UkeTok Online Ukulele Club - Gear Recommendations

Equipment Needed

You probably already have enough equipment to get started.

You can join a UkeTok meeting with the laptop you use for Zoom, playing into its internal microphone. You can also use an iPad (with iOS 13 or higher) and some Android tablets. The only other requirement is a pair of wired headphones (not Bluetooth).

We really don't want you to have to spend money on fancy gear just to find out whether you enjoy our meetings. (At least wait until you realise how fun it is!)

If you don't know how to get started, or you need any technical assistance with the software, contact Chris by replying to the welcome email after you join the club, or post on our FaceBook group and we'll help you out.

But if you're thinking about upgrading - whether it's to improve your experience on club nights, or you just like new toys to play with, click here for my recommendations.


Using Wi-Fi will allow you to take part, but the single biggest improvement you can make for Jamulus is to switch to using a wired network connection.

Even if you have clocked a gazillion megabits with a speed test, that's not as important as having a low "ping" time, which is best done with a cable.

Click here for more information about networking and Jamulus

... Test ping and delay, not powerline, USB adapters, etc
Microphones and stuff

The microphone in your laptop is capable of picking up quiet sounds from your entire room. It's designed for video conferencing, and so that you don't have to worry too much about speaking in the right direction.

This means that it can be prone to background noise, and being tuned for speech it might not give the best sound reproduction for a musical instrument.

Unfortunately, good microphones are not cheap. I've been looking for a while for a simple plug-and-play USB microphone in the £20 range that I could recommend as a good option if you're having trouble using your internal mic for whatever reason.

Sadly, I still haven't found anything that fits that bill. Most of the budget microphones I've tried are noisy with poor response for music. In most cases, whatever is built into your computer will be just as good - if not better.

For Windows users who have difficuty getting started, microphones in this price range don't help much either. They still need to use the ASIO4ALL driver, and if that doesn't already work on your computer, adding another microphone is unlikely to help.

For that reason, my recommendations are little more expensive, but they are known-good configurations that I've tested - and can tell you exactly how to get working.

Using this gear will also provide improved sound quality compared to the microphone that comes with your computer. Not something that affects your own experience of Jamulus particularly, but it will make your playing and singing come through clearer.

When I make videos from our recordings, I can often clean up background noise or microphone hums. The fewer people I need to do this for, the easier my life is - so that's one reason I'm recommending a bit of an upgrade :)

But also when we do live streams, I will only broadcast those in the session who have good, clear signals - to stand the best chance that it won't create nasty pops or garbled sound for the listeners.