Online Jamming and Concert Technology

Music 153

Autumn 2018

worldwide course

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Today's vast amount of streaming and video conferencing on the Internet lacks one aspect of musical fun and that's what this course is about: high-quality, near-synchronous musical collaboration. Under the right conditions, the Internet can be used for ultra-low-latency, uncompressed sound transmission. The course teaches open-source (free) techniques for setting up city-to-city studio-to-studio audio links. Distributed rehearsing, production and split ensemble concerts are the goal. Setting up such links and debugging them requires knowledge of network protocols, network audio issues, mics, monitors and some ear training.

The one-quarter course has two parts: a 6-week, hands-on online class for learning and practicing the basics, followed by 3 weeks of projects and advanced topics. The initial online course materials cover fundamentals and getting started. Weekly in-class meetings throughout the quarter will provide tips on software installation, testing, readings and offer related tutorials. We'll survey the history of the field and move on to discussions of emerging low-latency collaboration technologies involving video, GPS-sync, web audio and audio prediction. Recent doctoral dissertations will be presented. End-of-term culminating projects chosen by students can be live performances with remote partners, recorded work or technical contributions for online collaboration.

(the course can be repeated for credit)

Stanford students taking the first part of the course will be joining other students worldwide. Sharing course work universally is strongly recommended and Stanford students will be asked to sign a simple release form. Options will be provided for any student preferring their work remain within Stanford. Some of the assignments involve jointly-created music and all collaborations posted on the course web site under a Creative Commons License (either CC BY-SA 3.0 US or CC BY NC SA).

The first part of the course is offered by Stanford ONLINE and hosted at www.kadenze.com. Stanford participants will enroll as Kadenze subscribers for a fee of $20.


some coding skill at an introductory level, musical instrument or vocals

advanced topics in (Autumn 2018)

design of distributed, ephemeral back-end systems for bands and collectives -- continuation of concept begun in Spring class

porting jacktrip to raspberry pi -- to support collaboration with artist group in Berlin

Network Music Performance (NMP) doctoral dissertations -- Bosse, Weaver, Ota, Caceres, Sarkar, Carot, Barbosa

jacktrip v1.2 testing -- with NYU, others

(click below) to open Kadenze course

schedule overview Autumn Quarter, 2018

online course (6 weeks)

24 Sep -- 31 Oct

readings, in-class discussion and activities (8 weeks)

24 Sep -- 14 Nov

Thanksgiving break

19 Nov -- 23 Nov

final projects and presentations (2 weeks)

26 Nov -- 7 Dec

week of 24 Sep 2018


Stanford course overview, first group improvs, discussions of history of the technology

Naithan Bosse composition, Through a Window


Telematic Music: Six Perspectives Leonardo Music J., 19 (2009) 95–96

Online Session 1:

Overview: Online Jamming and Concert Technology

(no meeting Wed, 26th)

(click below) to open Telematic Music: Six Perspectives

week of 1 Oct 2018


CCRMA accounts, technical discussion of available video techniques, improv duos

Sarah Weaver composition, Universal Synchrony Music

Online Session 2:

Basics And Setup: Network protocols, audio signals + soundcards and network audio

week of 8 Oct 2018


local connections betwen Knoll studios, campus-wide connections


Caceres, J.-P. and Chafe, C. . "Jacktrip: Under the hood of an engine for network audio." J. New Music Res. 39 (2010) 183–187. doi:10.1080/09298215.2010.481361

Online Session 3:

Jacktrip Application + Connection: Things that go wrong with Jacktrip: Network & Audio. P2P Sessions and Multi-site setups

(click below) to open
Jacktrip: Under the hood of an engine for network audio

week of 15 Oct 2018


multi-studio connections including multi-studio group improv, critique of historical recordings

Online Session 4:

Debugging: Debug examples of typical problems

week of 22 Oct 2018


class jam with UCSB, "Nemasys" network emulator for testing audio "on the bench" under different network conditions (artificial impairments)


C. Chafe, J-P. Caceres, M. Gurevich, "Effect of temporal separation on synchronization in rhythmic performance" Perception 39(7) (2010) 982–992

Online Session 5:

Future: Polish And Practice: Polish techniques and spawn more online practice sessions

(click below) to open
Effect of temporal separation on synchronization in rhythmic performance

week of 29 Oct 2018


discuss project proposals, presentation of recent research topics


C. Rottondi, C. Chafe, C. Allochio, A. Sarti "An Overview on Networked Music Performance Technologies" IEEE Access 4 (2017) 8823–8843

Online Session 6:

Future: Future of the art and practice of network audio, alternative platforms for network audio

(no meeting Wed, 31st)

(click below) to open
An Overview on Networked Music Performance Technologies

week of 5 Nov 2018


building jacktrip from scratch for three platforms, discuss future platforms (javascript, included)


J-P. Caceres, C. Chafe, "JackTrip/SoundWIRE Meets Server Farm" Computer Music J. 34(3) (2010) 29–34

(click below) to open
JackTrip/SoundWIRE Meets Server Farm

week of 12 Nov 2018


progress updates and more


Chafe, C. "I am Streaming in a Room" Frontiers in Digital Musicology. (2018) (forthcoming)

(click below) to open
I am Streaming in a Room

week of 19 Nov 2018

Thanksgiving break

week of 26 Nov 2018


project presentations