Improving Audio Quality for Zoom Performances


Reid Weigner

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Recording musical performances can be quite a task - in fact, many people, also known as audio engineers, dedicate their careers to understanding the technology and techniques behind recording music. Luckily for us, music technology has made great leaps in the past decade, particularly in regards to high quality affordable microphones. Below you’ll find a list of different microphones and interfaces to get you started. While we haven’t tried each of these products, they are all brands that we’ve used and grown to trust.

iPhone microphones - for ultimate simplicity and portability.

Pros: They attach directly to your iPhone and are small enough to carry anywhere.
Cons: You may have to remove your phone from its case to plug these mics in. Additional software may also need to be installed to use.

USB microphones - good blend of features and simplicity.

Pros: All in one mic/interface that is easy to use with zoom.
May require the purchase of a microphone stand to find good placement for a piano.

Audio interface + microphone - for ultimate flexibility and future expansion.

Interfaces are great if you want high quality audio and the ability to experiment with different mics. They come in a variety of options, ranging from small interfaces with one mic input to larger interfaces with 16 mic inputs, and are useful for blending multiple tracks together - like a backing track with live vocals. For information on how to do this, check out this video here.

Please note - if you have an audio interface with more than 2 channels, it becomes much more complicated to get it to work with Zoom. This is because Zoom automatically sums all inputs to either mono or stereo, which negatively impacts the sound. So, if you have a 24 input audio interface, Zoom will sum all of those inputs - even if they're not in use - to a stereo or mono mix. To get around this, you must use a virtual routing app like BlackHole 2 channel or use an audio interface with only 1 or 2 inputs.

Pros: More flexibility and great audio quality.
Cons: Can be pricier and require more set up time. You also will need to purchase additional hardware like microphones, XLR cables, and mic stands.


For those looking to create high fidelity recordings with multiple microphones, there are many pro interfaces available too:

While there are hundreds of options for microphones to go with your interface - each that are suitable for different instruments and purposes - here are a couple well known options:


Microphone stands, XLR cables, and extra lighting are all great accessories to keep around. Here's a few that have been used by performers in previous MusicNBrain events:

Please note: Always double check to make sure these microphones and interfaces will be compatible with your current mobile or desktop device.

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