The following Q&A is designed to help you make the most of your UJAM experience.
UJAM is in its Beta phase, which means that there are still plenty of essential features that aren't yet implemented, and there may be occasional slip-ups in performance.
For now, we hope the following FAQ will answer most of your questions and solve any issues you may run into. Remember, you can always write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- General Questions
- Editing Features
- Sharing & Saving
- Musical Features
- Technical Questions
- Creative Rights
- Known Issues
UJAM is designed to do something no existing audio software does:
Enable everyone to create professional-sounding music. There are other incredible music software programs out there, but most of them require you to know the basics of music production, and to know how to play an instrument. On those programs, you start with a blank page, and have to record track-by-track for the best results. UJAM, on the other hand, lets you start with something as simple as a hummed melody to ultimately create a finished product that sounds comparable to professional music production.
There are numerous reasons for this. We'll give you what we think are the four most important reasons:
- In the cloud, the workload is moved from your device to a powerful server, so you don't need to buy a super computer in order to make music.
- Because it's in the cloud, UJAM is accessible from anywhere on the planet, will run on portable devices, and can be embedded with other services.
- Like all cloud-based solutions, UJAM is easy to distribute to millions of people without shipping physical product.
- When we need to update UJAM, you won't have to wait for cumbersome software downloads or be reminded to update your system – you'll get the updates automatically.
Right now, we rely heavily on the Flash client, which isn't available on the iPhone or iPad. The Flash client allows us to bring the technology of UJAM to you on the web, and that's what we're focused on. BUT:
Over time, you will see UJAM on all kinds of platforms – from game consoles to smartphones to TV sets and gadgets we haven't even imagined yet. Other companies will embed UJAM technology to boost music creation aspects of their service – think about creating your own video soundtracks, musical greeting cards or playing music-based social games. And of course, there will be iPhone apps in the future.
If you have created an account with UJAM, you should receive an activation code via email within 24 hours.
If you cannot find the email in your regular inbox, you should first check your spam filters – sometimes our emails get stuck there. When you sign up for a new account on UJAM, please ensure that you type your email address correctly. Also, please update your mail settings so that messages from UJAM do not get caught in your spam filter in the future. Email is the primary way for us to communicate with you!
To keep our community safe for everyone, we want to ensure that all email addresses are legitimate and not created by spam bots.
So when we see things that we think are coming from disposable mail addresses, such as guerillamail.com or 5secondsvaliddisposabletrashmailaddress.com, we can stop them before they do any damage. If you believe we have blocked your address by mistake, please let us know.
This is a known problem associated with Flash (also see: audio not synchronized) and we're working on it with Adobe.
Technically, what happens is that the synchronization of the click/playback being played and your voice being recorded are disconnected. You can fix this by using the "Edit Melody" tab. Here you can freely drag your recording (go ahead and try!). If you don't know where to drag it, here's a trick: Play your recording and figure out which syllable makes you want to clap – i.e. figure out the downbeat ("one"), the start of the bar. Play your recording, figure out which part of the waveform represents this position, and drag it right under the number 1 in the timeline.
Your microphone level is too high.
Find out how to adjust it here.
Either your microphone is not connected or your microphone level is too low.
Find out how to adjust it here.
Headphones ensure that the signal from your computer's speaker doesn't get recorded by your microphone.
This is particularly important when you sing to click or sing to playback. Without headphones, the click or music will end up as unwanted noise in your recording, and may even distract the melody recognition. If you don't have your headphones at hand, try our new "visual metronome" by choosing "Mute" in the metronome settings.
We're currently using Flash's speed-optimized audio encoding for recording in our application, which may diminish the quality of your vocal input.
For most applications it's ok, but if you want professional sound quality in your vocal/instrumental recording, we recommend that you record your vocals/instrument in an audio recording application (Garageband for Mac users, and Audacity for both Mac and Windows users) and upload that file into UJAM instead.
Of course! If you don't want to sing, you can play a melody instrument, whistle, or hum into UJAM and let it take you from there.
Remember that the recording input must be a single-line melody, as UJAM doesn't yet recognize polyphonic inputs. So if you're recording with a guitar or other instrument capable of playing more than one note at a time, just play the melody without the accompanying chords for best recognition.
If you don't want to record a new melody yourself, you can also choose to rejam a song template.
Not to fear, UJAM Studio is here! With UJAM Studio, you'll find a solution for everything from selecting and editing a style to editing your melody, chords and song form. You can follow these steps from left to right or choose any editing function individually when you need it.
