MAKE:TNT Tools 'n' Tips

NINJAM

by David Battino

As seen in MAKE 05 Toolbox


Not only does NINJAM enable musicians to play together online, it even saves the jams as Creative Commons-licensed recordings. But the breakthrough is the way it overcomes the groove-destroying delay inherent in sending audio over the net; it delays each performer’s output by an interval of several bars. Strange concept, but it actually encourages listening.



I downloaded the free NINJAM client (available for Windows, Mac, and Linux), logged in, and started playing electric piano. Suddenly, a guitarist chimed in, followed by vocals. NINJAM co-founder Justin Frankel (of Winamp, Gnutella, and Shoutcast fame) even joined on drums at one point.



I experienced a few audio glitches and dropouts, but the mix seems to have made it to the website intact. This is one rough ninja, but it’s free and fun.