Zoom/lesson advice

michaelg

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Testing out Zoom on my laptop to make it sure it works for an upcoming lesson I'm getting.

Never had a lesson like this before , any tips or anything I should be aware of while using it ?
It seems to be working ok.

I'll be drumming on a set of L80's and a tama true touch kit.
 

Timo-Germany

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My advice is to set the background noise setting in the audio menu to low so that the sound of the drum set is not turned down. Also, all students should also use a PC, not a cell phone or tablet, because you can't make this important setting there.
 

michaelg

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My advice is to set the background noise setting in the audio menu to low so that the sound of the drum set is not turned down. Also, all students should also use a PC, not a cell phone or tablet, because you can't make this important setting there.
Thanks. Does the audio and video quality have to be of a certain level of quality ?
Video can be somewhat blurry when playing on my laptop's camera.

Managed to use my Zoom q2n microphone so that should be better than the laptop inbuilt microphone.

Any preferred position to have the camera located ?
 

JazzAcolyte

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Testing out Zoom on my laptop to make it sure it works for an upcoming lesson I'm getting.

Never had a lesson like this before , any tips or anything I should be aware of while using it ?
It seems to be working ok.

I'll be drumming on a set of L80's and a tama true touch kit.
I recently had my first (and only, thus far) Zoom lesson. I moved my left hand crash, put a stack of chairs there [edit] for my laptop, and spent a while adjusting the angle of my webcam so that it showed both me and the surface of my snare drum. (I spend a lot of work time on Zoom, so I have a pretty good webcam and Jabra speaker.) I also invested in a bluetooth speaker for my iPhone so my teacher could hear what I was playing along to, and it’s been very handy for practicing ever since. I triple-checked all aspects of the setup before the lesson. It went well, but I found it harder to maintain a high level of concentration and pick up nuances compared with an in-person lesson.
 
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drums1225

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Out of necessity, I began giving Zoom lessons in March of 2020 on drums, guitar, bass, and keys. I've been through all the trial and error, and many software updates that made Zoom more and more suitable for music lessons. Some sound advice in the above posts.

Absolutely do NOT use a mobile device for your lessons. Phones are designed to aggressively eliminate background noise, which means just about anything other than voices doesn't get through. Zoom's "Original Sound" option is an absolute MUST and is not available on the mobile versions of Zoom. Also, the desktop version has options for "Music and Professional Audio" (check them all).

I have a guitar student whose laptop is always having issues, so he ends up using his phone and I spend half the lesson telling him I can't hear a peep coming out of his guitar. I mean, he's learning Metallica songs, and chunking along and it looks like he's pantomiming. Very frustrating.

You can use your Zoom Q2n as a webcam and/or microphone. I have the Q2n4K and while it's only 720p HD when used in webcam mode, it was still a lot better than the 720p HD webcam on my Thinkpad. You can use the Q2n's various color scenes and zoom levels.

Use decent speakers, headphones, or in-ear monitors to monitor the sound from Zoom.

I used to use a tripod to mount my Q2n4K, but I eventually got a Stage Ninja (which is a strong clamp with a sturdy gooseneck and standard threads for a camera mount). I clamp it onto a floor lamp in my studio. It's to my left and slightly behind me, about head height (while sitting at the kit) aimed over my left shoulder, so my students can clearly see my whole kit. In this position, I set the mic input level somewhere between 2 and 3. If your mic level is too high, you'll see the red light (which normally serves as the recording/active streaming indicator) flash on peaks.

Good luck, and if you need any help, don't hesitate to reach out.
 

Sinclair

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I've taught on Zoom since the pandemic started and continue to do so. Nothing beats one on one in person lessons but Zoom does actually work fairly well when set up correctly. I second all the settings advice above. I will sometimes use my laptop for a frontal main view and my cell (signed into the lesson as a third party) with the volume off, on a selfie stick to provide an overhead view as well.
Still your picture may freeze for a few seconds now and then, and there are latency issues meaning playing duets or anything simultaneously is futile. I use headphones and set the camera so my hands are plainly visible. I also like to be able to see a students hands.

One tricky issue is being able to see a student at his or her kit in 3 dimensions. This makes it harder to tell if they should sit higher or lower or the best way to position the kit so it's most comfortable (tom placement, cymbal heights etc.) so they're not creating other issues for themselves.

Overall, especially if you've already had experience playing, the information back and forth works and there's no reason you couldn't have many successful lessons...providing of course......you practice.. ;-)
 

Timo-Germany

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Thanks. Does the audio and video quality have to be of a certain level of quality ?
I would argue that the better the picture and audio quality, the better the overall teaching unit.
Any preferred position to have the camera located ?
For me it is always important to see the hands, the head is then secondary, although it is of course nice to see the other person when speaking. Try to find an angle at which you can see all the drums and pelvis at least cut and as I said, the hands and associated forearms are important to me.
Managed to use my Zoom q2n microphone so that should be better than the laptop inbuilt microphone.
That is already excellent!
 


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