Let's face it, most musicians and music educators won't be working in live venues in the near future. If we want to keep playing live, or if we need to create appealing music education content, we need some solutions right away. Luckily, there are just a few tips and low-cost accessories you can add to your home teaching/playing enviroment to make a HUGE difference in the quality that your listeners experience. You may already even have some of these at home.
Our colleagues at Yamaha Europe have some wonderfully educator-friendly tips in a recent webinar (click the image above to watch it!)
This webinar includes an overview on choosing the best equipment for your needs, tips for preparing your room, and even finding your way around basic audio mixers.
The basics include:
- Computer/Mobile Device
- Accessory Microphone(s)
- Small Mixer and Cables
One of the most important elements here is, not surprisingly, the quality and design of the microphone(s). Microphones that are built into devices are normally not designed for capturing music, but rather optimized for the frequencies of speech. Depending on what instrument you play, you'll need to choose an appropriate microphone.
Your choice of audio output--headphones or speakers, also depends on your particualr setting or needs. If you can do so comfortably, headphones / earbuds prevent a lot of problems, but it's possible to set up a speaker solution, too.
One of the most helpful additions you can use in your streaming setup is a basic mixer. Having the ability to send all of your audio sources--instrumental audio output, microphone, etc--through a single connection to your computer allows you to discretely control balance and qualities like reverb, prevents excessive room noise, and lets you monitor what you sound like on the other side. If you've ever been intmidated by the knobs and switches on mixing boards, the webinar is especially helpful in providing basic definitions and a tour through how to use the most common features of small mixing devices / audio interfaces.