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Using the Setup Wizard – Step 2 – Select and Test Audio Gear

Last Updated: Apr 23, 2016 07:14PM CDT
There are basically 5 different possible audio gear classes that musicians may set up to use with the desktop JamKazam application. Please review the descriptions below, and click on the numbered link that matches your gear for instructions to get you successfully through Step 2 of the setup wizard.

1. Mac Computer Using Built-In Microphone/Input & Built-In Headphone Jack
If you use a Mac, you may use the built-in microphone to capture your instrumental and/or vocal audio, and plug a pair of earbuds or headphones into the headphone port to hear session audio. You may alternatively use a combination headphone/voice chat mic plugged into the headphone port to both capture audio and hear session audio.

2. Mac Computer Using External Audio Interface
If you use a Mac, you may connect an external audio interface device to your Mac (via a USB, Firewire, or Thunderbolt cable), and use this device both to capture audio and to hear session audio. In this case you will plug instruments and/or microphones into the audio interface, and also plug headphones into the audio interface. As a variation on this option, you may connect instruments to the audio interface, and then use the built-in mic on the Mac for voice chat to talk with other musicians in the session.

3. Windows Computer Using Built-In Microphone/Input & Built-In Headphone Jack
If you use a Windows computer, you may use the built-in microphone to capture your instrumental audio and vocal audio/chat, and plug a pair of earbuds or headphones into the headphone port to hear session audio. You may alternatively use a combination headphone/voice chat mic plugged into the headphone port to both capture audio and hear session audio. 

4. Windows Computer Using External Audio Interface with ASIO Driver
If you use a Windows computer, you may connect an audio interface device to your computer, and use this device both to capture audio and to hear session audio. In this case you will plug instruments and/or microphones into the audio interface, and also plug headphones into the audio interface. As a variation on this option, you may connect instruments to the audio interface, and then use the built-in mic on the computer for voice chat to talk with other musicians in the session.

When using a Windows computer with an external audio interface, your best option is to install and use something called an "ASIO driver" for use with that interface. A driver is a piece of software developed by the company that built the interface that controls the operation of the interface. ASIO stands for Audio Streaming Input-Output, and using an ASIO driver built specifically for your interface by its maker is absolutely the best way to get the lowest latency, highest quality audio, and most reliable performance from your audio interface on Windows.

If your audio interface has an ASIO driver available, then click on link #4 above to follow the instructions for Windows with ASIO. If there is no ASIO driver available for your interface (because the interface maker didn't develop one), then click link #5 below to follow the instructions for Windows kernel streaming. If you don't know if there is an ASIO driver available for your audio interface, then click on link #4 above to start following the ASIO instructions, and as you work through those instructions, you will discover whether there is or is not an ASIO driver for your interface.


5. Windows Computer Using External Audio Interface with Windows Kernel Streaming
If you use a Windows computer with an external audio interface for which non ASIO driver is available, then you will need to set up your interface to use Windows kernel streaming. 




 

Mac Computer Using Built-In Microphone/Input & Built-In Headphone Jack

Step 2 of the setup wizard is pictured below.



Before moving forward, it is critically important that you plug a set of earbuds or headphones into the headphone port on your Mac. If you do not do this, when you follow the instructions below to pick your audio inputs and outputs, the latency test will fail, and you will be unable to move forward in the setup wizard. So please find a pair of headphones and plug them into your Mac now. Then proceed with the instructions below.

With your headphones now plugged into your Mac, click on the list box labeled Audio Input Device, and select "Built-In Microph" (pictured below).



Next click on the list box labeled "Audio Output Device" and select "Built-In Output" (pictured below).



When you select the output device, the JamKazam application will check the audio processing latency of your Mac's built-in audio system, and will report your audio processing latency (measured in milliseconds), as well as if the audio input/output rate is stable enough to meet JamKazam's requirements (pictured below).



