General features

  • Download Zoom from
  • Free to sign up – 40min limit on videoconferences for groups created by free account holders but free account holders can attend meetings of any duration organised by Pro account holders. Zoom says that one-to-one meetings are unlimited in time for free account holders, but it seems (as of Feb 2021) that this might not be reliable – I have been kicked out of a free 2-person call after 1 hour, so test before you rely on this. Can use the same URL to log back into the call after being kicked out though.
  • Recording enabled for all account types, but need to be a meeting owner to start recording. If on a paid account, multiple people can be given recording privileges and may record simultaneously, allowing – for example – for one person to record in grid mode and one to record in active speaker mode, which could then be intercut in a documentation video.
  • Possibility of sharing ‘original sound’ – Google ‘set up Zoom for music’ for info on this
  • Grid layout includes your own image in the grid
  • Waiting room to control order of performers entering the videoconference (controlled by meeting owner)
  • Presenter mode (may need permission from meeting owner), allowing for direct sharing of computer sound
  • Recording (all account types)
  • Livestreaming direct from Zoom (paid versions only). Note that Zoom places a watermark over direct feeds, which can be visually intrusive. There does not seem to be a way to turn this watermark off; however, if you stream through OBS instead of direct from Zoom, this can be bypassed
  • Can log in multiple times to a single videoconference, but cannot log into multiple videoconference instances from one account, or launch multiple instances of the Zoom app to enable different logins

Computer sound

‘Computer sound’ is the sounds your computer is playing, shared directly to the videoconference – that is, it doesn’t go out through the computer speakers and then in through the mic, but direct from whatever you’re playing back (video with sound, original audio playing in Quicktime, etc.) straight out to the meeting. This – understandably – gives a much better quality sound. Computer sound is available as a ‘presentation’ feature and can be switched on either in combination with presenting your screen, or as an audio-only presentation.

However, because it’s a feature of presentation mode, this (probably – untested) means that only one person can take advantage of it at a time, so if you’re, say, controlling Logic with an external keyboard, you probably can’t do a duet with someone else doing the same thing using this feature. However, this can be useful when working with sound that can come from a single performer – either live-performed or pre-recorded – in combination with visual material, and possibly microphone work, by other performers.

See also: