In this tutorial, we will share some best practices when it comes to using your RealTime Audio setup. Tips such as close any other app using your camera, use a class compliant audio interface and what that means, use headphones, and more.
RealTime Audio will work with almost any computer or phone with an internal or external webcam. The better your audio and video equipment are, the better your experience will be.
Close Any Other App Using The Camera
Computers typically don't allow multiple apps to use your camera at the same time. You will need to completely close programs such as Zoom, Teams, and Skype so that Webcam can be the only app using your camera.
Close Other Tabs And Programs
If you happen to have a computer that is older we recommend having as few apps open as possible while using our system. This will allow RealTime to run smoother and possibly faster.
Use a Class Compliant Audio Interface
The RealTime Audio Webcam is built to provide the highest quality audio. However, if using the audio interface built into the computer or phone, you will be limited to the quality of the inferior sound card that comes with your device. Even the cheapest $50 interface from Behringer is far superior to the audio interface embedded in any computer or phone.
A class-compliant audio interface is an audio interface that you can plug in and start using, or "plug and play" and connect to the audio interface directly without having to install any additional software to make it work.
To turn on your audio interface from the RealTime Audio-powered device, plug the USB cable from your audio interface into the RealTime Audio-powered device, then plug the USB-C plug into the power port on the RealTime Audio-powered device and the other end of the power adapter into an active power strip or outlet. Your RealTime Audio-powered device and your audio interface should turn on and be ready to go!
There are some audio interfaces that have a separate power supply. Make sure your power supply is plugged into an active power strip or outlet, turn the audio interface's power on, plug the audio interface into the RealTime Audio-powered device, and then plug the power into your RealTime Audio device. You should see lights indicating that your audio interface is on.
Your audio interface should be capable of operating with a buffer size of 64 frames. The buffer size is the amount of time allowed for your computer to process the audio of your audio interface. Most class-compliant audio interfaces are able to switch their buffer sizes from within the RealTime Audio App. When your RealTime Audio-powered device is connected, go to your mixer by clicking on the up arrow next to the RealTime Audio logo found in the toolbar, and then select "Mixer".
Your personal mixer screen will appear. Next, click on the cog located near the bottom left corner of this window to bring up your settings window.
Select the tab that is titled "Audio Settings" and you can view the current buffer size of your RealTime Audio-powered device by looking at the Audio Mode settings. 64 provides you with the lowest latency, however, you may hear some audio anomalies. 128 will give you the best audio quality, but you may notice a tiny bit of latency. You can switch the size by selecting the button next to the setting you prefer. Once you make this change, your RealTime Audio-powered device will need to reboot. If your audio interface is not capable of switching to 64, the RealTime Audio-powered device will reboot with the 128 size selected.
Use A Nice (non-USB) Microphone
There are many features embedded in RealTime Audio that make it great for typical web conferencing and non-musical meetings. These include low pass filters, echo cancellation, dominant speaker mode, noise reduction, automatic volume adjustments, etc. However, many of these features that make typical web conferencing great, make music-making problematic. To manage this issue, we’ve created “Music Mode” as a way to toggle between these two use cases. Turning on music mode turns off all the features intended to make most calls easier and creates an accurate stereo sound of the highest quality. However, because echo cancellation will be turned off, you’ll need to wear headphones to prevent feedback.
Use A Nice Camera
For those planning on using the RealTime Audio Webcam often, we recommend investing in a quality camera if your computer does not have a great one built-in. These can be relatively cheap and easy to install as most are USB and plug-and-play. Again, the RealTime Audio Webcam tool is built for optimal video quality and it’s only as good as the quality of the video captured by the hardware. Most 1080p cameras will work just fine.
Consider Your Lighting
You don’t need to be Orson Welles to light your scene but the RealTime Audio Webcam image will respond significantly better if well-lit. Aside from being easier to see against the background, your camera will be able to focus on you and sharpen your image. There’s nothing wrong with investing in a common ring light but it’s not always necessary. The most important thing is to make sure that the light is coming from in front of your face instead of from behind you, otherwise, you’ll likely appear as a shadow. So turn on the lamp or lights in front of you and move your back away from any open window.
Use an Ethernet connection when possible
Webcam communication moves a lot of data quickly. The best way to do this is by connecting your computer to your router via an ethernet cable. Regardless of the computer or your wifi speed, you’ll always have a better connection and lower latency this way. However, RealTime Audio will work fine using Wi-Fi or your mobile phone’s cellular network if this is not an option. When using Wi-Fi be sure to move closer to the Wi-Fi router if you can. If you must be far from your router, it’s better to use the 2.4 GHz network rather than the 5 GHz network. If you are very close to your router, it is OK to use the 5Ghz network.
Use Webcam without a RealTime Audio-Powered Device
You can use the RealTime Audio Webcam without a RealTime Audio-powered device if you wish. This does allow users to enjoy better video and audio quality than most other video conferencing applications. If you are connected to a RealTime Audio-powered device, you can disconnect from it by selecting the RealTime Audio logo from the toolbar and clicking on the word "Disconnect". Once you make this choice, the RealTime Logo will change from green to white. Your webcam microphone will unmute, and you can speak using your preferred method of communication like the internal microphone or a headset.