A Minimalist Setup for Zoom Guitar Lessons

2 minute read

Goals + Overview (macOS)

I’ve been taking guitar lessons over Zoom since the pandemic. As an electric player, I initially found it challenging to split audio inputs/outputs multiple ways:

  1. Input #1: Microphone – so I can talk to my teacher
  2. Input #2: Guitar – no need to explain 🎸🀟 :)
  3. Output #1: Headphone – so I hear guitar effects created by my amp simulator
  4. Output #2: Zoom – so my teacher hears the same effects, not just dry signals

After some research, I found a setup that feels simple and intuitive to me. Below are a few things you need (OFC, you don’t have to get the exact same models):

  1. An audio interface: Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB Audio Interface
  2. An XLR microphone (not USB): Blue Baby Bottle
  3. An audio-routing software: Loopback (only works for Mac)
  4. An amp simulator: Tonebridge (more popular choices: Logic Pro, BIAS AMP)
  5. Accessories: an XLR cable, a microphone stand, a headphone

Now we got the gear, let’s connect everything first:

  1. Plug guitar + microphone + headphone into Scarlett Solo
  2. Connect Scarlett Solo to your laptop via a USB
  3. Register and set up your Scarlett Solo (see instructions)


Loopback allows you to stack guitar effects on top of audio interface inputs. Rename your setting for future reference. Here I chose “Tonebridge”.

  • Inputs: Choose Scarlett Solo for the microphone + Tonebridge for the guitar
  • Output: Map both inputs to one output – make sure the sides (L + R) align

System Preferences

Go to “System Preferences/Sound” to set up your computer’s input/output.

  • Input: Name of your Loopback setup (in my case, “Tonebridge”)
  • Output: Scarlett Solo USB


If you like configuring guitar effects yourself, Logic Pro or BIAX AMP would be the top choice. If you just wanna replicate the exact settings of your favorite songs, I strongly recommend Tonebridge, where you can search effects by song title.

  • Input: Scarlett Solo USB (Input 2)
  • Outputs: Scarlett Solo USB (Output 1 + Output 2)


Head over to Zoom to finish it up. Once done, you’re ready for your lessons!

  • Speaker: Scarlett Solo USB
  • Microphone: Name of your Loopback setup (“Tonebridge”)