Requirements for Your Best Experience Using RealTime Audio

1Everyone Must
  • Connect the RealTime Audio Box via ethernet cable or 5g dongle (no wifi)
  • Use a class-compliant USB audio interface
2Everyone Should
  • Minimum 10Mbps Upload speed (test at https://speed.cloudflare.com/)
  • Maximum 1,500 miles/2,415 kilometers from you to the host.
  • No other online streaming or gaming in the house
  • Use a stereo (two rings) headphone jack, over-ear headphones
  • Avoid digital processors and DAWs
  • Avoid using a mic with your amplifier
  • Use a talkback microphone
  • Set the audio interface to indirect monitor
  • Use a metronome
3The Host Should
  • Have great upload speeds (more bandwidth = more room participants)
  • Be in the middle geographically (closer to the host = less latency)
4The Whole Story

All participants must have a minimum upload speed of at least 10Mbps. Participants should test their speed here: https://speed.cloudflare.com/

For the ultimate experience, participants should be the only ones connected to the internet during their session. At the very least, no one should be using any streaming services (i.e. Zoom, Skype, YouTube, Netflix, online gaming, etc.)

  • All participants must have access to the router to connect their RealTime Audio Box to an open ethernet port. We do not recommend plugging into extenders.
  • All participants must have a class-compliant USB audio interface.
  • We recommend that you do not connect with a DAW (digital audio workstation, such as Pro Tools, Logic, Reaper, etc) or other digital processors. Instead, connect directly into your audio interface.
  • No computer digital processing should be used. This includes stand-alone plugins that you may be running on your computer.
  • We recommend that guitar and bass players plug directly into their interface. If you have a pedalboard or effects pedals, you may use them. Instead of plugging into your amp, please connect directly to your audio interface. If you do use an amp, we recommend that you plug the output of the amp into the interface. Using a microphone with the amplifier is an option, but may produce room noise that could bleed into your talkback mic and would have slightly different latency than the signal you hear from yourself coming back from the mixing server.
  • Drummers can use one microphone for their kit or can plug multiple microphones into a mixer and output the mixer to the audio interface. Again, analog mixers are best instead of a digital mixer that will add latency, jitter, and potential software conflicts.
  • It is strongly recommended that all participants have a microphone that can be used as a talkback mic during the session. (This mic plugs into the interface.) Participants can use the microphone built into their phone or computers for talkback, but those will need to be muted while playing music to prevent the sending of two different audio feeds at two different latency speeds.
  • All participants must have a stereo (two rings) headphone jack that plugs into the audio interface. The three-ringed headphone jacks will not work well. These are usually for headphones with a built-in microphone. Closed-back headphones are preferred.
  • We recommend that the audio interface is set so that “direct monitor” is disabled (switched off or button is out). If you decide to try using direct monitoring, we recommend that you lower your fader in the RealTime Audio app to reduce echo.
  • We recommend that someone on the jam uses a metronome. We are currently working on developing a low latency metronome tool.

For self-hosted jams, the hosting participant is, by default, the one that enters the room first.  The host’s RealTime Audio box is also the mixing server for the other participants.

  • For best sound quality and for larger rooms, the host should be the one with the highest internet upload speed. The more upload bandwidth the host has the more participants that can fit into the room. We recommend fiber-optic lines for the best results.
  • For the lowest latency over longer distances, the host should be equidistant from the other participants in the group. For example, if there are three participants - one in LA, one in Chicago, and one In NY - the host participant should be the one in Chicago. Since the host box will act as the mixing server, being in the middle geographically lowers the average participants’ distance to it and thus lowers the latency.
  • All participants should be within a 500 mile/800 kilometer radius of the mixing server. The maximum distance between participants should be roughly 1,500 miles/2,415 kilometers.