Three weeks and 103 tests: that’s what it took for me to be able to fix the audio issues and teach a cardio class on virtual. I just could not get the sound right. Then this happened: have a look at the SLIVER of sound I managed to find between Mute and horrible; they described it as “perfect” and I crumbled to the floor in astonishment.
Here’s what I learned from the trials and tribulations of teaching musically dependent group fitness classes on virtual:
Different technology works for different situations: the common issue seems to be that Zoom is the best platform for almost everything we need, except sound quality when using both a microphone and music. I had been teaching Yoga on Zoom for weeks and have never had an issue because the music was very much in the background, not the case for the cardio class I had now promised to offer.
I had calls and tests with instructors who had been through similar issues and had found the “right” set up, but theirs just wasn’t working for me. For some “Share Acreen” using their laptop for music and a Bluetooth mic did the trick, for others using their phone for mic and an external speaker worked. Neither worked well in my case. I learned that since we all have different tools, spaces, and tech there is no 1 solution for all.
My solution for Zoom (which may or not work for you) comprises of the following:
- Getting “virtual approved” license-free music from the production company that I can play through my laptop. These playlists are often different than the ones we can use on our phones to play in live classes.
- Using my laptop: Advanced Setting of Screen Share to play the music and use the LOWEST volume possible. Mute ALL participants so that their audio doesn’t cut into mine. Log into Zoom myself using my iPhone as my camera and microphone are of better quality. Spotlight myself on Zoom so that they can see me more easily (not everyone understands the Speaker View controls).
- Play my music from an external speaker: this was the last piece of the puzzle for me – since the music volume playing from my laptop is so low, I couldn’t hear myself which defeated the purpose. I play the music from my laptop using Bluetooth to a small external speaker close to myself so I can hear it, follow the beat, and enjoy it along with them. You would think that the volume coming from it interferes with the sound wave of my voice towards my iPhone mic but nope, somehow it works!
- Other helpful tips: it’s best to be near your modem and to ask all your participants to optimize their own bandwidth and wifi during their class – aka not having 5 people in their home watching movies on their devices 😉.
It’s worth noting that I didn’t spend an extra penny for this set-up, aside from the countless hours of course. I think it’s important that fit pros use what we have available and create revenue for ourselves before investing big bucks in a new endeavor; now that I’ve got it going I’ll look into reinvesting to continue to grow my business.
Bottom line: you could very well be 1 more attempt and 1 tiny sliver away from success! Don’t give up and ask for help! If you feel you’ve tried everything feel free to reach out to me directly, having almost thrown in the towel countless times I now have a few tricks up my sleeve.
This whole endeavor has inspired me to create something to help you launch your own virtual fitness business! Drop be a line if you’d like a sneak peak of what I have in store.