Using the Mac's built-in audio gear, you will typically have reported audio processing latency of between 15 and 20 milliseconds. This is the amount of time it will take for your Mac to process your audio inputs into the Mac, plus play the audio of other musicians mixed with your audio back out to your headphones. This does not include Internet latency - i.e. the time it will take to send your audio across the Internet. Audio latency between 15 and 20 milliseconds is pretty high, and this will make it more challenging to play in sync with other musicians, so if you find you are having trouble staying in sync in sessions, you may want to think about investing in an audio interface that will process audio faster. Using an external audio interface will also deliver much better audio quality, similar to studio quality audio, which makes your music more enjoyable.

In any case, at this point, please talk and play whatever instrument you are going to play while wearing your headphones, and make sure you hear your voice and instrument cleanly in your headphones. 

If the audio doesn't sound clear and clean in your headphones, try clicking the Resync button to see if this clears it up. If your audio still does not sound clean, check the Sample Rate setting (pictured above), and make sure this is set to 44100. If it not, then set it to 44100 and click the Resync button. If this does not make your audio clean in your headphones, then click the "Post A Public Question" link on the right side of this page under the Contact Us header to contact JamKazam support so that we can help you.

When your audio is clean, click the NEXT button to move forward to the Step 3 of the setup wizard. Also, you are done with this help article, so you may close it, and get back to the JamKazam app.



 

Mac Computer Using External Audio Interface

When using an external audio interface with your Mac, to get started on step 2 of the setup wizard, make sure your audio interface is connected to your Mac. Then click on the list box labeled "Audio Input Device" to see what devices you can select for audio processing (pictured below).



If you see your audio interface in this list, then simply select it. If your device is listed, then either: (a) it's an interface that "just works" with Mac computers without a driver; or (b) you have already installed a driver for this interface to make it work with another application - like a recording app like GarageBand, ProTools, etc. If you are able to pick your interface as the Audio Input Device, then leave the Audio Output Device set to "Same As Input", and use this link to skip down to where we describe what the JamKazam app does next.

If you do not see your audio interface in this list, then it could be one of two things.
  1. If you are pretty sure your audio interface should "just work" with your Mac, or that you have already installed a driver on your Mac for this interface, then we recommend leaving the audio interface plugged into your Mac, and rebooting your Mac, and then re-starting the JamKazam app to get back to this Step 2. This may get your Mac to recognize that the interface is connected. Click the Audio Input Device list box, and see if your audio interface is now available for selection.
  2. It's also possible that your audio interface requires that you install a driver to make it work with your Mac. Following are instructions to find, download, and install a driver for your interface. Please note that if you are sure you have already installed a driver for your interface, it's possible that this driver could be outdated, and this is causing your interface not to show up in the selection list. In this case, follow the same directions below to find, download, and install the latest available driver for your interface.

To find out if there is a Mac OS X driver available for your interface, search the web. Type the name of the make and model of your interface plus the word "driver", and search. For example is the maker is "Presonus" and the model is the "Audiobox USB", then you would search for "Presonus Audiobox USB driver". Or if the maker is "Steinberg" and the model is the "CI1", then you would search for "Steinberg CI1 driver". Enter this search phrase in the search bar (as pictured below).



Your search results will typical return a set of "support" and/or "downloads" pages from the interface vendor's website (as pictured below).




When you click through one or more of the links you'll want to find a web page that lists either "drivers" or "downloads" or "support" for your audio interface. If you get a page with just the drivers for your audio interface, you are in the right place. If you reach a page of downloads, it will often have different kinds of downloads for the interface, like user guides, drivers, and more. In this case, scan the page to find the drivers.

When you find the driver page for your audio interface on the vendor's website, you'll typically find one of two things. In one case (pictured below with arrow), you will find that the audio interface is designed to "just work" with your Mac without requiring that you install a driver.



If no driver is required, you should be able to use your interface with the JamKazam app, and it should appear in the Audio Input Device List as long as the interface is connected to your Mac.

