Table of Contents
- Singer technical requirements
- Leader technical requirements
- What to read next
This post describes the technical requirements for both Singers and Leaders. If you don’t have time to read the whole article, the summary is…
- Singers need: a Mac computer; wired internet and 1Mbps upload bandwidth; USB headset; Flock software. Non-Mac singers can be supported by the Flock-to-Zoom bridge.
- Leaders have the same technical requirements as individual Singers except that: upload bandwidth of 1 Mbps per singer is needed; the Leader’s computer (or external audio interface) must be able to support a Sample rate of 44.1 kHz and a Buffer size of 128 samples.
For the typical Singer who has a Mac laptop and normally uses WiFi, the incremental spend for Flock is usually:
- ethernet cable ($5)
- USB-to-Ethernet adaptor ($20-25)
A minority of Singers don’t already have a headset, in which case the recommended USB headsets cost approx $15-35.
For Leaders, the typical incremental costs are:
- upgrading one’s internet plan for more bandwidth to support larger groups
- Loopback software ($100) for setting up the Flock-to-Zoom bridge
Singer technical requirements
- You need a Mac computer.
- Operating system: MacOS 10.11 or later
- Minimum: Single-core 1Ghz or higher
- Recommended: Dual-core 2Ghz or higher (Intel i3/i5/i7)
- Memory: recommended 4Gb
- We have examples of Flock running successfully on older computers, however, please note that these are not officially supported.
- Non-Mac users (Windows, Android, iOS, etc) can connect via the Zoom bridge.
- A wired internet connection is essential.
- WiFi connections are not supported. WiFi connections are less stable than wired connections and introduce latency. If you join a Flock session on WiFi, you may experience disconnects, latency and other audio problems. It is also likely that your Choir leader will need to put you on mute while everyone is singing. You will be able to hear, but others won’t be able to hear you.
- Powerline connections (internet through the electricity cables in your home) are also not supported.
- A cable for wired internet looks like this - see the images below. It’s called an ethernet cable with prices starting at approx $5. These cables are available in different lengths to suit your home setup.
- One end of the ethernet cable connects into your internet router.
- And the other end of the cable connects into your computer. Desktop computers and older laptops have an ethernet port like the one in the image below.
- Most newer laptops don’t have this port. In which case, you’ll need an ethernet adaptor. These cost around $15-25. Make sure that the adaptor has the right connector that fits with your computer!
USB 2.0 adaptor
- You will also need a minimum upload bandwidth of 1Mbps. You can check your internet bandwidth speed by running a test at either of these websites:
Headphones & microphones
- A USB headset is preferable. We recommend either of these two choices.
- A separate USB mic and USB headphones is also supported.
- On some models of Mac, a headset with an audio jack connector does not pick up the mic, in which case you should use a USB headset.
- Bluetooth headsets are not supported.
- With headphones and mics, the better the quality, the better the experience for you and the for rest of the choir. That said, Flock functions well with entry-level headphones and microphones.
- You’ll need the Flock app, downloadable here.
Leader technical requirements
The technical requirements for Singers and Leaders are mostly the same. In the sections below, we describe a few additional requirements for the Leader.
- Each Singer needs to have upload bandwidth of 1Mbps.
- Each Leader needs to have upload bandwidth of 1Mbps per singer.
- For example: in a choir of 20 singers, each Singer needs 1Mbps upload bandwidth and the Leader needs 20Mbps upload bandwidth. The minimum bandwidth required is less than 1Mbps so you may be able to squeeze in a few more singers.
- You can check your internet bandwidth speed by running a test at either of these websites:
External audio interface (optional)An external audio interface is an optional extra for Leaders. It is not required.
- An audio interface processes audio much faster than a typical computer, which means less latency and it does so more consistently, which means less jitter (variability in latency).
- Keyboard. An audio interface is the best way to connect a keyboard and other audio equipment and software.
Sample rate and Buffer sizeThe Leader's audio hardware - whether the computer's sound card or an external audio interface - must be able to support a Sample rate of **44.1 kHz** and a Buffer size of **128 samples**. And the Leader should set those accordingly in the Audio settings, as displayed in the screenshot below. For the Leader, Flock does not support hardware that offers only a Sample rate of 48 kHz and/or Buffer sizes above 128 samples. Note that this applies to the Leader only. Individual singers are recommended to use the same settings, however Flock will adapt if an individual's hardware requires a different Sample rate or can process only larger Buffer sizes.