from the Local 802 Electronic Music Committee

Volume 120, No. 6June, 2020

Local 802 Electronic Music Committee

By the Local 802 Electronic Music Committee

What are the best platforms for teaching online?

Popular video conferencing options for lessons include Zoom, Skype, Blue Jeans and FaceTime. If you are teaching a solo instrumentalist or vocalist, any will probably work comparably. If you need to share computer system audio or your computer screen, Zoom allows you to select custom audio inputs and share video elements easily. Loopback allows flexible audio routing between software on a Mac. Get in touch and we would be happy to walk you through your setup. Contact us at

What are good ways to perform a concert live?

If you are going to livestream from a mobile device (say through Facebook live or Instagram), your audio quality may be limited by the hardware of your device. If you want to use a better microphone or any other computer based tools, effects, etc., consider something like Open Broadcaster Software, or Streamlabs so that you can make custom audio and video setups, which you can then send to a streaming host such as Youtube,, Facebook, etc.

How can I stream recording or video media?

If you want to stream pre-recorded material (like an album release or an archive of a performance), you may consider something like Mixlr, which allows you to create a playlist of files in a set, as well as a microphone input and an easy-to-navigate mixer interface.

How can I produce a recording collaboratively?

If you have collaborators who are isolated, you can create a recording by overdubbing. One person starts a recording and sends to another and you can layer parts on top to mix together to create a performance. This method has been used for years. You need a Digital Audio Workstation (ProTools, Logic, Ableton Live, etc.), which is a software program that runs on a desktop computer, and allows the combination of audio recordings, software instruments, and effects. A typical setup might include an audio interface, a microphone and preamp, and a MIDI controller/keyboard. Most DAWs allow projects to be saved in a folder that can synchronize easily over Dropbox, allowing people to collaborate with the most up-to-date files quickly. Dropbox acts as a server, instantly updating projects in real time. If you’d like help with choosing a DAW, please feel free to reach out! Contact us at If you’re looking for a more casual and economical solution, Acapella is an iOS app that is flexible and also allows you to record video. In order to synchronize separate performances, each performer needs to work with a common time reference. A DAW will allow you to create a guide track and program the metronome (or click track) based on your music.

I need to record my instrument from home. What equipment do I need?

OPTION 1: microphone and interface. If you have the resources, this is the best option for recording into a computer, via a DAW as mentioned above. Some of our favorite microphones include: Shure SM58 (iconic, durable, and affordable), Shure SM7b (high quality older sibling of the SM58, excellent for vocals and instruments), Neumann TLM 102 large-diaphragm condenser microphone (high quality condenser microphone for vocals and instruments).Our favorite interfaces are the Universal Audio Arrow or Apollo Twin (which give you access to UAD DSP plug-ins and their new LUNA recording software) and the Focusrite Scarlett line of USB interfaces (extremely durable and affordable).

OPTION 2: USB microphone. A USB microphone is a microphone with built-in digital-to-analog conversion, obviating the need for an interface. This convenience may come at a compromise in quality. However, there are a wide range of options including the Apogee Hype Mic and Mic+ (both for use with Mac and iOS devices). Contact us for more info about USB mic options.

OPTION 3: stand-alone recorder. If you want to record without the use of a computer or an iOS device, you may consider a stand-alone recorder such as the Zoom field recording line. Another option is the Izotope Spire Studio, which offers all-in-one wireless multitrack recording.

What are ways to rehearse online?

The challenges to rehearsing remotely are significant. All digital conferencing platforms will involve some amount of delay (latency) between participants, which is obviously a challenge for rehearsing anything with rhythmic precision. If you have found any solutions for your ensemble, please let us know! Contact us at

Is the work I’m doing covered by a union contract? Can I contribute benefit payments?

  • If you would like to better understand how a new type of project relates to a union contract, please contact Local 802 Recording Vice President Andy Schwartz, who oversees the union’s Electronic Media Department. Contact him at
  • For solo performance or private teaching, you may consider the union’s LS-1 contract. Sometimes overlooked, the LS-1 allows employers to make health or pension contributions to you on small jobs or single engagements, including music lessons and other teaching work. For more information on the LS-1, e-mail Andy Schwartz at
  • For more information about the Local 802 health plans, visit
  • For more information about pension, visit
  • If you are concerned about doing work that is not typically covered under contract, (for example, being your own studio engineer!), please get in touch for consultation. Start at