Mac Zoom

(If you need further help after reading these instructions, email Steve at deering[at]brunzel[dot]org to schedule a test session.)

Zoom is essentially designed for sharing the spoken word – as such, in its standard form it compresses the audio signal at source (i.e. where the audio is generated) to minimize transmission bandwidth. It also automatically eliminates background noise. While this does not significantly affect speech – indeed, it’s not noticeable at all), it does significantly affect singing and music – it makes it sound thin, tinny and distorted. Fortunately, Zoom provides some tools enabling users to adjust the settings to make it acceptable for sharing music.

So, what do you need?

  1. A PC or a Mac, laptop or desktop, with a video camera and microphone. Most modern computers have these built in. However, you can also use an external video camera and external microphone plugged into your computer.
  2. A reasonably fast internet connection.

We outline below the required adjustments for Mac users. There is another page providing similar instructions for Windows PC users.

  1. Go to and download and install the Zoom Client for
    Meetings application. (If you google “Zoom download”, you’ll quickly find it.) Once you have installed Zoom, continue as directed below.
  2. Open the Zoom application. From the menu at the top of your screen (next to the Apple icon), select “Preferences…”. This is the screen you should see:

Select “Audio” in the column choices on the left – this is the screen you should see:

On this screen:

  1. Click on the “Test Speaker” button and follow the instructions – you should hear some piano tones and see the “Output Level” meter indicator bouncing around, indicating that your speaker is working OK. If not, you may have to select the appropriate speaker from the drop-down box above the meter.
  2. Click on “Test Mic” button and talk at your Mac – you should see the “Input Level” bouncing around as you speak, indicating that your microphone is working. If not, you may have to select the appropriate microphone from the drop-down box above the meter.
  3. Make sure that “Automatically adjust microphone volume” is un-selected, and set the “Input Volume” slider at about 65%.
  4. Un-select “Use separate audio device to play ringtone simultaneously”
  5. Click on the “Advanced” button at the bottom (you may have to scroll down to see it). This is the screen you should then see:
  1. On this screen:
    1. Select the “Show in-meeting option to “Enable Original Sound” from microphone”
    2. Under “Audio Processing”:
      • Disable “Suppress Persistent Background Noise”
      • Disable “Suppress Intermittent Background Noise”
      • For “Echo Cancellation”, select “Auto” (if it is not already selected)
    3. Close the screen buy clicking on the “red button” in the top left corner.

That’s it – you’re now ready to go!   

P.S.  If you want to see a video of these instructions, see

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