2

In the current situation, I guess many of us will take lessons online. I usually play with headphones, so I don't disturb others around with repeating passages and/or noisy exercises. For that reason, my ideal setup for attending my lessons would allow:

  • I hear my piano own on headphones
  • I hear my teacher (on Skype, Zoom, etc.)
  • My teacher can hear me and my piano in the online call
  • I don't hear my own voice or my own piano echoing on my headphones, coming from the online call

I have a Yamaha P45 and a Macbook Early 2015, from which I will connect to this online call.

What I've tried:

Soundflower

It seems using "soundflower" would be a popular option, according to some internet searches, to solve this problem only using software.

The way I tried it was connecting the piano to the Mac via USB; opening GarageBand and making it output to Soundflower. Then, in the Mac MIDI options, I created and Aggregate Device with the built-in microphone and Soundflower.

Finally, I've setup que input on Zoom to be this Aggregate Device. It kind of works, but it shows lots of collateral noise and truncation. I mean, it works but It is not really nice to listen.

Moving Zoom to use the "Soundflower (2 ch)" output directly works fine for sending the Piano only, which makes me think that the Aggregate Device is the one damaging the signal due to some software filtering (no actual proof though).

Question

I wonder if an USB audio interface (such as Behringer UM2, for example) would be the solution for this setup. In this case I guess I would need to connect the piano, plus a microphone, to the interface, and then all via USB to the Mac.

The question then would be: how can I attend to my lesson and listen to my piano (live) and my teacher (online), on my headphones?

1

I've been teaching Zoom lessons for a couple weeks now. Plug your headphones into the MacBook's headphone output jack. You will hear your voice and piano coming through your laptop's built-in mic, and your teacher on the other end. There will be no "echo."

According to Yamaha's website, the P45 has two 12cm speakers. However, I don't see them in photos of the board itself and am wondering if they're only included in the console stand accessory. If yours has speakers, I would simply play through the speakers and avoid the USB / software rewiring.

IF using an audio interface like the Behringer UM2 then you'd plug your headphones into that interface, not your computer. Then you should hear everything fine.

| improve this answer | |
  • I'll certainly do that for short term. The only caveat is that I'm looking for a completely silent setup (i.e. playing everything on my headphones and don't "disturb" others in the house). – LeandroN. Mar 23 at 9:57
  • Ah. I see. Well, I have a few boards with MIDI over USB but that requires the software to create the tones (MIDI transfers data not audio). I've never used "USB to Host" or a P45 so I can't be certain of what that entails. – NickGrooves Mar 23 at 10:02

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.