Improvements for Multi-User Support

  • Hello,

    I’m part of an online jam group that started in the early COVID days. We found each other using the public rooms / social features available with JamKazam. We’ve since grown to an email list with around 60 people on the CC, all of whom have used JamKazam, most of whom are paying $10+/mo for the gold membership level.

    JamKazam has become increasingly unstable over the years and we often have sessions where people get dropped from rooms, the app crashes, or the audio is terrible/choppy and latency becomes bad. This may only happen to a single participant, or it may happen to everyone. Yet there is a lot of hesitation in the group to change to a new platform.

    This past Wednesday I hosted a FarPlay test session so that people in the group could give it a try. Overall it went well, but here are the main objections that people have:

    1) There are no VST/AU plugins for local inputs. JamKazam allows a vocalist to add reverb to their voice, or a guitarist to use an amp simulator plugin.

    2) The main window cannot be resized, which makes it hard to adjust remote mix settings if there are more than 6 people in the room, as you have to scroll down a list. Often times we have to make quick adjustments while playing an instrument (ie someone is suddenly playing very loudly in the middle of a song). This could be solved by allowing the main window to get taller, or it could get wider if you allowed multiple columns for remote participants. However I think the most ideal solution would be to re-use your input mixer interface and allow us to mix remote participants the same way, on faders like a traditional mixer that we are all used to.

    3) Social features. A simple “friends” list, where you can add and remove people, see who is online, invite friends to your room and ask friends to let you into their room. Opening this up further and allowing public rooms where anyone can join would make this platform truly competitive.

    I appreciate how difficult it is to parse user feature requests while also managing your development roadmap. I think there is a strong business case to be made here, in the sense that there are a lot of JamKazam users who are struggling with a platform that has a lot of issues with network and audio, but in spite of this are holding on (and paying for a subscription) probably mostly because of the friends list that they’ve created over the last 3-4 years and a few small features like #1 and #2.

    Having used a LOT of online jam platforms, I think FarPlay is actually really close to nailing it. I was extremely impressed with session performance on Wednesday.


  • Dear Eric,

    Thank you for your feedback! We’re so glad you had a good session.

    I’d like to point out a benefit of a FarPlay subscription (maybe you already noticed this). Suppose you use a FarPlay subscription to create a session and nine other people join, but none of them are FarPlay subscribers (they’re all using FarPlay for free). Everyone can stay connected for the full duration of the session (using FarPlay for free doesn’t get a user kicked out of the session early).

    1) I will bring your feedback about VST/AU plugins and reverb to the team. In the meantime, it’s possible to bring audio from a DAW into FarPlay (easy to do on Mac using BlackHole; on Windows, you might need a fast computer and ReaRoute).

    2) In our most recent version, FarPlay 1.2.6, we added the ability to collapse user subpanels in multi-user sessions. Ten collapsed user subpanels (showing their gain sliders) fit in the multi-user session view without scrolling. To collapse/expand a user subpanel, click the triangle next to the participant’s name. To collapse all the user subpanels, hit Cmd+Left (Mac) or Ctrl+Left (Windows). Cmd/Ctrl+Right expands all the user subpanels.

    A version of these instructions is found on our page on multi-user session controls:

    3) Stay tuned…

    Thank you,
    David Liao

    Hi Eric,
    Dan Tepfer, FarPlay co-founder here. Just wanted to say thanks for this feedback. Adding plugin support isn’t in our current roadmap but could be if you and your fellow users feel it’s essential. I like your point #2, about using the mixer configuration. We’ll consider it. And as David hinted at above, we’re working on social features. In fact, we’d be interested in having you and your community test-drive them if that sounds fun to you.
    Thanks and be well,

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