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Need help with Zoom/Headphones setup

We're doing music lessons via Zoom. I'm recording video via a camcorder connected to capture card. And using USB output from a ZED10FX mixer (voice mic, guitar and backing track) as the "mic" in Zoom. Using a TV as a monitor for the presenter to see the student. And using the speaker in the TV for the student's audio. So the presenter is just looking at the TV screen and hearing the student from the same TV.

I'd like the presenter to wear headphones (for better quality recording) which would mean he would need to hear both the output from the mixer, and the audio from the other end of the Zoom call, in his headphones. Having trouble figuring out how I can accomplish this setup. Thanks for any help!

Comments

Boswell Mon, 01/25/2021 - 15:10
Are there spare inputs on the mixer? If so, you could take a splitter lead from the headphone output on the TV (this will cut out the TV loudspeaker) and feed it into the mixer. You would use a stereo input if available, or else a pair of mono channels, panned L and R.

If no spare channels on that mixer, get a small, cheap stereo line mixer and feed it with the stereo mix output from your music mixer and from the TV sound as above.

MC208 Tue, 01/26/2021 - 14:33
Maybe that could cause a problem with Zoom I'm thinking because in Zoom, I choose the mixer's USB as the "mic." So if the audio from the TV is being fed into the mixer, if the person on the other end of the call talks, won't he be getting fed back what he's saying? And then there's the issue of what would I choose for the speaker in Zoom, i.e. what the presenter hears?

bouldersound Tue, 01/26/2021 - 16:04
You can select what goes to out to the student via Zoom by pressing the Record buttons. You can select what the presenter hears by pressing the Listen buttons. The presenter can listen to the student through ST-2. So press Listen on all channels used including ST-2, but press Record on everything used except ST-2.

MC208 Tue, 01/26/2021 - 16:52
So the "speaker" setting in Zoom should still be set to the TV. And the audio from the TV will go into a mixer channel.
I plug the headphones into the Phones jack on the mixer and I press the Listen buttons down on the channels that I want to be heard in the headphones. And I press the record buttons down on the channels that I want to go to Zoom - is that correct?

MC208 Wed, 01/27/2021 - 07:05
I'm lost again, what?! The presenter does want to hear his instrument, and a backing track when it's played. He doesn't need to hear his own voice of course. What do you mean by "plug the headphones into the mixer and put all the audio through that." and how could the input and output be the mixer? I thought I understood but no dice :-(

MC208 Wed, 01/27/2021 - 08:56
Well I know that the presenter has no need to hear his own voice in the headphones. Only the person at the other end needs that.

I know there is a latency as far as being able to play in time with the other person, but we don't need that capability so latency isn't an issue.
  • The presenter needs to hear in his headphones: his instrument and backing track, and the audio from the other person.
  • The caller needs to hear: the presenter's voice, instrument and backing track
  • I don't know if it makes a difference in the setup, but we also record the call to give to the students afterwards.
class="xf-ul"> So this is what I'm trying to accomplish with my mixer if you can point me in the right direction.

bouldersound Wed, 01/27/2021 - 09:07
What I suggested should accomplish that. If the presenter uses headphones on the TV speaker, he'll probably have latency on his own instruments and backing track, which would make it pretty much impossible to play. The Record buttons control what gets sent over USB, and the Listen buttons control what the presenter hears (including the remote student).

MC208 Wed, 01/27/2021 - 10:40
When you say "what I suggested" do you mean this?:

"You can select what goes to out to the student via Zoom by pressing the Record buttons. You can select what the presenter hears by pressing the Listen buttons. The presenter can listen to the student through ST-2. So press Listen on all channels used including ST-2, but press Record on everything used except ST-2."

If so, that's where I'm confused. In your previous post just before this one, it sounds like you're saying I shouldn't use the TV's headphones out, correct? Just plug the headphones directly into the headphones jack on the mixer? But if I do that, how will the audio from the caller get into the headphones? The USB is just for sending audio from the mixer to the computer, right?

bouldersound Wed, 01/27/2021 - 11:34
Plug the headphones into the headphone output of the mixer. On channel ST-2 press the Listen button. Also, press the Listen and Record buttons on the presenter's backing tracks and instrument. Press the Record button on the presenters voice (and optionally, the Listen button).

I would also suggest reading the mixer manual for setting levels. The knob at the top of each channel strip "preconditions" the input signal to work optimally in the mixer. The knob at the bottom is for determining the balance relative to the other channels, i.e. the actual mixing.

MC208 Wed, 01/27/2021 - 13:30

Plug the headphones into the headphone output of the mixer. On channel ST-2 press the Listen button. Also, press the Listen and Record buttons on the presenter's backing tracks and instrument. Press the Record button on the presenters voice (and optionally, the Listen button).

