An Open Letter to Zoom

Sent to Zoom via their website feedback on Monday 24 August 2020


I was recently involved in delivering a hybrid live/Zoom event (or actually a number of events), and for some of the events we used Zoom Webinar like a streaming platform where we input high quality audio and video from the theatre environment, using multiple cameras through a video switcher/mixer and multiple microphones through an audio mixer. If we delivered these events over a streaming video platform like YouTube or Vimeo we would have achieved better quality audio, but there are other reasons why we went for Zoom including consistency of delivery across our different styles of events.

The reason why I am emailing is because your audio meters in Zoom are not very good and they could be improved upon greatly, which would allow people trying to use Zoom in a more professional events settings to achieve better quality results. What I would like to see is some real Peak, or even Peak + RMS audio meters with dBFS scale/markings available in the Audio -> Advanced tab at least, allowing us to calibrate audio properly in Zoom. As it currently stands your audio meters never seem to ever actually reach “clipping” on your meters, event though the audio can actually be too hot/high. As there is no easy way to monitor audio on the local end (other than a short Microphone Test) the audio can be distorted without us even realising, unless we are carefully also monitoring from a different account, but this can become an issue for bandwidth etc.

I’d love to hear back if you think this is an idea worth implementing. I realise using Zoom for “streaming” style professional events is pushing it beyond it’s basic purpose, but I think there is potential for it to be used more if your audio quality can be improved. Simply allowing professional audio people to be able to monitor levels and calibrate properly will go a great way towards helping your product be used more widely. I am an audio professional and am happy to do some beta testing if you implement proper audio meters.


Tim Duck

Canberra, Australia

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