Creating a Virtual Studio
Virtual Studio offers fully managed cloud audio studios using cloud providers. Our free tier allows you to host studios for up to 5 musicians for 30 minutes. Our monthly subscription plans enable you to pay only for the additional resources that you actually need to use.
To create a new virtual studio, first click on the green "CREATE STUDIO" button located in the upper right hand corner of the "Virtual Studios" page:
This will take you to a form for creating a new studio:
It is recommended that you provide a "Descriptive Name" that distinguishes each of your studios. If you do not provide one, a unique name will be automatically assigned for you.
Leave the "Managed Servers" toggle enabled unless you have setup a JackTrip or Jamulus server on your own. For advanced users only, please see Creating Self-Hosted Servers.
Default settings will be assigned; you can change them now or after your studio is created. Click the "CREATE STUDIO" button to finish the process.
Virtual Studio Types
JackTrip virtual studios provide the most flexibility and highest quality, lossless audio. They also are required for any large groups (greater than about 40 musicians). Over time, we plan to focus any new feature development exclusively on JackTrip virtual studios. Their biggest downside is that they require more bandwidth (about 2 Mbps upload and download for stereo sound at 48 kHz).
Jamulus audio servers offer less flexibility, which also makes them easier to configure. They use a lossy codec that offers inferior audio quality, but their bandwidth requirements are significantly lower (about 300-500 Kbps upload and download for stereo sound). This makes them more suitable for low-quality Internet connections.
The default setting is "JackTrip+Jamulus" which supports both protocols. The studio mixes the audio channels together so that each musicians can use whichever one works best for their Internet connection. Virtual Studio Devices can use the "Quality" setting in the web interface to easily select the most optimal protocol. All Virtual Studio audio servers should also work with the command-line and graphical interface clients that run on desktop and laptop computers.
Please note: Jamulus can cause musicians who are using balanced audio cables to be inaudible. See this article for more information.
Virtual Studio Settings
The following settings are supported by both JackTrip and Jamulus audio servers:
All virtual studios are created to serve a specific geographical region. We recommend that the virtual studio and all musicians are located no more than about 500 miles away from one another. Fiber internet can extend this range.
This setting controls the sampling rate of frequency used to digitize audio.
- CD Quality (1.7 Mbps, 44.1 kHz)
- CD Plus Quality (2.0 Mbps, 48 kHz)
- 2x CD Quality (3.5 Mbps, 88.2 kHz)
- HD Quality (4.0 Mbps, 96 kHz)
The bandwidth rates (e.g. "2.0 Mbps") represents the minimum speed requirements -- both upload and download -- for all musician's Internet connections when sending and receive stereo (2 channels) using the JackTrip protocol. When sending a single (mono) input channel, only half the upload bandwidth is required (i.e. 1.0 Mbps for "CD Quality").
Jamulus requires 48 Khz or "CD Plus Quality" and we recommend using that unless you have a specific need for a higher sampling rate. Note that the minimum bandwidth requirement for musicians connecting to a server using Jamulus will be either 300 Kbps or 500 Kbps, not 2.0 Mbps.
This setting controls the number of audio samples grouped into frames for each period of time. Smaller values can result in lower latency, but require that all musicians have higher quality Internet connections. You may want to try raising this value if you are experiencing static or other audio issues.
Please note that changing the Buffer Size while the studio is running will stop the Studio and all connections. The Studio and any Virtual Studio devices should reconnect automatically.
We recommend leaving this value on "Auto"
This setting controls the queue size of the network jitter buffer for audio that the studio receives from everyone connected. Similar to period, smaller values result in lower latency, while larger values may result in higher quality if internet constraints are an issue. If you don't want "Auto" for whatever reason, we recommend setting the value to as low as possible.
Please note that changing the Net Queue while the studio is running will stop the Studio and all connections. The Studio and any Virtual Studio devices should reconnect automatically.
If this setting is enabled, anyone using JackTrip Virtual Studio will be able to see and connect to your audio studio. We recommend leaving this disabled and using subscribers (see below) to control access. We have found it is useful to sometimes make a studio public temporarily when troubleshooting access control issues.
If this setting is enabled, two channels (left and right) will be used for each musician. Disabling this will instead use a single, mono channel. Note that stereo sound requires twice as much bandwidth as mono, so it can be helpful to disable this if you are using low bandwidth Internet connections.
Audio Mixing with Soundscapes
Soundscapes allow you to tailor your Input Signal Chain and Output Signal Chain to process the sound of your studio. Click here for more details about using Soundscapes.
When a studio is first created, it starts out in a "Inactive" state. This does not consume resources or cost any money, but enables you to preserve the settings and subscribers of a server across multiple uses.
Before you can connect a Bridge (or other JackTrip or Jamulus client) to a studio, you first need to click on the "START" button in the lower-left corner:
This will cause the server's icon to change from yellow to blue, and its state to transition to "Starting."
Once the studio is ready to use, its icon will change to green and its state will transition to "Running." In addition, the IP address and port number for the server will be displayed underneath its name. Anyone using JackTrip (or Jamulus if that is the server type) clients should be able to use these values to connect to it. Users of JackTrip Bridges should be able to connect to it by selecting the server via a drop-down menu.
Studio owners and admins can release it at any time by clicking on the red "STOP" button in the lower-left corner.
To help save resources (and ultimately your costs), studios have a timer that will automatically stop them when it expires. The timer starts out at 60 minutes, but can be increased up to 180 minutes at any time by dragging the slider located next to the "STOP" button towards the right.
Studios that are not public are only visible by their subscribers. To add a subscriber, enter their display name or email address into the "Search for user" input field. Then click on the green "INVITE USER" button.
By default, subscribers will not be able to modify any studio settings or invite other subscribers. You can grant them permission to do these things by enabling the "Admin" toggle located next to their name. Note that admins can also start and extend the time for studios, and the studio's owner (or creator) is responsible for any charges they incur.
Connected Audio Devices
All Virtual Studio audio devices that are connected a studio will be displayed next to the device owner's name using a headphone icon.
If a device is configured to be connected, but for whatever reason is not communicating with the server, its headphone icon will be displayed using a grey icon. Note that this will always be the case when the server is not Running.
If a device is connected, its headphone icon will be color coded either green, yellow, orange or red, indicating the device's Internet latency and connection quality.
If you mouse over the headphone icon for a device, it will display more detailed statistics about its Internet connection. Please also see the section under Managing JackTrip Bridges for more information about this.
The "Devices" tab provides an easy mechanism to manage all the audio devices that are connected to your studio.
Input Volume Range
This setting makes it easy to set the input volume levels for all Virtual Studio devices connected to the server. Set the slider to a minimum and maximum input volume level. When you click on the "Update Devices" button, all devices with input volume levels below the minimum will be updated to it, and all devices with input volume levels above the maximum will be updated to it.
Below the Input Volume Range slider is a search input box that enables you to filter devices based on the device or subscriber's name.
The device control strips enable you to manage the input volume levels of any connected devices. You can also use the "Disconnect" button at the bottom to disconnect the device from your server.