Any tips for Monitoring Mic Volume for Zoom

I know I haven’t been on BDLL lately, but I’m look for some tips. I have a new USB sound card that gives me nice clean mic input, but in the past I have struggled to enter the Zoom session with a good mic input level. I know about shutting off the “automatic” mic adjustment in Zoom. I have done recordings in Audacity before jumping on Zoom, but those sometimes sound fine, but when I’m in Zoom I’m too loud. When I’m in Zoom I can hear everyone through my headphones, but not myself. I can make quick adjustments because I have a physical soundboard taking the mic input and outputting it to the USB sound card, but I would love some tips to get this right before I join the Zoom chat. A number of BDLL members get perfect mic levels from the start like @piperbarb, @EricAdams, @Zeb, @franksmcb, @Batcastle and many others so I would love some tips.

Hiya ,

I don’t do anything special. When using my huge mic I set that gain to 0 and set pulse audio to 140%. I also set zoom to be 100% mic level. Set zoom and forget it. either adjust mic volume with the gain and or pavucontrol. I do exactly the same now I am using a Hyper-X gaming headset. Not as good a sound as my studio mic but good enough. I have never been able to hear myself when using any mic.

Before you click the link to join the show - open zoom and sign in and go to the settings. There is an audio tab where you can test your mic input level.

Sorry there is no magic dust to sprinkle on your setup. Both my mics are plain USB.

Regards Zeb…

Zeb this is helpful, you discovered what works, double check that the settings are the same each time you join and your are done. I guess I just need to dial in the right mix and not change anything after that. Thanks so much for your thoughts.

I always check my sound quality and level outside of Zoom before I even open the app. I’m running JACK with filters and all sorts of things but the setup is mostly irrelevant. Once I have everything set up I will do a test recording in something. It doesn’t matter what so Audacity or even SImpleScreenRecorder. Just something that is using the same input. If that sounds good then I open Zoom and make sure auto adjust is disabled.

Something else to keep in mind that is potentially confusing is that the volume levels work differently for Output and Input. Output volume in Zoom is independent of the system volume. You probably just want this all the way up. The input volume is not independent so adjusting the slider in Zoom will change the level everywhere. I’ve had issues with this where the level before I open Zoom is fine but the level will be adjusted depending on what it’s set to in Zoom.

@EricAdams that last little bit about Zoom input volume adjusting the system input volume might explain why I can do a recording in Audacity, everything sounds great, then I get onto Zoom and I get feedback that I’m turned up to high. Perhaps, another reason why I struggle with this is because I use that Linux computer for more than just Zoom, so I’m changing the mic levels for other recordings that I’m doing for work.

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Honestly I usually only use my mic with Zoom, so I only ever toggle mute on it. Just use the same settings from last meeting.

When I do have to fiddle with the mic audio I load up Audacity, set Pulse to max, and control the gain on the mic itself. Do a few test recordings in Audacity to make sure I like the volume and call it a day after that.