How to Combine Music & Voice in Zoom for a Cacao Ceremony
This tutorial will teach you how to mix music and your voice together in an audible way when using Zoom to host a yoga class, workshop, or ceremony.
First watch the demonstration video, and then read the steps below to do it yourself.
A laptop and a smartphone that both have the Zoom app installed, same Zoom account logged in on both devices.
A tripod with a holding bracket for your smartphone (or another creative way of setting your phone up in view of your teaching area).
An app to play music (such as Spotify) set up on the laptop, with your playlist or selection ready to go.
Option #1: Using your built-in smartphone microphone for your voice input can sound relatively clear, but the clearest way to do this for yoga (or another context where you’re more than 4 feet from the smartphone) means you may not be able to hear the music or your students.
Option #2: Bluetooth earbuds connected to your smartphone will allow you to hear students asking questions, but depending on the earbuds your own voice might sound muffled in the meeting. (In my test recording with Airpods connected to iPhone, it sounded pretty clear!)
Both of these are going to sound better than just playing music through a speaker in the room where you’re teaching.
Start a Zoom meeting on the laptop.
On the laptop, open the Zoom meeting and head to the zoom.us menu at the top of your laptop screen. Click “preferences.”
Click “Audio” and then in the lower right click “Advanced.”
Check the box to “Show in meeting option to ‘enable original sound’ from microphone.”
Under “Audio Processing,” change “Suppress persistent background noise” and “Suppress intermittent background noise” to DISABLE. Then close the settings window. (Note: Disabling these settings is especially important for Option #1!)
In the meeting window, click the “i” in a circle in the upper left corner. Write down the Meeting ID number and the password (if applicable).
For Option #2 (using bluetooth earbuds): Connect your earbuds to your smartphone now via bluetooth.
Open the Zoom app in your smartphone. Click the gear wheel in the upper left corner.
Click “Join a Meeting” and type in the meeting ID. Don’t click “Join” until you’re ready to combine music and voice. Just turn the screen off.
Note: If you’ll be running a long class, it would be good to plug in a charging cable now so you don’t have to worry about it later!
Set up your tripod (full size on the ground or short one on a table), so that your phone will be held in the orientation you prefer (horizontal is best for yoga, but vertical is useful for some purposes).
If you’ll use vertical orientation, go ahead and attach your phone to the tripod right now.
If you’ll use horizontal orientation, don’t connect your phone in the tripod just yet. The phone needs to be vertical to join a Zoom meeting.
Open the Zoom meeting on the laptop, and at the bottom click “Share Screen.”
Click “Advanced” at the top of the window that opens.
Click “Music or Computer Sound Only.” Then click “Share.”
Click “Mute” and “Stop Video” in the laptop Zoom meeting before proceeding.
Open the Zoom app on your smartphone (where you already typed in the Meeting ID) and click Join. Then enter the password if applicable.
Click “Join with Video” if prompted.
If Waiting Room is enabled in the meeting, you’ll have to go back to the laptop Zoom app, click “Participants,” and admit yourself.
On the smartphone, click “Call using Internet Audio.” Immediately click “Mute” to stop the echo that happens when the two devices (laptop and smartphone) are near each other.
You could also click “Stop Video” until you’re ready to show yourself.
If you want your video to be horizontal, now is the time to attach your smartphone in the tripod, since the Zoom smartphone app works in either orientation once you’re actually in a meeting.
Note: your video feed may actually be larger (and show more) than what appears on your smartphone screen. Check the laptop Zoom app to see what’s actually shown.
Open your music app and start playing the desired music. I recommend having the app at full volume, and the laptop volume at 1-3 notches (so about 10%). When sharing computer sound, your laptop volume affects how loud it is for others in the meeting (i.e., your participants). But I recommend doing a “sound test” before your class.
Now music is feeding into the meeting much clearer than if you just played it through speakers in the same room as you!
For Option #1 (built-in smartphone mic), laptop volume has to be slightly quieter, around 5-10%, because your voice input is a little quieter/more distant
For Option #2 (bluetooth earbuds), laptop volume can be slightly higher, around 10-15%, because your voice input is probably a little louder
If you want to record the class, start the recording now in the laptop Zoom app.
Place your laptop in a relatively soundproof place where it will still have WIFI access, like a kitchen cabinet or closet. It needs to be soundproof enough that your smartphone microphone can’t pick up the laptop sound (which needs to be on for the music to keep feeding into the meeting!)
Note: You’ll have to leave the video frame and/or interrupt your teaching if you need to make a change to your music later on.
Go back to the smartphone Zoom app, click “Unmute” and (if necessary) “Start Video.” Ask students to keep Speaker View on if you want your smartphone video feed to show prominently on their screens.
For Option #1 (using built-in Smartphone mic):
If leading a meditation or something where you can be within 2-4 feet of your smartphone, just speak in a full, clear voice. Your built-in smartphone mic will pick up your voice, and Zoom will mix it with the music playing in your laptop. You’ll still be able to hear the music and any students who ask questions.
If teaching yoga (or something else more than 4 feet from your smartphone), in order to make your voice input more clearer, it could help to click the microphone icon in the upper left of the smartphone Zoom app so the microphone shows an X next to it. This means your smartphone won’t output the meeting sound (music or other voices) and your smartphone mic will pick up more of YOUR voice. Your voice could be clearer for participants despite your distance to the smartphone, but it means you won’t be able to hear the meeting music or your students. But the smartphone audio output might not make a huge difference. Test it for yourself.
Either way with Option #1, you probably have to stay within about 10 feet of the smartphone and speak in a full, clear voice.
For Option #2 (using bluetooth earbuds): You can be any distance from the smartphone where your bluetooth earbuds work. Test this in advance!
Begin teaching… and have fun!
If you need to change the music or music volume, mute yourself on the smartphone before going to where the laptop is and making a change. This will prevent an echo loop of death from happening in the meeting.
Do a test recording or a test meeting with friends before any live class, to make sure you find the settings that work for you.
Reach out to Nick Meador via the Contact page if you have any questions.
Also check out our Cacao Training options that go in depth on how to create safe containers for transformational journeys, whether online or offline.