlett Solo $120 (MSRP $150)

For a mic and a stereo connection to a digital piano:
Yamaha AG03 $160 (MSRP $213)

For a mic, a stereo connection to a digital piano, and stereo connection to an iPhone's line-out:
Yamaha AG06 $210 (MSRP $283)

For 2 condenser mics (e.g. accompanist with acoustic piano):
Scarlett 2i2 $170 (MSRP $210)
Other:
(H) XLR Cable ft

See Dr. Ian Howell's microphone advice.


MIC.1

Use a headworn mic (suggested if your audio equipment will also be used for routine work-from-home)

(I) In-line preamp & (J) Headworn condenser mic
Shure SM35 $159 (includes BETA preamp)
Shure PGA31 $49 + BETA preamp $90
Other:

MIC.2

Use a side-address condenser mic

(K) Side-address condenser mic
Audio Technica AT2035 $149
Lewit LCT 240 Pro $159
Other:
Mic stand: Desk Floor

MIC.3

Use a dynamic microphone (nice if you're just singing and/or don't need to move around a lot while on calls)

(L) Dynamic mic
Shure SM58 $99 (MSRP $129)
Shure SM48 $50
Other:
Mic stand: Desk Floor

MIC.4

Use an omnidirectional condenser microphone (captures sound of room in addition to singer—useful for classical voice lessons)

(M) Omnidirectional condenser mic
Beyerdynamic MM-1 $173 (MSRP $199)
Behringer ECM8000 $30 (MSRP $104)
Other:
Mic stand: Desk Floor

(N) Open-back headphones
Grado SR60x $99
Grado SR80x $125
Other:

Setup steps
(including first time steps)

    Part Equipment connections

  1. CONNECT: computerpower adapterpower outlet.
  2. CONNECT: computerEthernet/USB hub (if needed)Ethernet cable (OK to use switch & 2nd cable)main router.
  3. On your computer, turn WiFi OFF.
  4. Make sure that no VPN is being used (including through computer settings as well as through the router).

  5. CPU.1 (for users not using a FMB)

  6. CONNECT: USB cablecomputer (by way of Ethernet/USB hub is OK).


  7. CPU.2 (for FMB users)

  8. CONNECT: FMBEthernet cable (OK to use switch & 2nd cable)main router.
  9. CONNECT: USB cableFMB.
  10. Is your FMB's power adapter already connected to wall power?
    1. Yes: If your FMB is not yet ON, click your FMB's power button to turn your FMB ON.
    2. No: CONNECT FMB → FMB's power adapterpower outlet. Some FMBs are configured to power on upon connecting to wall power. If your FMB does not automatically power on upon connecting to wall power, click your FMB's power button to turn your FMB ON.
    3. Check that your FMB's red LED is lit.

  11. On the , ensure that 48-V phantom power is OFF.

  12. CPU.1 (for users not using a FMB) > Windows > One-time/occasional

    These instructions are for changing a Windows registry entry so that Soundjack can use Focusrite Scarlett USB audio interfaces with lower buffer settings (otherwise rhythmic interaction is not possible). The instructions are lightly adapted from Jörg Spix's post at Soundjack Support Form Post # 4780.

  13. Download https://www.soundjack.eu/Downloads/FocusritePatch.zip.
  14. Extract the .zip file.
  15. Right-click on the SetAltStreamingMode.bat file and select "Run as admin".
  16. Disconnect your Focusrite Scarlett from your computer.
  17. Wait five (5) seconds.
  18. ReCONNECT: Focusrite Scarlettcomputer.


  19. MIC.1 (for headworn condenser mic users)

  20. CONNECT: XLR cablein-line preampheadworn condenser mic.
  21. On the , turn 48-V phantom power ON.


  22. MIC.2 (for side-address condenser mic users)

  23. Check STABILITY: side-address condenser mic securely mounted on stand.
  24. CONNECT: XLR cableside-address condenser mic.
  25. On the , turn 48-V phantom power ON.


  26. MIC.3 (for dynamic mic users)

  27. Check STABILITY: dynamic mic securely mounted on stand.
  28. CONNECT: XLR cable dynamic mic.
  29. On the , check that the input gain for the XLR jack is set to a reaonsable level (if possible, use a level that was successfully used in a previous rehearsal).


  30. MIC.4 (for omnidirectional condenser mic users)

  31. Check STABILITY: omnidirectional condenser mic securely mounted on stand.
  32. CONNECT: XLR cableomnidirectional condenser mic.
  33. On the , turn 48-V phantom power ON.

  34. CONNECT: headphones.
  35. On the , check that the headphones monitoring level is set to a reasonable level (if possible, use a level that was successfully used in a previous rehearsal).

