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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2961276 03/28/20 12:15 PM
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I also had my first online lesson yesterday, normally my teacher comes to me.

Initially I joined using my ipad - but the quality wasn't good enough, so I also signed in with my Mac laptop and was able to switch to the Original Audio setting.

I didn't have some trouble with the loudness of my teacher and the position of my laptop, so inspired by Hugh Sung's video and did some experimenting and will go that way next lesson. Some important results

1. I have a Blue Yeti Mic and it works well with my laptop
2. I can join a meeting twice from different devices and give myself different names - in particular I can also join with my ipad, mute the audio and just use the video feed to point at the keyboard. In fact I also added Zoom to my Linux desktop and used that pretending to be teacher and hosted the meeting, joining as the student with the other two. I was able to use my Android phone as a wifi connected web cam (using DroidCam from the play store and downloading the client software from the developers web site - client software is also available for windows, but I don't think there is any for a Mac - I think App Store on Mac has similar for iPhone).
3. Normally Zoom chooses the "Active Speaker" when there are more than two participants in a meeting. With a Muted Ipad it was difficult to choose that view until with the use of Zoom help facilities I discovered you can write click on a video phone and "Pin Video" to force it to become the one in main view
4. There is a dual monitor option in Zoom which if set allows you to choose which monitors to put different view on.
5. The free account limits participants to 3 of the meeting is longer that 40 minutes - with three participants I I still got a warning and that warning sounding like I was graciously allowed to go over 40 minutes, not that it was fixed right of the free account.

6. I added Zoom to my Android phone and could join with that if my teachers subscription allowed it.


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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2961365 03/28/20 05:37 PM
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How does Zoom compare with Skype for lessons?

Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
akc42 #2961367 03/28/20 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by akc42
I also signed in with my Mac laptop and was able to switch to the Original Audio setting.
Wow akc42 this is great news! I was not sure of that because I don't have a Mac, and people were saying it wasn't possible with ios devices. I'll work with my teacher on getting her Mac laptop set for Original Sound. Thanks for your detailed review!


"Serena," my Estonia L168.
Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2961375 03/28/20 06:14 PM
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When I started with Zoom a few months ago, I took time to explore its features. I opened a "session" where I was the only participant and explored to my heart's content. There are tutorials, I think, and when I got in trouble, the tech support was very helpful. They followed up with an e-mail with links. You absolutely want to have "original sound".

I don't have a Mac.

Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
keystring #2961394 03/28/20 07:24 PM
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Thanks for this, Keystring! Same here: I found it helpful to set up a Zoom teleconference with myself, using laptop and ipad as two meeting participants, just to explore how it works.

I tried using my phone as a second participant. I set it on mute, no speaker, and aimed it at my keyboard: basically tried using it as a second camera. But if I brought in my teacher, then we'd have 3 participants (her, me on a laptop, the view of my piano keyboard on a phone), and Zoom sets a 40-minute limit on free sessions for more than 2 participants. Not a huge deal; we could just start a new session.

Instead, however, I've ordered a cheap GoPro clone (the Akaso camera Hugh Sung mentions, $80 on Amazon). When it arrives next week, I will be able to position it on a tripod and send its signal to my laptop, instead of relying on the laptop camera to try to show me and my whole keyboard. I managed that, but it's an awkward position for the laptop.


"Serena," my Estonia L168.
Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
ee375 #2961395 03/28/20 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ee375
How does Zoom compare with Skype for lessons?
Good question! Has anybody done a fair comparison that they are willing to report on?


"Serena," my Estonia L168.
Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
akc42 #2961450 03/29/20 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by akc42

...
5. The free account limits participants to 3 of the meeting is longer that 40 minutes - with three participants I I still got a warning and that warning sounding like I was graciously allowed to go over 40 minutes, not that it was fixed right of the free account.

My bad - the free account is only set up for two - but I did in fact go over 40 minutes with three and it allowed me to do so. It also told me if I rescheduled a meeting right now that meeting would also be allowed to go over 40 minutes,


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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2961451 03/29/20 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Qwerty53

Instead, however, I've ordered a cheap GoPro clone (the Akaso camera Hugh Sung mentions, $80 on Amazon). When it arrives next week,


Here in the UK all such cameras are not going to be delivered until April 26th even though I am a long standing (and prolific spender) Prime account user frown

I have in my attic a tripod stand for a laptop (birthday present for me when I thought I was going to do bicycle training in my garage and needed the laptop to run a Zwift session). I am going to conduct an experiment today, with my laptop pointing at the keyboard and with my Blue Yeti Mic connected as one Zoom participant, My phone, strapped to my boom mic stand positioned as an overhead cam as a second Zoom participant and my iPad, on the music desk running Forscore and as a third Zoom participant. I am hoping I can screen share the score when I need to, so I would switch between its camera for my face and the screen to discuss the score.