You mention the ST-2 channel, but you didn't mention what to plug into that channel? I ask because I currently have one of the backing track channels plugged in there. (I have two sources, one from a laptop in ST-2, and one from a MIDI player in in ST-1b)


I would also suggest reading the mixer manual for setting levels. The knob at the top of each channel strip "preconditions" the input signal to work optimally in the mixer. The knob at the bottom is for determining the balance relative to the other channels, i.e. the actual mixing.

As I understand, I'm supposed to use the Listen button to set the correct input signal level, so yes I understand that part. I didn't know that the Listen button serves another purpose too, so that's new to me.

bouldersound Wed, 01/27/2021 - 14:39
MC208, post: 467116, member: 49667 wrote:
You mention the ST-2 channel, but you didn't mention what to plug into that channel? I ask because I currently have one of the backing track channels plugged in there. (I have two sources, one from a laptop in ST-2, and one from a MIDI player in in ST-1b)

It looks like the return from USB is available on either PLAYBACK IN or ST-2, so you should be able to use PLAYBACK IN to monitor the student. Turn up the PLAYBACK Level knob to the left of MAIN MIX Level knob.

You'll need to select the Record Bus button as the USB OUT SOURCE, otherwise it will be sending the student's audio back to him with latency.

Also, after looking at the manual I realize you don't need to press in the Listen buttons. It was unclear to me what their function was. They are for setting gain on channels or listening to one channel at a time (PFL or solo) rather than an assignment selector. Just turn the knobs up on all the presenter's channels. You will have to have his vocal mic up in the mix for it to show up in the record mix.

If you absolutely cannot have the presenter's voice in his headphones, change the USB OUT SOURCE to Aux-FX and turn up the relevant AUX send knobs and the AUX MIX LEVEL knob. The Record buttons become irrelevant if you do this.

MC208 Thu, 01/28/2021 - 10:11
I'm getting all the instructions in the thread mixed up now. Am I plugging the headphones into the PLAYBACK IN, or the headphones jack? I feel like I'm being a pain for not understanding all this. But would really appreciate it if you could give me a step by step set of instructions what to plug in in where and what buttons should be engaged/disengaged and I guess you said Zoom's mic and speaker should both be set to the mixer, is that still the case? It doesn't make sense to have the presenter hear his own voice as I think that could be very annoying for him.

pcrecord Thu, 01/28/2021 - 12:01
MC208, post: 467125, member: 49667 wrote:
I'm getting all the instructions in the thread mixed up now. Am I plugging the headphones into the PLAYBACK IN, or the headphones jack?
In the headphone out.. when audio gets out it's out, if it's going in, it's in ;)
MC208, post: 467125, member: 49667 wrote:
I feel like I'm being a pain for not understanding all this.
Your mixer isn't the easiest to understand either. I've been doing audio work for the past 30years and this one is weird.

The best setup to do is to have everything going to the mixer. then you decide what goes to the computer (by pressing record) and what you listen to by pressing on listen. The challenge here is that it is not clear by looking at the mixer how to redirect the audio correctly within the mixer's circuit. All those switches and arrows goint everywhere is confusing.

So if I read our friends here, I assume that when you playback something from the computer it is redirected in ST2, if it is the case, you can't connect anything in the ST inputs because you will cut the signal coming in from the computer/USB.
So what you want is for the presenter to hear the student (audio coming in from zoom / computer / USB / mixer ST2 / headphones) so in zoom the audio device input and output should be the mixer (not the TV) then you push down listen button bellow the ST2 channel.
Don't ever push on record on ST2 because you will do a loop (in going out and back in) it will make a terrible feedback noise.

So what's left to do is plug the mics and guitars and what ever, then everything you want the student to hear, push on record, everything you want the presenter to hear push down listen...

Bare with me, I never tried this mixer, I'm just assuming.. more than that will take a very good read of the manual ;)

pcrecord Thu, 01/28/2021 - 15:35
MC208, post: 467127, member: 49667 wrote:
:ROFLMAO: Well at the very least, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one confused about this thing!

bouldersound said I didn't need to worry about the listen buttons.

Should I dump this mixer in favor of something easier to operate? If so, what would you recommend?
I'm not incline to encourage spending before being able to master what we already have..
But althought I'm sure there's a way to make it work with the mixer, it isn't the best the Zeds have to offer.
A setup to do what you need doesn't need to be complicated like this.. Most audio interfaces can do it. (without being a mixer)
Routing of signals and doing headphone mixes is very easy with most interfaces.
Take RME products for exemple, the have a software that controls all the signal paths in realtime. It's called totalmix FX. Any input can be directed to any output independently. Some will give you a few mixes and you can do the same, like Audient, focusrite scarletts and others.

