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Jamblaster questions for Staff

First off I am happy to see that the units are on their way. Can you please provide the following:
1. Tracking #'s so everyone has an idea that their unit is on its way.
2. Manual e-mailed or link here on the forum
3. Will the Jamblaster be ready to go once it is received as I currently do not see an app available.
Thank you in advance.
Dave Diamond

Comments

  • Hi Dave,

    1) I don't know personally.
    2) We will sent out 'getting started' info soon, but it will come virtually (yes probably in forum, probably also as an update on the KickStarter)
    3) It will work when it arrives.

    I'd follow KickStarter for more updates; the primary communication is happening there:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1091884999/jamblaster-the-ultimate-smartphone-accessory-for-m
  • Seth, thank you for the response. Hopefully staff will illuminate with the tracking numbers so all the backers can get an idea when to expect their Blasters.
    Happy Holiday's and Joy to the world.
    Dave
  • Hi @Dave Diamond ,

    David Wilson is the point man on this. I'd ask via KickStarter.

    Seth
  • Thanks Seth, "Jake Taylor" has inquired via Kickstarter and Dave has not responded as of yet.
  • FYI, some have received the Jamblaster so if your ordered one its on the way!
    real_jamblaster.jpg
    5312 x 2988 - 921K
  • Should there have been any instructions or CD or anything other than the device and the power adapter?
  • We will have help documentation published and available online tomorrow.
  • Awesome! Thanks.
  • I've been trying to download the app for mac, with no luck.
  • I did get my JamBlaster this morning. Very excited, but no manual, no nothing. When can we get something?
  • Hello Kickstarter Backers -

    We are awaiting a final update from our fulfillment partner, but we believe they have finished shipping out all the JamBlaster units as of yesterday. Many of you have reported receiving your JamBlasters, and we're excited about it! Here is a link to a set of help article that explain how to set up and use your new JamBlaster:

    https://jamkazam.desk.com/customer/en/portal/topics/935634-using-the-jamblaster/articles

    Please read and review these help articles to understand and get started with your JamBlaster. If you run into problems that you can't resolve by using the help articles, please email us at support@jamkazam.com, or post your help inquiries to our support knowledge base at https://jamkazam.desk.com/.

    Thank you, and we hope you enjoy starting to use the JamBlaster!

    Best Regards,
    Team JamKazam
  • I got my two units today. Never got any tracking/shipping notification. Came Priority Mail.

    My conjecture: the last-minute (forced) change in plans for fulfillment partner was a change to a company who could get them out... not a company that is good at the internet, Kickstarter, touchy-feely stuff we've gotten so used to in this day and age.

    Hey. They got them out, short notice, and they're arriving. That will just have to do.

    Learned via these forums that Windows requires iTunes in order to see the device on the network (understandable, but ick, I did not want iTunes on this PC).

    Had to re-cable how my various equipment connects to network in order to get Mac to connect to JB, but finally got it to go. After I got it to go with Mac also plugged into Ethernet (usually just WiFi, and that should be fine, that device ain't doin' any of the audio streaming either direction), a quick solo session just to hear a JamTrack and play either input along briefly... worked.

    Moved Ethernet cable back to the Windows box. Installed iTunes (I repeat, ick), then finally got that one to connect to JB. However, can't play any JamTracks (tried several, says contact support, and I say hell no). Now why in the Sam Hill would the Mac be able to tell the JB to play a JamTrack, but the PC can't tell the JB to play the JamTrack? All of the audio input, output, compress, decompress, stream, mix, massage, what-have-you is happening in the JB. Right?! I mean, that is why y'all built these little optimized linux boxes with optimized audio interfaces - so they'd do all the grunt work at minimum latency. Windows or Mac or iPhone is "just the UI".

    Alright, so Windows 10 is total fail. No big deal. Didn't want iTunes on it anyway, and now I can remove it.