In other cases, you may find a page that indicates a driver is available for your interface for OS X (pictured below with arrow).



In this case, the web page will usually also tell you what versions of OS X the driver has been tested and certified to work with. Hopefully the driver works with the version of OS X you have running on your Mac. If it does, then:
  1. Download the driver file.
  2. When the download is complete, click to open the downloaded file.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver on your Mac.
  4. When the installation of the driver has finished, close the JamKazam app, and then reboot your Mac to make sure the driver takes effect properly.
  5. When your Mac has finished rebooting, restart the JamKazam application, and follow the steps to return to this Step 2 of the setup wizard.
  6. Click to open the Audio Input Device list box. Your audio interface should now be listed, and you can select it. 

Please note that sometimes the interface maker will list multiple versions of the driver for your interface. In this case, you will want to download and install the latest and most up-to-date version of the driver that says it supports the version of OS X you are running on your computer. 

If no drivers are listed that support your version of OS X, then you have a fundamental compatibility problem, and you'll either need to change the version of OS X you are running, or purchase an interface compatible with the version of OS X you are running.

Selecting Your External Interface

When your audio interface is displayed in the Audio Input Device list box, you can simply select it (pictured below).



When you have selected your audio interface in the Audio Input Device box and left the Audio Output Device box set to "Same As Input", the JamKazam application will check the audio processing latency of your Mac's built-in audio system, and will report your audio processing latency (measured in milliseconds), as well as if the audio input/output rate is stable enough to meet JamKazam's requirements (pictured below).




In almost all cases on the Mac, your audio interface should pass the latency and input-output rate tests. You will typically have reported audio processing latency of between 8 and 15 milliseconds. This is the amount of time it will take for your Mac to process your audio inputs into the Mac, plus play the audio of other musicians mixed with your audio back out to your headphones. This does not include Internet latency - i.e. the time it will take to send your audio across the Internet. 

If your interface does pass these tests, please talk and/or play whatever instrument you are going to play while wearing your headphones, and make sure you hear your voice (if using a mic plugged into the interface) and/or instruments cleanly in your headphones. 

If the audio doesn't sound clear and clean in your headphones, try clicking the Resync button to see if this clears it up. If your audio still does not sound clean, check the Sample Rate setting (pictured above), and try setting it first to 44100 and clicking the Resync button. If you still don't get clean audio, try setting the sample rate to 48000 and clicking the Resync button. If you still do not get clean audio, then please use this linked help topic to dig a little deeper into your audio settings to get your audio working properly.

If your interface does not pass the latency or input-output rate test, then click the "Post A Public Question" link on the right side of this page under the Contact Us header to contact JamKazam support so that we can help you.


When your audio sounds clean, please check one more thing. Look at the list of input ports listed under Audio Input Device (pictured below with arrow).



Many audio interfaces have just 2 input ports, and in this case, both will be checked. If you have an audio interface with numerous input ports (i.e. more than 2), it's likely that only the first two input ports will be checked by default. Be sure to check all input ports that you may want to use with instruments or microphones in this list.

When you have all input ports that you may use checked, and your audio is sounding clean, click the NEXT button to move forward to the Step 3 of the setup wizard. Also, you are done with this help article, so you may close it, and get back to the JamKazam app.





 

Windows Computer Using Built-In Microphone/Input & Built-In Headphone Jack

Step 2 of the setup wizard is pictured below.



Before we begin, we need to say that using built-in audio gear on Windows computers is a pretty dicey proposition. Built-in gear on Macs works pretty reliably, but Windows is comparatively a mess when using your built-in mic and speakers. If you can't get this working well, you should really strongly consider investing a little money in an external audio interface, which will give you superior audio quality. Here is a web page that provides some recommendations.

If you're going to use your built-in microphone and speakers on your Windows computer, we strongly recommend that you download and install the latest audio drivers from your computer manufacturer. To do this, let's say you own an HP Envy 4-1030US. You would search for that make/model with the word "drivers" appended (pictured below).



