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Livestreamed services and organ music

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My church must be one of many to be attempting its first livestreamed service tomorrow morning and I will be accompanying hymns from the relative safety of my living room. We are using the free version of Zoom with a Windows 10 laptop and I did a test run this morning with the vicar. I have a grand piano and organ in the living room; although the organ is digital and runs Hauptwerk I see no reason why it shouldn't sound any different to a pipe organ when recorded with a simple microphone and livestreamed.

In the practice run this morning the piano worked fine but the organ apparently kept cutting in and out and was unusable. I later tried recording both instruments using the Windows video camera feature and found something probably similar - despite playing on a constant registration the sound kept dipping in and out.

I have adjusted the Zoom audio settings with every available combination and level of filtering background noise etc including disabling filters altogether. However I cannot find any way of 1having constant audio levels when playing the organ. Yet the piano sounds fine and it looks like the hymns will have to be on that tomorrow instead. I have tried both the built in microphone and an external USB microphone but not found any improvement.

If anyone can suggest how to make organ music more acceptable in Zoom I've love to know what you are doing differently.

 

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Your post suggests that you know what the problem is but can't find a way to resolve it.  Like you, I imagine that Zoom's default audio settings think that any quasi-continuous sound with a short-term constant crest factor (such as organs when playing relatively slow homophonic music such as hymns) is in fact background noise which therefore must be cancelled out.  Other types of music (i.e. those most often encountered) have a more peaky crest factor (such as your piano, guitars, etc), are therefore correctly recognised as music, and therefore don't get cancelled.   My hearing aids sometimes do exactly this unless I switch them to 'music' rather than their 'speech and everything else' mode.

There is a setting in Zoom called 'Preserve Original Sound'.  Not having tried it, I don't know whether this will solve the problem, but it can apparently be switched on and off.   See:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115003279466-Preserve-original-sound

I hope you can solve the problem, but am pleased that at least you could use your piano if all else fails.  In these trying and stressful times I do send my best wishes for a successful service, which will be of so much comfort to a lot of people, perhaps even more than would normally attend your church themselves.

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Hi,

Zoom really is for video conferencing rather than live streaming more complex sound like music. The best and most accessible way because listeners don't need an account is YouTube. We are using a minimal kit and a mobile phone to broadcast as there's no wifi in Cathedral. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-xVdN6rMCG0sSgxk8Rulow

Hope that helps.

Ben

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2 hours ago, saundersbp said:

Hi,

Zoom really is for video conferencing rather than live streaming more complex sound like music. The best and most accessible way because listeners don't need an account is YouTube. We are using a minimal kit and a mobile phone to broadcast as there's no wifi in Cathedral. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-xVdN6rMCG0sSgxk8Rulow

Hope that helps.

Ben

Ben - be interesting to hear a bit more about how you are doing it.

I'm sure some of us have tried it and some haven't but advice from someone who's made it work would be great!

Steve

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Please correct me if I am uninformed but I thought that the livestreaming offered by Youtube and Facebook etc is essentially one way and hence not interactive? If you are broadcasting to several hundred people from a single location that's entirely appropriate. Our church service this morning consisted of about fifty families all watching one another on our laptop screens (over 100 people "attending") with the vicar having the ability to put the words of the hymns and the readings on everyone's screen to the side of the many user "windows" (for want of a better description). Although Zoom allows the "meeting organiser" to mute or unmute everyone else, in practice he didn't and it was up to individuals to mute themselves if not actively contributing because at various points in the service different people would read, I would accompany hymns, and all from our various living rooms. From the point of view of needing to conduct a service in which different people contribute from a variety of locations as opposed to being broadcast entirely from one location it met our needs very well; it would just be even better if we could improve the audio quality of live music.

Whilst we've never worshipped in this way before as a church family, it was a profound experience.

 

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My church has successfully used zoom for the last 2 weeks and we love that it allows contribution from anyone and we have even had a number of guests with us from around the country. Various choir members have supported the singing in different ways - piano, viola & cello, unaccompanied. We haven't tried organ yet, but I think Colin has nailed it on the head in saying that the zoom platform is optimised for spoken voice. Steady continuous sounds will get treated as background 'noise' and tend to get filtered out, also auto-levelling will play havoc with your crescendos. My advice is to stick to the piano - so long as your congregation have a tune to follow they'll sing along.

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On Wednesday at 8pm (GMT+1) there will be a "live" broadcast concert with Simon Gledhill at the Opera House, Blackpool. This was recorded on the 25th of June 2016. Make sure to tune in and see the Worlds newest original Wurlitzer installation in action!
https://youtu.be/pTaSBmAEzm0

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