Meet Eden Casteel of Wakefield from Rhode Island. She’s a pro with online music platforms, a multifaceted performer, pianist, producer, and independent studio owner. Eden holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory Of Music and a Master of Music degree from The University of Maryland. She’s also a past president of the Rhode Island chapter of NATS and a charter member of The Speakeasy Cooperative.
We got down to business talking about high-fidelity and low-latency online music platforms and the promise they hold for the future. We also discussed the extraordinary opportunities she’s created in her teaching studio for singers during the quarantine. Here are some of the things we touched on in our conversation.
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About her online album launch
Using zoom and Logic Pro X she started an online album collaboration with 13 of her students called 6 Feet to Stardom.
“What’s really cool is the technology exists for any of us to do this,” she says about the album-making process and encourages others to try it. “There’s still so much one can do even during the lockdown if you keep your eyes open and are willing to try new things,” she adds.
She’s planning on doing a holiday album, which she plans to record in November and release in December.
What compelled Eden to try out High fidelity low latency platforms?
“I love to learn everything, and everything I learn, I share,” is her answer.
Her interest developed five years ago, but it petered out when nothing panned out for her at first. After the pandemic, however, her interest was revived. She believes more and more musicians will want to experiment with low latency music platforms the more time goes by.
She credits her friends, Ian Howell, of the New England Conservatory and Wendy Jones of Speakeasy Cooperative, for driving the interest in low latency platforms for live streaming.
She admits there’s technical skills involved, but not as much as you’d think you need. She says she’d been trying for months to get other artists to work with using this technology, quipping, “It’s like figuring out there’s been a miracle, but how do you evangelize?”
Which platforms does she use, and how do they match up?
At the moment, she’s working with both Soundjack and JamKazam. “It’s like having different kinds of dating apps,” she says, but admits that JamKazam is a little more user friendly and more social.
Regarding SoundJack, she says, “It’s more for the academic who wants to remain anonymous,” adding that the interface is more subdued.
She’s done Moonlight Serenade from the real book with a clarinet player in Barcelona using JamKazam. “It was so much fun; it was like having him in the room.” The fun part is you get to collaborate with people you would never get to collaborate with otherwise.”
She recommends trying out both platforms to see which one suits you better. She admits that it took her longer to figure out JamKazam than SoundJack, but now she uses both.
What are the entry-level things a new person trying out low latency online music platforms would need to have?
- Headphones – open back, not close back without a microphone attached to them.
- A nice mic with a mixer.
- A computer with a fast processor. If you have a computer that’s older than 5 years you can buy a fast music box and attach it to your system.
- An ether deck connection.
- If you’re able to you can also port-forward your router which online gamers do all the time.