The ideal camera and microphone setup for your online violin lessons

The great thing about Forte is that it was built for music lessons.  That means nearly everyone can have a great music lesson without the hassle of having to learn about and adjust a lot of computer settings. However, there are several relatively easy things you can do to make sure you have an optimal experience for your violin lesson. You want your teacher to hear you clearly and to have a clear view of your arms, fingers, and bow. You also want to be able to play all dynamics confidently without unnecessary sound feedback or distortion. 

For virtual violin lessons, we recommend using headphones — they make a big difference. We also recommend using an external microphone, although it’s not required. Check out our case for external mics here. If you want to invest in an external mic, we recommend the Blue Yeti. It offers great performance for the price point.

Based on the equipment you are using, here is a quick breakdown of how you can make sure your setup will work:


If you’re using just your laptop with an internal mic, make sure it’s set up so that you’re directly facing it and the camera captures the entire violin, your torso, the bow, and your arms. Position it so that you and the violin take up as much of the screen as possible. You may have to adjust the distance to get it right.


Set up your laptop just like we recommend in the basic setup. Then add a second camera like your smartphone to be focused on a detailed view of your left-hand fingers. You can achieve this by putting your phone on a simple, flexible phone stand like this. Make sure the phone is even with the level of the violin. You can also add an external mic on either side of your computer pointed away from the speaker. Make sure to check your mic’s input volume and your laptop’s input volume. We recommend setting the mic’s input volume at a little more than halfway as a starting point and then using Forte’s mic test feature in the settings menu to find the sweet spot for your specific setup. The input meter should go as high as it can without going over when you are playing your loudest.  

This is what your input should look like:

If it looks like this, it’s too low:



Follow the steps for the intermediate setup. Then, add a third camera to show your bow arm. Often, a zoomed out side view is helpful to diagnose tension but having a flexible additional angle ready to be placed anywhere can be extraordinarily helpful. Use your computer’s toggle shortcut (i.e. SHIFT + CONTROL + L) to toggle between cameras. Using a boom stand is a great way to be sure that your cameras and mics have ideal placement. Often, the best mic placement will be above your violin and a boom is a great way to get the mic in just the right spot. With your camera, the boom will help ensure that the camera is adjusting to your needs and not the other way around.   

Remember, it might take some trial and error to find the physical set up that allows you and your teacher to see and hear everything perfectly during your lesson. Make sure you:

  • Test your microphone and speakers on Forte before your lesson starts by clicking on the green button that says “Camera & Audio Settings” before you enter your teacher’s studio.
  • Trust your ears and adjust for any feedback. 
  • Take a look at the various camera angles, and make sure that your body, hands, and arms are fully visible.

If you have questions about your tech setup, we are here to help! Reach out to us, and we will walk you through how best to situate everything for your equipment and space.