Virtual Open Stage

Spirit of Rasputin’s Open Stage is continuing via Zoom on Monday nights at 7:00 pm, organized by Jay Kassirer and hosted by Alan Sandeman.

Those who would like to play should email Alan Sandeman ( well ahead of time (preferably at least a day ahead), to reserve a spot.  As usual, people are welcome to listen too – they don’t need to perform to participate. People who would like to join us virtually for the first time should email Jay Kassirer at and Jay will send them the link to join us and put them on our mailing list.


  • Mute yourself while others are performing.
  • If possible, connect to the Internet by plugging in (using an Ethernet cable) rather than wifi. If using wifi, set up close to your wifi router. If you fade in and out or have to reconnect often, your bandwidth may still be too low. Turning off your video while you play will preserve your limited resources for your audio.
  • Download the Zoom software (on a computer) or app (on a Smartphone) and use it rather than your device’s browser. That will enable you to use the settings discussed below and your settings will persist between meetings.
  • Close all other windows (on a computer) or apps (on a Smartphone) so all your resources go to Zoom.

By default, Zoom settings are optimized for speech not music. Here’s how to tweak your system so you will sound better. Tip of the Hat to Jim Videto for finding the following information for us. If you want to see and hear about the following options go to

  • Once you are in the Zoom meeting, at the bottom left corner of your screen, click the arrow beside the mike icon and choose audio settings.
    • Microphone
      • Turn off (uncheck) “automatically adjust volume”.
      • Test out your mike and set the volume so that your input level shows around the halfway mark. 
    • Advanced button (bottom right)
      • Ensure that “Show in-meeting option to …” is turned on (checked)
      • Disable “Suppress Persistent Background Noise”
      • Disable “Suppress Intermittent Background Noise”
  • During the meeting, you should have a blue button (in the top left corner with desktops) that says, “Turn Off Original Sound.”  If the button is not blue or says, “Turn on” (rather than off), click the button to change that.