Each editor has its own context help which can be activated by clicking the "?" button inside the central workspace area. A separate browser window will show you contextual help for the particular editor. Made a mistake? Don't worry! With "Undo" and "Redo" you can always revert your last edit steps and compare the results before moving on. Don't forget to save your work regularly. Click "Save & Share" to name and save your song. Once you're finished, use "Save & Share" to publish your song!
UJAM is divided into two main areas: the Start, Record and Finish screens (these are floating windows), and UJAM Studio. UJAM Studio combines all of the editing screens in a single interface. To navigate through UJAM Studio:
- Click on a menu item in the Dashboard to jump to that section while working
- Click on any item in the overview (style name, instrument name, vocal effect name, waveform, chords, sections) to navigate to the respective edit section in your workspace.
- Dashboard (menu)
Remember, you can always write to us at email@example.com with any questions or problems you encounter.
Song Form makes it possible to make meaningful songs with distinct sections – i.e. intros, verses, choruses, and endings. This makes a world of difference in producing great music!
For each style there are six different song parts (Verse 1, Verse 2, Variation 1, Variation 2, Chorus 1, Chorus 2). From left to right, these parts have increasing intensity, from light (Verse 1) to full (Chorus 2). "Variation 1" is usually a breakdown, "Variation 2" is usually a bridge or solo part. In addition, there is a short and long intro as well as a short and long ending. You can add an intro or ending to your song at any time by selecting it from the workspace.
Don't worry - you need not know the musical theory behind these sections to get the most out of using Song Form.
By default, a basic song structure is automatically added to any new recording after choosing a style. For short recordings, "Chorus 1" will be selected, as well as a short intro and ending. For long recordings, UJAM tries to pick and add a matching selection of song parts, as well as short intro and ending. At any time, you can edit the song form to your taste by adding or removing song parts.
Nearly all styles in UJAM have been updated to support song form. Your previously saved sessions will load, but they may sound slightly different due to the updated styles.
If you want to keep your songs in their original form, you are welcome to save them as MP3s or upload them to SoundCloud before editing with the new UJAM.
Yes. When you load an existing song into UJAM, it should sound the same as before.
To add an automatic song form, select the Edit Song Form tab and click "Create Form". This will add an intro and ending to your song, as well as additional song sections depending on the length of the song. Feel free to edit the song form to your taste.
Sharing & Saving
UJAM makes it easy to share your songs, either by publishing or sending to one person at a time.
Part of the joy in creating music is sharing it with others. Sharing can happen from two places:
- Your Profile Page: If you're viewing your whole portfolio, you'll see a list of options next to each song – publish on UJAM, share on Facebook, Twitter or SoundCloud. Once your song is published on UJAM, it will be stamped with a unique link that you can use to send it directly to anyone. Once it's published, it'll also have a chance at becoming one of the UJAM Top 100!
- While Creating: As you're working on a song, you'll have the option to publish it as soon as you're finished editing.
You can download your songs from the Studio and from the song's play page.
In the UJAM Studio click on "Save & Share" and download an MP3 with one click.
On your song's play page you will see a download icon next to the play button.
Most often, your MP3 will open automatically in iTunes or your standard media player, but depending on your browser, you may be prompted to choose a location on your hard disk to store the file.
For UJAM competitions we use Facebook "Likes" for voting. However, the number next to the "Like" button doesn't represent votes.
The Facebook "Like" button is a standard element that cannot be changed. The number next to the button shows the total number of "Likes", comments and shares combined. Therefore, the number is higher than the vote count for the competition.
Only Likes on the actual song player count as votes.
If you "Like" a song on a Facebook wall, you have only Liked the wall-post but not the actual song. To vote for a song submitted to a contest, click on the "Vote for me" button on the Facebook wall player and place your vote on the UJAM play page.
PLEASE NOTE: depending on your internet connection, it may take a while for the vote counter to be updated after you placed your vote.
Adding more song slots to your account is easy. Simply fill out your user profile and invite friends to UJAM.
As a new user, you start with an empty song list. To earn your first song slot, you must validate your email address. Without validating your email address, your account isn't fully activated and you won't be able to save songs. To receive another song slot, fill in your profile information. For a third song slot, upload a profile picture and choose your artist name. Then, you can add up to 7 more song slots by inviting friends to join UJAM . Each friend who signs up from a unique invitation link you send them earns you another song slot.
UJAM is free for everyone with a limited number of songs. In the near future, we will offer upgrade options so you won't have to worry about limiting your song count – so stay tuned!
UJAM doesn't "know" songs – that is, it does not compare your input to a song database.
Instead, it analyzes every melody it receives as though you just composed it, and puts the most logical (or popular) chords with it. These are not necessarily the ones the composer of the popular song originally used for that melody, which is why some well-known songs may sound different than what you're used to. Rest assured: you can edit the chords of any song to make them exactly what you desire.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure the best results:
- Make sure you're in a quiet environment – nothing but your singing should be recorded.
- Check your microphone level: Sing loudly and set the level so the meter is in the middle of its right (or upper) half.
- Wear headphones when you sing along with click or playback – otherwise the click/playback signal will end up in your recording. This doesn't sound good, and distracts the recognition algorithm.
- Try to sing exact, steady notes. Heavy vibrato, for example, throws off the recognition of notes and may not come through clearly in the recording.
- If your singing is hopeless, don't worry. Try humming or whistling – it's easier for some to hit the right notes that way. Or, play an instrument instead – in fact, a musical instrument is easier to analyze than the human voice. But remember: only play one note at a time. Chords won't be recognized by UJAM.
UJAM will continue to implement more options suited to advanced musicians – but right now, we're focused on making music creation and production easy for everyone.
With UJAM, your skill level won't impede your ability to create meaningful songs. Our goal is to democratize the act of making music, so that everyone can accomplish what previously was only available to studio musicians or by acquiring expensive software programs. So, we prioritize features that enable everyone to make music, even if they have little or no background in music. Don't worry, Mozart and Johnny Cash - we'll continue to offer more advanced features to will suit your needs, too. What helps us most is feedback from our community; if there's a feature you're looking for, let us know about it! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
First, ensure that your microphone is working correctly with the UJAM app. See microphone problems
When you first choose to record a new melody, you will be prompted by Adobe Flash to allow microphone access. Please click "Allow" here. From now on, your microphone should be captured by the UJAM app. You can check whether it works by watching the "MIC SIGNAL" meter on the bottom right of the window. If UJAM detects that your microphone level is too low, it will display a warning below the meter display. Read more FAQ articles on microphone problems.
When you are recording a new melody, notice the Mic Signal at the top of the recording screen. If there is a yellow dot, your microphone is recognized and ready to record.
When the red countdowns cease and the timer begins, begin your recording. You will be shown how much time remains for your recording as you record.
Depending on the type of microphone and the operating system you use, there are several possible causes. Here are some solutions based on the most common situations:
- If you use an external microphone, please ensure that the microphone is not muted and that it is connected properly to the microphone jack.
- If you have multiple microphones installed (e.g. an internal and an external one), please ensure that the right microphone is selected as a recording source in your operating system.
- Ensure that the microphone level is set appropriately in your operating system.
This depends on your operating system. Here are solutions for Windows XP, Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6 users:
- Go to the Windows XP start menu and select "Control Panel" from the right column.
- In the control panel, click "Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices".
- Pick the Control Panel icon "Sounds and Audio Devices".
- In the "Sounds and Audio Devices Properties" dialog, select the "Voice" tab.
- In the "Voice recording" section, click the "Volume..." button.
- In the "Mic Volume" section, you can use the slider to set the microphone level.
- Go to the Windows 7 start menu and select "Control Panel" from the right column.
- In the control panel, double click "Sound".
- In the "Sound" dialog window, select the "Recording" tab.
- Select "Microphone" and then click the "Properties" button.
- In the "Properties" dialog, select the "Levels" tab.
- In the "Levels" tab you can use the slider titled "Microphone" to set the microphone level. You can test the microphone level by making a noise and watching the reaction of the meter display in the "Sound" dialog's "Microphone" item.
Mac OS X 10.6
- Select "System Preferences" from the dock.
- Click "Sound".
- From the "Sound" dialog, select the "Input" tab.
- In the "Select a device for sound input" list, select your preferred microphone input source.
- Use the "Input volume" slider to change the microphone level. You can test the microphone level by making a noise and watching the "Input level" meter.
You can do this by following these steps:
- In your web browser, right click on the area of the UJAM flash application and select "Settings" from the context menu.
- A white dialog box titled "Adobe Flash Player Settings" appears.
Navigate to the "Privacy" tab using the tab buttons at the bottom of the dialog. Click "Allow" and then check "Remember". Finally, click "Close". You should now no longer be bothered.
You are likely using Windows 7, which has a new "Communications" feature that automatically decreases speaker volume when the microphone is used. We recommend that you deactivate that feature by following these steps:
UJAM requires specific file types for uploading audio. You can import MP3, WAV or AIF files.
Unfortunately, other software sometimes does not encode these files correctly, resulting in corrupted files that UJAM cannot process once you have uploaded them. When this happens you will see an error message explaining that the file cannot be uploaded.
There are several ways to workaround this problem. If you have recorded the file on your own, you can save it in another format with most audio recording softwares (e.g. Audacity, Logic). If you are trying to upload a file that originates from somewhere else, you may try to convert that file using audio format conversion software.
This may be caused by a problem with your audio hardware.
If you click play and the playhead doesn't move, please check the audio settings in your operating system and test whether other audio software works properly. If the playhead moves and you hear no sound, please check whether you have connected your speakers/headphone correctly. Please also check whether you have accidentally muted your audio output using your operating system's volume controls.
The UJAM app may be blocked by your computer's or your router's firewall. When you are on a corporate network, ask your administrator to allow outgoing traffic on TCP port 1935. When you are on a home network, usually everything should work without any further configuration. If not, please try the following:
- If you have an application firewall installed, allow outbound traffic on TCP port 1935 for your web browser's flash plugin host process.
- If your router's firewall is configured to allow outbound traffic on white-listed ports only, ensure that TCP port 1935 is excluded from that rule.
- If you are using a 3G cell phone internet provider, ask them whether they allow for traffic on TCP port 1935.
If all that doesn't help you out, there may be a temporary problem with the UJAM network. In that case, please try the following:
- Clear all cookies from ujam.com in your web browser.
- Clear your browser's cache and then try loading the site again.
The UJAM app will run well on most modern desktop and laptop computers. To provide an appropriate user experience, please ensure that your system at least conforms to the following configuration:
Intel Core Solo (or similar) CPU at 1.6 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 10 GB of free disk space, broadband internet connection (>1Mbps), built-in, plug-in or external (USB) sound card, internal or external microphone. Additionally, the following software requirements should be met: Mac OS X 10.5 or later/Windows XP or later with the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari or Microsoft Internet Explorer installed, and Adobe Flash 10.2 browser plugin installed.
This may happen when your internet connection is slow or when the UJAM servers are under a heavy load. In order to sort out problems on your side, please check whether your internet connection is also slow with other websites or internet service providers. If your connection is slow generally, please try the following:
- Stop all file downloads or uploads currently running.
- If you are connected to a wireless hotspot, please check whether the hotspot provides an appropriately fast connection speed. If you are connected to a public wifi hotspot, there may be slow response times due to high load caused by many people using the hotspot simultaneously.
- If possible, connect your computer using an ethernet cable instead of a wifi connection.
Generally, a broadband internet connection such as a DSL or cable modem connection with at least 1 Mbps downstream and 100 kbps upstream should suffice.
To provide the best possible experience, we recommend a 6 Mbps broadband connection. For the fastest service, please ensure that no downloads or uploads are running in the background while using the UJAM app.
This may happen when you have lots of open browser windows or tabs, or when another application requires a lot of your computer's resources.
Please close all unused browser windows/tabs, especially those displaying Adobe Flash content. If performance still remains unsatisfactory, please close other applications running in the background. Finally, consider using Google Chrome or Apple Safari instead of Mozilla Firefox, as these are likely to provide a better performance when displaying Adobe Flash content.
UJAM does not claim ownership of anything you create or distribute using UJAM.
The body of works you create using UJAM (ujam.com), which we refer to collectively as "User Submissions", are owned entirely by you. You also have the responsibility for ensuring that anything you create with UJAM adheres to all applicable copyright and intellectual property laws, which may vary depending on where you are in the world. See UJAM's Terms of Service for further information.
Publishing to third-party services is offered as an additional service to the users of UJAM.
Any rules and restrictions of third-party services apply without exception to each user of such a service, and UJAM's Terms of Service also apply without exception to all UJAM users. In addition, as we noted before, you also have the responsibility for ensuring that anything you create adheres to all applicable copyright and intellectual property laws. See UJAM's Terms of Service for further information.
It's your job to follow all applicable laws regarding copyright and intellectual property.
As long as you are complying with all applicable copyright and intellectual property regulations, which may vary depending on location, you are welcome to use your UJAM creations in any way you wish. If you have questions about a particular situation or desired use, please don't hesitate to contact us, or do further research on your own to ensure that you are complying with applicable copyright and intellectual property regulations. See UJAM's Terms of Service for further information.
This is a known problem associated with Flash and we are waiting patiently for Adobe to fix it.
For more on this, see: recording to a click/playback
This may be caused by a Windows registry permission problem with some versions of the Adobe Flash Player plugin.
To solve this problem, please follow the instructions given in Adobe's knowledge base article on this issue.
Since UJAM is still in its beta phase, there may be occasional glitches or lags in performance.
This is a natural part of the development process – rest assured that we are continually working on smoothing out minor issues that arise. You can always contact us if you encounter trouble and cannot find the solution in our FAQ. Email us at email@example.com.