    Back to the Mac. On a whim, fire it up with Mac on WiFi and JB on Ethernet. They re-connect to each other just fine. Sweet! Start a session, adjust inputs, enable Phantom Power (boy oh boy is it nice that you included the Phantom Power in the JB - that's going to save me so much hassle)... all seems great. OK, so let's fire up a JamTrack. Loads up as normal. Starts t-t-t-to p-p-pl-l-l-la-a-a-ay really choppy and unusable. Why? The same JB is still plugged into the same Ethernet cable, to the same Ethernet Switch, to the same Router. Nothing moved. It's just that the (Mac) screen that's showing me the UI is now on WiFi instead of Ethernet. Shouldn't matter. All I'm doing is clicking buttons so the JB knows what to do.

    Pay attention folks - I'm about to make an important point.

    The title of the Kickstarter:
    JamBlaster: the ultimate smartphone accessory for musicians
    There ain't no way my iPhone or iPad can connect directly "to the same router as the JamBlaster" using Ethernet. Oh no. WiFi will be the fastest way, obviously.

    So tell me. Now that most of them are delivered, what exactly were the advertising photos with iPhone in them, telling us? What is the app on the iPhone or iPad "or with a standard browser running on a tablet or a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer"... explain how this works.

    My brother has an iPhone. I bought the 2nd JamBlaster for him. I'd like to give it to him and tell him, just like the freaking marketing hype on the Kickstarter, that all he needs is his phone and this thing plugged into his internet router, and it's going to work wonders. And yet... I've seen no evidence it will work on non-Mac, nor with the "computer" on WiFi, nor any way to connect the iOS device to the JB.

    Tell us how it works. Tell us that it works. No... wait... that's not quite what I mean.

    Prove that it works, as the ultimate smartphone accessory. You know, the idea you sold us on.

    I have hope. I think you can do it, and I'm hoping you'll do it soon. But so far, I feel quite lied to.

    The phones in the pictures on Kickstarter? They're just showing a picture of a mockup of the JamTracks iOS app. I bet that app didn't even work yet. It works now, I've used it several times, until my fingers were sore from the banjo strings & frets. But it has no capacity to connect to the JB. At all. Are my suspicions correct? So - up to this point, not only are we hoping that you'll actually make an iOS app that works with the JB, but you hope so too.
  • Hi Kelvin -

    I understand your frustration, and I apologize that we are so far behind schedule on delivery of the complete set of advertised features. Having apologized, let me share some information that may be helpful.

    If you will please review the JamBlaster help docs that we sent out, we explain that currently the tech we are using to support backing tracks, JamTracks, and recordings streams those audio content types across your home network from the computer on which the JamKazam app is running to the JamBlaster. This is why WiFi can make these content types stutter as you are experiencing.

    The JamBlaster handles all the audio processing for your own instrumental/vocal audio inputs and for the audio streams you receive from other musicians, and it also mixes with these streams any audio stream of backing tracks or JamTracks from the computer running the app. So for now, if you want to use backing tracks and JamTracks in sessions, you'll want to use an Ethernet cable to connect your computer to your home network.

    As you correctly point out, you can't connect iPhones or iPads via Ethernet to your home network. Our thinking here is that when we deliver the app for these devices, we'll enhance these features to copy the backing track or JamTrack audio file over from your computer to the JamBlaster automatically when you play one of these content types, so that they are not streamed, and thus not degraded by a WiFi connection. One thing to note here is that JamTracks often include 10 to 20 different isolated tracks, and iOS devices don't have enough CPU horsepower to mix and play this many tracks in real-time. So when you want to play JamTracks in a session from a mobile device like an iPhone, you'll need to use the custom mix feature of our JamTracks so that we can transfer across and play a single audio file. But this will let you easily accomplish what you are after, even with WiFi-connected mobile devices.

    To sum up, we sold you a JamBlaster vision. Much of that vision exists in productized form today, but yes there are a couple of significant omissions - most especially lack of the mobile apps. I apologize again. I understand your frustration and disappointment. We are doing our absolute best to fulfill this vision, and can only ask your continued patience while we keep working on the product.

    Best,
    David
  • currently the tech we are using to support backing tracks, JamTracks, and recordings streams those audio content types across your home network from the computer on which the JamKazam app is running to the JamBlaster. This is why WiFi can make these content types stutter
    I had not noticed that. And I can see that it could be tough enough to stream one signal, but if it's darned near a dozen, whew, yeah stuttering is less surprising.