You would then click on the search results links and navigate your way to the page where your computer vendor makes its latest driver software updates available for download (pictured below).



Your computer will have drivers for all of its different features - networking, graphics, keyboard, mouse, etc. You want to find, download, and install the latest audio driver for your computer. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install the driver. Then reboot your computer, and follow the steps to get back to Step 2 of the setup wizard.

To get started setting up your built-in gear, you'll need to select the microphone and speakers/output built into your Windows computer to process audio. To get started click on the list box labeled "Audio Input Device", and see what input devices are available as options (pictured below).



On Windows computers, it is impossible for us to know or predict what the built-in microphone on your computer will be called. But it will almost always have the word "microphone" or some abbreviation of that word in it. In the example pictured above, we would first try "Microphone Array (MicIn4) - WDM".

Next click on the list box labeled "Audio Output Device" (pictured below).



Again, on Windows it's impossible for us to predict with certainty what you should pick, but it will likely be labeled as something that includes either "headphones" or "speakers". In the example above, we'd try "Headphones (Dock HpOut) - WDM" first, and if that didn't work, then "Speakers (LineOut) - WDM".

When you select the output device, the JamKazam application will check the audio processing latency of your Windows computer's built-in audio system, and will report your audio processing latency (measured in milliseconds), as well as if the audio input/output rate is stable enough to meet JamKazam's requirements (pictured below).




The latency reported is the amount of time it will take for your Windows computer to process your audio inputs into the computer, plus play the audio of other musicians mixed with your audio back out to your headphones. This does not include Internet latency - i.e. the time it will take to send your audio across the Internet. 

Now please talk and play whatever instrument you are going to play while wearing your headphones, and make sure you hear your voice and instrument cleanly in your headphones. 

If the audio doesn't sound clear and clean in your headphones, try clicking the Resync button to see if this clears it up. If your audio still does not sound clean, check the Sample Rate setting (pictured above), and make sure this is set to 48000. If it not, then set it to 48000 and click the Resync button. If this does not make your audio clean in your headphones, then click the "Post A Public Question" link on the right side of this page under the Contact Us header to contact JamKazam support so that we can help you.

When your audio is clean, click the NEXT button to move forward to the Step 3 of the setup wizard. Also, you are done with this help article, so you may close it, and get back to the JamKazam app.




 

Windows Computer Using External Audio Interface with ASIO Driver

When using an external audio interface that connects to your Windows computer using a USB cable, it is always best if you can use an ASIO driver built specifically for that interface by the interface manufacturer.

To find out if there is an ASIO driver available for your interface, search the web. Type the name of the make and model of your interface plus the word "driver", and search. For example is the maker is "Steinberg" and the model is the "CI1", then you would search for "Steinberg CI1 driver". Or if the maker is "Presonus" and the model is the "Audiobox USB", then you would search for "Presonus Audiobox USB driver". Enter this search phrase in the search bar (as pictured below).



Your search results will typically return a set of "support" and/or "downloads" pages from the interface vendor's website (as pictured below).



When you click through one or more of the links you'll want to find a web page that lists either "drivers" or "downloads" or "support" for your audio interface. If you get a page with just the drivers for your audio interface, you are in the right place. If you reach a page of downloads, it will often have different kinds of downloads for the interface, like user guides, drivers, and more. In this case, scan the page to find the drivers.

When you find the driver page for your audio interface on the vendor's website, you'll typically find one of two things. In one case (pictured below with arrow), you will find that the audio interface is designed to "just work" with your Windows computer without requiring that you install a driver.



Either the driver page will explicitly state that no driver is needed, and that the audio interface will "just work" in a plug-and-play with your Windows computer, or in some cases the interface vendor will point you to an "ASIO4ALL" driver. The ASIO4ALL driver is a generic ASIO driver that can theoretically work with any Windows interface, but we recommend against using this driver. It is very difficult to configure and use this driver properly, and even if you can figure it out, we've found that latency builds up over time when using this driver. So if either the interface vendors says that no driver is needed, or if there is only an ASIO4ALL driver link offered, you are going to need to use Windows kernel streaming with your interface. Please use this link to skip down to the section of this help article that provides instructions for using your interface in this way.

