Author Topic: Calling all musos - NINJAM - there's never been a better time to try it out...  (Read 928 times)

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
    • Space Is The Place
...thanks to the lockdown. Currently 29 people shared over 9 servers instead of the usual 3-6 on 1 or 2 servers.

NINJAM = Novel Intervallic Network Jamming Architecture for Music

i.e. it allows you to jam with musicians all over the world live online (and has a unique way of conquering the hurdle of lag).

So a message to all you stay at home musos; let's have a jam.

In order to get started you need to install REAPER and you will find that it come packaged with a NINJAM plugin that will allow you to connect to a NINJAM public server.

Take a look on the NINJAM folder in the Cockos forum for some advice on getting started (on a PC) while I dig out the old threads on here somewhere (to find my tutorial for Macs).

https://forum.cockos.com/forumdisplay.php?f=10

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
    • Space Is The Place
I might be able to start a private server exclusively for CaB members as I've plenty of bandwidth these days. As it's possible to record (and later mix and edit) the jams we could even make a project of it and share the results via our bandcamp account. That would be really far out.

Let's make some lemonade from the currently collective lemon of life.

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
    • Space Is The Place

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
    • Space Is The Place

I have a refurbed laptop en route so I'm game when it lands.

Dare we say Haha Tape 5?

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
    • Space Is The Place
HATAP-05

Johnny Textface

  • Like a cat
HAHATAPE-19…?

Petey Pate

  • Currently Not Available
I'm game. Never used this before but I'm a frequent REAPER user so shouldn't be too tricky for me to set it up.

Should we arrange a time and date for when we should get involved? I'll probably just be using a drum machine (Boss Dr 202) recorded through an SP 404 for my input but should be fun even if the result is cacophonous.

Rich Uncle Skeleton

  • Oh it's a whole flock of detectives.
Sounds great! Before I saw this I was about to post a thread asking if anyone fancied doing a covers album since we could probably have a bit of fun collaborating on something together rather than all holing up alone working on our own stuff? Could cover an album or a bunch of different songs with a loose theme?

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
    • Space Is The Place
I'm game. Never used this before but I'm a frequent REAPER user so shouldn't be too tricky for me to set it up.

Should we arrange a time and date for when we should get involved? I'll probably just be using a drum machine (Boss Dr 202) recorded through an SP 404 for my input but should be fun even if the result is cacophonous.

To use a drum machine you'll need to sync it to MIDI Clock (not MIDI Time Code) from within REAPER; basically, set the tempo of the project you're running to the same tempo that NINJAM is set (which is a completely separate issue as the tempo of REAPER usually has no bearing at all on the tempo running in NINJAM). Then you have to cue the drum machine up to the start of the "Index" (i.e the NINJAM loop); might take a couple of tries.

Sounds great! Before I saw this I was about to post a thread asking if anyone fancied doing a covers album since we could probably have a bit of fun collaborating on something together rather than all holing up alone working on our own stuff? Could cover an album or a bunch of different songs with a loose theme?

It's very difficult to set up song structures in NINJAM because of the time factor. It works far better on four (16 BPI in 4/4) or eight bar loops (32 BPI, 4/4) to keep some flexibility; once you get beyond 32 (128 BPI, 4/4) bars it starts to get a bit tiresome waiting round for the cycle to start if you screw up. And for a whole song multiply that by several more (the number of bars it takes to cycle through a song.

What I suggest is that everyone gets familiar with NINJAM before we start trying to actually make any music together or recording it and see what it's ideal for (basically Krautrock type jams or Miles Davis' electric groove stuff from the 70's or Terry Riley minimalist or Fela Kuti type grooves, maybe even a bit of Tangerine Dream; essentially open structures that can loop and are forgiving to the odd fluff; keep it simple.
The first thing you need to make sure of is that your latency is set to a minimum. On a PC, I think this is achieved with a little program called ASIO4ALL (you'll have to check it for yourselves); on a Mac it's achieved via REAPER Preferences/Audio/Device Request Block Size should be ticked and set to something between 64 and 192 (say 128) (less if it sounds OK) then click "Apply".

When you're on a NINJAM server there is a chatroom which can be used to converse with other players and can also be used to vote for new tempos (BPM) or index lengths (BPI). These are usually set to require more than one player to agree to a change (i.e. a vote).

So if you want to change the tempo to 100BPM you enter: !vote bpm 100
If you want to change the loop to 4 bars of 4/4 (i.e. 16 beats) you enter: !vote bpi 16

https://wiki.cockos.com/wiki/index.php/NINJAM_Documentation
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 06:27:42 PM by NoSleep »

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
    • Space Is The Place
This is a save file for a NINJAM setup (made on a Mac) within REAPER. It might work for PCs, too. It allows you to plug an instrument into input 1 of your audio interface and be straight off ready to connect to a public server (give yourself a name where I've entered "YourNameHere" before hitting connect).

https://www.dropbox.com/s/twtatlrgzvvw9m5/NinjamBLANK.RPP?dl=0

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
    • Space Is The Place
I've been on NINJAM this afternoon and notice they have a many more servers available than there used to be in the menu. Of special note is several "private servers" which you are free to use, but if somebody is already there, then it's on an invite-only basis. These servers have four slots so I'll see what I can do about setting up my own private server with possibly more slots, as my upload bandwidth is massive these days; I'll try and get that running tomorrow. It's good that we have a back-up plan (in case I can't configure the port forwarding or something).

Flouncer

  • See ya on the other side, ya goddamn cracker ass!
I was wondering about drum machines too; I got a TR-8S last year but I've not had much luck syncing it up to Reaper. For some reason, the times I've tried to do this, Reaper sets the BPM on the drum machine to 300. I'm not great with stuff like this and consequently I spend a lot of time scratching my head wondering what the fuck I've done wrong.

Can you contribute more than one thing at a time - say if I had a drum machine groove going, would I be able to play some guitar over it or whatever?

PlanktonSideburns

  • time takes its toll, but not on the eyes
yea im going to be trying out a bit of ninjamosity this week hopefully, - see yo guys there!

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
    • Space Is The Place
I was wondering about drum machines too; I got a TR-8S last year but I've not had much luck syncing it up to Reaper. For some reason, the times I've tried to do this, Reaper sets the BPM on the drum machine to 300. I'm not great with stuff like this and consequently I spend a lot of time scratching my head wondering what the fuck I've done wrong.

Can you contribute more than one thing at a time - say if I had a drum machine groove going, would I be able to play some guitar over it or whatever?

The easiest thing to do is put NINJAM on the stereo buss, then you can have any number of instruments at once. You can either make a mix if them or (in the case of just two instruments) pan them left and right and create two mono channels in NINJAM accessing left and right separately.

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