    Not having read that before, I would have guessed that the JB was doing all the grunt-work, including downloading whatever temporary files are needed for the JamTrack, playback, mixing, streaming the mixed-down audio to someone else (if jamming with another musician).

    I take it then that how and where JamTracks are stored and streamed will have to change before using a smartphone as the UI is viable.

    Would the following be a viable workaround?
    1. Download (or whatever it is) the JamTrack onto iPhone/iPad.
    2. Playback from iOS JamTracks into analog mixer.
    3. Plug mic and/or synth and/or guitar into analog mixer.
    4. Connect L&R out from mixer to Input1 and Input2 of JamBlaster.
    5. Play alone, OR jam with another, wherein Mac (WiFi or Ethernet) controls JamBlaster's activity.

    Or would that not fly because I'd have to be using my JamKazam login on 3 simultaneous devices, and the world will get all confused like so many tangled RCA cords in a dusty old box?
  • Hi Kelvin -

    Yes, you can definitely find a workaround for now. There are multiple decent workarounds to the current tech limitations if you want to use JamTracks or backing tracks in JamBlaster sessions today. Here are 4:

    1. Connect your Mac or Win computer via Ethernet cable to your home router. This is easiest, as it resolves the jitter/stutter streaming issues, and you can just use the app on your computer for backing tracks and JamTracks as you normally would.

    2. Use the custom mix feature of JamTracks to produce a single MP3 mixdown file with whatever tracks you want muted/unmuted. Then copy that MP3 file onto whatever device you want to use to play it back - e.g. an iPod, iPhone, or anything else that can play an MP3 file. Use a 3.5mm to 1/4" adapter cable to take the audio out from your iPhone (or whatever) into one of the two inputs on the front of the JamBlaster. I have done this myself to play Spotify music into my sessions.

    3. Use the JamTracks iOS app as an audio source. Our iOS app can create custom mixes and play them back. So open that app, and just like #2 above, connect your iPhone into one of the two inputs on the JamBlaster with an adapter cable.

    4. If you have a mixer, you have even more flexibility. I have an analog mixer at home, and I plug my electric guitar, keyboard, a mic, and my Android phone all into my mixer as audio sources, and then take the L/R outputs of my mixer into the two inputs on my JamBlaster. So I have a pretty unlimited capacity to route audio from multiple sources into my JamBlaster.

    Best,
    David
  • I've ordered more CAT5 RJ45 Ethernet cables (I have lots, but was all out of the ones that were long enough). That'll allow me to have Mac hard-wired all the time again.

    I've ordered a couple USB TypeA Male-to-Male cables, so I can experiment with hooking up JB as an external audio device to Mac or PC without needing to climb behind the desk repeatedly. (No, I ain't gonna try to hook them both up at the same time. I may seem that dumb, but I ain't.)

    But yeah, all 4 of those workarounds seem viable here. I may get this stuff going after all. Can't rope in my brother yet until there's smartphone apps that can connect to JB. I guess he just waits. Oh well.
  • Hey Kelvin - If you hook up the JamBlaster as an ordinary USB audio device, you will lose the ultra low latency advantage. We can get the latency so low in part by bypassing the USB subsystem of computers, which is slow. My advice would be to leave your JamBlaster plugged into your router all the time, and then if you're going to have your Mac hard wired all the time, everything will work well. Not sure what the disadvantage of doing this is as your router should have plenty of spare ports?

    Best,
    David
  • DAvid - in my case, I was hoping that the Jamblaster connected via USB to use in REAPER, etc. would give me a low latency audio interface (at least better than my M-Audio device). That appears to not be the case, based on your comments.
  • Not sure what the disadvantage of doing this is as your router should have plenty of spare ports?
    There wasn't a disadvantage that made me bump the Mac back to WiFi. I just didn't have enough CAT5 cables which were ALSO long enough to go around the perimeter of the room to the opposite corner where the router is. So I was shuffling a cable between PC and Mac to try to get the JB to work on day one.

    But an Amazon package arrived today: 2 long CAT5, 2 long USB A M-M.

