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Semi-Professional Outgoing Messages

dwb
edited May 2012 in General
I would like to share a hack to create your own semi-pro outgoing messages and get them installed to your Sonetel account. These steps are specific to windows 7, but might be helpful for other systems. The basic idea is to type what you would like as a message, use text-to-speech (TTS) to vocalize it, and at the same time use the sonetel client to record it on your virtual pbx.

What you will need:
- a TTS program, that has that affordable "semi-pro" voice we've been looking for
- enable TTS in your document program (I had to enable Narrator in Word 2010)
- some tweaks of your computer's sound system; we need some of the sound that is sent to the speakers, to also be sent as input to the 'microphone.'

The steps:
- The TTS software I used was Windows Narrator, which was installed by default with my win 7 pro sp1, default voice Anna). If you haven't tried TTS, you might find yours by start button > all programs > accessories > ease of access folder > Narrator. You will not run Narrator like this to create messages; instead our document program will call Narrator to speak our text.
- Confirm that your TTS works acceptably. Can you hear your text?
- Now for tweaking your recording device. If this link record without a microphone breaks, the gist is to set your "Stereo Mix" device as the default, with the pretty green check mark. Hint: I found mine by context(right) clicking on my volume icon by my clock, then going to "recording devices." If you don't see Stereo Mix, try context clicking in the list and choose "show." Context click on Stereo Mix, choose set as default device (give it the green check mark).
- Confirm you can record without a microphone. Open up windows Sound Recorder, or your favorite 'recorder.' Open up your 'text' message with your doc program. Flip back (Alt+tab) to your "recorder" and start recording, Now back to your doc program and start TTS'ing it. Now back to 'recorder' so you can stop recording at the end of your 'speech' message. During this you must hear your semi-pro message, but the trick will be whether your sound recorder can also 'hear' it. Save your recording and play it with your 'recorder' or favorite 'media' player. If happy with your message, close your 'recorder' and 'player' and carry on.
- Ok, now for the missing link, the Sonetel client. Well it appears that the window client, sonetel.exe, has already done all this for us. If in the last step, your 'recorder' was successful, the Sonetel client should very well be able to do the same
- Familiarize yourself, using the Sonetel web interface, with extension numbers and message IDs. The web portal displays these numbers, along with dialing tips to guide you to recording a message.
- So now connect the sonetel client to the sonetel 'system,' as in login, open the dialpad and dial the required *xx number(s) to get you to the recording menu, where you can listen and record messages. Just for example, I dialed *22, then 2, then 1001 which took me to recording a mailbox message. I then clicked the number, offered by the attendant, to begin recording.
- OK, finally we are ready to create or overwrite messages. Flip to your 'doc' program with your 'text' message and start TTS'ing. Flip back to the sonetel client so you can click # to stop recording. You should then be prompted by the attendant to listen, record again, or save your message.
- What just happened? The sonetel client was acting as microphone, you TTS played to the microphone what your speakers were hearing (your text message), and it's now ready for use by your Sonetel PBX.
- So before you go thru the contortions described above, what will it sound like? Listen

Comments

  • That's a very interesting approach.

    Alternatively, you can also record your files (as WAV - 8 khz, 16 bit, Mono channel) and send them over to support@sonetel.com.

    Just be sure to rename the files to reflect the message IDs of the greetings you wish to replace.
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