As a follow-on to Using Conferencing to Host a Webinar, you want to enhance the experience for the guests and speakers by providing better quality audio during the webinar and you want to record the session - including the audio. The telephone is a more natural, and higher quality, interface to capture the audio. A conference call bridge however can be expensive for a large number of users so you want people to listen to the webinar via their PC. You also need to bridge the audio between these two mediums in order to be able to record the webinar for play-back later on.
Setting up Conferencing:
There are some settings in Conferencing to make this easier/possible. You will want to login into Conferencing and go to Preferences:
- Under Features, set the Audio/Video to be "Microphone Only". If you actually wanted to transmit a video stream as well, set it to "Camera and Microphone", otherwise this is not needed. This option enables you to use Conferencing to broadcast an audio stream to your guests.
- Under Dial-in, enter your conference call bridge and passcode. If your guests choose to, they can optionally dial into this number and receive the audio stream that way. If you don't want that, either leave this blank or set Display Dial-in Info to "OFF".
Setting up Skype:
Skype offers free toll-free calling in North America. It also brings the audio from that call directly into your PC making it ideal to feed that audio stream into Conferencing.
- Start Skype and log into you conference call bridge. Most conference call bridges require you to enter a passcode to get in. Enable the Numeric Keypad and enter this code.
- Once you are logged into Skype, it is imperative that you mute Skype otherwise you will get echoing on the call.
- Your PC speakers are at this point emitting the audio that is coming from the conference call bridge. You need to feed this back into your computer so that it may be broadcast via Conferencing. You will need a male-male audio cable and to connect this into both your headphone and your microphone jacks.
Starting your Conference:
You are now ready start your Conference. Log into Conferencing and start your meeting. Because you set the Conference to use your microphone, Flash will present a warning that Conferencing is trying to access your microphone (and video camera is you enabled that). You must click on Allow at this point. Next, the Audio Broadcaster window will appear. You will want to check the box beside "Hands free" otherwise you will be required to hold the talk button each time someone says anything (not very practical). If for some reason you lose the Audio Broadcaster window, click on the arrow beside your name in the Participant list and select "Restart A/V broadcaster". The audio from the conference bridge is now coming to your computer via Skype and being broadcast back to your views using Conferencing. Anything that is said on the telephone is now being rebroadcast, and recorded if you turned that on, within Conferencing.
Now is a good time to warn you about the audio levels - setting them correctly so that you can be heard and that the audio is not distorted. Unfortunately there are a number of places where these can be set/adjusted:
- Your computer - read your manual
- Skype - go to Call | Audio Settings..
- Conferencing - on the Audio Broadcaster, hover your mouse over the gray tab on the right. A menu will appear and the third-icon is Settings
- Flash - Conferencing uses Flash to deliver the audio The easiest way to access these settings is to right-click on the Audio Broadcaster and access the Flash Settings... menu. Click on the Microphone tab and adjust the volume.
Unfortunately there is no magic formula to make these work. Some guidance would be to set all of them at between 50% and 70% and then start experimenting to see which changes produce the best results.
Disclaimer: As with everything else at Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by Novell (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).
It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.