GETTING STARTED + REQUIREMENTS
Before you start, please take a look at our requirements. FarPlay requires wired headphones. For the best possible latency, you should also connect to the internet with an Ethernet cable. Questions about your setup? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Get Ready
Download FarPlay for free here. We support Mac, Windows and Linux (tablets and phones are not yet supported).
• Open FarPlay
After download, you should find the FarPlay installer in your Downloads folder. Install, then open FarPlay. Depending on your platform, FarPlay will ask you to grant it access to your microphone. Click yes. On the welcome screen, enter a name so FarPlay can identify you to the other participants.
• Test your audio
Before connecting to anyone else, it’s a good idea to test your audio locally. Click New Session, then Enter Session. This will take you to the main FarPlay window.
Plug in your wired headphones, then start with the simplest case: under Devices, choose your computer’s internal mic as the microphone, and your built-in headphone output as the headphones. When you make a sound, you should now see movement in the volume meter under Your Sound at the top of the window (if not, make sure you’ve granted FarPlay mic permissions on Mac). To test your headphones, move the Monitor slider under the volume meter to the right. You should now hear your own voice in your headphones as you talk. (If you’re an advanced user, particularly on Windows, this may be a good time to fine-tune your audio preferences for the best possible latency.)
Click Leave Session to return to the FarPlay welcome screen.
• Create a session, or join an existing one
Now you’re ready to connect to others. First, if you’re planning to play music over FarPlay, make sure that you’re connected to Ethernet (for other uses, this is less important). If you’re creating a session, click New Session, then copy the Session ID so you can share it with the other participants (by email or text, for example). Otherwise, click Join Session and enter the Session ID you’ve been given. Then, click Enter Session. (To create sessions with more than 2 participants, please subscribe).
• Choose your audio devices
Once you’ve entered the session, you can choose the audio devices for input and output under Devices. Remember to use headphones, or you may experience feedback.
If you have more than one input channel on your audio device, the Channels dropdown under Your Sound allows you to choose whether to use Mono (one channel), Stereo (two channels) or Mono Mix (two channels mixed down to one). You can even choose which audio channels to use, which is useful, for example, if your mic is plugged into channel 3 of your interface.
• Set your monitoring level
Under Your sound, you’ll see a slider labeled Monitor. This allows you to set how much of your own sound you’ll hear in your headphones. Some people prefer to rely entirely on the acoustic sound they’re producing in the room to hear themselves; if that’s your case, you’ll want this muted.
Under Remote sound, you’ll see a second slider labeled Monitor. Here, you can set the level of the other participants in your headphones. If your session features more than two participants, you can set each person’s level individually in the sidebar.
• Set your latency
Under Remote sound, you’ll find the lower latency — better sound slider. This allows you to choose a compromise between audio quality and latency. With Auto engaged, FarPlay will set your latency automatically. You can fine-tune your latency within the suggested green range by moving the slider. With Auto disengaged, you can set your latency entirely manually, which is recommended for advanced use (see here for more).
• Start Video
FarPlay includes built-in video. Click Start Video to open the video window. Buttons in the upper left allow you to choose your camera (useful if you have several webcams) and adjust the layout in various ways. In the Video Options menu, you can choose to hide these controls as well as mirror your video.
With a subscription, FarPlay enables you to record your sessions. Thanks to FarPlay’s state-of-the-art internal audio management, your recordings are processed with a far longer buffer than the ultra-low-latency audio you hear in your headphones. This means that you can confidently use the lowest latency to make music, which may result in audio glitches in your monitoring, in the knowledge that your recordings will come out clean. FarPlay’s multi-track recording feature, enabled with a Standard+ subscription, allows you to record separate, perfectly synched tracks for each of the participants, which you can later import into a DAW for mixing.
• Have fun!
You’re now connected to the other participants with the lowest latency possible today. You’ll feel a world of difference compared to other communication platforms. Our mission is to make it easy for people to make music together, and we hope FarPlay brings more music into your life. Even if you’re not using FarPlay to make music, you should feel a much more direct, human connection, even in everyday conversation.
FarPlay works right out of the box, with no additional setup required — you can use it with your computer’s built-in mic, and even over WiFi. Questions about your setup? Email us at email@example.com.
Headphones are required — they’re essential for avoiding feedback. Bluetooth headphones come with a lot of added latency, so you’ll need to use wired headphones. At simplest, the wired headphones that used to come with iPhones work great, and as a bonus, they feature a microphone that can act as a cheap external mic as well. Any headphones you can plug into your computer will work.
In order to get the full FarPlay experience, you should use a wired ethernet connection, which is much faster and more reliable than WiFi (note that for non-musical uses, where latency is less critical, WiFi works just fine). This is easy. Your internet router already has ethernet ports, so all you need is an ethernet cable ($5 to $20 depending on length; we recommend CAT5e or higher). If your computer doesn’t have a built-in ethernet port, you’ll also need a USB-C or USB-A ethernet adapter ($10 to $15). Make sure you’re plugged in to your router itself, and not a WiFi repeater.
Note that if you live in a sparsely-populated area with no other WiFi networks around, using FarPlay over WiFi should work well. It’s when your WiFi network is competing with others in the same area that WiFi becomes problematic. Still, Ethernet is always best.
Good Internet Connection
FarPlay will work with most internet connections, but the faster your connection, the better your results will be. You can check your upload speed here. FarPlay has been successfully tested with upload speeds as low as 8 Mbps.
Mac, Windows or Linux
FarPlay requires a computer running MacOS 10.13 or higher, Windows 10 or higher (it may work on earlier versions of Windows but is untested), or Linux. We don’t yet support tablets or phones.