Jump to: Quickstart (this page) | Setup using audio interface
Step One: Get Ready
⚠ With equipment found in a typical home, it is often impossible to get the ultra-low latency needed for making music together in rhythmic sync unless you make sure your computer is connected directly to your router using Ethernet, with Wi-Fi turned OFF. (Wi-Fi can still work great for chatting, where latency isn’t nearly as critical).
- Make sure your computer is connected to its power adapter , and that the power adapter is plugged into a power outlet .
- Connect an Ethernet cable to a LAN port on your primary router (this router should either contain or be connected directly to the modem/ONT that connects to the outside world).
- Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable into your computer (or into a USB-to-Ethernet adaptor that is plugged into your computer ).
- On your computer , turn off Wi-Fi . Turn off VPN.
- Plug an integrated headset (combines headphones with mic) into the 3.5-mm jack on your computer .
Downloading, installing, and (optionally) authorizing FarPlay
- Download FarPlay for free here. We support Mac, Windows and Linux (tablets and phones are not yet supported).
- After download, you should find the FarPlay installer in your Downloads folder. Open the installer and follow the instructions.
- Open FarPlay. Depending on your platform, FarPlay might ask you to grant it access to your microphone. Click yes.
- If this is your first time using FarPlay on this computer, FarPlay will start in FarPlay Free mode. You can use many of FarPlay’s features in this mode.
- For premium features, including creating multi-user sessions without caps on session durations), you’ll need a subscription. Our pricing page helps you compare available plans and features. To create an account and add a subscription, click the “Log in / Subscribe” button.
- On the web browser window that pops up with the Please log in page, click the “Sign up” button at the top-right corner. Follow the instructions.
- You should receive a confirmation email. If you don’t, check your SPAM folder.
- In your confirmation email, click the link to complete your registration.
- When the FarPlay website confirms that your account has been activated, click “Log in” and log in to get to your My Account page.
- Click “Subscribe to FarPlay Standard” or “Subscribe to FarPlay Standard+“, as desired. Follow the instructions. A message should appear confirming that your subscription has been created.
- In FarPlay’s welcome screen, click the “Log in / Subscribe” button.
- In the My Account page that appears, click the “Authorize this device” button. A message should appear that confirms that you authorized your computer to use your FarPlay subscription.
Configure and test your audioBefore connecting to anyone else, it’s a good idea to test your audio locally.
- Click ⚙ Preferences.
- The Preferences window appears showing the General Options tab. Enter your name in the field labeled Your Name.
- Use the Microphone pull-down menu to select your headset’s integrated microphone (possibly called something like “External Microphone“).
- Use the Headphones pull-down menu to select your headset (possibly called something like “External headphones“).
- Click OK.
- Wear your headset. If your headset’s microphone is mounted on a boom arm, adjust the boom arm to place the microphone a couple inches away from a corner of your mouth. If your headset has an in-line microphone, make sure the microphone (possibly built into a plastic rod with control buttons) is worn in front of your chest.
- Click New Session, then Enter Session. This will take you to the main FarPlay window.
- When you make a sound, you should now see movement in the volume meter under You (Your name) at the top of the window (if not, make sure you’ve granted FarPlay mic permissions on Mac).
- To test your headphones, move the Monitor slider under the volume meter to the right. You should now hear your own voice in your headphones as you talk.
- You might notice a slight delay between what you are saying and what you are hearing through your headphones. The Local Latency estimates a portion of the delay between when your computer retrieves audio from your microphone and when your computer sends that audio to your headphones. ⚠ If this Local Latency is more than several milliseconds, the combination of your audio equipment and computer might not be the best for rhythmic musical interaction (when chatting, the experience can still be great). Close all unnecessary applications to make computer resources available for FarPlay. Higher local latencies are common when using built-in audio on Windows devices. Consider upgrading to a setup with an audio interface.
- Click Leave Session to return to the FarPlay welcome screen.
