Best Sound Settings for Your Zoom Online Music Class

Music classes are all about sound. It’s important that the teacher and student can hear each other as clearly as possible. Zoom is a fantastic way to enjoy your online music class, but there are some simple tweaks we need to make. Below are the best sound settings for your Zoom online music class.

Before we start, here’s one basic thing to consider: make sure you have the best internet connection possible. For WiFi users, moving closer to the modem can make a big difference.

Please Do This Before Your Next Class – It’s Free!

Ever wondered why the sound of your child’s singing or instrument isn’t coming through Zoom properly? Zoom has a fancy setting which cuts down on echo and enhances speaking sounds – great for a meeting, not great for a music lesson.

Here’s one quick way to fix this issue:

On a computer or laptop

1. Download and install the Zoom app/program, don’t use the web version (if you can’t find the web version and don’t know what I am referring to, please continue as you are)!
Please create a free basic account, and log in with this before each lesson.
2. Once you’ve logged into your Zoom program, click on Settings, then go to Audio. These settings can also be accessed from within a meeting by clicking on the little up arrow ^ next to your microphone symbol in the bottom left-hand corner. Sidenote: If you are using an external microphone or speaker, this is where you can select them (more info on this below).
3. Uncheck “Automatically Adjust Volume.” Play or sing loudly, around 2 meters away from your microphone. Adjust the slider until the graphic volume bar hits around 80-95%-ish.
4. Click the ‘Advanced’ button.
5. Most Important: Check the box that says “original sound.” Disable or uncheck anything underneath.
6. Next time you are in a Zoom meeting hosted by your teacher, turn on Original Sound in the upper left-hand corner of your window.

You may have to turn this option on every time you start a new meeting. Use the little drop-down arrow to ensure the correct microphone is selected. Make sure you’re in a quiet space, as your microphone is quite sensitive now.

On a phone or tablet-type device

1. Download and install the Zoom app, don’t use the web version (if you can’t find the web version and don’t know what I am referring to, please continue as you are)!

Please create a free basic account, and log in with this before each lesson.

2. Tap on the Settings widget.
3. Tap Meeting.
4. Tap the toggle to use Original Sound. Hooray!

External Speaker and Microphone

The internal speaker and microphone in your device will function, but pretty much any external option will give better results.

Speaker

Using an external Bluetooth speaker, or another speaker you have available at home is fantastic. Your child will be able to hear me a lot clearer and louder. Also, we are all about beautiful sound, so an external speaker means they can hear the tone of the instruments better.
Please place the speaker away from the microphone, so we don’t get a weird echo.

Bose portable speakers create a fantastic sound, and can also be used for preparing for graduations and concerts (and dance parties at home! Click here for our Dance it Out playlist). They have a beautiful, balanced sound, perfect for a wide range of music styles.

Microphone

Having spent time as a Music Producer for ABC Classic FM where we used microphones worth thousands of dollars, I find it amazing the sound quality you can get for $100-200.

Two microphone options are:
1. Blue Snowball Microphone $128 from Officeworks
2. Rode NT-USB mini compact from $149 from StoreDJ (this is the mini version of the one I use in classes, and the better option if your finances can stretch that far).

So that’s the best sound settings for your Zoom online music class – ta daaaaaa!

Oh, one final thing, it’s also worth considering the set up of your screen. Some families prefer to have the grown-up seeing the screen, and being the teacher for the child. This way you are connecting directly with your child, which is such an important experience. Other families find it works better to have the teacher in a bigger format, like a TV, and everyone follows the teacher. This is especially useful for my violin/viola students who need to see detailed techniques.

Please comment below if you have any questions, I have learned a lot about Zoom in the past few months (I bet you have too!).

See you soon,

Sophie

Wonder what a live, online music class is like? Book a casual class to test it out!