If that is successful I am thinking I might myself invest in the paid account with zoom and then arrange with my teacher to set up a meeting with her (I feel if I am going to overload the meeting with participants its my responsibility to pay for it)


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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
akc42 #2961496 03/29/20 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by akc42


I have in my attic a tripod stand for a laptop (birthday present for me when I thought I was going to do bicycle training in my garage and needed the laptop to run a Zwift session). I am going to conduct an experiment today, with my laptop pointing at the keyboard and with my Blue Yeti Mic connected as one Zoom participant, My phone, strapped to my boom mic stand positioned as an overhead cam as a second Zoom participant and my iPad, on the music desk running Forscore and as a third Zoom participant. I am hoping I can screen share the score when I need to, so I would switch between its camera for my face and the screen to discuss the score.

If that is successful I am thinking I might myself invest in the paid account with zoom and then arrange with my teacher to set up a meeting with her (I feel if I am going to overload the meeting with participants its my responsibility to pay for it)


OK, so I did the experiment originally as I said I would, joining with my phone as a third participant. I didn't work as the phone wasn't oriented correctly and there seemed to be no option on the mobile version of Zoom to rotate the video. So ...

I used the DroidCam app on the phone and the DroidCam client software on my Linux desktop to essentially provide my Desktop with its own camera. Although the desktop is in another room they connect over wifi. I originally hosted the meeting on my laptop but forgot to pin the appropriate video feeds in place, so the "Active Speaker" was mostly the laptop itself and you didn't see much from the others (with Muted Audio). I didn't discovered this until I had dismantled the entire setup. So the second time (after I set it all up again) I recorded from the Linux desktop with a gallery view on all the time. This is a good portion of the video linked below. However the Screen Share part, although it appeared to work from what I could see sitting in front of the piano, the linux desktop in the other room never recorded it happening. So I overlayed a bit of the video from the first take over the second.

Here is the result


You can see from the video its not exactly in sync with my playing, but not too far out to be worthless.


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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
akc42 #2961520 03/29/20 10:57 AM
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Might be out of sync because you are using a wireless connection; doesn't that introduce latency? My sense is that wired is preferable to wireless for keeping things synchronized.


"Serena," my Estonia L168.
Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2961546 03/29/20 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Qwerty53
Might be out of sync because you are using a wireless connection; doesn't that introduce latency? My sense is that wired is preferable to wireless for keeping things synchronized.

I think it may have more to do with having 3 camera angles than the wireless itself. I use two and there's no latency over wifi, but I noticed a lag with 3 cameras. I think it's more a processing power issue.


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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Morodiene #2961560 03/29/20 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Qwerty53
Might be out of sync because you are using a wireless connection; doesn't that introduce latency? My sense is that wired is preferable to wireless for keeping things synchronized.

I think it may have more to do with having 3 camera angles than the wireless itself. I use two and there's no latency over wifi, but I noticed a lag with 3 cameras. I think it's more a processing power issue.


It could be a processing power issue. My linux desktop doing the recording is also running flat out doing Rosetta@Home calculations to try and help with the Coronavirus work. Although those tasks run in the background there might be some lag with the current task giving way that just introduces that slight lag.


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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2961637 03/29/20 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Qwerty53
Originally Posted by ee375
How does Zoom compare with Skype for lessons?
Good question! Has anybody done a fair comparison that they are willing to report on?

When we decided to do online lessons during the lockdown period, we wanted to use zoom, but it ended up to be to convoluted for my teacher. Actually I just had an online course last week with Zoom, and I can say I freaking hate it. I really don't like these new stupid interfaces with things that disappear and appear with mouse over. Also minimize is demented, I'm used to have my programs minimized to the task bar for the last 25 years, not put into a little stupid window somewhere on the screen, which also acts stupid.

Anyway, Zoom rant over. So we did the first lesson with Facebook Messenger and it went very well. The second one we did on Skype, also very well. My setup is pretty simple, I just plugged in my HD webcam which I bought like 6 years ago and almost never used it and mounted it on a tripod. Fortunately they thought about adding a tripod thingy to the webcam. We use the webcam audio and it works very well. I had to search for my studio monitor which I bought like 2 years ago and almost never used it after I found out that my son is filling them with random crap, which I barely managed to get out, using all kinds of MacGyver devices though the back little hole. I still remember the pain. It hurts.

