Zoom recently made some audio updates that have made lessons challenging! Here's an update on ideal Zoom settings:
As many of us have discovered, Zoom wasn't designed with music in mind. In fact, Zoom's default settings tend to distort or mute music, thinking it's "background noise" - when we all know music is the reason we're on Zoom together! There are few moments more frustrating in a Zoom lesson than when a student finishes playing a piece and is very proud of their efforts and I heard...three notes, because Zoom auto-adjusted the incoming audio. Without further ado, let's dive into some easy settings you can use on your end to ensure I can hear everything you play beautifully:
Download the Zoom app on a computer (not phone or iPad)
This is a simple step, but allows you to adjust the settings for music - most mobile devices don't have the advanced audio setting options.
Adjust Zoom Audio Settings/Preferences
In the app, click on either Settings under your profile picture, or Preferences under the Zoom tab at the top left (depending on what platform you're using)
Click the Audio tab
Uncheck the box next to "Automatically adjust microphone volume" under the microphone settings. Even this one step helps a bunch! You can then drag the slider to how loud the input should be - use the "test mic" option near the top to figure out the setting that works best for you. You'll note my input is set pretty high to ensure everything I say and play comes through clear.
Under "Audio Profile" you have a list:
- Select the button for "Original Sound for Musicians"
- "Hi Fidelity Music Mode" is great, but my internet is not strong enough to handle it, so I leave this box unchecked. If you have a very strong - or ethernet-wired - connection, feel free to enable this option.
- Check the box for "Echo Cancellation" if you're not using headphones. I am now using headphones in my studio, but most students are not, so make sure this is checked, so anything I say or play doesn't come back through the speakers.
- You can check "Stereo Audio" if you want, but it's not required.
Your settings should then look like this:
In the Lesson
Once you're in the lesson, click the "Original Sound for Musicians: Off" button that pops up at the top left of the screen. It should be green, and say “Original Sound for Musicians: On” after clicking. That is the correct setting. Every time you log into a lesson, make sure that it says “Original Sound: On.” If it doesn’t, just click the words themselves and it should change to “Original Sound: On.”
Here's how it shows up on my screen BEFORE I click it (top left):
Do I have to adjust my settings every time we log in?
Nope! The general audio settings will stay the same - the only thing you'll need to do is click that "Original Sound For Musicians: Off" button in the top left during the lesson.
Will these settings make other Zoom meetings difficult?
Nope! You don't have to enable original sound for any other meetings, so background noise and loud noises will still be automatically adjusted, as long as you don't check the original sound box.
Got more questions? Just send me a note! I want to ensure all my students have a great learning experience!