In other cases, you may find a page that indicates a driver is available for your interface for Windows (pictured below with arrow).



In this case, the web page will usually also tell you what versions of Windows the driver has been tested and certified to work with. Hopefully the driver works with the version of Windows you have running on your computer. If it does, then:
  1. Download the driver file.
  2. When the download is complete, click to open the downloaded file.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver on your computer.
  4. When the installation of the driver has finished, close the JamKazam app, and then reboot your computer to make sure the driver takes effect properly.
  5. When your computer has finished rebooting, restart the JamKazam application, and follow the steps to return to this Step 2 of the setup wizard.
  6. Click to open the Audio Input Device list box. Your audio interface should now be listed, and you can select it. 

Please note that sometimes the interface maker will list multiple versions of the driver for your interface. In this case, you will want to download and install the latest and most up-to-date version of the driver that says it supports the version of Windows you are running on your computer. 

If no drivers are listed that support your version of Windows, then you have a fundamental compatibility problem, and you'll either need to change the version of Windows you are running, or purchase an interface compatible with the version of Windows you are running.

When you have installed the ASIO driver for your audio interface, your audio interface is displayed in the Audio Input Device list box, you can simply select it (pictured below).



There is one thing you need to pay careful attention to when selecting your audio interface from this list. Your interface will likely be displayed twice in the list of Audio Input Devices - once for use with WDM for kernel streaming, and once for use with its ASIO driver. So be careful to find your audio interface in the list, and then select the entry for your audio interface that shows " - ASIO" at the end of the name of the interface (vs. " - WDM"). It is also possible (thank you to Windows) that your interface may be displayed with a strange and non-descriptive name such as "USB Audio Codec" or something equally unhelpful. If you don't see the vendor or model name of your interface clearly labeled in the list, then just look for something that seems likely that ends in "ASIO". OK, onward!

When you have selected your audio interface in the Audio Input Device box, then leave the Audio Output Device box set to "Same As Input". The JamKazam application will check the audio processing latency of your computer + audio interface, and will report your audio processing latency (measured in milliseconds), as well as if the audio input/output rate is stable enough to meet JamKazam's requirements (pictured below with arrow).




Often the first attempt to pass this test will fail. Don't panic. This is normal. You need to update the latency settings on the ASIO driver to tell the audio interface to process audio faster. To do this click the orange "ASIO Settings..." button (pictured above). This will display a driver settings window that was built by the audio interface maker (not by JamKazam), so these all look different. An example is displayed below.



To get your latency lower, you usually want to look for something called "Buffer Size" or "Sample Size" or "Frame Size" and set this as low as it can go. In the example above, it is currently set to 512. You can usually set this down to 64. When you are done, click OK to close the window, and look again at Step 2 of the setup wizard (pictured below).



You will see an instruction telling you to click the Resync button to put the new ASIO settings into effect. When you click the Resync button, the JamKazam application will re-check the audio processing latency of your audio interface, and display the updated results (pictured below).



At this point, you should pass the latency test, and the JamKazam will report the amount of time it will take your computer + interface to process audio, measured in milliseconds. This is the amount of time it will take for your interface to process your audio inputs into the computer, plus play the audio of other musicians mixed with your audio back out to your headphones. This does not include Internet latency - i.e. the time it will take to send your audio across the Internet. 


If your interface does pass these tests, please talk and/or play whatever instrument you are going to play while wearing your headphones, and make sure you hear your voice (if using a mic plugged into the interface) and/or instruments cleanly in your headphones. 

