The art of online audio
Here comes a short but important mail about the most critical part of successful online music lessons: AUDIO!
You can have a stellar HD video going on and all kind of fancy features...but if audio is bad - you will not have a succesfull lesson. We have build our system with audio in mind as our first priority, made for musicians and we are just rolling out even higher audio quality within the next day or 2 on our platform.
So here some simple steps in order to get the best possible audio during lessons- and this goes obviously for both ends- so I encourage you all to educate your students a bit in the beginning, so that they also know how to tweak and adjust, it's after all them who normally play most during a lesson. However, the picture in the bottom of this mail very well illustrates how things often are for an online lesson- so it takes a little practice...
But here we go:
- Room acoustics. Surprise to some, but nevertheless this is an important factor. Key for online lessons is to be in as dry an acoustic as possible. If you are in a bouncy/lively room the mic will have difficulty capturing this ambience- which is nice to play in but poison for online lessons. So a dry/dead acoustic is heaven, where carpets, curtains and pillows are all your best friends. But play around with it and use your ears.
- Distance to your mic and direction of playing. You need to play a little around in the beginning of a lesson with where your student stands while playing. Is he/she close to the mic? Is she playing directly towards the mic or to the side? Often brass instruments definitely need some distance to the mic while playing. In general distance is a good thing but can also be too much. It's all about finding the sweet spot.
- Audio controls. Is it too loud ? Is it too soft? Is the sound distorting? We do as little as we can to change the sound from our end as oppose to many other conference systems, as we want as clear and unprocessed audio signal as possible. This requires YOU to adjust levels if needed. Adjusting audio within the system setting of your computer is simple. It's not enough to tap on your buttons on the computer, you need to go into settings and gain up or down, more about how to here both for MAC and PC: https://playwithapro-helpcentre.groovehq.com/help/adjust-input-volumes
- External mics. If using a computer for your lessons ( as we recommend ) there are a number of excellent big membrane usb mics such the Apogee ( has the audio input controls directly on the mic - smart! ), the RØDE or Audio Technica - all usb mics- ready to plug directly into your computer and then play and which all improve sound dramatically. You can obviously go more into this and easily advance your gear setup- but for now we just want to keep it fairly simple.
- Earphones: wearing a set of good earphones can also be extremely helpful to hear details during a lesson. Anything will pretty much be better than the sound that comes out of a set of internal computer loudspeakers.
Stay safe – keep up the spirit and we always love to hear your feedback, pros or cons and suggestions.