Zoom is the “new” way we are all doing meetings. Whether it is last week attending Cloud Field Day presentations or this week teaching AWS training, Zoom is the constant for meetings. With Zoom, microphone control is essential. You want to be able to interact immediately but don’t want to interrupt when you need to cough or swear because you spilled your drink on the desk. The result is that we enter Zoom meetings muted and only unmute when we have something to say. The simplest way is to hold down the space bar; if Zoom has focus, then your mic is unmuted while you hold down the spacebar. The obvious problem is where you need to use another application while you are in Zoom, then you hold down the space bar and stay muted as happened to me at least once last week.
I have an Elgato Stream Deck, which I use for a lot of app switching and controlling my camera while I’m teaching and for music control when I’m not teaching. I initially Googled for Stream Deck integration with Zoom and found a fellow vExpert with a solution here. What I didn’t like there was the need for Keyboard Maestro (at extra cost) to handle sending a keypress into Zoom when it didn’t have focus. Happily, Zoom on my MAC has the option to make hotkeys global. I set the Mute/Unmute hotkey to global.
Then all I needed was a button definition on my Stream Deck that sends the hotkey and toggles the icon on the Stream Deck. The Hotkey Switch option can assign two different hotkeys and icons, using them in alternation, but Zoom does not have an option for separate hotkeys for mute and unmute, so I have the same keys for Hotkey 1 and Hotkey 2. Provided I only use the Stream Deck to control the mic, the icon will match the Zoom mute state.
Here’s my current Stream Deck configuration for teaching courses using Zoom:
The top row drives my Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera to different presets, including staring out the windows of my home office. The second row allows me to rapidly switch between multiple full-screen apps on the monitor that I share with the Zoom, being able to go from PowerPoint slides to another specific full-screen window cleanly helps with the flow from slides to demos. The bottom row is mostly ignored during class, just the mute/unmute button for Zoom.
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