The JackTrip Virtual Studio Device connects directly to your Internet router or switch via an Ethernet cable to enable the lowest possible audio latency. These instructions will help you set up the device and peripherals that connect to it.
We will need the following pieces of equipment:
- Microphone cord 3.5mm (1/8 Inch) TRS to XLR cable
- Your choice of professional microphone
- 3.5mm stereo jack / RCA stereo plug (x2) adapter to connect the device to your headphones
- USB-C power supply
- JackTrip Virtual Studio device
- CAT5 or better Ethernet cable
Here are the ports found on the Virtual Studio device that we will be focusing on.
Step 1. Connect the Ethernet Cable
Plug one end of the ethernet cable into the device’s ethernet port. Leave the other end unplugged for the moment.
Step 2. Connect the RCA Jacks
Connect the RCA jacks on the headphone adapter.
Use the 3.5mm adapter to connect your favorite pair of wired headphones (not shown).
We discourage the use of any headphones that include a microphone. Many of these models have jacks which do not make a proper connection and may cause your audio to have a lot of crackling noise or to cut in and out. Please see this article for more information and recommendations.
The device has a built-in amplifier that is sufficient to power most wired headphones directly. If preferred, you may instead connect the RCA jacks directly to an external headphone amplifier using a standard RCA cable.
Step 3. Connect the Microphone
Connect 3.5mm jack (located left of the RCA jacks) to your microphone. Connect the XLR cable to your microphone.
Step 4. Connecting the Device to Your Internet Router or Switch
Before you connect power to the device, connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to your Internet router or switch. If you have a network switch that is connected to your router via Ethernet cables, it’s OK to plug the device into that. Please do not use any form of WiFi to Ethernet bridge device, as this will add significant latency and jitter that degrades audio quality.
Step 5. Connect the Power Supply
Connect USB-C power adapter to the power jack located below the microphone jack, in the lower left corner.
It is now safe to plug the device into a power outlet. The device will light up with the color red when powered ON. Now turn the device to the side where the ethernet cable is connected and confirm a green light comes on and is flickering. A green light means that there is a live network connection.
Step 6. Wait for the Steady Red Lights
The first time your Virtual Studio devices is powered on, it can take 1-2 minutes for it to update the MicroSD card and become ready for use. You will know that the device is ready when you see steady red lights through the openings on the top.
You are now ready for the next steps to register the device on the JackTrip website.
Registering the Virtual Studio Device
Step 1: Enter JackTrip URL
Once you have completed plugging in the hardware, type the following URL into your browser (http://jacktrip.local). Be careful to type both “http://” at the beginning and “.local” at the end, and ensure that you use “http” and not “https”. Last, do not append anything (.io, .com, etc.) to the end of the URL, only “.local”.
Once you enter the URL, your web browser should redirect to a regular (https) connection with a location starting with https://app.jacktrip.org (it should end in “.org” and not “.com”). If so, you may proceed to Step 2.
If your browser reports a name resolution error, ensure that your device is plugged into the same network as the computer your browser is running on. Please see Troubleshooting http://jacktrip.local for more suggestions.
Step 2: Log In
If you have not yet created an account, scroll to the bottom and click “Sign-Up.”
Option 1: Create a new account using your email id and password and sign-in.
Option 2: Sign-in with either Google, Facebook, Microsoft, or Apple.
Option 3: If you have an account already, enter your user email address and password.
Step 3: Complete Registration
After logging in, you should now see the device registration form. If you would like to rename your device, please feel free to do so here. Click or tap the “Register Device” button to complete the registration process.
Testing the Virtual Studio Device
Step 1: Subscribing to Loopback Test Server
After registration, your device will have the input and output volume set to zero, and it will not be connected to an audio server. Use the input box at the top middle to find and select the “Loopback Test Server.” Then click the “CONNECT” button to connect your device.
Step 2: Setting the Input and Output volume levels
The last step to take before testing your device is to unmute both the "Input Volume" and the "Output Volume" and move both sliders to the 100% level. If need be, toggle the "Boost" slider to ON to help get better sound quality. If your device is connected correctly, and the server "Loopback Test Server" is active, you should now be able to hear your audio on the device, played back in stereo. Note that your audio goes first to the remote server, and then is sent back to the device, so the delay you hear is roughly equivalent to what everyone else hears. If this seems large, you may have problems singing with others over your Internet connection. Ideally, you want this delay to be less than 25 milliseconds. To get a feel for what that sounds like, play the last audio track in this blog article.
If you are unable to hear audio or your device shows 100% packet loss, it may be caused by your Internet router blocking traffic from the device (please see Troubleshooting Firewall Ports). You should also double-check all the connections and ensure that your microphone and headphones are not plugged into the wrong ports.
If everything sounds good, you can use the “DISCONNECT FROM SERVER” button to disconnect from the Loopback Test Server. You are now ready to connect to another group server to perform music with others.
We strongly recommend that you set aside 5-10 minutes before every group rehearsal to re-test your device on your own, using the loopback test server. Many common problems such as cables getting loose or disconnected can happen in between every use, and so it's prudent to always check beforehand to minimize disruptions to the rest of your ensemble.
For more information, please see the following user guides: