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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have twice been asked how these things work so I decided to write something up. I have only been in a couple and mixed one, but I get the gist down...maybe others will correct my mistakes.

First thing an overview of how the "forum" jam thing works. Someone decides to host a jam (from now on called "the host") and lays out a set of segments. The host also selects the backing track and provides the rest of the participant access to the track; usually before the decide to be participant so they can listen and see if they want to join. People choose from those segments and it is usually just a first come first serve but of course the host decides that. Once this is done, participants send their entries to the host, usually via email but whatever method the host has set up for transfer. The host then mixes all the entries together, with the backing track, and posts it to "Completed Jams" for everyone to hear.

Of course, the host might set up the whole thing to work differently, but generally this is how they go.

Now the question is, "Yeah, but how do I do all that?" Well, that is the hard part isn't it... The following describes use of Audacity to participate in one of these things. I don't use audacity myself, but it is available to almost everyone so is a good choice to base this tutorial on. I will also describe what works for me as a host, other hosts may differ in submission guidelines.

What I want, as host, is a two file set from participants. The first file contains a 128bit mp3 with a 44.1kHz sample rate. This is just basically a CD quality audio file with all the stuff I can't hear anyway taken out of it (debatable of course). This file contains only your playing, meaning I can only hear you in it, except for the first couple of seconds which will contain part of the backing track so that I can line up the parts; this section usually has drum clicks in it. The beginning section might need to provide themselves and a later section of the track for alignment if they start playing right away; you must leave your part clean so I can take the clicks out of your track without damaging your submission.

The second file is a low quality mp3 of your section with the backing included; this provides an extra layer of certainty so I can be sure the tracks ligned up how the participant hears them. A good setup for this file is a 64bit mp3 at 44.1kHz.

The actuall steps:

First open audacity and import the backing track. You do this through the project menu and select "Import audio..."; then just select the mp3 file. This will bring up a stereo track in the project space. Then just hit record and start playing when your time comes in. You should see something like this:



After you are done you might see something like this (only yours will probably be more constant from the beginning unless you do some cutting):



At this point you want to provide your two files. First make the low quality sample by selecting your section and exporting as wav or mp3. Select all tracks by holding down shift as you select. Choose "Export selection to mp3" (or wav).



Before exporting you will want to adjust your mp3 settings if you are exporting to mp3 (you need lame for that otherwise save to wav and convert after).

http://www.guitars101.com/vb/attachment.php?attachmentid=14725

Then select the very beginning of the backing track and choose trim out of the edit menu (or select all but the beginning and choose cut). This will take out the rest of the track.



Export to wav or mp3 again, but this time choose "Export to mp3" (or wav).

Then send both files to the host and wait for them to finish the mix and post it.

I hope this tutorial helps somewhat...
 

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awesome tutorial noah...it's clearly laid out...thanks for the screen shots... :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
wahwah said:
All good points there but they're pretty much covered by the four 'sticky' threads at the top of the Jam Forum. Doesn't hurt to add your thing tho. :thumb:
Well, only three really speak on it at all...the other is just for swapping.

But anyway, I think I have provided some new information. Like I said, I have been asked twice how to do this. For one thing, the others don't mention how these mass "forum" jams work; that is something you have to learn without guidance. They also don't describe how to create the necissary files. The one about lame has some specifics in it, but the others just give ideas on what to do, not how to do it.

Anyway, I don't see how helpful it is to anyone to say I have wasted my time being redundant; plus I think you are wrong....so there....stick boy. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ericgtr said:
Great tutorial, Noah. I will sticky this up in addition to the others, can't have too many resources.
Thanks. I think it should help in many cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sample files

Naifuzan has ok'ed the posting of his submission to one of the jams I have hosted. This is a perfect example of what I mean.
 

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nroberts said:
Well, only three really speak on it at all...the other is just for swapping.

But anyway, I think I have provided some new information. Like I said, I have been asked twice how to do this. For one thing, the others don't mention how these mass "forum" jams work; that is something you have to learn without guidance. They also don't describe how to create the necissary files. The one about lame has some specifics in it, but the others just give ideas on what to do, not how to do it.

Anyway, I don't see how helpful it is to anyone to say I have wasted my time being redundant; plus I think you are wrong....so there....stick boy. :p
All good points there but they're pretty much covered by the four 'sticky' threads at the top of the Jam Forum. Doesn't hurt to add your thing tho. :wutblau:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
wahwah said:
All good points there but they're pretty much covered by the four 'sticky' threads at the top of the Jam Forum. Doesn't hurt to add your thing tho. :wutblau:
Five :p
 

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wahwah said:
All good points there but they're pretty much covered by the four 'sticky' threads at the top of the Jam Forum. Doesn't hurt to add your thing tho. :wutblau:
Wah, there is nothing in the other tutorials that covers Audacity which is an up and coming free program that is great for this sort of thing. I don't see anything wrong with providing more information, it's just expanding or providing an alternative on what we currently have.
 

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thanks for this one nroberts, as Audacity is the one I use! :icon_thum Nice, simple and FREE open sourced :icon_thum
 

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Some good points.....and you did cover that particular program for people that don't know how to use it. Most of it is review as Wah stated....but should help some new folks.

In the event that anyone is still unclear on how to start or participate in a jam......feel free to send one of the friendly and helpful jam room mods a PM and they will be more than happy to help out!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I guess this got unstickied then...
 

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nroberts said:
I guess this got unstickied then...
Yep...only because we are trying to keep the board cleaner by limiting the pinned posts.:D
 
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