Tips for getting great sound while streaming on Zoom

Below  are some great suggestions for getting superior sound that will replicate being together in person, without distortion and/or sound cutting out.  

1. Be sure to use a newer laptop if possible. In this way you can go into the Zoom audio setting and adjust for authentic music sound. There are built in suppressors that cut out background noise and these have to be disabled for playing music. Tablets and phones don't have this capability.  

2. You probably don't listen to music straight from the internal speakers of your devices because it sounds thin and tinny. Use external earbuds/headsets and external mic to improve the sound quality in the same way..  

I have researched this extensively and highly recommend this equipment which I use for Zoom lessons. Purchase an external Blue Yeti Pro microphone on Amazon for $130. I’ve heard that they have jacked up the price to $169. If so, check out Target which is keeping it at the lower price only it might take a couple of weeks to get. Also Check out Guitar Center (they have good used equipment also) and Best Buy. If you get a different brand of external mic, make sure it's designed for music recording and has a USB plug-in to fit into your laptop. The external mike should also have a 1/8 inch port insert earbuds or a headset (most people have these laying around the house). This serves the double benefit of being able to record quality sound for recording purposes like uploading music on YouTube or FB and other platforms to share with friends and family and for recitals. You don't want to send around video recordings that sound distorted or tinny. With this equipment you will sound terrific. 

3. Install high speed internet. I purchased additional bandwidth through Xfinity comcast. It comes with 2 channels. One is a 2.4 and one is 5.0. Use the 5.0 for streaming on Zoom. Both channels are fast but the extra bandwidth is better streaming in real time to avoid a lag in time. Sometimes I play music accompaniments or metronome beats from my end during the lesson. The 5.0 is better for syncing in real time. If possible use an ether cable plugged directly into the modem for un-interupted internet signal. This isn’t usually a problem but once In awhile wireless WiFi will freeze the video for a second or two. The 2.4 can be used by other family members with WiFi while the student is Zooming on a separate, dedicated channel.  

4. Purchase an external wireless speaker so that the student can play along with the mp3 accompaniments and easily adjust the volume. Download the mp3s to a phone for convenient and fun play along practice.    

5. Purchase a metronome. I highly recommend downloading an app to a phone. In this way the student can use an external speaker and be able to adjust the volume better. There are many free metronome apps but I highly recommend the 'Pro Metronome' which is what I use. The cost is $3.99 and well worth it since it can subdivide the beats. Any brand will do so long as it has the capability to subdivide.