JackTrip Bridge 400 Miles Apart

Hello JackTrip Community!

My friend and I are singer/songwriters. I live near Dallas TX, and he lives in Kansas Cit MO. (530 miles) We have been experimenting with the JackTrip app on a free studio I created. I know this is a little more than twice as far as the stated 250 miles so I was expecting more latency but have seen where people are jamming together from much further distances.

The reason for my post is to gain clarity on two questions.

The first questions is about the JackTrip web app. When we both connect to the studio I created we can hear each other however in the participants tab the mixer/ faders & mute buttons are unresponsive, and I assume we are also experiencing latency related dropouts and artifacts.

We both are connecting via our computers. We both have UAD Apollo interfaces. We use Apollo interfaces because we are invested in that ecosystem for production work we both do.
I noticed on the Support documentation that our interfaces are not officially supported.

Here are my two questions:

• Could we achieve better results if we used the JackTrip analog bridge?’

I wonder if the the extended inputs and outputs of the UAD Apollo are problematic as they have been with zoom, MS teams, etc in the past. I can do all of my audio mixing and processing in the computer and send a simple stereo output to the JackTrip Analog Bridge and avoid any complicated routing /sample rate issues.

• Is this a lost cause all together because of the distance?

When we connect and I look at the stats it shows us both having good connections. Thats using the server in Dallas TX which is close to me but 530 miles from my friend. If I try to connect to the server in Kansas City MO, (his home town) I get a poor connection. Unfortunately, there are no server locations between us. Tulsa OK would be a perfect halfway point making it less than 250 miles between each of us and the studio… but it isn’t on the roadmap of server roll-outs at this point.

I don’t want to invest in the JackTrip Analog Bridges if it’s a moot point all together. Any thoughts from this community?

Thanks in advance.

  • Andy

Welcome Andy!

Thank you for your inquiries. Your questions are two of the most FAQs, and you’re in a good place to get some answers. I am an avid participant in the JackTrip community for more than 15 years, especially since 2020 when JackTrip went into rapid development of the core application, the webservices, and Bridge hardware.

The JackTrip development team is working to integrate the core app software and the web app interface. They have level meters now, which helps a lot and is very useful. There will be feature announcements as they are implemented, so please keep watching for them.

The JackTrip Bridge developers have test results that show the Bridges are faster than computers for JackTrip. The JackTrip analog Bridge can accommodate USB interface connections, and there also are now JackTrip digital bridges that connect to USB interfaces. The USB interface would be in charge of processing the audio before handing it off to the Bridge to send and receive audio from/to the network.

With any telematic audio there will be a tradeoff between latency and noise; lower the buffer for less latency and there could be noise; raise the buffer to get a cleaner signal and there could be more latency. In a pinch, try sending only one channel to cut resource demands in half!

You can check into managing your own JackTrip server through AWS, Linode, or another service with servers in the location you want. There is a long-running listserve link: https://groups.google.com/g/jacktrip-users. And some instructions on the following link: https://help.jacktrip.org/hc/en-us/articles/360056926013-Creating-Self-Hosted-Servers

It is important to be adventurous and willing to experiment with JackTrip. It is not a “set it and forget it” medium. The network is dynamic and JackTrip is a passenger that needs to adapt to it. Many JackTrippers use latency like another instrument and play unmetered music, although it is certainly feasible to play in sync when the conditions are right.

Please keep trying. You will learn I promise. And it will be worthwhile. Please post your progress and experiences for others to learn from you. That’s what it’s all about here.

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Welcome @andyteel!

First, we just launched 1.6.6 of the desktop software app yesterday and it adds support for volume controls & mute!

Second, UA Apollo are excellent interfaces. I own and use several myself and would not recommend purchasing an analog bridge or any other hardware because – so long as you’re using Thunderbolt 3 (I assume you are) – your hardware latency is already the best in the industry. Dedicated hardware devices only help if you would otherwise be using a slow interface. With all the advances in audio interfaces over the past few years, there is no longer any good reason to use dedicated hardware. And to further emphasize the point, I’m the guy who first built the JackTrip bridge devices.

Third, mainly for clarity, is to check if you are using wired ethernet versus Wifi? This is one other place where the bridge could excel. Wifi simply isn’t good enough for low-latency audio. You may be able to hear one another, but you’ll experience significantly higher latency and a lot more glitches, no matter how good your wifi devices are, or how close you are to your access point. Future wifi standards are working towards improving this, but it’s simply not good enough yet. If you are on a laptop that doesn’t have ethernet, there are many inexpensive USB-C adapters available via Amazon etc.

Distance is a bit more tricky. We do plan to add Tulsa in the future, but I can’t give you an honest ETA for that. I also don’t think it would make much difference. Nor would any P2P solutions. Your audio traffic always has to pass through major POPs along the Internet, and that is where we locate studios. So long as it resides along that path between you & your collaborators, you are getting the best thing possible (today). Of course, these backbones are continuously improving and will look much different even 5-10 years from now.

Lastly, although this is perhaps most important, is to use fiber internet. If you and your colleague both have fiber you will be able to collaborate across much longer distances. We have seen sub-20ms across thousands of miles, for example all along the west coast of the USA. Note that Gigabit internet is not the same thing and most providers (cable, DSL, etc) provide very poor latency despite having very high bandwidth. You need to have the fiber come directly into your home/studio, for example: AT&T Fiber, Google Fiber, Verizon FiOS, etc. If you don’t have this already, I’m fairly certain that upgrading will give you a dramatically improved result.


So many valuable insights and useful information here, Mike! Thank you so much!

Mike, Synthia,

Sorry for the delayed response. I am very grateful to each of you for the thoughtful responses. Also, your kindness and encouragement is greatly appreciated.

JackTrip seems so carefully thought out. I am by no means expecting the laws of physics to be broken (maybe pushed). I will continue to experiment with it and I am excited to see how I can use it to connect, collaborate, and create!

Mike, I’d love to discuss with you a good way to set up JackTrip with UAD because the UDA Console and a layer of frustration but I think a layer of greater freedom once I better understand how to use it with JackTrip.

So Encouraged,

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Hi @andyteel, I just published a new article about using Apollo interfaces with JackTrip. I hope that you find it useful. Please feel free to message me with any additional questions. I’m also happy to schedule a live session to help.

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This is absolutely exceptional! That article was EXACTLY what I was about to ask you for as far as help. You nailed it. I’m traveling back from Nashville but I can’t wait to get home to Texas and give it a go!

Just Brilliant!