Tech

Jam and make music despite Corona

Rehearse new songs together with other musicians in a narrow, stuffy rehearsal room – possibly even without a window? This is an impossibility in these virulent times, even with an FFP2 mask. Fortunately, there is the internet. Network providers are making ever higher bandwidths available at affordable prices, with which videos and games can be streamed smoothly in 4K. Shouldn’t it be easy to organize online jams in this way? After all, millions of people worldwide meet every day via Skype, Teams or Zoom, many of them often in large groups.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that easy when making music online in real time. Because while Internet meetings suffer from poor picture and sound quality and thus annoy the participants, disruptions or delays in the Internet transmission immediately thwart the joint jamming. This is because people making music together have to hear immediately what the others are playing. If this is not the case, the bassist cannot, for example, reasonably follow the beat of a drummer. The delays produced by the participants in an online session add up – an indissoluble chaos arises.

Then there is the bandwidth: What amount of data can the server in particular handle per second, but can the Internet connections of those involved in a session also handle? After all, what use is a supersonic jet if only five passengers can fit in, but 100 want to be transported? And what happens if five passengers take off, but only three are allowed to get off at the destination airport?

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