How to Set Up for ZOOM Open Mics

Enjoying a Better Zoom Music Experience

Here is some information to help you get ready for your “Every Saturday” session, whether you’re an audience member or a performer:

Download & Install ZOOM

Your Zoom music experience and performance will be better if you make some changes to your Zoom settings. The only way you can make these changes is to download and install the Zoom app to your device and set up your account (login, etc.). 

Please note that responding to a Zoom invitation doesn’t mean the app was downloaded and installed. Also, even if it is installed on your device, you may need to install the latest Zoom Cloud Meetings upgrade, 5.0.4, which contains important security fixes.  

  • Mac users – here are Download and Install instructions for you: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360016688031
  • Windows users – using the download link listed above, download ZOOM Client for Meetings and follow the prompts to install.
  • For i-Devices, download from the App Store as mentioned above and follow the prompts to install.

After installation, locate the Zoom icon in an easy to access place on your device: for Windows and Macs, in the Taskbar.

Click on the Zoom icon to open the app and login — or create a login. You will have three options, a login with your email address and password, login with Google, or login with Facebook. Once you have done this, you shouldn’t have to do it again. When you click on the icon, you will be on your Home screen, which you can identify because it’s called “Home” — and because it has four icons on it, New Meeting, Join, Schedule, Share Screen.

Windows and Mac users should see a gear in the upper right corner of the Zoom screen. That’s your Settings. Click on that gear, choose Settings, then choose Video to test your Video settings. Then choose Audio to test your speakers and microphone. 

If you just come to Open Mics to enjoy, you only need to make one additional change here. Go to the bottom right corner of your screen where you’re testing your mic and video and click on “Advanced.” At the top of that next screen you will see “Show in-meeting option to ‘Enable Original Sound’ from microphone.” Check the box. That’s it! You can close the screen.

iDevice users click on the icon to open your app. You should be on the Home screen. You’ll find the Settings gear in the lower left corner. Click on it, and in the list, choose “Meetings.” On that screen, scroll down to “Use Original Sound” and make certain it’s enabled. 

Finally, take time to get comfortable with your Zoom app. On your home screen, you can click on “New Meeting.” You’ll be able to see the controls that are available to you while you’re in a meeting. Locate your Mic Mute/Unmute button, your Video On/Off button, Chat, Participants (so you can see who’s there if they don’t show up on your screen), where to Enable Original Sound (which you should always do for music get-togethers), and more. Be sure to “End” (red button) when you are finished. Jeremy Simon prepared a video for us to show you around the ZOOM app:

For Performers

The deadline for emails from folks wishing to perform will be noon on the Thursday before the event.

If you wish to perform, please send an email to offsquaremusic@gmail.com and put “Every Saturday” in the Subject line. Andy Andrick will contact you about particulars and how to participate using Zoom.

While you can use the speakers and microphone built into your device or laptop, you may find you’ll have a better performance using a USB Microphone, and a standard headset or earbuds. There are several inexpensive examples of these products available online for purchase. You may find other good ideas in various YouTube videos including the one shared below.

With Windows and MAC devices, performers can make additional changes in the settings. Windows instructions are below (MACs are very similar), and here’s a video that gives you a visual:

  1. Open your Zoom app (installation instructions above). If you have installed it and logged in, you should land on the Home screen. Find the settings icon, a little gear in the upper right corner. Click on it.
  2. If you haven’t already done this, choose Video and test your Video.
  3. Now Choose Audio, and Test your Mic. If you are going to use something other than the internal mic, this is where you choose it.
  4. Uncheck “Automatically adjust volume.” When Andy contacts you before your performance, you can test for the best volume level in your system with him.
  5. In the lower right corner, select “Advanced.” 
  6. At the top of the next screen, check “Show in-meeting option to ‘Enable Original Sound’ from microphone” if you haven’t already done that.
  7. Below that, select “Disable” for “Suppress Persistent Background Noise” and “Suppress Intermittent Background Noise.”

These instructions should help everyone enjoy the best possible Zoom music experience. We’ll provide updates as Zoom adds features and we learn of additional tweaks.

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