Welcome to the JackTrip website. We hope this site will (soon) serve as a hub for information regarding how to set up and use JackTrip.
Even with today's vast amount of online streaming and video conferencing, it is challenging for many musicians to find tools for high-quality, near-synchronous musical collaboration. Under the right conditions, the Internet can be used for ultra-low-latency, uncompressed sound transmission. JackTrip, one of the most widely used software programs for this purpose, is a free, open source program authored in the early 2000s by Chris Chafe, Juan Pablo Caceres and CCRMA at Stanford University. It allows musicians to play with one another across thousands of miles using bidirectional, multi-channel, lossless audio and with very low total latency, enabling real-time musical collaboration over the internet.
By real-time, we are referring to a one-way latency of 25-30 milliseconds or less between two geographically separated locations. Research indicates that at this latency or less, musicians can play together with no significant synchrony problems. JackTrip is one of the highest quality tools available for this type of musical collaboration. Many musicians use JackTrip because it was made for professional-quality sound and low latency, because it works with existing hardware and does not require any financial investment, and because its developers and users have created a supportive community around it.
JackTrip is typically used in combination with another program named JACK, an audio server which routes audio among different sources within a computer. What JackTrip does is to connect two or more computers – either in the same room or across the planet – that are both running JACK, enabling them to send/receive audio. JACK and JackTrip work on Linux, MacOSX and Windows, including the option to use a machine on any of those platforms to connect with any of the others.
JackTrip has been developing for many years, but the user and developer community expanded significantly during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, when musicians needed options for performing together from home. This increase in activity has led to many exciting and upcoming developments including a web application for use with inexpensive Raspberry Pi devices, a "hub mode" designed for large ensembles, and a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to simplify the user experience. As JackTrip continues to evolve and expand, this website will be a central resource for help and documentation, for both new users and experienced developers.