Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up VoIP audio, part of Adobe Connect Essential Training (2014).
- I touched on this briefly in the previous movie on setting up new meetings, but now I'd like to go into a little more detail about your audio options in Connect. Now, if you're setting up a meeting or a presentation where the participants don't need to hear the presenter or each other, you don't need to worry about your audio settings. But I think in almost all cases you'll want to enable audio. Currently I'm looking at the information for the meeting I previously created. I'll click "Edit Information" to go back to see the details I set up. Down here under "Audio Conference Settings", we have three options. The first one, do not include any audio conference with this meeting, again means that audio will be voice over IP only.
Meaning that all the audio will be transmitted through the participant's computer microphones and speakers over the Internet, and no actual phone lines will be involved at all. It's great in situations where you have meeting participants who can't tie up their phone lines during a meeting, or who just might not have access to a phone. Let's see how this works. I'll click "Cancel" down at the bottom since I haven't changed anything, and that takes me back to the meeting information page and here I'll enter the meeting room by clicking the "Enter Meeting Room" button. Once you're in the meeting room you need to activate your microphone so the participants will be able to hear you.
Up here in the menu bar we have a microphone button. I'll click it to turn on my computer's mic. The first time you do this, you may see a message pop up requiring you to give permission to Connect to access your microphone. So I'll click "Allow". Now the microphone button is green, indicating that it's in use, and as I'm speaking you can see the little waves coming off the icon letting me know that the microphone is picking up sound. So at this point anyone in the meeting should be able to hear anything I say. To mute the mic I just click the button again, and a little slash appears through it.
This is useful in cases where, for example, you're presenting with someone else and you want to have a discussion without letting the participants hear what you're talking about. Just click the button again to un-mute it, and once again have a live microphone. You can also click the drop down menu on the mic to mute the mic, and you also have the option here to completely disconnect your microphone. By the way, if your participants aren't hearing you or you're not seeing the sound waves next to the microphone when you speak, come down to the bottom of the menu and make sure you have the correct microphone selected. Depending on your computer set up, you might have multiple audio input devices available, so make sure you have the mic you're speaking into selected.
This is also where you can adjust the input level of your microphone. It's a good idea to run through the Setup Wizard before your participants arrive at the meeting. This will just ensure that they'll be able to hear you and you aren't too loud or too quiet. Just use your normal speaking voice and keep an eye on this meter. You want the levels to be consistently towards the right but not so far that the entire meter is lit up the entire time, which would most likely be too loud. Just use this adjustment slider to adjust the levels, and click "Ok" when you're done. That's how to set up your own mic, but if you want your participants to be able to speak during the meeting, you'll also want to set up their mic settings in the meeting as well.
For example, my colleague Corey has just entered this meeting. You can see her here in the attendees pod here under participants. But currently I won't be able to hear anything she says. I'll roll my mouse over her name here, which pops up a menu, and I'm going to enable her microphone. Now I see a microphone icon next to her name, indicating she has microphone privileges. Hey Corey. - Hi. - So, you can easily grant mic privileges to any attendee this way, but if you have a large meeting where everyone needs to speak and collaborate, it'll quickly get tedious to roll over every single individual person's name to turn on their mic.
You might also have people who come in late and if you don't notice them you won't be able to turn on their mics. So in cases like that where everyone needs to speak, instead come up to the audio menu and select "Microphone Rights For Participants". You'll then see a microphone icon appear next to everyone's name in the attendees pod. They will still have to enable their microphones by clicking the microphone button at the top of their screens just like I had to do. You might also want to instruct your attendees to keep their mics muted until they need to speak. You can see here that Corey has muted her mic so there's a red line through it. Otherwise, in large group situations, you might hear things like people typing on their keyboards, their dogs barking, or just too many people trying to speak at once.
One way you can impose a little more order on who speaks is to go to the audio menu and "Enable Single Speaker Mode". Notice how it puts a little asterisk next to my microphone button. That indicates that we're in single speaker mode and because my mic is green, I have the floor and everyone else's mic is muted. If I stop speaking, or in this case I mute my mic. - Hey Garrick. - And Corey starts speaking, notice my mic gets grayed out. I can't speak or even click my mic button until she stops or mutes her mic. Corey has stopped speaking and now my microphone is enabled again and I can turn it back on.
That's a good way to keep your discussions a little more orderly and prevent people from talking over each other. But what if as the host I really need to say something, or what if Corey accidentally walks away without muting her microphone and relinquishing the floor? In that case, as the room host, I can just come back up to the audio menu, and choose release mic from speaker. That pulls the single speaker mode away from the current speaker, and makes it available to me or anyone else who wants to jump in. I'll still need to come in and disable single speaker mode if I want to open up the floor again to everybody to speak at once.
That's the jist of working with audio in a voice over IP meeting. Now this kind of takes for granted that your participants all have microphones and speakers connected to their computers, and that they're set up properly. But it's a good idea before your meeting to have your attendees run through the Connect Audio Setup Wizard to make sure they'll be able to hear and be heard. It's found here under the meeting menu, and you can select Audio Setup Wizard. This simple wizard just walks you through a few short steps. The first one makes sure that you can hear audio through Connect. You can click "Play" to play a test sound.
If you can hear it, you'll know you can hear audio. The next one lets you specify the correct microphone or audio input device. Next, each user can make sure the microphone is working by clicking this "Record" button and then either reading the sentence or just speaking a short phrase. I can see the recording bar is moving and my microphone is working properly. And then they can play the recording to make sure they can hear it. This last step takes a sample of the sound of the room, known as room tone.
It instructs you to remain silent so it can get an accurate noise print of the room, and it uses this information to filter out the background noise of the room to create a cleaner sound. Just click "Test Silence" and just remain quiet. Then click "Next". At that point you'll see the information that Connect has gathered about your microphone and you can click "Finish". So again, you might want to build in some time before the meeting to allow your attendees to run through this process, especially if they haven't set up their computers audio before. In cases where your attendees don't have microphones or speakers, or don't know how to set up their audio systems, you can instead enable meeting audio over the telephone.
We'll look at how to do that next.
- Creating meetings, users, and groups
- Setting up audio
- Passcode protecting a room
- Video conferencing
- Recording and editing meetings
- Managing participants
- Sharing your screen
- Creating break-out rooms
- Working with the Chat pod
- Polling your audience
- Creating courses and curriculum with Connect