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Old 07-28-2012, 06:36 AM   #1
LeftyF
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Default Using NINJAM live - some issues we're trying to work through

We are using NINJAM within REAPER and a dedicated server to allow me to play "live" with a couple of bands that I play with regularly. I am stuck in the hospital for several months and this is the best tool I've found to play "live" on songs that lend themselves to working with the loop (same set of changes through the entire song, no bridges, key modulations etc). It is working surprisingly well, but there are a couple of things that would make it even better if we can work them out.

1) We want to change the click sounds to some wood blocks or other less abrasive sounds that will sit in the mix better when we have to bring the click in on the PA to get the time back in. The ideal would be to be able to route the click to a different output than the audio mix so we can send it just to a monitor near the drummer. I found the instructions to change the samples in REAPER for the click, but they don't change the sounds that NINJAM uses. I'm hoping there's another way to do this for the NINJAM plugin.

2) to get the audio from the stage to my remote session we are using a Tascam digital recorder in monitor mode and using the internal mics and limiter to create a live mix, then sending the headphone out from the Tascam to REAPER / NINJAM. The issue we are having here is that we can't seem to be able to record / send the audio without having the monitor enabled. With the monitor enabled we are having issues with feedback, even with the level set low on the stage end. Is there any way that we can record and broadcast this track without monitoring live?

Thanks in advance for any ideas!
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:32 PM   #2
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1) For ReaNINJAM, the click is synthesised inside NINJAM (as you've noticed). You need to plead with Brennan to get them changed. Some more.

2) The "correct" signal path for NINJAM is:
audio source -> NINJAM -> audio output
That is, no sound at all should reach anyone's ears other than through NINJAM. ReaNINJAM only has the single output for the complete mix, too, so there are no options to have submixes or the click track separated, etc.

I don't remember any of the open source clients having more extensive routing opportunities last time I checked.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:14 PM   #3
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Yes, that's what I figured but I wanted to confirm with the experts. So we are going to use 2 laptops at the live (stage) end, 1 to deal with the uplink of the live mix using the Tascam digital recorder, then the same machine will host the click that we'll feed to the drummer using an in ear monitor. Laptop #2 is only to feed my guitar track into the PA on the live end, so that we don't have any issues with feedback from the uplink or bleed from the click. The last thing we'd live to be able to do is slave REAPER's clock off of reaNINJAM so that we can set up loops in in REAPER which can be muted / un-muted to use as the base for some loop based tunes. I seems to recall this was possible but don't recall how to set this up?
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LeftyF View Post
Yes, that's what I figured but I wanted to confirm with the experts. So we are going to use 2 laptops at the live (stage) end, 1 to deal with the uplink of the live mix using the Tascam digital recorder, then the same machine will host the click that we'll feed to the drummer using an in ear monitor. Laptop #2 is only to feed my guitar track into the PA on the live end, so that we don't have any issues with feedback from the uplink or bleed from the click. The last thing we'd live to be able to do is slave REAPER's clock off of reaNINJAM so that we can set up loops in in REAPER which can be muted / un-muted to use as the base for some loop based tunes. I seems to recall this was possible but don't recall how to set this up?
Update - so the above didn't work due to the fact that the clock for each laptop starts at the point that you click on the connect to server button and will only sync with each other if you are able to connect exactly on the downbeat of one (and this will drift over time). We think we can get around the feedback issue with the audio uplink track from the stage end sending audio to the remote end by setting the remote level as low as possible and setting the makeup gain on the remote side, but not being able to route the click to a seperate output to either send to a monitor by the drummer or to an in ear monitor is becoming a deal breaker to doing this at a more serious level. Is there anyone I can contact to beg for this to be looked at as a possible addition in a later version? I would think I'm not the only one that is looking at this as a solution for remote live performances, and this one change would solve the last major hurdle to working with it in this way.

We are using a MAC for the computer recording the audio from the stage and sending the mix from the live musicians to me, as well as providing the click to the stage. This article seems to say that using Live and the NINJAM 1.1.0 plugin on a MAC, you should be able to set up 8 audio output tracks plus a click track and route those to different output channels. That should allow us to send the guitar track from me (remote track) to one side of the stereo output from the laptop on the stage and send that to the PA (left channel from laptop), then route the click track to the other output to be sent to a monitor for the drummer (right channel from laptop). Has anyone done this and does it work?

http://www.expert-sleepers.co.uk/ninjamplugin.html

Last edited by LeftyF; 08-10-2012 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:48 PM   #5
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Update on this - I got my friend with the MAC over to the house to work through getting the custom client linked above working, and it works great and allows for routing the click to a separate channel. For now we've got the click in mono panned left and my guitar track sub mixed to mono and panned right, so we can send the click to the drummer in an ear monitor and my guitar routed to the PA on it's own. This is a HUGE win for doing this live and will make this much more manageable. More to come...
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