What do you do when you have a gig coming up that you desperately need to rehearse for, but your bandmates are scattered over three different area codes? What if you have a session scheduled but you’re snowed in and can’t get to it? What if you want to just play some blues with a friend but you’re both out of your minds on horse tranquilizers and can’t drive? Enter the JamLink ($179 retail/$149 street), an ultra low-latency audio device that provides an “in the room feel” with musicians up to 500 miles away. All you need is a high-speed internet connection and a JamLink (and one for your friend), and you’re good to go. It totally works. I was in Oakland, California, and jammed with JamLink product specialist (and killer musician) Dan Meblin, who was about 40 miles away in Novato—and we had no problem locking in and throwing down. It’s also possible to hook the JamLink into a DAW and remotely record tracks at 44.1kHz in real time, making adding an overdub or fixing a part way easier than sending mp3s via email.
“I have an 8-piece band,” says Meblin, “and there’s about 200 miles between all the members. The JamLink allows us to rehearse without driving or renting a rehearsal space.” Save time, money, gas, and quite possibly the planet—not bad for a little blue box.