Setting Up Zoom for Music Lessons

Zoom is designed primarily for video-conferences and meetings in which people speak to each other. For maximum speech clarity, it cleverly detects and removes sounds that don’t sound like speech. This is great, except that lots of music doesn’t sound like speech. This means that your music-making sounds can change, or even get cut out, unless you make some adjustments to the Audio Settings.

Here’s how to adjust Zoom (version 5.4.6 or near offer) if you’re using a Windows device such as a laptop.

  1.  Open a meeting in Zoom. Go down to the bottom left-hand side of the screen, where there is a picture of a microphone with a next to it. Click on the , and a menu box will appear.
  2. Click on Audio Settings… which is the bottom option of the menu. A new box opens.
  3. About half way down the box is the section Music and Professional Audio.  Select the option immediately below the word Music, so you get a tick in a blue box next to Show in-meeting option to “Turn On Original Sound”.
  4.  At the top of the box is are the Microphone settings. It’s worth checking now that they are right. You will notice that a blue bar appears on the Input Level line as you speak/sing/play.  You generally want the blue to go about 3/4 of the way across the line as you play at a moderately strong level. You can adjust this using the Volume slider beneath the Input level line.  This can be readjusted at any time.
  5. Close the Settings box and go back to your meeting screen.  At the Top Left-hand side of the screen there should now be a box inviting you to Turn On Original Sound. Click on this box, and it will turn blue, showing that you’re now using original sound without Zoom trying to adjust it.  
    6. The original sound box should now appear every time you open a Zoom meeting. You just need to turn it blue for music lessons.

For iPads and other mobile devices, the process is similar, and depending on your device, goes something like:

  1.  In the Zoom application – open Settings, and go to the Meetings menu.  
  2.  Scroll  down find the Use Original Sound and switch it on.
  3. Once you’re in a meeting, you need to get to more options – often by clicking “ ” and click on “Enable Original Sound”.  We should now get audio without Zoom changing it. (If you revisit the “”menu it should now be giving the option to Disable Original Sound, but you want to leave it enabled.)

There is help available on the Zoom website and elsewhere. Be aware that the details have changed and will continue to evolve, as new versions of Zoom have been released.