Monday, November 19, 2012

Plugged In

Online Jam Sessions


     Ever since I saw a piece of an ad for an online jam session, I've been looking around for further information. The concept that one such as myself might plug in a mic and jam with strangers in other countries intrigues me greatly. In my 'research' into this subject, I found one website which has been building a reputation among music enthusiasts and amateurs alike. The site is called Online Jam Sessions, and it has been working independently towards uniting musicians worldwide.
     If you visit their site, you can read up on their mission statement and FAQ's. With these, and some browsing, you'll start to piece together, as I did, what it is OJS is all about. OJS (short for Online Jam Sessions) offers ways to spread recordings through the internet, and to play live with other musicians worldwide, with potentially any instrument(s). They suggest that you can use any mic to do this, but I would suggest getting a better mic (see my post on music tech) so that, if you have any issues, you can be pretty sure your sound quality isn't one of them. I'm sure it takes a fair amount of fiddling and tweeking to get your audio settings as well as your internet settings optimally set for live streaming, but it al makes good practice for later recordings.
     However, what gives me the greatest hope is a small experiment I tried somewhat recently where I played music over Skype, on my phone no less, for a friend and fellow musician in Tunisia. Even though I was playing into a small phone mic and was connected across an ocean, the sound quality was fine (not great, but pretty good, considering). Given these aspects, if I were to have a Yeti Blue and a good internet connection, and probably a set of over-ear monitors, OJS could provide a pretty good platform for me, and any of you interested, to jam with others worldwide.
     But don't take my word for it: if you're interested, click the link above, or below, and check out their page. They offer a free membership, with a few paid membership options with further features.

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