Zoom Settings for Musical Instruments
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Zoom has some very advanced audio-processing built into its software. This is good, in that it makes using Zoom easy for conversations. However, this processing tends to mess up sound from musical instruments, especially piano and guitar. Notes from these instruments start off loud and then taper off. Zoom’s automatic volume control and noise suppression gets confused by this. Luckily, the Zoom programmers made a provision for handling this problem. Below are settings you can make to solve problems with musical instruments being played through Zoom.

I got this information from the excellent YouTube video Zoom Settings for Music Performance, and decided to put everything down in written form.
  1. When you’re in Zoom, move your mouse a little to bring up the icons at the bottom of the screen.
  2. In the lower-left corner, there’s a microphone icon. To the right of the microphone is an up arrow. Click it.
  3. Click “Audio Settings.”
  4. A little below the middle of the screen (in the Microphone section) is a checkbox named “Automatically Adjust Volume.” Remove the checkmark from this box. The sensitivity of the microphone is now under your control. It is no longer automatically adjusted. In the next step, you’ll adjust the microphone sensitivity (volume) so that it’s right for your instrument.
  5. Play your instrument, and adjust the “Volume” slider until the “Input Level” bar is roughly 3/4 of the way over.
  1. A little further down is a line that says "Suppress background noise." Set this to "Low."
  2. Click “Advanced” in the lower-right corner.
  3. Put a checkmark in the checkbox named “Show in-meeting option . . .”
  4. Click the X in the upper right corner to shut down the window.
  5. You’ll now notice a box in the upper left corner of the Zoom screen named “Turn off Original Sound.” This is a toggle type of thing. In other words, if you click it now, you’ll be turning off original sound. (Don’t click the down-arrow on the right of the box. Click inside the box.) With original sound turned off, you’ll be getting the adjusted sound--this is the sound that Zoom has modified to suppress background noise.
    • For voice, you want adjusted sound. When you’re in adjusted-sound mode, the box will read “Turn on Original Sound.”
    • For playing an instrument, you want original sound. When you’re in original-sound mode, the box will read “Turn off Original Sound.”
  6. Zoom will remember the settings you’ve made in steps 1 through 9. All that’s necessary now is to set Zoom for original sound when you’re playing an instrument, and set it to adjusted sound when talking.
    • When you play an instrument, the box should read “Turn off Original Sound.”
    • When you talk, the box should read “Turn on Original Sound.”