Across the Internet.
How It Works
Syncspace.Live allows artists to perform together across the Internet in real time and even broadcast their performance to a live audience.
Our platform depends on low-latency and low-jitter connections to a central server so we spend a huge amount of time on networking. We are constantly investigating and testing Internet connectivity and routing all over the world, working with local network operators and artists in each region. We are currently deployed in 24 regions worldwide with many others being developed and tested.
Our solution was design to meet the demanding needs of professional artists. Under normal ideal conditions, it enables musicians to play together without compromises, performing even the fastest music together and interacting spontaneously in real-time through both audio and video, while broadcasting their performance with support from a remote broadcast engineer so they can focus on performing while delivering in-sync audio and video, live camera switching, and more to a live audience.
To demonstrate what’s possible, we use the platform to run a virtual venue where we present live concerts every week with professional musicians performing together, sometimes even across multiple cities. Attend a concert or view videos from recent live broadcasts of live performances to get an idea of the possibilities.
Subscribe to get your own syncspace and use it to rehearse, record, teach, and present live events.
Get in sync and perform together across the Internet
It’s called a “syncspace” because it’s a space where performers sync up through audio and video. Without getting into all the technical details, here’s how we do it (scroll down further below for the technical details):
Synchronized audio with ultra-low latency to perform together without limits
To exchange audio, each performer runs software on their Windows, Mac, or Linux computer to send their audio to a server. The server mixes the audio from each performer and sends the combined audio mix back to each member of the ensemble. Under normal ideal conditions, the delay between when you make a sound and when others hear that sound is so short that it sounds like everyone is in the same room together. This allows an ensemble to play music together even at fast tempos.
Synchronized video to exchange visual cues while performing together
To exchange video, each performer uses a webcam on their computer. There’s no additional software required as it all works in a web browser with a single webpage where each performer can see everyone else in the ensemble.
As video consumes a lot more data than audio, we deal with it in a different way. Firstly, the video is deliberately decoupled from the audio so that the audio always arrives as soon as possible. Additionally, video streams are sent directly between each member of the ensemble rather than through a central server which further reduces latency. Video sent between performers is sent at a reduced quality so that it arrives sooner. While it is not guaranteed to be in sync with the audio, since that could compromise the timing of the audio, it does arrive quickly enough that performers can exchange visual cues which can help the ensemble stay in sync while also facilitating spontaneous exchanges.
Synchronized audio and video broadcast to an audience
The “live” part of syncspace.live is in the power of broadcasting a live performance to a live audience. Each syncspace has a virtual broadcast studio which pulls in a high-quality version of each performer’s video so that the audience will see the best possible image of each performer. Since this higher-quality video uses more data and takes longer to arrive than the audio, the audio received in the broadcast studio is delayed so that it is synchronized with the video before it’s all sent out to a viewing audience.
Each video feed and each audio channel is individually controllable to give a broadcast engineer control over what the audience sees. The “on air” feed is sent to each ensemble member so they can see what their audience is seeing. This appears on the same webpage in which they view all the ensemble members so they can continue to look in a single place with minimal distractions.
Not everybody wants to know about the nitty gritty details but if you like that stuff we’ve got details for you right here. Our platform integrates the best technologies for real-time collaboration across the Internet and brings them together into a fully-managed platform that resides in the cloud with a portal that has everything you need to get up and running and fully tuned.
We offer two different solutions for high-quality, low-latency, full-duplex sound that allows everyone to simultaneously send sound while hearing everyone else with such short delays that it sounds and feels like you’re together in the same room.
Under normal ideal conditions our users will experience a one-way total (not just network) delay of single-digit milliseconds (9ms or less) with clear audio at the highest quality settings (48 kHz sampled stereo using either compressed 906 Kbps or uncompressed 2 Mbps formats).
This is literally like being about six feet apart on the same sound stage. We’re able to achieve this level of performance by optimizing for latency throughout the entire signal chain including the audio processing and the network communication.
The two solutions we offer for exchanging audio for the purposes of simultaneous performance are:
Jamulus for easy setup with high-quality compressed audio of up to 906 Kbps in stereo sampled at 48 kHz. The Jamulus software is available for free and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It offers many options for each person to craft their own personal mix of the ensemble’s sound and tweak quality and bandwidth settings so that they’re getting the best experience.
JackTrip for higher quality sound and faster delivery with 2 Mbps uncompressed stereo audio sampled at 48 kHz. This higher performance is possible as there’s no time spent compressing and decompressing the audio. This is a great choice for the most demanding online music performances. Although this makes it a potentially better option than Jamulus, JackTrip is not as tolerant of slow or unstable network connections and can be harder to configure and tune than Jamulus. JackTrip software is available for free and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Each syncspace has its own Jamulus and JackTrip servers running all the time. Although everyone in an ensemble must use the same solution at the same time, you’re free to use either solution whenever you want.
Additionally, there is a third option for audio which is not suitable for music performances but can be used for small-group meetings or 1:1 teaching with lower latency and higher quality than you’d get with most meeting platforms. This is the audio that is built into the real-time video (discussed below) which is normally used with audio off when combined with Jamulus or JackTrip.
Syncspace.live streams video directly between ensemble participants so there’s no central video server to slow things down. It allows high-quality video, with no limit on bitrate or resolution, to be sent by each member of an ensemble for broadcasting to an audience while sending lower-quality versions of that same video to ensemble members so that it arrives with minimal delay. The rapid delivery helps ensemble members exchange visual cues in real-time. Video connections are easily setup in a web browser with no additional software required.
How good is the video quality? As we said above, there’s no limit on the bitrate or resolution that each performer can send for the purposes of broadcasting. In practice most people will send a 720p or 1080p stream that uses about 5 Mbps but it’s possible to send higher-quality streams such as a 4K stream which could be used for zooming in during a broadcast.