  36. Part Get meeting link (one-time/occasional)

  37. If your ensemble has a low-latency project chief, they can give you a link to a page of low-latency audio and video shortcuts. The link looks like https://15til.com/LLL/?room=RoomName&pwd=Password....
  38. Open the link provided by your low-latency project chief (if you have one) in Vivaldi/Chrome.

    If you have no low-latency project chief, please feel free to open the link in the above step. Just beware that in subsequent steps, you could end up in a video chat with random strangers who did the same 😊.

  39. Save a bookmark/shortcut to your desktop (or somewhere else you will remember to look) by using the following steps:
    1. For either Vivaldi or Chrome, you can add a bookmark to your bookmarks bar by clicking the bookmark icon (Vivaldi: bookmark, Chrome: star) in the URL/location bar.
    2. For Chrome, you can make a shortcut icon in your file system (e.g. desktop):
      1. Click the three vertical dots () near the top-right corner of the window.
      2. Choose More tools > Create Shortcut.
      3. Click "Create".
      4. macOS: Chrome places the shortcut in the Chrome Apps folder. Drag the newly-created LLL shortcut from the Chrome Apps folder to the desktop (or a preferred alternative folder where you will remember to look)
  40. ⚠ Please do NOT share the meeting link with people outside your musical group. The shortcuts can contain information that allows access to your group's meeting.

  41. Part Account settings for classic stage users (one-time/occasional)

    Register for a Soundjack account (already done if you purchased a prebuilt FMB/FMB Pro from Symonics GmbH)

  42. Use your group's LLL bookmark/shortcut shortcut 5 Soundjack to open https://soundjack.eu in a new Vivaldi/Chrome tab.
  43. In masthead (banner at top of webpage), click "REGISTER".
  44. Follow the instructions to set up an account. Soundjack emails sometimes get sent to the Spam folder for me in gmail. Please check your spam folder.
  45. Join Soundjack group

  46. Once you are logged into https://soundjack.eu, go to the navigation banner at the top of the page, and hover over "GROUPS".
  47. Click "GROUPS PANEL".
  48. Find in the list of groups.
  49. Click "Request Membership".
  50. Thank you. A moment. I will approve your request.

  51. Part Router settings (one-time/occasional)

    It's not always necessary to explore the router settings, but optimizing settings now can help us to avoid headaches that can potentially occur when trying to troubleshoot issues when attempting to connect with multiple people later. Video-walkthroughs of router settings are available at Dr. Ian Howell and Kayla Gautereaux's video bootcamp archive.

    Dear Router,Router settings
    Permanently assign my computer an only-within home network IP address of 192.168.1.12 FMB an only-within home network IP address of 192.168.1.23 . Don't let any other household device use that only-within home network IP address.

    ⚠ You don't have to carry out this step, but if you don't then you might have to repeat step ➁, possibly as frequently as, in principle, every single time your computer FMB reconnects to the router.

    Home network
    > Create DHCP reservation
    > Assign your computer FMB (possibly identified in router settings using a nickname or MAC address) a static private IP address of 192.168.1.12 192.168.1.23 .

    ⚠ Setting up a static private IP for your computer FMB is different from getting a static public IP for your router.

    Whenever you receive a packet via UDP for port 50050, send that packet onward to within-home network IP address 192.168.1.12 (my computer) 192.168.1.23 (my FMB) (even if the inbound packet is not preceded by an outbound packet to make it obvious that the inbound packet really is intended for 192.168.1.12 (my computer) 192.168.1.23 (my FMB) ). Home network
    > Set up a port-forwarding rule to forward all packets received via UDP at port 50050 to 192.168.1.12 (my computer) 192.168.1.23 (my FMB) port 50050.
    When any other device on the home network competes with my computer FMB to send/receive packets of information to/from the outside world, put an emergency-vehicle light on each packet to/from my computer FMB that lets packets to/from my computer FMB "cut the line" and be transmitted while packets to/from other devices on the home network wait. Home network
    > QoS (Quality of Service)
    > Assign your computer FMB (possibly identified according to Ethernet port number) Highest priority.

