Jump to: Quickstart (this page) | Setup using audio interface

Before you start, please take a look at our requirements. FarPlay requires wired headphones. For the best possible latency, you should also connect to the internet with an Ethernet cable with Wi-Fi turned off. Questions about your setup? Email us at support@farplay.io. The video tutorial and the instructions below help you get started with a headset connected directly to your computer’s built-in audio jack. On Mac and Linux, this approach is often good enough for making music in rhythmic sync. On Windows, using your computer’s built-in audio jack is fine for spoken conversations but might not provide low enough latency for making music. Windows users wanting to jam online and music instructors wanting to use FarPlay professionally will want to minimize latency and improve audio quality using our steps for setting up FarPlay with an audio interface.
Cartoon of a router connected via an Ethernet cable to a USB-to-Ethernet adapter that is connected to a computer. A wired headset that comes with microphone and headphones is shown to the right of the computer.

Step One: Get Ready

Connecting equipment

⚠ 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).

  1. Make sure your computer  is connected to its power adapter , and that the power adapter is plugged into a power outlet .
  2. 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).
  3. Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable into your computer  (or into a USB-to-Ethernet adaptor that is plugged into your computer ).
  4. On your computer , turn off Wi-Fi . Turn off VPN.
  5. Plug an integrated headset  (combines headphones with mic) into the 3.5-mm jack  on your computer .

Downloading, installing, and (optionally) authorizing FarPlay

  1. Download FarPlay for free here. We support Mac, Windows and Linux (tablets and phones are not yet supported).
  2. After download, you should find the FarPlay installer in your Downloads folder. Open the installer and follow the instructions.
Screenshot of FarPlay installation window for macOS, which shows the FarPlay app icon and an arrow pointing to an alias for the Applications folder
  1. Open FarPlay. Depending on your platform, FarPlay might ask you to grant it access to your microphone. Click yes.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. You should receive a confirmation email. If you don’t, check your SPAM folder.
Screenshots showing that the Log in / Subscribe button is near the middle of FarPlay's welcome screen, underneath the text that reads "FarPlay Free" and above the buttons that read "New Session" and "Join Session." The second screenshot highlights that a Sign up button is at the top-right corner of the "Please log in" screen that appears when pressing the "Log in / Subscribe" button on FarPlay's welcome screen.
  1. In your confirmation email, click the link to complete your registration.
  2. When the FarPlay website confirms that your account has been activated, click Log in” and log in to get to your My Account page.
  3. 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.
Four screenshots. The first screenshot shows a confirmation email from FarPlay, with a link to complete your registration highlighted. The link is shown to bring up a page confirming that your account has been successfully activated. The Log in link on this page is highlighted and shown to bring up a Login page. The email and password fields and the Log in button in this screenshot are highlighted. The Log in button is shown to bring up a My Account page on which buttons for "Subscribe to FarPlay Standard" and "Subscribe to FarPlay Standard+" are highlighted.
  1. In FarPlay’s welcome screen, click the “Log in / Subscribe” button.
  2. 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.
Three screenshots. The Log in / Subscribe button is highlighted near the middle of FarPlay's welcome screen. The Log in / Subscribe button is shown to bring up a My Account page in which an "Authorize this device" button is highlighted. This button is shown to bring up an updated version of the My Account page showing a confirmation that the device has been authorized.

