Open Mic - acoustic with two performers - no headphones

There is soooo much information in this forum about tech talk related to the Open Mic’s, but I had a hard time finding what I needed so thought I’d start fresh.

For the upcoming open mic, I mentioned the possibility of my son and I playing / singing together. So I’ll be playing acoustic guitar / singing and he’ll be singing as well. So my thought was to just use a condenser Mic connected either through my computer’s USB port or audio interface. But I’d rather not have to worry about connecting two sets of headphone’s. Could I just have my speaker setup be speakers that are connected to my computer? Would those have to be studio monitors or could I get away with basic desktop speakers? And will that throw anything off in Zoom? In the past I have always done a DI into my audio interface with mic and guitar and listened through headphones. But not sure how to do this with two of us.

You’ve got to prevent sound from the speakers leaking into the microphone. That will create feedback, to prevent the screeching Zoom will silence you.

Speakers + a condenser mic on a PC would probably be the worst - most likely to create feedback. Because condenser mics pick up room noise.

You could go with 2 x dynamic mics + guitar input and studio monitors. If you have all that. You would need to test your levels.

However the simplest solution would be using an iPad or iPhone, with or without an external mic. They have feedback prevention in the OS whereas Windows doesn’t. Just test it first.

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Tosh, I agree with @jkahn that a using a condensor mic for the vocals while the speakers are on could create feedback.

I have used speakers while performing to hear output from my Trio to play over or when I made use of a looper with a dynamic vocal mic for the vocal and it works fine. The dynamic mic is key for two reasons. Firstly, it is less sensitive than a condensor. Secondly, it’s pickup pattern is more directed in front of the mic while the condesor cardiod pattern picks up far more from the room as a whole.

If the headphones are just used to hear the sound from the Zoom meeting and not as a monitor of your own sound, then you should not have a problem using either studio monitors and PC speakers as the output from Zoom. There’d be no feedback in that case since everybody is muted when you perform. You may just have a problem if people unmute between songs or after if you are in conversation with the host. May be OK if you turn the volume down on the speakers and the gain down on the mic input. I think I have been OK listening through speakers and speaking into the meeting, but do have that dynamic mic.

So it is a little dependent on what you are using the speakers for, specifically if they are to serve as monitor speakers when performing rather than just meeting audio.

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Good advice from @jkahn and @DavidP regards using dynamic mic over condenser but if that is all you have and are just using the speakers to listen to Zoom and not your performance, I’d suggest turning the speaker volume down while performing. You can then turn it back up at the end of the song so you can hear the audience go wild !

Try experimenting with the Zoom test meeting function and try and balance mic and speaker levels, so you are not getting feed back. I find if my monitor volume is too high, I still get some screech feedback, even using a dynamic mic. Its a matter of balance.
Let us know how you get on.

Last thought you could always get a headphone splitter ( 1 into 2)

I picked up something similar a couple of years ago, so my daughter could listen in to some OM rehearsals I was doing at the time, without disturbing the rest of the house. :metal: :rofl: