Using Zoom

We all want to create a great listening experience and bring the crisp and evocative joy of music into people’s homes.

To this end, we have some tips on how to maximise sound quality. Of course sound quality is never going to be quite like listening to a live performance and our audience recognise this – hence the emphasis on the thoughtful gesture and personal, interactive nature of these concerts!

Technical set up & Zoom

The key components for quality sound:

  1. A decent mic - some newer phones have respectable performance which beats many laptops, but a dedicated mic is best of all.

  2. Using the desktop Zoom app is preferable as it lets you set a couple of key audio options (the impact varies by instrument). In Settings > Audio > Advanced:

    • Suppress intermittent background noise: Disable

    • Suppress persistent background noise: Disable

    • Show Original Sound in meeting: tick (you’ll see a new button on your normal screen top left - for most instruments better quality with Original Sound: on but it is worth testing)

    • Zoom has recently added 'High fidelity music mode' which is worth testing. Note, this works best if plugged in to ethernet rather than using Wifi as it uses a lot of bandwidth

  3. Testing distances from mic. Test this with a friend on a call

  4. Using backing tracks - if you do this, the best result is achieved by sharing audio via computer. If this is how you perform, make sure you use the credentials for your account’s Zoom as you need to be logged in as the host to be able to do this

  5. Internet strength - in general, it's preferable to be plugged in to an ethernet cable rather than using Wifi. If you have weak Wifi, one tool that's been recommended is Speedify VPN which can use your wifi + your mobile internet to boost your internet speed

The audience's speaker set up also makes a difference - if possible, encourage them to listen on external speakers or decent headphones to avoid tinny laptops (not always possible we know!)

Recording a gig

You may have a request from a customer to record a gig. It is up to you whether or not you agree to this, and we recommend that you agree with them how they can use the recording. You may wish to ask for an additional fee for this, which can be paid via the tipping link.

How to record?

The person recording needs to be logged in as the host. There are 2 options

  1. The customer can use their own Zoom account and share their link with you. They will then log in as host, record on their own zoom and the recording will save locally to their PC.

  2. You can log in as host using your Lockdown Presents' Zoom credentials - these will be the host credentials for any gig booked for you through our platform. The zoom recording will save to your PC and you will need to share it with them. If the file is large you can use a free service like WeTransfer to send it to them.

To record on Zoom: When you are in the call, click the '... More' symbol for More options, and choose 'Record on this computer'

I've been asked to use Microsoft Teams?

Teams doesn't have the same options as Zoom for original sound and is optimised for spoken voice. However, if you are using an external microphone with it's own sound interface then that isn't a problem as you can use this as your audio input.

If you are just using a laptop or phone speaker the quality will generally be poor. You can always test with a friend to check how it sounds for your instrument / voice.