Configure and test your audio

Before connecting to anyone else, it’s a good idea to test your audio locally.
  1. Click ⚙ Preferences.
  2. The Preferences window appears showing the General Options tab. Enter your name in the field labeled Your Name.
  3. Use the Microphone pull-down menu to select your headset’s integrated microphone (possibly called something like “External Microphone“).
  4. Use the Headphones pull-down menu to select your headset (possibly called something like “External headphones“).
  5. Click OK.
Two screenshots: Near the bottom of FarPlay's welcome screen, the Preferences label and gear icon are highlighted. The Preferences button is shown to bring up the Preferences window, which is shown displaying the General Options tab. In this tab, are highlighted the General Options title, the "Your Name" row, and the Microphone row, with the microphone pull-down menu set to "External Microphone," the pull-down menu for the number of input channels set to "Mono," and the pull-down menu for selecting the channels to send set to "channel 1." The next row, labeled Headphones, is also highlighted. In this row, the headphones pull-down menu is set to "External Headphones," the pull-down menu for the number of channels to play back is set to "Stereo," and the pull-down menu for the channels for playback is set to "channels 1-2." At the bottom of the page, the OK button is highlighted.
  1. 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.
Cartoon showing a headset with built-in microphone on boom arm about to be brought down onto a mannequin's head, with the boom arm being adjusted to bring the microphone alongside the side of wear the mannequin's mouth would be.
  1. Click New Session, then Enter Session. This will take you to the main FarPlay window.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Click Leave Session to return to the FarPlay welcome screen.
Three screenshots. Clicking the Create Session button on FarPlay's welcome screen brings up a Session Started screen. Clicking the Enter Session button on this screen brings up FarPlay's main window. Near the top of this window, the You (with obscured name) label and its Monitor slider row (dragged all the way to the left to "muted") are highlighted. Closer to the middle of the window, the Local Latency, displayed as 2.0 ms, is highlighted. Near the bottom of the window, the Leave button is highlighted.

Step Two: Connect

Create a session, or join an existing one

  1. 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).
  2. Otherwise, click Join Session and paste the Session ID you’ve been given. Then, click Join Session.
Three screenshots. On FarPlay's welcome screen, the New Session and Join Session buttons just under the Account button are highlighted. The New Session button is shown to bring up a Session Started window, in which are highlighted the Copy button near the Session ID and the Enter Session button. The Join Session button on FarPlay's welcome screen is shown to bring up a Join Session window in which a text-entry field for a session ID, the Paste button immediately to the right of the text field, and the Join Session button farther down the screen are highlighted.

Set monitoring levels

  1. 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).
  2. Clicking the Mute button will silence the audio you transmit (useful for coughing or taking a phone call).
  3. 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

  1. Under the Remote User’s NameRemote 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.
Screenshot of FarPlay's main window in a 1-on-1 session. Near the top of the window, highlighting is applied to the label for You (with name obscured), the corresponding Monitor slider (shown dragged all the way left to the "muted" condition), and the Mute button for muting local sound. In the next main area, the highlighting is applied to the obscured version of the remote user's name, the Monitor slider for remote sound (set to 0 dB), the lower latency-cleaner sound slider, the Auto latency mode button (shown in the active blue state), and the readout of the Remote Latency, which reads 14 ms. Under the latency slider, a lowercase i enclosed in a circle is highlighted.
Screenshot of the latency slider, shown dragged quite far to the right, near the end labeled cleaner sound, and with a caption that reads, "Very little static, relatively high latency." The Auto button is shown in the active state, colored blue, and the green bar under the slider is zoomed in to fill the full width of the slider.
Screenshot of latency slider dragged far toward the left, near the end labeled lower latency and with a caption that reads, "Relatively high amount of static, relatively low latency." The green bar under the slider is zoomed in to fill the full width of the slider. The Auto button is in its active, blue state.
  1. 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.
  2. An illustrated explanation of what you can do with the latency slider is built into FarPlay: to access, click the ⓘ. 

Multi-user session controls

FarPlay subscribers can create sessions with more than two participants.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
Screenshot of FarPlay's main window in a multi-user session. The window has two main panels. In the panel on the left, in the section for Remote Sound, the Monitor slider (set to 0 dB), the latency slider, and the Auto button (in its active, blue state) are highlighted. In the side panel on the right, there are sections for two remote users, with obscured names. For each remote user, highlighting is applied to a Gain slider, a latency slider, and an Auto button, shown in the active, blue state. The green bars under all three latency sliders (the one on the left and the two on the right) are all zoomed in to fill the full width of the slider.

Start Video

FarPlay includes built-in video.

  1. 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.
Two screenshot: In FarPlay's main window during a 1-on-1 session, the Video button under Tools is highlighted. The video button is shown to bring up the FarPlay Video window, which is shown with 5 control buttons visible near the top-left corner and two example video feeds.


  1. If you have a FarPlay subscription, you can open a menu of types of recordings you can make by clicking the Start Recording button under Tools
Screenshot zoomed in on Tools section of FarPlay's main window shows a highlighted Start Recording button and context menu with the option to record multitrack video listed as the fourth and final choice.

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.

Have fun!

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.