What is FarPlay?

FarPlay is a cutting-edge communication solution that reduces the audio delay between yourself and others to the absolute minimum. FarPlay allows you to perform you can perform music together over the Internet in real-time. To create music with other people, it’s essential that the players hear each other as quickly as possible.

What does latency mean?

The delay between when one musician makes a sound and the other musicians hear it is called latency. Even when playing together in the same room, there’s always a tiny bit of latency, because sound travels through the air at about 1 foot per millisecond, meaning it takes about one thousandth of a second to travel one foot. It’s been established that musicians start to feel uncomfortable playing rhythmic music together when this one-way latency exceeds 20 ms. FarPlay transmits audio over the Internet so efficiently that you can play music as if you were together in the same space, even though you might be hundreds or even thousands of miles apart.

So how does Farplay reduce the latency so much?

First, Farplay transmits completely uncompressed audio. This means there’s no time-consuming compression stage on the sending side, and no decompression stage on the receiving end (and as an added benefit, your audio gets transmitted at the highest-possible quality).

Second, Farplay sends audio directly between participants, from device to device, rather than passing through a third-party server. This minimizes the distance that the data has to travel.

Third, Farplay gives you complete control over the amount of buffering applied to the sound you receive.

What is buffering?

Buffering is the amount (in milliseconds) of audio temporarily stored on the device and sent at one time. Unlike conventional communication solutions, FarPlay transmits uncompressed, full-duplex 48kHz/16bit PCM audio. The difference is striking: every nuance, every breath, every detail of your sound is preserved.

Farplay also includes a built-in video with customizable layouts. FarPlay enables you to record separate, perfectly synchronized tracks from each musician, which you can later import into a DAW for mixing. With Farplay’s unique Broadcast Output feature, you can even output clean, multi-channel audio in real-time to a DAW of your choice, where you can mix it for livestream performances. Farplay comes with a free plan that doesn’t even require registration. Simply download the app and enjoy one to one, 45-minute-long sessions—free forever!

Need longer sessions or extra features?
Switch to one of two available subscription plans and get the first month for free!

Join or simply download from farplay.io/download

FarPlay 1.0.3 out today

This intermediate update brings important improvements both in front of and behind the scenes:

  • Audio and video connectivity improvements
    We’ve increased the robustness of our peer-to-peer connection mechanism.
  • Customizable mix recording
    When recording a mix of your session, every participant used to be recorded at the same nominal volume and panning. Now, you can use the levels and panning you’ve chosen for your monitoring in the recording. Just go to Preferences -> Recording to enable this option.
  • Custom video quality settings
    FarPlay now allows you to set your video frame rate, resolution and outgoing bandwidth manually. First, Start Video, then go to the Video Options menu and select Video Preferences to access the settings.
  • Audio device switching improved
    FarPlay now detects when an audio device is disconnected and reacts appropriately, among other improvements.
  • Signed Windows installer
    No more warning messages when installing FarPlay on Windows! Our installer is now properly signed.

Announcing FarPlay 1.0, a major update

Today we announce FarPlay 1.0, our first non-beta release, featuring built-in video, multi-user sessions, multi-track recording, and multi-channel broadcast output. We’ve been working hard to make this major step forward, and we look forward to seeing what you make with it!

A complete list of new features follows:

  • Multi-user mode (requires subscription)
  • Built-in Video
  • Auto latency control
  • Improved connectivity
  • Multi-channel recording (requires subscription)
  • Windows installer (MSI)
  • Mac installer (DMG)
  • Multi-channel broadcast output (requires Standard+ subscription)
  • Linux deb and rpm packages
  • UI fixes
  • Audio recording now properly detects and reports file opening/writing errors
  • Sending audio latency fixed when using unsynced playback/recording devices
  • Ubuntu 22.04 compatibility fix

Download FarPlay 1.0.2 free here.

FarPlay marathon for International MakeMusicDay

For International Make Music Day, on June 21st, Dan Tepfer played live with musicians all over the world, from Australia to the US via Japan and Europe, using ultra-low-latency audio app FarPlay. An 11-hour musical marathon featuring Jo Lawry, Sophia Bacelar, Jelena Kuljic, Kristin Berardi, Michael Janisch, Sam Anning, Seigo Matsunaga, Paul Brody, Massimo Biolcati, Noah Preminger and others. Featuring brand-new FarPlay features such as multi-user sessions and multichannel Broadcast Output.

FarPlay version 0.3.7 out today!

FarPlay version 0.3.7 is out today, with the following improvements:

  • Windows: support for native audio devices (experimental).
  • Windows ASIO: use ASIO Control Panel for ASIO buffer size configuration.
  • Linux: support for Jack and PulseAudio devices (experimental).
  • Select input channels directly from channel menu on the main session window.
  • Preferences: improved channel configuration.
  • Use fixed -3 dB gain for recording mix tracks.
  • New BO channel layouts for mixing local and remote audio (with fixed -3 dB gain).
  • Fix an issue when mono mix was played in stereo when monitoring your own sound.
  • Extend volume sliders to +10 dB. Double clicking on the slider sets it to 0 dB.
  • Improved HiRes displays support on Mac and Windows. Respect Windows system scaling settings.
  • Minor UI fixes (don’t open multiple preferences windows, error messages, tooltips).
  • Connectivity workaround for rare cases when FarPlay keeps displaying “Initializing service…” message (SSL CA workaround).
  • Connectivity fix: never send packets larger than standard Ethernet MTU (1500 bytes). Prevents audio disconnects right after session join (a rare issue happened mostly on Windows at specific configurations).
  • Use fixed 1000 ms delay when recording without BO (ignore BO delay in this case).

FarPlay duo livestream Brooklyn – Switzerland, 3900 miles apart, with Kristin Berardi

3900 miles is an extreme distance for low-latency audio, but with strong internet connections at both ends, vocalist Kristin Berardi and I were able to get our latency down to about 50ms using FarPlay (equivalent to playing with someone 50ft away from you if the sound is traveling through air), and make some real music together. The longest distance I’ve ever tried — and it worked!

FarPlay Friday #4: Counterpoint with Gilad Hekselman

Did a FarPlay session with my friend the superb guitarist / composer Gilad Hekselman. He was on Windows, where low-latency audio is a little bit more complicated than on Mac or Linux. Still, it worked perfectly. We played All The Things You Are and Solar and challenged the connection by focusing on simultaneous contrapuntal lines. Super fun.