ZOOM SETUP FOR MUSIC PERFORMANCE
(provided by Joel Amromin – 04/20/2021)
Because Zoom is “tuned” for spoken word, it is less than perfect for music without some configurations. Here are procedures for configuring Zoom for music. These procedures depend on using “original sound,” which bypasses the Zoom processing for spoken word, such as noise suppression. You want it pure.
Notes: Specific functions, labels, and locations will vary depending on what operating system and hardware you use. These instructions are based on Apple devices but should be the same or similar on other devices. The procedures get shorter for simpler devices because they have less capability. Zoom is not very good when it comes to consistent interfaces across platforms, so there are separate procedures below for various devices. Fortunately, you can now use the same procedure for smartphones and tablets.
For performing music, Zoom works best on a workstation or laptop with a hardwired (Ethernet) connection to a network. Wireless local connections, such as Bluetooth or WiFi are less effective and may have audio dropouts and/or video freezes depending on signal quality. Cellular connection is the poorest. Close any other applications you don’t need during the meeting.
If Zoom asks for a password when entering a meeting, it wants your personal account password. If it asks for a passcode, it wants the passcode for the meeting.
If you don’t already have it, download and register the Zoom client for meetings from your app provider (e.g., Apple Store) or https://zoom.us/download. You must be on version 5.0.0 or later. You should frequently check for updates in the main Zoom menu. These instructions are based on the software as of April 20, 2021. They assume you have downloaded the Zoom client, kept it up to date, and registered for a free basic Zoom account. The client version at the time of this writing is 5.6.3 on workstations and 5.6.1 on mobile devices.
- Start the Zoom client. (Not necessary, but recommended, for tablets and smartphones.)
- Follow one of these two procedures.
- For a workstation or laptop (should be about the same for Mac or Windows):
- Join the meeting. If asked, log on with video. Click the up arrow next to the picture of a microphone, usually at the bottom of the screen. If you’ve previously set up steps b. through h and haven’t changed your audio equipment setup, skip ahead to step i.
- Click Audio Settings. The Audio Setting window appears.
- Turn off (uncheck) Automatically adjust microphone volume and set the Input Volume slider at around 90%. If people complain about your volume or based on a sound check conducted by the host, you may have to adjust it up or down, which you can do during the meeting.
- Under “Music and Professional Audio,” make sure Show in-meeting option to Turn on Original Sound from microphone and Echo cancellation are on (checked).
- High-fidelity music mode uses extra bandwidth. For most of us, it should be off.
- At the bottom of the window, click Advanced.
- Set Echo Cancellation to Auto; then click Back.
- Close the Settings window. The settings you have made are retained after you leave Zoom, so you only need to do it once.
- Back in the meeting, on versions prior to 5.6.3, click “Turn on Original Sound,” which is usually at the top of the meeting window. When set correctly, it will say “Turn off Original Sound.” The button shows the action it will take, not the current state—which is confusing. On 5.6.3 (Released 4/19/21) and above, the button will show the current state by saying “Original sound: off” or “Original sound: on.” Click the button to switch it.
Note: You can turn Original Sound on permanently by clicking the little down arrow next to the Original Sound and selecting your microphone or other sound source. This device will then always be set for original sound when you enter a meeting.
For a tablet or smartphone, such as iPad or iPhone (should be the about same on other tablets or smartphones). The locations of the described items will vary between devices.
- If you’ve previously done steps b and c or are not using the Zoom client app, skip to step d.
- Click the Settings icon, which looks like a little gear; then click Meetings. The Meeting Settings window appears.
- Scroll the window down until you see Use Original Sound. Turn that on (checked); then exit the Meeting Settings. This setting will remain after you leave Zoom, so you only need to do it once.
- Join the meeting. If asked, log on with video. Click the three dots labeled “More.” Click Enable Original Sound. You’ll need to do this for each meeting.
- If the host conducts a sound check, you may be asked to adjust your microphone volume or other audio settings.
- When performing, you should be close to the microphone to avoid dropouts and background noise.
On Zoom – Pres Sez… (updated 06/16/2022)
(Editors Note: If there is conflict in the info between this and the 4/20/2021 instructions above, Do start with the 4/20 instructions.)
Zoom free accounts have a 40-minute duration. Contact Steve to coordinate longer sessions. First download and register the free Zoom Client for Meetings at: https://zoom.us/download
You can find many sources of instruction about hosting Zoom music sessions. The u-tube videos I found helpful can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50NoWIiYECA&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2ho1mnFsfs4aiYw5LrVFpCGoaX4c-L35E24EFafZQpMJA0uy0L8h4vf2w and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkG7yOTRIAk&t=566s
Have as little as possible running on your system while hosting, maybe just Zoom, your email and whatever text files you might want to screen-share with lyrics and chords of songs you plan to play. You can put speedtest.net in a browser and check your download and upload speed through Ethernet vs Wi-Fi, and with different applications running. My download speed more than doubled with Ethernet and little else running.