AmeriCeltic promotes Celtic song, tunes, dance, plays, poetry, majic, and especially LIVE performance.
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Performing Music Online
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the way we get our music has changed drastically, throughout the world. This virus makes it hazardous to everyone’s health to gather in groups, especially indoors in places like bars, restaraunts and concert halls. With new, more infectious variants now circulating, these virtual performances will continue to be the ‘safe’ way to enjoy our musical culture.
As a result, music performances, live and otherwise, are now finding their audiences online, on platforms like Facebook and YouTube Live, and especially on the leader, online meeting giant Zoom.
Since we are almost all performing music in Zoom meetings, and we all want the best sound quality Zoom can deliver, and so we should all regularly update our Zoom clients. On September 1, 2020, Zoom released the 5.2.2 version of it’s Windows and MacOS clients, and there have been regular updates in the months since, and as of July 19, 2021, the current Zoom client version is 5.7.3.
Note: Mobile Devices (smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks) are, at best, ‘just OK’ for performing online music. Why they are so limited is beyond the scope of this article. Just take note that you want to sound your best, you should use a computer, preferably connected to the Internet with an Ethernet cable to minimize drop-outs.
Install/Update and then setup up your Zoom Client/App for Music
The web browser version of a Zoom meeting is utterly inadequate for performing music, and to have the ‘Original Sound’ and ‘High fidelity music mode’, available, you must have downloaded and installed the Zoom Client or App onto your computer or device, and have updated to one of the new versions. You can find the latest version of the Zoom client on the Zoom website here: Zoom Windows and MacOS updates.
If you already have the Zoom client installed on your Windows and MacOS computer, just click the Zoom desktop icon to start Zoom, then click your small profile picture in the upper right corner, then select ‘then click Check for Updates.’ You can check this only when you are NOT already logged into a Zoom meeting. Open your Zoom desktop client and click on your icon in the upper right hand corner, and in the drop down menu, select ‘Check for Updates’, then follow the prompts.
For mobile devices running Apple iOS and Android, you should check for the latest updates on the Apple or Google Store, and find the release notes on the Zoom website
Zoom iOS updates, or Zoom Android updates
Pre-Meeting Set Up for Music on Windows or MacOS computers
Now that you have the latest Zoom Client, on your Computer versions of Zoom, here is a an excellent video tutorial to walk you through the set-up process, from YouTube creator ‘Greg in the Box’:
Pre-Meeting Set Up for Music on Mobile Devices
Setting up Zoom for music on mobile devices like phones and tablets is very different, as their screens are too small for the same menus as computers, but you can at least turn on the Original Sound function.
Here is a one-minute tutorial video, with no narration, showing how to set up an Apple iOS device for music: Zoom Settings for music on Apple iOS mobile devices. Here is a slightly longer tutorial video, with full narration (and an unnecessary 26 second introduction which we will skip) Using original sound in Zoom – phone and tablet apps
Performing Music Online while in a ‘Zoom’ meeting
Remember, these new features can’t be ‘enabled’ in the ‘Settings’ mode – you MUST do that while you are in a Zoom Meeting! While in a Zoom meeting on a computer, you can turn these features on by clicking on the ‘Original Sound On’ button, located in the upper left corner of your Zoom Meeting screen. When you do, the title on the button will change to ‘Original Sound Off’. If you are on a mobile device, you will find this item under the ‘More…’ icon, usually located in the upper right hand corner. You must do this every time you enter a Zoom meeting with a new host.
From now on, when you click the ‘Original Sound On’ button, your sample rate will increase from 24 KHz to 48 KHz, and all noise suppression will be switched off.
There is a cost, however. This higher sample rate will use more of your Internet connection bandwidth, and so a wired Ethernet is even more important than before. This ‘High fidelity music mode’ turns off the low level expander, so you will need to be in a very quiet, ‘sound studio’ quality space, and as always, to avoid feedback it is HIGHLY recommended that you wear headphones!
Finding and Selecting Local Performers
These bands and individuals are actively performing LIVE at our regional venues and festivals, and almost all are available for special events. CHECK IT OUT! The AmeriCeltic YouTube Channel.
Resources for Music Performers
|Collections of Celtic Tunes and Songs|
|The King Street Sessions Tunebook||This legendary work contains music scores and chords for 1006 Celtic, Old Time, and other Traditional tunes and songs. Thank Mike D. Long, mike(at)m-d-long.com.|
|jTunes.zip||Legendary Scottish fiddler John Taylor’s collection of his lifework of 58 compositions. 60 pages in PDF format, with accompanying MP3 recordings and abc files. Thank John Taylor, john.taylor.sj(at)gmail.com.|
|MostlyCelticTunebook.pdf||Music scores and chords for 150 Celtic, Old Time, and other Traditional tunes. Thank Dave Barton, fiddlerdave(at)BartonReading.com.|
|Lyrics and chords in Nashville notation for 150 songs. Thanks to Jim Raymond, now deceased.|
|The Kings Head Tunebook||Music scores and chords for 101 Traditional Celtic tunes. Thank Paul Magnussen, majjick(at)aol.com.|
If your printer can do it, these books are designed to be printed double-sided, if not, you will just get twice as many pages. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print the document. If you don’t already have it, you can download it free from the Acrobat Reader link on the