Piano With Jayne
The Best Zoom Audio Settings for Online Music Lessons
As the world continues to navigate remote learning and virtual lessons, Zoom has become an essential tool for music teachers and students.
However, the platform's default audio settings aren't always optimised for music, leading to frustrating sound quality issues during lessons. In this article, we'll explore the best Zoom audio settings for online music lessons, so you can achieve the clearest and most accurate sound possible while teaching or learning an instrument remotely.
Let's look at the best settings for Zoom music lessons across multiple devices; computer, iPhone, iPad, and Android.
Enabling Original Sound
One of the most important settings to adjust for online music lessons is Original Sound. By default, Zoom applies a noise reduction filter and echo cancellation to your audio. This can negatively impact the sound quality of your instrument by inadvertently cutting out parts of the audio, including important details in music or instrument playing. Enabling Original Sound will bypass these filters and allow your microphone to capture the most accurate representation of your sound.
To enable Original Sound on a computer, follow these steps:
Step 1: Click on the Settings icon in the top right corner of the Zoom window.
Click on the Audio tab.
Step 2: Under the "Suppress Background Noise" section, select "High fidelity music mode".
Step 3: Check the "Show in-meeting option to 'Enable Original Sound' from microphone" box.
Step 4: Click on the Advanced tab.
Step 5: Check the "Show in-meeting option to 'Enable Original Sound' from microphone" box.
Step 6: Once Original Sound is enabled, you'll have the option to turn it on during a meeting. To do so, click on the "Turn on Original Sound" button in the top left corner of the Zoom window. This will ensure that your microphone is capturing the most accurate representation of your sound
To enable Original Sound on an iPhone, iPad or Android device, follow these steps:
Step 1: Open Zoom on your iPhone
The first step to enabling original sound on your iPhone is to open the Zoom app. Once you've opened the app, join or start a Zoom meeting as you normally would.
Step 2: Access the audio settings
Once you're in the Zoom meeting, tap on the three dots at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen to access the More menu. From there, select the Settings option.
Step 3: Enable original sound
In the Settings menu, scroll down to the Meeting section and tap on the toggle switch for Use Original Sound to turn it on. You'll see a pop-up message confirming that you're enabling original sound, and you can tap on the Enable button to confirm.
Step 4: Confirm original sound is on
To confirm that original sound is now enabled, look for the words "Original sound on" in blue text at the top of the screen. This means that Zoom's noise reduction filter is now disabled, and you'll be able to hear all the details in your audio, including music or instrument playing.
Step 5: Adjust the microphone settings
Once original sound is enabled, you can also adjust the microphone settings to optimize your audio quality even further. Tap on the Microphone option in the Settings menu to access these settings. Here, you can adjust the volume, noise suppression, and echo cancellation settings to achieve the best possible sound quality.
Additional Settings to Improve Zoom Audio on Any Device
Adjusting Microphone Settings
In addition to enabling Original Sound, you'll want to adjust your microphone settings to ensure optimal sound quality. Here are some settings to consider adjusting:
This setting controls the volume of your microphone input. To adjust it, click on the up or down arrows next to the input volume bar in the Audio settings.
Zoom's built-in noise suppression filter can be helpful in reducing background noise, but it can also negatively impact the sound of your instrument. To disable noise suppression, click on the up or down arrows next to the noise suppression bar in the Audio settings.
Similar to noise suppression, Zoom's built-in echo cancellation can be helpful in reducing echo, but it can also negatively impact the sound of your instrument. To disable echo cancellation, click on the up or down arrows next to the echo cancellation bar in the Audio settings.
Using a High-Quality Microphone Using a high-quality microphone is key to achieving optimal sound quality during online music lessons. While your computer's built-in microphone can work, it's not designed for high-quality audio. Investing in a dedicated microphone will drastically improve the sound quality of your instrument and make your online music lessons more enjoyable.
There are several types of microphones to choose from, including dynamic, condenser, and ribbon microphones. Dynamic microphones are the most common type and are great for loud instruments like drums and electric guitars. Condenser microphones are more sensitive and are ideal for acoustic instruments like guitars and pianos. Ribbon microphones are the most expensive and are ideal for recording vocals and acoustic instruments.
If you're not sure which microphone to choose, we recommend checking out the Shure SM7B, the Audio-Technica AT2020, or the Rode NT1-A. These are all high-quality microphones that work well with Zoom and are popular choices among music professionals.
Optimising Internet Connection Having a fast and stable internet connection is crucial for online music lessons. If your internet connection is slow or unstable, you may experience lag or dropped connections, which can negatively impact the sound quality of your instrument. Here are some tips for optimising your internet connection:
Use a wired connection: A wired internet connection is more stable than a wireless connection, which can help prevent lag and dropped connections. If possible, connect your computer directly to your router with an Ethernet cable.
Close other applications: Other applications running on your computer can use up bandwidth and slow down your internet connection. Close any unnecessary applications before starting your online music lesson to ensure that Zoom has enough bandwidth to operate smoothly.
Ask other members of your household not to use streaming services during your music lessons: You may have experienced interruptions in your audio or video due to others in your household streaming videos or music. Streaming services can take up a lot of bandwidth and cause buffering, lagging, or dropped calls during your Zoom lessons. To avoid this, it's important to communicate with other household members and ask them to avoid using streaming services during your Zoom lessons.
Upgrade your internet plan: If you're experiencing consistent lag or dropped connections, consider upgrading your internet plan to a faster speed. Contact your internet service provider to see what options are available in your area.
Use QoS settings: Quality of Service (QoS) settings can help prioritize Zoom traffic on your network, which can help prevent lag and dropped connections. Consult your router's manual for instructions on how to enable QoS settings.
Using Additional Audio Software If you're still experiencing sound quality issues after adjusting your Zoom settings and using a high-quality microphone, you may want to consider using additional audio software to enhance your sound. Here are some popular options to consider:
Loopback: Loopback is an audio routing software that allows you to route audio between applications on your computer. This can be helpful for routing your instrument's sound through Zoom while using additional audio effects or plugins.
OBS Studio: OBS Studio is a popular streaming software that can be used to capture and enhance your Zoom audio. You can use OBS Studio to apply additional audio effects or plugins to your instrument's sound before routing it through Zoom.
Audacity: Audacity is a free and open-source audio editing software that can be used to enhance your instrument's sound before routing it through Zoom. You can use Audacity to apply EQ, compression, or other effects to your instrument's sound.
Conclusion Online music lessons can be a great way to learn and teach music from the comfort of your own home. However, achieving optimal sound quality during these lessons can be a challenge, especially when using Zoom.
By adjusting your Zoom audio settings, using a high-quality microphone, optimising your internet connection, and using additional audio software, you can achieve the clearest and most accurate sound possible during your online music lessons.
Keep in mind that every instrument and setup is different, so don't be afraid to experiment with different settings and equipment to find what works best for you.