    Part Preparing the computer

  52. Quit any applications that might hog CPU and/or bandwidth (including while carrying out uncommanded background tasks). The table below lists some examples of potential CPU/bandwidth hogss:
    Type of applicationExampleComment
    File system indexer macOS: Spotlight indexing (look for mds in Activity Monitor) Windows: Windows Search Indexer macOS: You can wait until an index being built is built. Another option is to disable indexing. Windows: Kill search indexer (you can also permanently disable indexing).
    Cloud file storage synchronizationDropBox background synchronization and software updatesQuit DropBox
    Productivity/creativity suite maintenanceAdobe Creative Cloud background software updatesQuit Adobe Creative Cloud (might need to force quit)
    Malicious software scanner/removerMalware BytesQuit Malware Bytes for duration of rehearsal
    Anti-virus package Real-time scanning
    macOS 11 Big Sur: Bug related to camera/microphone monitoring in Sophos Anti-Virus package that causes excessive CPU usage
    Disable real-time scanning for duration of rehearsal
    macOS 11 Big Sur: (I think the Sophos bug is resolved now).
  53. Clear your Vivaldi/Chrome browser cache by using a key combination (macOS:Shift + ⌘ Cmd + Del) (Windows: Ctrl + ⇧ Shift + Del) and then pressing "Clear data".
  54. Part Prepare the SJ core and go to the stage


    CPU.1 (for users not using a FMB) > Classic stage users

  55. If the Soundjack website is not already open in a Vivaldi/Chrome tab, use your group's LLL shortcut/bookmark, shortcut 5 Soundjack to open https://soundjack.eu in a new Vivaldi/Chrome tab.
  56. Log into your Soundjack account.

  57. CPU.1 (for users not using a FMB) > One-time/occasional

  58. Classic stage users: In the navigation menu, click "DOWNLOAD".
  59. SJ Lite users: Go to https://soundjack.eu and click the DOWNLOAD button in the navigation bar.
  60. Download the latest version of the Soundjack Core (SJC) for your operating system.
  61. Install the SJC you downloaded using the following steps:
    1. macOS: Drag previous version(s), if any, of soundjack to the Trash.
    2. macOS: Double-click freshly-downloaded disk image file to open.
    3. macOS: Drag the Soundjack icon to the Applications Folder shortcut.
    4. Windows: Remove old shortcut(s), if any, pointing to old version(s) of the SJC.
    5. Windows: Extract .zip archive to a folder of your choice.

  62. macOS:
    1. Go to Applications Folder.
    2. Ctrl-click the icon for soundjack.
    3. Choose Open.
    4. When the dialog box warns that the application developer is not verified, choose to Open the application anyway.
    5. (The soundjack application runs quietly in the background).
    6. Now with the soundjack application running,
      1. Ctrl+click the soundjack icon in the dock.
      2. Choose Options
      3. Choose Keep in Dock.
  63. Windows:
    1. Go to the folder where you extracted the SJC.
    2. Double-click soundjack.exe.
    3. You might be prompted to grant soundjack permission to pass through the firewall. If so, please grant the requested permission.
    4. (A system tray icon appears. A terminal window also appears. You can minimize and ignore the terminal window).
    5. Create a desktop shortcut for the soundjack application:
      1. Hold the right mouse button while dragging the soundjack.exe file to the desktop.
      2. In the context menu that appears when you let go, choose "Create shortcuts here".
      3. There should now be a desktop shortcut icon labeled, "soundjack.exe - Shortcut".

  64. Stage users: On the https://soundjack.eu webpage, click on "STAGE".



  65. CPU.2 (for FMB users)

  66. Upon power up, you want to allow FMB time to download available updates. Typically, three (3) minutes is enough for start-up processes. On occasion, a major update is distributed. In those cases, which I will try to notify you of, the FMB should be given ten (10) minutes to boot up and update itself upon powering up.
  67. Once the FMB has had enough time to take care of start-up tasks, use LLL shortcut/bookmark shortcut 4 fmb menu to open http://soundjack0.local in a new Vivaldi/Chrome tab.
    1. Please do not proceed until the webpage loads and shows three green checkmarks. You might need to press reload in Vivaldi/Chrome if the page does not initially load.
    2. I prefer to verify in the System Status that os.update.running equals no.

  68. CPU.2 (for FMB users) > One-time/occasional

  69. If the previous step failed owing to a DNS resolution error (for example, the browser brings up DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN), the low-latency technology assistant for the musical ensemble should help you try a strategy like one of the following.
    1. Try opening http://soundjack0.local on an alternative device. In Network Settings, note the private IP of the fastmusic box. If the private IP is known to be static, create a Vivaldi/Chrome bookmark labeled "4 fmb" for that private IP. In the future, the user should use this Vivaldi/Chrome bookmark when instructions refer to shortcut 4 fmb.
    2. If nothing in the house will resolve http://soundjack0.local, use the router webpage to look for the fmb (device named soundjackLONGSERIALNUMBER). Note the private IP. If the private IP is known to be static, create a Vivaldi/Chrome bookmark labeled "4 fmb" for that private IP. In the future, the user should use this Vivaldi/Chrome bookmark when instructions refer to shortcut 4 fmb.
    3. macOS: Look on stackexchange for advice for changing the way an Apple computer handles the .local domain (issue may exist involving Bonjour/Rendezvous).
  70. Copying your fmb-id to your Soundjack account (already done if you purchased your FMB from Symonics GmbH)

  71. In the row labeled "⚙ System Status", click the clipboard icon next to your FMB ID to copy your FMB ID to the clipboard.

