Zoom Settings for the Sessions
We’ll be using Zoom for the sessions. This document is a basic guide to Zoom and gives you some recommended settings that’ll improve your session experience. It’s a great idea to check your settings and test your equipment before the session begins, so you can jump right in without issues.
If you have any tech questions, please contact me for help in advance of the session. It’s likely that we will not be able to troubleshoot your problems during the session unless others can offer solutions in the chat window.
Requirements for Zoom
- You’ll need a device with a camera and microphone. This could be a computer with a webcam or a phone or tablet with a camera. We generally recommend that you join sessions from a laptop or desktop computer, so that you can see the other participants more clearly and access the chat feature more easily.
- If you are a guest leader, we recommend that you use a quality mic with an audio interface connected to a laptop or computer.
- You’ll need a steady internet connection. For the best results, we recommend direct Ethernet connection, but Wifi can also work if that’s your only option. To test your internet speed, you can search for “speedtest” on google and click “RUN SPEED TEST.” You’ll need a minimum download and upload of 1 Mbps for Zoom to function properly.
Follow These Steps to Be Ready
- Download Zoom. You can get it at this link: https://zoom.us/download. If you’ve already downloaded Zoom, please make sure you’ve updated to the latest version in order to access the latest features like hi-fi audio.
- Open Zoom. If you are new to Zoom, you’ll be asked to choose a name. Please enter your real name so the other people in the session know who you are.
You’re now ready to go, but before you jump in, let’s change a few settings so that you get the optimal audio experience.
Changing Your Zoom Settings
Open up your Zoom settings.
If you’re on a PC, you’ll see this. You want to click the “gear” icon in the upper right corner.
If you’re on a Mac, you’ll see this. Click the “zoom.us” menu (next to the Apple menu, circled in green) and then choose “Preferences” (next picture, circled in purple).
Once you click on preferences, your screen will look the same whether you are on PC or Mac. You’ll see a screen similar to the one below. Click on the green “Audio” button. This is where you can test your audio.
- Click “Test Speaker” and “Test Mic” to make sure that your devices are working. When you test these, make sure you are using the exact equipment you will use for the session. Sometimes Zoom gets weird about equipment that is plugged in after a meeting starts, so please test right before your join, then leave everything plugged in as you start the session.
- Make sure the box next to “Automatically adjust volume” is unchecked.
- Change “suppress background noise” to “Low”
In the “Music and Professional Audio” section, check the options for:
- Show in-meeting option to “Enable Original Sound” from microphone
- High fidelity music mode
- Echo cancellation
If you happen to have a stereo microphone, you can also check “Stereo audio”. If you don’t, or you’re not sure, leave it unchecked.
- Click the “Advanced” link at the bottom of the settings screen.
- Set “Echo Cancellation” to “Auto” (not “Aggressive”).
- If you’re using headphones, it’s okay to also turn on “Disable echo cancellation,” but if you’re using speakers, you might need to use “Aggressive”. It’s a good idea to use headphones in general if possible.
Next, click the light green “Video” button. You’ll see a screen similar to the one below. Here you can check to make sure your camera is working properly and make any desired setting changes.
When You’re In the Session
Lastly, once you are in the session, make sure that you click the button in the upper left-hand corner that says “Turn on Original Sound.” This is confusing! Because once you click it, the button will display “Turn off Original Sound.” This means it’s on, and that’s what you want.
Below you’ll see a screenshot which displays the way the button should look. You won’t be able to change this setting until your meeting starts!