Step Two: Connect
Create a session, or join an existing one
- If you’re creating a session, click New Session, then copy the Session ID so you can share it with the other participants (by email or text, for example). Then, click Enter Session. (To create sessions with more than 2 participants, please subscribe. Subscribing also enables you to create Personal Meeting Rooms).
- Otherwise, click Join Session and paste the Session ID you’ve been given. Then, click Join Session.
Set monitoring levels
- Under You (Your Name), you can adjust the Monitor slider (used previously to test your headphones) to adjust how loudly you hear your own voice through your headphones. Some people prefer to rely entirely on the acoustic sound they’re producing in the room to hear themselves; if that’s your case, you’ll want this muted (drag all the way to the left).
- Clicking the Mute button will silence the audio you transmit (useful for coughing or taking a phone call).
- Under the Remote User’s Name / Remote sound, you’ll see a second slider labeled Monitor. Here, you can set the level of the other participants in your headphones.
Set your latency
- Under the Remote User’s Name / Remote sound, look for a lower latency — cleaner sound slider. Drag this “latency slider” toward the right for fewer audio glitches (at the expense of higher latency). Drag the latency slider toward the left for lower latency (at the expense of more frequent audio glitches). In Auto latency mode (, on by default), FarPlay keeps adjusting your latency to try to maintain the level of audio quality you’ve chosen. In manual latency mode, FarPlay tries to maintain the level of latency you’ve chosen. The green bar indicates a range of slider positions corresponding to recommended compromises between latency and static.
- You can see how dragging the latency slider affects the delay between capturing of audio at a remote microphone and the playback of that same audio in your headphones. An estimate of this delay is reported as a “Remote Latency“. ⚠ If someone in a musical ensemble notices unusually high Remote Latency, possible culprits to eliminate include someone forgetting to use Ethernet with Wi-Fi turned OFF, a network-intensive application running on someone’s home network (backing up files, for example), and an application hogging processing power on someone’s computer.
- An illustrated explanation of what you can do with the latency slider is built into FarPlay: to access, click the ⓘ.
Multi-user session controlsFarPlay subscribers can create sessions with more than two participants.
- In multi-user sessions, a side-panel appears to the right. The Monitor slider under Remote Sound in the main panel at the left manages the level of the overall mix, and the Gain sliders in the side-panel at the right control the individual levels the remote participants contributing to the overall mix.
- In multi-user sessions, dragging the latency slider in the main panel at the left drags the individual latency sliders in the side-panel at the right. You can individually drag the latency sliders in the panel at the right to manage latency separately for individual remote users.
FarPlay includes built-in video.
- In the Tools section, click Video to open the video window. The Choose your camera button at the top-left corner of the video window lets you choose the camera you want to use share video. For more information, go to our detailed instructions for using FarPlay video.
FarPlay’s multi-track recording feature, enabled with a Standard+ subscription, allows you to record separate, perfectly synched tracks (stems) for each of the participants, which you can later import into a DAW for mixing. Thanks to FarPlay’s state-of-the-art internal latency management, your audio recordings are processed with a far longer buffer latency than the ultra-low-latency audio you hear in your headphones. This means that you can confidently use the lowest latency to make music, which may result in audio glitches in your monitoring, with the knowledge that your recordings will come out clean.
Subscribers can also use FarPlay’s built-in video recording—no need to run a 3rd-party screen capture application! Exported “combined video” presents multiple participant video feeds in a single view. Both Standard and Standard+ subscribers can record combined video, and Standard+ subscribers also get individual video tracks for individual participants (convenient for video editing). To get started, go to the Tools section and click Start Recording. Choose record multitrack video (for Standard+ subscribers) or record mix video (for Standard subscribers) in the context menu. Learn more about video recording using our step-by-step instructions.
You’re now connected to the other participants with the lowest latency possible today. You’ll feel a world of difference compared to other communication platforms. Our mission is to make it easy for people to make music together, and we hope FarPlay brings more music into your life. Even if you’re not using FarPlay to make music, you should feel a much more direct, human connection, even in everyday conversation.