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Audio Quailty Tips for Streaming Fitness Classes Online

Streaming with Sound Podcast with AV Now's Ken Lyon

While people might tolerate less-than-optimal video quality when the content is engaging enough, they'll quickly click away if the sound isn't clear. Sound quality became a lot more important, and a lot more complicated for independent fitness pros when the whole world started live-streaming. Now, not only do you need to ensure that your participants hear you clearly, you need to hear them, too. And if you use music, streaming the sound so that you and the music can be heard, and that it all syncs up, can get a lot more complicated if you aren't sure what to do or where to turn.

Well, fortunately for all of us, we found the man with all the answers. He's Ken Lyon, Director of Commercial Integration & Technology at AV Now, and we got him to sit down and talk us through some simple solutions to what seemed very daunting, but in talking with him found how it can be very doable.

Listen to the entire Podcast here.

See below for a short visual preview of the podcast.
Episode Transcript:

Ken Lyon (01:19):
My name is Ken Lyon and I am in California.

James Brown (01:23):
Welcome to the podcast, Ken. Thank you so much for being here today. Tell us about AV Now and what you do there.

Ken Lyon (01:31):
AV Now is a company that's been around since 1994. It actually started with our owner, Rob. He owned a mobile DJ company, but his wife was a group exercise instructor and she was always having issues with microphones and sound. And he's like, okay, I have a solution for that. And started a company that focused on improving the sound experience for group exercise instructors and, you know, ended up selling the mobile DJ business. And here we still are. And I've been with the company for 15 years now. And, so for the most part, our focus is definitely on, you know, group exercise facilities, wireless microphones, all the accessories, that group fitness instructors need. But we've also moved to, you know, full-scale AV and lighting integrations for fitness facilities. And we're really focused on finding things that work for fitness instructors and facilities.

James Brown (02:33):
So everything about the world of presenting content online has been changing at a breakneck speed since the beginning of the pandemic. And you've really been there at the heart of those changes. Where do you find that people who present online need the most education and help?

Ken Lyon (02:48):
Well, yeah, I mean, we obviously had to pivot pretty quickly, to helping people figure out how to do that, and we did a lot of research and learning real quick at the beginning of the pandemic. And so it's been mostly about how they can, you know, push the content out there at similar quality that people are used to, you know, in person and, obviously, you know, group fitness instructors need, you know, good picture, good sound, um, and good lighting, but the biggest thing that's, uh, sort of been a holdup for people to get that same kind of experience is, is the sound quality, because I feel like, people on the other end, the receiving end of these classes, they can, you know, as long as they can see the instructor, generally they, you know, they get what's going on, but when the sound is inferior or glitching or things like that, that really disrupts what's going on a lot more than, you know, the lighting's not great or they don't have the best camera. The sound quality really disrupts things if it's not.

James Brown (04:05):
Yeah, it's funny what I remember when I first started presenting content online that, somebody advised me that people might tolerate lower quality video, but if the sound is fuzzy or inaudible or doesn't sound good or is noisy, they'll just move away and not engage with that content. So yeah, when it comes to audio, if you had one thing that you want any online presenter to know about, what is it

Ken Lyon (04:33):
Probably the biggest thing is that if your content includes music of any kind that you don't want to be playing music off the same computer or device that's doing the streaming or recording, which, you know, it sounds simple, but that's been the biggest topic that we've had to tackle. So for instance, a lot of people are using zoom, which is a conferencing software. It's not really made for high quality AV broadcasts, but, you know, it's there, it's available. It's very, very popular and it does have a feature in it where you can directly be playing music, say from Spotify on that computer and you can share sound, they've called it a few different things, but in our experience, and we've done a whole lot of setups like this, a whole lot of text for it. When you're playing music back off the same computer, that's running that zoom software or whatever, you know, recording or streaming software, the audio quality really, really suffers.

The remainder of the Podcast can be viewed here.

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