Newcomer - audio devices

I stumbled across JackTrip a few hours ago, and I’m intrigued!

First order of business is buying something that has ASIO drivers (I’m on Windows). I saw this, but I’m still pretty lost and need help choosing the right one.

  • My sole purpose is to play jazz on an acoustic guitar (possibly with an acoustic pickup, but mostly not) with other people remotely.

  • I’d prefer something that goes into a PCIE slot. None of the devices on that list look like they can be plugged into a motherboard, but I just wanted to make sure.

  • I’d like to pick something up for $200 or less.

  • I’ve never even seen external audio devices before. Can they also be used for things like listening to music (YouTube, music collection, etc) and video gaming?

Much thanks!

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Hi @peter and Welcome! I am glad you found us. It sounds like you could use a few tips for a good start. I am one of the moderators of this Forum and have more than 15 years experience with JackTrip. Hopefully my suggestions will be useful, and other members of the Forum are welcome to chime in as well!

  1. Please plan on not using any wireless devices. JackTrip works with wired connections. Wired ethernet. Wired audio. Period. Attempting to use WIFI or wireless audio devices will be an exercise in frustration, at least for now. Hopefully, in the not too distant future this will change.

  2. You should be able to find an external audio interface for $200 or less. Most of them have ASIO drivers made by the manufacturer, except for their low-end models. It is best to use ASIO drivers made by the manufacturer. It is best to not use the open source ASIO driver called, ASIO4ALL, because it is difficult to use, especially for beginners.

I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, and Focusrite has created ASIO drivers for it. Just go to the Focusrite website and enter the model to make sure they offer ASIO drivers. I also have a Behringer UMC204HD, and Behringer has ASIO drivers for it, but they do not offer ASIO drivers for the single channel Behringer. Again, check the manufacturers website.

An external audio interface is just a soundcard that is in its own housing, and it can be used in the same way that any soundcard would be used, whether internal or external. From what I understand, a PCIE audio interface is a sound card without the housing around it that can be installed on the inside of a computer.

Many JackTrippers use laptops and this makes using an external audio interface essential for getting the lowest latency. Otherwise, installing a PCIE audio interface into a desktop computer like you mentioned would be possible. However, I am not sure that JackTrip supports an audio interface plugged into a PCIE slot. The ones that JackTrip supports are all USB connections, and with ASIO drivers for Windows users. A quick view of the Focusrite webpages show a PCIE Audio Interface, but it was quite pricey.

Anyway, I hope that this has given you some useful information. If there are JackTrippers here who are successfully JackTripping with a PCIE audio interface with ASIO drivers on a Windows computer, please chime in!


Thanks for the detailed response!

Boy, did I go down a rabbit hole comparing the two audio devices you mentioned! I saw lots of people who preferred the Focusrite Scarlett, and lot who preferred the Behringer 204HD. Eventually I stumbled across a sonic comparison of the two, and I (perhaps?) liked the Behringer’s sound better, but… it was so close, that I’m not even 100% sure. I take that to mean there are no wrong choices here. Ultimately, I just want to jam a bunch of jazz standards with other players and play with my (remote) teacher, so my goal is to simply get JackTrip functioning. So my choice doesn’t matter. Unless you have any other input, I think I’ll purchase the Behringer UMC204HD today.

About a month ago, my ethernet connections started disabling every ~10 minutes. Instead of diagnosing and fixing the problem, I just switched all the upstairs computers to wifi. I guess this is a good time to stop being lazy and work on fixing the wired connection. I’ll start doing that today.

I intensely dislike my wireless headphones. They were cheaper than dirt cheap, and I got what I paid for. Now is a good time to invest in something that at least approaches good. Unless you have recommendations, these look halfway decent and still affordable. 50mm drivers, which is nice.

So. Audio device, wired ethernet, headphones. I’m on my way to becoming functional! Thank you!!!

1 Like

Wow, I am delighted with your diligence and research! Kudos! Yes, the sound of different interfaces in this price range is a subtle and somewhat personal thing. One advantage of the Behringer 204HD is that it has 2 insert channels on the back, not that you would want or need them, but nice to have if you are using outboard compressors or effects.

If possible, please be sure that you have the latest version of Windows because JackTrip is constantly being updated. If you want to use an earlier version of Windows, there are earlier versions of JackTrip that might work but could be a pain to match them up.

How far away is your remote teacher? Under 700 miles would be ideal. Also, a fiber connection is ideal, for both of you, but work with what you have. Any network distributed audio, no matter the distance, have what is called, peering relationships, between different ISPs that can cause noise and latency, and have nothing to do with the JackTrip app.

The internet is a dynamic environment that constantly changes depending on traffic and other conditions. Sometimes we can negotiate JackTrip settings to strike a balance between latency and noise; lower the latency and there could be noise, raise the latency and staying in sync could be challenging. Other times, there is simply nothing to be done. The conditions can change by simply disconnecting waiting a few minutes, even rebooting, and then reconnecting. All slowly and calmly. And with a willingness to address the problem at hand. And to have this attitude each and every time you want to JackTrip.

In any case, we have to give credence to the network and treat it like another member of the group by considering its needs and abilities. You have a ways to go before you will be dealing with optimizing JackTrip and the network settings, but I share this with you now so that you maintain the level of enthusiasm and ready face the potential challenges. Most people want JackTrip to respond instantaneously to any changes or conditions, and while it is pretty good and improving all the time, JackTrip is only as good as the network and the connections to it, including all the audio connections.

Like I mentioned, JackTrip settings and connections need attention to detail every single time BEFORE you even connect. Give yourself 20 minutes BEFORE you connect to check the ethernet connection, audio quality, get logged in, check the lighting, placement of yourself, instruments and equipment, and take a breath, among other preparations. Your teacher will thank you, and you will feel so much calmer. One of my main mentors Pauline Oliveros used to say, “It ain’t like falling off a log!”

I hope that this information is encouraging to you and that you have great success! Please keep us posted on your progress and any questions you might have. You can do it!


Hi Synthia,

I have all my ducks in a row:

  • Took the computer off wifi. It’s now on wired fiber internet.

  • Got rid of my lousy wireless headphones (I never liked them) and got a mid-tier set (Superlux HD681)

  • Bought a Behringer 204HD.

  • My ASIO drivers look good.

  • Installed JackTrip 2.2.1.

I still don’t have ANY idea what I’m doing, but at least I was able to push all the right buttons and dial all the right knobs. I can hear audio through my headphones and I see the audio when I play into the microphone. I was able to connect to my studio and play the metronome.

The one thing that I really, really want is to be able to hear myself through the headphones. I know the mic is working. Even as I type, I see the input meter respond to the clackity clackity of my typing, but I don’t hear myself through the headphones, and that’s a little disorientating when I play the instrument. I play acoustic instruments, so when they sound muddy and muffled, it throws me off. I tried fiddling with all the controls on the Behringer, but nothing seemed to work.

I’m pretty sure there must be a way of doing this! Do you know what I’m doing wrong?

I imagine there also must be a way of doing that through Jacktrip too, but doing it through the sound card is probably more efficient.

Much Thanks!

Hi there! Kudos on getting everything set up!

I think you need to turn up the “Studio Echo” in your studio settings.
Below is a screenshot.

Let me know if you were able to find it.

My goodness… I’m such a noob. I turned it all the way down because I thought “studio echo” was something like reverb. laughing I can even hear my keyboard through the headphones now. Nice!

Thank you!

1 Like

yeah - I thought that too, but apparently a lot of really inexperienced users were calling it “echo” so they relabeled it. Maybe another term would be better.

@Peter You may also consider using the “Monitor” slider in the bottom of that screenshot instead of the “Studio Echo” feature. The latter echos everything back so that you hear everything with a delay, and applies to everyone who is connected. The former is a “zero-additional-latency” software monitor that is unique to each person. For more info, please see this article.