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 Yannick Franck
 Esther B
 Esther B

Share - NYC F A Q

What is going on?

Share is an open jam, not just for digirati, but for all new culture lovers. Participants bring their portable equipment, plug into our system, improvise on each others' signal and perform live audio and video. Our volunteer organizers furnish the amplification and projection.

How do I get there?

Share currently meets on Sundays at The (OA) Can Factory, 232 3rd Street, Brooklyn

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What gear do you have?

We provide a number of stereo audio inputs (pairs of 1/4 inch/XLR audio jacks on snakes) and access to two projectors and a number of screens with S-Video, VGA and RCA jacks. The audio goes into a multi-channel mixer and out to the amps. All audio is recorded for our archives. The video signals either go straight into the projectors or through a mixer if someone brings one.

How many people can participate?

We have 16 balanced audio inputs total, only four of which can be microphone or DI inputs at one time. Participants are encouraged to bring in their own submixers for more elaborate setups. Currently, three video feeds can be displayed simultaneously but we are developing a better video mixer setup.

What do I have to do to play?

Ask anyone: they'll direct you to one of the hosts or share regulars who can get you plugged in. It helps to come early; we sometimes have featured sets at 9pm, and if everyone shows up at 8pm we can't accommodate them all.

Does everyone play at once? Can I play by myself?

We try to accommodate everyone as time allows. Most people come ready to jam. Some people have finished songs, and prefer to play solo. We try to plug everyone in and let participants work it out among themselves. People take turns playing songs, or one person will play a melody to someone else's beats while a third drops vocal samples. Structure emerges when people communicate.

What software does everyone use?

People use a huge variety of software, from popular commercial programs to smaller free apps. Some participants use software they've written themselves.

What's this about client-server software?

There is occasionally an audio server running GDAM, an application for live music performance and DJ-mixing. Any number of clients can connect at once. Clients can synthesize sounds or play back files which exists on the audio server. (There is currently no way to upload files, so you are restricted to using what is on the server already.)

There are almost always Share regulars who can show you how to connect to servers running Keyworx, an application for collaborative audio and video synthesis. Clients can play inject their own audio, video, and text as well as adding filters to other people's input.

Both GDAM and Keyworx are freely available.

What do I need to bring?

For audio, it helps to bring your own cables. We accept matched 1/4" mono plugs. (The minijack to RCA with 1/4" adapters seems the most popular). We have VGA, S-Video and RCA cables for video, but it helps to bring your own (don't forget your laptop's adapters!).

Does everyone use a Mac?

No. Although many people us Macintosh computers, Windows and Linux users are also represented and all are welcome.

Do I need a laptop?

No. We invite participation from people working with anything including laptops, drum machines and grooveboxes, keyboards, gameboys, guitar pedals, cassette decks, circuits, microphones, projectors, lightboxes, LEDs, etc. And all are welcome to just sit back and enjoy the audio and video.

Can I spin records?

Only if you bring a portable turntable.

Any tips or recommended etiquette for performing?

  • Be accommodating; listen and try to fit in with what other people are doing. If there is too much going on, drop back for a bit.
  • Communicate, ask others what their tempo is (if they have one), warn of sudden changes.
  • Don't overplay and drown others out. Trying to hear yourself better, it is easy to turn yourself up too loud.
  • Minimize system sounds... on Mac laptops, hold shift while adjusting system volume. Disable as many extraneous sounds as possible, don't plug into the mix until you have booted.
  • Don't unplug your audio cable until you are turned down on the mixer.

Any particular type of music or video?

No. There is a wide variety of music. While much of it can be classified as "electronic," in practice this includes noise, experimental and ambient music, pop and dance songs, hip-hop beats and breaks, jungle, drum-and-bass, idm and breakcore, and almost any other label you can think of.

Is there anywhere special I have to sit?

Nope. We change the layout from week to week. Just look around for a place to set your gear down and jack in.

Do I have to play?

No. Although Share is open for participation, it is also a place to hear good music, see good visuals, learn what tools and techniques people are using for live performance, meet nice people, and have a drink.

Do you record it? Is it broadcast?

Yes and (sometimes) yes. We record all the audio. When the upstream bandwidth suffices, we stream a live audio/video broadcast on this site.

What is this about featured sets?

Sometimes a featured set is scheduled where Share participants, local and visiting artists perform. During these sets there is no open jam; the featured artist takes over the whole sound and/or video system. Often a featured video artist will invite the audio jam to continue while they do visuals, or vice versa. We try to have no more than two featured sets (each no more than an hour) in order to maximize the open jam. If you'd like to play a featured set, contact us.

How long have you been doing this?

We started in the summer of 2001.