The only thing that is stupid beyond reason is that my own video shows mirrored and there's no way to change that it seems. I'm constantly amazed how the brains of those software designers work, they should be studied by scientists to find a cure fast.

Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2961643 03/29/20 05:22 PM
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This is a helpful and interesting discussion. My church have started using Zoom whilst it is closed to physical gatherings and asked me to play piano and organ from my living room for today's service.

Despite enabling the original sound feature and disabling the various audio enhancement options, the piano sounded quite tinny but was just about useable. My electronic organ however was unbearable - distorted, volume dropping in and out and sounded like I was trying to play it under water. I tried both a laptop built in speaker and an inexpensive external usb microphone but had the same result. I tried with an Android smartphone but had exactly the same result.

So my question is, are there any other settings in Zoom that would enable a homophonic, constant sound, ie chord played on the organ, to be carried correctly and not be distorted to destruction? I get that it's trying to figure out clever trickery to maximise speech quality over minimal bandwidth but it appears that is incompatible with organ music (or any other instrument that produces a constant tone).

Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Jack Knuckle #2961867 03/30/20 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack Knuckle
I get that it's trying to figure out clever trickery to maximise speech quality over minimal bandwidth but it appears that is incompatible with organ music (or any other instrument that produces a constant tone).

Jack Knuckle, are you sure that you did both steps necessary to "USE ORIGINAL SOUND"? (See first post in this thread.) You must make a selection in the "settings" to make the option available, AND THEN you must select USE ORIGINAL SOUND while you are in the "Meeting."

Weirdly, when you tap "use original sound" so that original sound is working, the button on your screen switches color to blue (on my computer anyway), and says something like "TURN OFF ORIGINAL SOUND." So when you ARE using original sound, it says "TURN OFF" on the button. Confusing... Good luck!


"Serena," my Estonia L168.
Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2961925 03/30/20 12:25 PM
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Unfortunately, though my teacher is an amazing pianist and teacher, he's doesn't have any computer experience and has shied away from it. I've tried working with him to get zoom going, or to even just do a "video exchange" type thing going, but I haven't heard from him for a week. I have a feeling he may have just gotten overwhelmed and given up. It's a shame, if I could go over and play on his computer for a few minutes I'm sure I could get it going, but I can't or I'd be going for live lessons. So I'm relying on my Hugh Sung lessons for a few weeks I guess!


Now learning: Chopin C# minor Nocturne (posth), Mozart Sonata in C K. 545, R. Schumann Fantasy Dance, Joplin The Chrysanthemum
Instruments: Yamaha N1X, Kawai ES110, Roland GO:PIANO, Piano de Voyage
Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2961992 03/30/20 03:56 PM
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Had a 30 minute phone call with my teacher today. She won't be doing any video teaching unless someone at the University (she is a professor) sets it up for her. I don't think she even owns a smart phone or a laptop. I only have one more month of lessons before school is out. I guess we will just talk about piano.

Sam

Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2962025 03/30/20 06:02 PM
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Quote
. . . She won't be doing any video teaching unless someone at the University (she is a professor) sets it up for her.. . .


Sad, for both of you, for different reasons.


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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Sam S #2962034 03/30/20 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
Had a 30 minute phone call with my teacher today. She won't be doing any video teaching unless someone at the University (she is a professor) sets it up for her. I don't think she even owns a smart phone or a laptop. I only have one more month of lessons before school is out. I guess we will just talk about piano.

Sam


On the other hand, there's this:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...ited-zoom-gate-crashers.html#Post2961605


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2963098 04/02/20 07:16 PM
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I had my first Zoom lesson today. My teacher said I had the best sound quality setup of all her students crazy, which is a laptop with the Original Sound On and my Zoom H2N recorder as my mic. She was using an iPad so not able to make the sound adjustments and no headphones. Once she gets an adapter she will be able to plug in headphones and the sound quality should improve on her end.

There were a few times when I was not sure what measures she was talking about as she could not simply point to the score. So a slight disconnect not being face-to-face that I think I will get used to.

Despite her using an iPad with no external mic, the sound quality of her piano was natural. Overall, the Zoom platform worked fine - no blips or delays. As a bonus, it also saved me hours in travel time.



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