If the audio doesn't sound clear and clean in your headphones, try clicking the Resync button to see if this clears it up. If your audio still does not sound clean, check the Sample Rate setting (pictured above), and try setting it first to 48000 and clicking the Resync button. If you still don't get clean audio, try setting the sample rate to 44100 and clicking the Resync button. If you still do not get clean audio, then please use this linked help topic to dig a little deeper into your audio settings to get your audio working properly.

If your interface does not pass the latency or input-output rate test, then click the "Post A Public Question" link on the right side of this page under the Contact Us header to contact JamKazam support so that we can help you.


When your audio sounds clean, please check one more thing. Look at the list of input ports listed under Audio Input Device (pictured below with arrow).



Many audio interfaces have just 2 input ports, and in this case, both will be checked. If you have an audio interface with numerous input ports (i.e. more than 2), it's likely that only the first two input ports will be checked by default. Be sure to check all input ports that you may want to use with instruments or microphones in this list.

When you have all input ports that you may use checked, and your audio is sounding clean, click the NEXT button to move forward to the Step 3 of the setup wizard. Also, you are done with this help article, so you may close it, and get back to the JamKazam app.





 

Windows Computer Using External Audio Interface with Windows Kernel Streaming


Please make sure your audio interface is connected to your computer, and then click the list box labeled Audio Input Device. Your audio interface will displayed in the Audio Input Device list box, and you can simply select it (pictured below).



Your interface as listed above will be followed by the text " - WDM", which indicates that the JamKazam application will be using the standard Windows Driver Model with Windows kernels streaming technology to process audio through your interface.

Please note that it is possible (thank you to Windows) that your interface may be displayed with a strange and non-descriptive name such as "USB Audio Codec" or something equally unhelpful. If you don't see the vendor or model name of your interface clearly labeled in the list, then just look for something that seems likely and ends in "WDM". OK, onward!

When you have selected your audio interface in the Audio Input Device box, leave the Audio Output Device box set to "Same As Input". The JamKazam application will check the audio processing latency of your computer + audio interface, and will report your audio processing latency (measured in milliseconds), as well as if the audio input/output rate is stable enough to meet JamKazam's requirements (pictured below with arrow).




Using an external audio interface combined with Windows kernel streaming will typically result in audio processing latency of 19 milliseconds. This is the amount of time it will take for your interface to process your audio inputs into the computer, plus play the audio of other musicians mixed with your audio back out to your headphones. This does not include Internet latency - i.e. the time it will take to send your audio across the Internet. Audio latency of 19 milliseconds is pretty high, and this will make it more challenging to play in sync with other musicians, so if you find you are having trouble staying in sync in sessions, you may want to think about investing in an audio interface with an ASIO driver - as this will process audio faster, plus it will deliver much better audio quality and a more stable audio system.

In any case, at this point, please talk and play whatever instrument you are going to play while wearing your headphones, and make sure you hear your voice and/or instrument cleanly in your headphones. 

If the audio doesn't sound clear and clean in your headphones, try clicking the Resync button to see if this clears it up. If your audio still does not sound clean, check the Sample Rate setting (pictured above), and try setting it first to 48000 and clicking the Resync button. If you still don't get clean audio, try setting the sample rate to 44100 and clicking the Resync button. If you still do not get clean audio, then please use this linked help topic to dig a little deeper into your audio settings to get your audio working properly.

If this deeper investigation still does not make your audio clean in your headphones, as long as you can hear your vocals and/or instruments, even if your audio is not clean, please proceed forward to Step 3 of the setup wizard. You will have the opportunity in Step 5 of the setup wizard to make one more audio setting adjustment to try to clean up your audio signal.

Also, please note that many audio interfaces have just 2 input ports, and in this case, both will be checked. If you have an audio interface with numerous input ports (i.e. more than 2), it's likely that only the first two input ports will be checked by default. Be sure to check all input ports that you may want to use with instruments or microphones in this list.

When you have all input ports that you may use checked, click the NEXT button to move forward to the Step 3 of the setup wizard. Also, you are done with this help article, so you may close it, and get back to the JamKazam app.


 
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