  72. If the Soundjack website is not already open in a Vivaldi/Chrome tab, use your group's LLL shortcut/bookmark shortcut 5 Soundjack to open https://soundjack.eu in a new Vivaldi/Chrome tab.
  73. Log into your Soundjack account.

  74. CPU.2 (for FMB users) > One-time/occasional (already done if you purchased your FMB from Symonics GmbH)

  75. Click on the avatar next to your username (username is scrambled in figure below).
  76. Scroll down and click the "profile" button.
  77. Scroll down and click on "edit".
  78. Scroll down anbd click on "fmb-id".
  79. Scroll down and paste your FMB ID from the clipboard into the field labeled "fast-music-box (FMB) – ID:".
  80. Press "Save Changes".

  81. In the navigation bar, click on "STAGE".
  82. When a "Local SJC not found" dialog box (see below) appears, press "OK".
  83. Part Navigating the stage

    Part Navigating Soundjack Lite

  84. Wait for a numerical IP address to appear next to the local network interface icon.
  85. Check that the profile setting is "extended".
  86. Check that the groups pull-down menu is set to "".
  87. Open Soundjack Lite in a Vivaldi/Chrome tab by going to https://soundjack.eu and clicking the SOUNDJACK-LITE button in the navigation bar.
  88. When soundjack.eu pops up a dialog box that says, "Enter your username", choose a username by which you would like to be identified for the current session. The username is non-persistent.
  89. SJTG Preview image credit: Dr. Alex Carôt (permalink)


    One-time/occasional

  90. If you prefer to have Soundjack automatically answer each incoming call (rather than requiring you to explicitly press "Accept" for each incoming call you'd like to answer), click the reaction to incoming call pulldown menu and select "accept any call".
  91. Set the audio input to your .
  92. Set the audio output to your .
  93. For the capture/send channels setting, use "capture/send channels: 2 (stereo)".
  94. Set playback channels to "playback channels: 2".
  95. There aren't really "first-time" settings. There is no account with which persistent settings could be associated.


  96. Set the audio input to your .
  97. Set the audio output to your .
  98. Check that the buffer is set to "moderate delay: 256".

    The rehearsal manager might request changes to this setting during rehearsal.

  99. For the capture/send channels setting, use "capture/send channels: 2 (stereo)".
  100. Check that the sample buffer is set to "sample buffer: 64".

    If Soundjack is being finicky, you might try setting the sample buffer to "sample buffer: 256" and then back again to "sample buffer: 64".

  101. Fiber internet user: Check that the network buffer is set to "network buffer: 128". Cable internet user: Check that the network buffer is set to "network buffer: 256."

    The rehearsal manager might request changes to this setting during rehearsal.

  102. One-time/occasional: Check that the audio codec is set to "codec: OPUS 96 kbps".

  103. MIC.1 (for headworn condenser mic users)

  104. Make sure microphone is worn.
  105. ALIGN: microphone points at corner of mouth, NOT smushed against side of face.


  106. MIC.2 (for side-address condenser mic users)

  107. ALIGN: microphone is vertically oriented.
  108. ALIGN: mouth is at same height as microphone grill.
  109. ALIGN: mouth points at microphone grill, and microphone grill (logo side) points at mouth.
  110. ALIGN: mouth is 6"-12" away from microphone grill.


  111. MIC.3 (for dynamic mic users)

  112. ALIGN: mouth points at microphone grill, and microphone grill points at mouth.
  113. ALIGN: microphone is about 1 inch away from mouth.


  114. MIC.4 (for omnidirectional condenser mic users)

  115. ALIGN: Aim mouth at the omnidirectional condenser microphone.
  116. ALIGN: Try keeping mouth five (5) feet from microphone.
  117. ALIGN: It doesn't super matter in which direction the microphone itself is aimed even though there is some variation in equalization with direction.