    You're right - plugging in USB from mac to JamBlaster did not give me glowing latency numbers. Just as mediocre as when I used the Behringer device that isn't the one you'd recommend. Clearly Mac USB bus is the waist part of the proverbial hourglass.

    May try it as external USB3 audio device for Win10. That gamerbox (built for playing Oculus Rift stuff, so pretty fast) likely has a quicker USB bus than the Mac. The JamBlaster "remote" thing was a complete bust so far, but maybe "just an audio device" will give me another shot.

    The "plenty of spare ports" bit literally made me laugh aloud.
    Mac
    PC (triple-boot Debian, Mint, Win10)
    TiVo
    AppleTV
    Vonage phone adapter
    Phillips Hue Hub
    DVD player (with amazon, netflix, etc)
    Some box for streaming Steam games from PC
    Remote CAT5 run to other WiFi router (opposite corner of house)
    Remote CAT5 run to upstairs AppleTV
    I unplugged a couple other things and forced them to downgrade to WiFi so that I could plug in Mac and JamBlaster.
    ...I have a couple more devices here that I can't plug in 'cuz there's no place to do so.

    Instead of two JamBlasters, maybe I should have bought just one (or some other high-end audio device), and another ethernet switch.
  • Hi Warrick - When connected via USB cable, the JamBlaster will not deliver lower latency than industry standard audio interfaces. That said, we have a software enhancement in the works that we believe will give you the ultra low latency of the JamBlaster when used with REAPER (or other DAWs). Stay tuned...

    Best,
    David
  • Hi Kelvin - I'm going to name you "Captain Ethernet". You have a ton of wired connections man! Per my reply to Warrick above, we are working on a way that you can use the JamBlaster with DAWs and achieve the ideal JamBlaster latency. Meanwhile, it does work with ultra low latency for online sessions.

    Best,
    David
  • The server room here at work has a few more CAT5 cables than my closet at home. Just a few.

    I would have a slight interest in Reaper or other DAW, only insomuch as it might help resolve the JamKazam and/or JamBlaster difficulties/latency. A recording artist I am not, nor do I aspire to be. If, however, some Reaper-esque thing allows me access to other wind-controller-capable synth patches beyond what I have in VL70m, that would indeed pique my jamming interest. I guess I have some reading to do.
  • Reaper looks really cool. I can see myself getting lost down that rabbit hole. Definitely going to experiment with it. I have two JBs and two USB cables, and at least one other USB audio input something-or-another laying around. I'm gonna see if I can let the magic smoke out of something!
  • >> If you will please review the JamBlaster help docs that we sent out

    I don't think that I received these... Are they on the site for download?
  • Disclaimer: The following is mostly humorous anecdote.

    I'd seen mention in the forums, after I'd temporarily given up on the JamBlasters in frustration (and a little disheartedness), that there were firmware updates for the JamBlaster, which would get downloaded automatically next reboot. So - after a week or so, last night, I decided to plug one of 'em in and see if things worked better.

    Everything worked a bit better. Re-connection went smoothly. Inputs were not mostly-muted upon startup of solo session. Grabbed a JamTrack, and found that the banjo part needed the 5th string capo'd up 2 frets, and I have hook spikes at +1 and +3. Silly me, I hooked the string under +1 and started turning the tuning machine up another semitone. TWANG!!

    Sure. Perfect. Karma teases me with a smoothly working JamKazam and JamBlaster, only to break a string.

    New banjo (Xmas). Hadn't had one for a long while, and I thought all my extra strings probably went with a banjo I gave away years before. We also moved since then. 6pm on New Year's Eve is not when I would consider heading out to try to catch a music-stuff store before they close.

    Turned out I did have spares. Wrong style of end (brass bushing/ball instead of plain loop), but I got it to work. So it all went fine.

    Now the serious stuff:
    Any update on the iOS app? How soon might we be able to use the JamBlaster as "The Ultimate Smartphone Accessory?"

    Also noticed on the iOS JamTracks app: a track which I purchased last night (plus several others, longer ago) and show up as playable on my Mac and on Win 10 (though they only actually play on Mac so far), do not show up on the JamTracks iOS app. I can find them in the store, sure. But I don't need to buy them again. I need to play ones I've already bought. Seems to be a new problem behavior.
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