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Getting Started with Jamulus

You will need

  1. A computer running either Windows 10, MacOS X El Capitan (v10.11) or higher, or Linux.
  2. A wired internet connection (don’t use Wi-Fi, it will cause sound problems). Most broadband connections will be fine1.
  3. Wired headphones - not speakers to prevent echo or feedback and to minimize delay2.

Maximise quality, minimise delay

1. Use an audio interface/external microphone, not your internal sound card

Unless you are a musician with a (USB) microphone, you are strongly advised to use an audio interface: a box that you can plug your instrument(s) into. This will connect to your PC usually via USB. See Hardware Setup.

2. Minimize internet traffic and close all programs on your PC

Try to make sure nothing on your machine or your network is competing against Jamulus when you are using it.

3. Connect to the servers with the lowest ping times

Servers shown on the list with 15ms or below will give you the best chance of having a good time (although there’s other things that affect performance too). Anything higher and you’re taking your chances.

Now that you have the basics down, let’s go:

Also - Jamulus OS! Run Jamulus on any computer using a USB stick (64-bit systems only). Checks your hardware and sets you up like a boss straight out of the box!

All installed?

If you set up Jamulus, have a look Hardware Setup

For detailed information on using Jamulus, please see the Help Manual.

Having trouble? Can’t keep in time?

ONLY. LISTEN. TO. THE. SIGNAL. FROM. THE. SERVER!

Or put another way, do not listen to your direct signal.

This is obviously hard for singers and some acoustic musicians, but even if your connection is good, when players aren’t listening to their own signal coming back from the server, your synchronisation will suffer. (For the avoidance of doubt: this has nothing to do with the “mute” controls in Jamulus.)

Further information about how to avoid listening to yourself (and help with other problems) can be found in the Troubleshooting FAQ section (currently under construction)

How Jamulus works (in general)

Here’s how millions of people are using Jamulus to play, sing and teach music with other people in real time, all over the world:

OverviewJamulus works on the client server principle. Everybody’s audio is sent to a server, mixed and processed there. Afterwards the audio is sent to every client. If a server is made public and registered on a central server, its information will be broadcasted to all clients.

Footnotes

  1. Full details here. If you have 10Mbits down and 1Mbps up, you’re unlikely to run into bandwidth-related issues. 

  2. Bluetooth headphones usually have too much latency. That’s one reason why wired headphones are required. Particularity if singing or playing acoustic instruments to make sure you keep in time with others only use headphones (see the note on this for further information). 

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