The thing is what ever the gear, there is a level a knowledge to be aquired, a mixer is something that may feel mystical for some beginners and coupled with an audio interface inside, it's even more to be learned.

Before you spend on gear that might be has hard for you to grasp. Sit down and read the manual, once, twice or more. until you get what each knobs are doing and why. I started on analog consoles 35years ago.. All I could do is push and turn buttons until I understood what they do.
If you are not succeeding after that, look for studios in your area and make contact with an audio engineer, It may not be free but if you spend an hour or two with him/her, things will start to be clear and more aligned on your needs.

For now, everything your read here might only be theories for you, but at some point you need to experiment a bit too,. ;)

MC208 Thu, 01/28/2021 - 16:23
I've read the manual many times, I even got support from A&H via phone, for other things on the mixer.. But all the routing and buttons and everything is just too much for me to handle. I think I'll forego the headphones and just stick to the speakers and the TV. Thanks for trying, I just don't understand it, too overwhelming for me.

bouldersound Thu, 01/28/2021 - 16:25
I can see three ways to do this. I'll describe one that lets you take the presenter's voice out of his mix (and have the option of keeping it in).

You will use the AUX send as the presenter's output to Zoom. The student's signal from Zoom will use the PLAYBACK IN channel. Nothing needs to be connected to PLAYBACK IN jacks because they're getting their signal from Zoom via USB. The Record and Listen buttons don't need to be used (except I think you do use the Listen buttons while setting levels).

Connect all the presenter's inputs as you planned. Connect the presenter's headphones to the Phones jack. All the buttons under Phones Select should be out.

In the section marked RECORD OUT + USB OUT SOURCE, press the button that says Aux-FX. Leave the Record Bus button out. Keep the knob marked PLAYBACK TO AUX all the way down all the time. Maybe put a piece of tape on it to prevent accidentally turning it up.

Set the presenter's channel GAIN controls according to the manual. Start the presenter's channel LEVEL controls to the 0 marks (except his voice channel at -∞), and put the MAIN MIX LEVEL knob to the zero mark. The meter should be bouncing above and below its 0 mark when there's normal signal. Put the headphones on and turn the Phones Level up to a comfortable volume. For starters, turn the PLAYBACK LEVEL knob up to the zero mark.

Turn the AUX knobs on all the presenter's channels to their 0 marks, and turn the AUX MIX LEVEL TO THE 0 mark.

Things like PLAYBACK LEVEL and AUX LEVEL may need substantial adjustment to account for different levels on each side of Zoom.

Now it should be a matter of making small level adjustments. The presenter is hearing the MAIN MIX, and the student is hearing the AUX MIX. Both are completely independent.

I think this will get it done.

bouldersound Thu, 01/28/2021 - 16:32
MC208, post: 467129, member: 49667 wrote:
I've read the manual many times, I even got support from A&H via phone, for other things on the mixer.. But all the routing and buttons and everything is just too much for me to handle. I think I'll forego the headphones and just stick to the speakers and the TV. Thanks for trying, I just don't understand it, too overwhelming for me.
Well, that was interesting timing. I'd encourage you not to give up. And I think the TV speaker method might give you latency problems.

MC208 Fri, 01/29/2021 - 07:50
bouldersound I followed your instructions and I think it might work. Although something is strange. When I talk into the mic, with the Main Level on the mic channel all the way down, I hear little puffs of static in the headphones when I talk. I did a test call with no other party in zoom and recorded it, and the mic came through clearly. But it seems I shouldn't be hearing anything in the headphones with the main level on the mic channel all the way down. And indeed I don't hear voice, I just hear little static sounds. Any idea about that?

MC208 Fri, 01/29/2021 - 09:30
That static issue I posted about earlier seems to have gone away I think.
So the "aux mix level" controls the volume output of the entire mix being sent to the Zoom caller, correct?
And the "playback level" controls the incoming volume from the Zoom caller, correct? Plus, I have the headphone volume control too.
I did a test call by myself again and played back the recording and it sounded great. Hopefully when we do the live call at 12, all will go well!

Oh, one other question, if I want to hear everything going on during the call through my computer speakers, or headphones, how can I do that? I know there are "listen to this device settings" in windows audio control panel, but not sure if that's the correct way to go about it. Thanks again for all this help!

bouldersound Fri, 01/29/2021 - 10:44
Yes, AUX MIX LEVEL controls the output to Zoom and PLAYBACK LEVEL controls the incoming level from Zoom.

