A tech tool used by musicians rehearsing—and performing—virtually during the pandemic

Posted on: November 5, 2021

“One truly positive story in those first months [of the pandemic] was a report on new technology the Ragazzi Boys Chorus was using that enabled them to maintain real-time rehearsals with everyone singing safely from their own homes,” writes Paul Kotapish in Tuesday’s (11/2) San Francisco Classical Voice. “The technology in question, JackTrip Lab’s Virtual Studio, comprises software and a hardware interface that allows each participant to use a microphone, headphones, and a home computer to connect directly [with] other musicians via a dedicated JackTrip server. The result dramatically reduces latency—that maddening little delay [that] can make conversations stilted and music-making impossible…. The platform has evolved over the intervening year [and includes] forming a partnership with Hal Leonard, the world’s largest print music publisher and leader in digital music technology, to distribute the JackTrip Virtual Studio devices….. Instrumental ensembles have been using the platform, too [including] the Stanford Philharmonia…. One of the biggest adjustments musicians have to make, since they are conditioned to the visual cues that occur when playing together in person, is the fact that online audio connections don’t support synched visuals. [Some] groups use Zoom for the video component with the audio muted.”