(Last update - January 6, 2021)
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have shifted to teaching (and learning) online. If you are using Zoom on a computer or tablet, you will need to make some changes to the default audio configuration in order to disable the background noise filters. When the filters are on, Zoom filters out the sound of the tabla, making it almost completely inaudible.
(While I've written this post with the tabla in mind, the following information is valid for using Zoom with any musical instrument.)
ZOOM ON A COMPUTER
1) Open the Zoom software and click on the settings cog in the upper-right corner.
2) Click on the Audio settings option in the menu on the left-hand side.
3) Scroll down if needed, until you see the Music and Professional Audio settings.
4) Make sure that the box is checked, next to 'Show in-meeting option to “Enable Original Sound” from microphone'. You should also check 'High fidelity music mode' if you have sufficient internet bandwidth. If you are using headphones (highly recommended), you can also select 'Disable echo cancellation.'
After these are done, you can close the settings window. Now that this setting has been changed, you will not need to repeat steps 1-4 again in the future; proceed to step 5.
* You can also select 'Use stereo audio' if you have a stereo microphone.
5) From now on, whenever you are connected in a Zoom meeting, you will see this button in the upper-left corner of the video screen:
For music classes, 'Original Sound' needs to be ON. When 'Original sound' is ON, it will look like this:
You will need to turn on Original Sound every time you connect for a lesson.
ZOOM ON A TABLET
On a tablet, there are less audio settings available, and the options available may depend on which tablet you have. On my iPad, from within the Zoom software, I was able to locate the original sound option as follows:
1) Open the settings menu at the lower-left of the screen.
2) Click on 'Meetings'
3) Scroll down until you see 'Use Original Sound' and enable this option.After this is done, you can close the settings window. Now that this setting has been changed, you should not need to repeat steps 1-3 again in the future; proceed to step 4.
4) From now on, whenever you are connected in a Zoom meeting and want to enable Original Sound, click on the More (...) menu in the upper right-hand corner. Next, select 'Enable Original Sound'.
I hope you have found this guide to be helpful. Best wishes for your tabla (or other music) studies, and good health during this challenging time.