The speakers would need to be connected to the mixer. It should be possible to do it with some combination of adapters (unless they're USB or Bluetooth speakers). Either use a headphone splitter cable or an adapter from the MONITOR OUT.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/onn-6in-3-5mm-Aux-In-to-RCA-Stereo-Y-Adapter/525644188

You could be on the Zoom call on another computer or phone and listen that way.

bouldersound Fri, 01/29/2021 - 11:19
MC208, post: 467150, member: 49667 wrote:
Go figure, now that I have the headphone setup, he tried them on and hates wearing them, so we're back to speakers for now. I might try to get him a pair of ear phones and see if he'll use those. So frustrating... Oh well, at least now I know how to do the set up..
You could do the whole thing on speakers connected to the mixer, just keep the vocal mic close to his mouth so it doesn't pick up too much bleed.

bouldersound Fri, 01/29/2021 - 11:39
MC208, post: 467152, member: 49667 wrote:
With the volume he likes to hear, the mic picks up the speakers no matter what (tried different mics, different positioning, etc, total crapshoot), so nothing I can do about it.
Perhaps, but it's been a standard practice in live music for decades to have shockingly loud stage monitors, drums and amps, and singers can still be heard. You can't eliminate the bleed, but you can minimize it. The singer/talker needs to be literally touching lips to the mic grille and projecting. Of course these days that means taking precautions, but it's doable.

For Zoom calls I use a Shure PG57 with a switch. I just use that switch instead of the software mute button. I don't know if that would help in your situation.

That said, ear buds might be the solution. I have an old pair of Sony ear buds. They're not the kind that insert into the ear canal like ear plugs, they sit in the earlobe just over the ear canal.

MC208 Fri, 01/29/2021 - 11:43
I have a sm57 or 58, but like you said the mic would have to be right up to his face, which would also mean it's in the picture frame which isn't great either, but perhaps that might be a workable solution.. I was looking to see if there were any wireless in-ear phones that could transmit from the mixer, but don't see any wireless type like that, do you know any?

bouldersound Fri, 01/29/2021 - 13:10
Most affordable consumer grade wireless will be headphones. There are lots of pro IEM (in-ear monitor) systems, but those are a little pricey. The cheapest I know of is the Nady EO3.

To me, having a mic in the frame is normal and expected. It's the case with just about every live performance video ever made where stage volume is a consideration. That's not to diminish your viewpoint, just to offer an alternative way to look at it.

MC208 Sat, 01/30/2021 - 10:17
For having the mic in the frame, close to the presenter's mouth, I have these two options available, which would be better to use?

Audio-Technica ATM41a

https://www.audio-technica.com/en-us/atm41a
  • Field-proven performance for close-up vocals
  • Low-mass diaphragm and high-efficiency magnetic circuit
  • Tailored response provides natural, full-range reproduction
  • Excellent off-axis rejection for minimum feedback
  • Superior internal shock mounting
class="xf-ul">






Element Dynamic
Polar Pattern Cardioid
Frequency Response 50-16,000 Hz
Open Circuit Sensitivity -56 dB (1.5 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa
Weight 11.6 oz (328 g)
Dimensions 7.17" (182.0 mm) long,
2.13" (54.2 mm) head diameter,
1.30" to 0.83" (33.0 mm to 21.0 mm) tapered body diameter
Output Connector Integral 3-pin XLRM-type


and the


Shure SM58:

• Frequency response tailored for vocals, with brightened midrange and bass rolloff
• Uniform cardioid pickup pattern isolates the main sound source and minimizes background noise
• Pneumatic shock-mount system cuts down handling noise
• Effective, built-in spherical wind and pop filter
• Supplied with break-resistant stand adapter which rotates 180 degrees
• Legendary Shure quality, ruggedness and reliability
• Cardioid (unidirectional) dynamic • Frequency response: 50 to 15,000 Hz

Specs:

Type Dynamic
Frequency Response 50 to 15,000 Hz
Polar Pattern Cardioid
Sensitivity (at 1,000 Hz Open circuit voltage) –54.5 dBV/Pa (1.85 mV) 1 Pa = 94 dB SPL
Impedance Rated impedance is 150 Ω (300 Ω actual) for connection to microphone inputs rated low impedance
Polarity Positive pressure on diaphragm produces positive voltage on pin 2 with respect to pin 3
Case Dark gray, enamel-painted, die cast metal; matte-finished, silver colored, spherical steel mesh grille
Connector Three-pin professional audio connector (male XLR type)
Weight Net: 298 g
Dimensions 162 mm L x 51 mm W
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