  118. Make sure headphones are worn.
  119. The stage displays all the people you can call right now. In the row with my name,
    make a note of and remember the following.
    1. The small square in the middle, which might have the label "auto" nearby, is used to turn on or off the automatic jitter buffer.
    2. The pulldown menu to the right of the automatic jitter buffer checkbox is the size of the jitter buffer (expressed as a number of buffered packets).
  120. If you would like to request to call someone individually, click on their play/connect button.
  121. If a mass server is available for a session, the mass server will appear in the stage as SERVER. To connect to the server, click the play/connect button just for the server.
    SERVER
  122. For each site to which you are connected, you can use any of the following strategies to choose an initial configuration for the jitter buffer. If you hear a lot of garbled audio, you can experiment further.

    1. Jitter buffer strategy A ("I'm overwhelmed; just pick something for me to try")

      1. Click to put a ☑ checkmark in the automatic jitter buffer box for audio from the site of interest.
      2. The automatic jitter buffer size will dynamically adjust based on network conditions.

      3. Even while the jitter buffer size is automatically adjusting, you can still use the pulldown menu to change the number of buffered packets.

      As of 2022 January, the automatic jitter buffer adjustment can be tricked in certain situations into a runaway condition in which the jitter buffer size increases in a somewhat ratchet-like fashion leading to lower performance than achieved by the remaining options.

    2. Jitter buffer strategy B
      1. Leave the automatic jitter buffer box for audio from the site of interest unchecked.
      2. Make sure the size of the jitter buffer is set to 4 buffered packets.

      This strategy is easy to use and prevents a runaway ratchet-like increase of the jitter buffer size, but this strategy will not automatically adjust the jitter buffer to accommodate mid-session variation in jitter.

    3. Jitter buffer strategy C
      1. Leave the automatic jitter buffer box for audio from the site of interest unchecked.
      2. Start out with the size of the jitter buffer set to 4 buffered packets.
      3. Increase and/or decrease the number of buffered packets until the minimum number of buffered packets that achieves an acceptably stable (does not need to be perfectly free of garbling) audio stream is selected.
      4. Variations in network performance might occasionally require adjusting the jitter buffer size in the midst of a session.

      This strategy requires more effort to use.

  123. To disconnect from a site, go to that site's row and click the green button.
  124. The right-hand panel of Soundjack Lite displays everyone you are connected to right now.
  125. To add a player,
    1. Click "⊕ Add player".
    2. Type the player's username.
    3. Press ENTER.
  126. To disconnect from a player, go to that player's row and click their ⨂ button (far right).
  127. Part Starting VDO.Ninja lowish-latency video

    Typically you do not use both VDO.Ninja and Zoom. VDO.Ninja is useful for conducting. Zoom is one of the ways to allow video to be shared among a mixture of Soundjack and non-Soundjack users.

  128. Use your group's LLL shortcut/bookmark shortcut 1 VDO.ninja 1A: 🎤 🐌 to open VDO.ninja in a new Vivaldi/Chrome tab.

    Conductors will probably prefer video mode 1B: 👋 🐌 or 1C: 👋 🐇.

  129. One-time/occasional: You might be asked to give VDO.Ninja permission to access your camera and microphone.
    1. Only give VDO.ninja permission to access your camera.
    2. Do NOT give VDO.ninja permission to access your microphone.
  130. Use the pulldown menu for "Video Source" to choose your preferred camera.
  131. Once the green START button appears, verify that your video preview appears as desired.
  132. Press START.
  133. Part Starting Zoom high-latency video

    Typically you do not use both VDO.Ninja and Zoom. VDO.Ninja is useful for conducting. Zoom is one of the ways to allow video to be shared among a mixture of Soundjack and non-Soundjack users.

  134. Use your group's LLL shortcut/bookmark shortcut Z zoom to launch Zoom.
  135. Near the bottom-left corner, make sure the camera icon is not slashed. If needed, press "Start video".
  136. Near the bottom-corner, click the caret on the microphone button, then choose "Leave Computer Audio".
  137. Part Shutting down

  138. Close the browser tab used for VDO.Ninja.
  139. Close Zoom:
    1. Click the " Leave " button.
    2. Click the " Leave meeting " button that then appears.
  140. Leave the Soundjack STAGE.
  141. Close the Soundjack Lite tab.

  142. CPU.1 (for users not using an FMB)

  143. Windows: Right-click the soundjack system tray icon . Select Shut down Soundjack.
    macOS: Ctrl-click the Soundjack icon on the dock. Choose Quit.

  144. On the , check that 48-V phantom power is OFF.

  145. CPU.2 (for FMB users)

  146. Turn your FMB OFF: Hold-press the power button on the FMB for a few seconds. The red light on the front of the FMB will turn off briefly, turn back on, and then after some seconds finally turn off for good.

  147. You can disconnect equipment if you wish.
  148. 🙋 Pat yourself on the back and walk the dog 🐕.