Web Conference Basics - Audio & Video

Do I have to have a headset?

At UNM Extended Learning, we highly recommend that you use a USB headset with integrated microphone for Web Conferencing sessions, but it’s not required. USB headsets are available from most electronics departments in stores like Walmart, Target, Best Buy. This type of device is easily configured and generally trouble-free, whereas a dual-jack type headset/microphone device may not work as well or configure properly.  It is possible to use the internal speakers and microphone on a laptop (especially the Macs), but often built-in devices cause echo or noise that is disruptive to the session.

How do I turn on my microphone and speak?

If you’ve connected your device and already run the Audio Setup Wizard, click the Talk button below the Audio & Video panel to speak. Use the slider bar to adjust your volume. Click Talk to turn off your mic when not speaking. This helps prevent echo, feedback or noise within the session.

Why can't I hear anything in the session?

If you are unable to hear others speaking, but are seeing the microphone icons appear next to Participants’ names, and/or are seeing an indication of conversations within the chat window, make sure your device(s) is connected and run the Audio Setup Wizard again. This is usually quickly resolved, so please do not hesitate to call Web Conferencing & Media Support for further assistance.

Why can't anyone hear me in the session?

If you are able to hear others, but they are not able to hear you when you click Talk, verify that your microphone is not muted. There may be a button on the cord that plugs into your computer, or on one of the ear-pieces. Check that your device is securely connected and run the Audio Setup Wizard. Make sure you can hear your test recording when you play that back during the Audio Input Device configuration.

How do we get rid of the echo /noise/buzzing?

Extra noise or echoing within a session is often caused when more than one person has a microphone turned on. Make sure everyone has their mic turned off (click Talk to turn the mic off) while one person is speaking. Some docking stations for laptops cause audio interference which results in a constant buzzing noise. Try un-docking your laptop to eliminate the noise.

Why can't any of the students talk?

This may be a result of permissions – check to make sure they all have the microphone permission enabled. This also can be a result of restricting the “Maximum Simultaneous Talkers” to one. Click Tools > Audio > Maximum Simultaneous Talkers and set that to 3 or more. The maximum number of simultaneous talkers (active microphones) is 6. Again, it is recommended that only one person have an active mic, but this will eliminate pauses and downtime when people want to interact out loud.

How do I use my webcam during a Web Conferencing session?

Ensure that your webcam is recognized by your laptop or desktop computer, whether internal or externally connected. Log into the Web Conferencing session. Click the Video button, below the Audio & Video panel. Additional settings are found under Tools > Video.

Why does my webcam work, but no one else has the option to use webcam/video?

This can be a result of restricting the Maximum Simultaneous Cameras setting to 1. Click Tools > Video > Maximum Simultaneous Cameras and set that to 3 or more. 6 is the maximum number of users at one time who can be on an active webcam.

The audio seems to pause and then speed up at times ? How do I fix that?

This can be a result of having a slower connection, such as wireless, or a public-Internet connection. Change your connection speed and speaker sample rate to lower settings.

  • Connection Speed: Click Edit > Preferences > Session > Connection and select a lower connection speed from the drop-down list.
  • Speaker Sample Rate: Click Tools > Audio > Speaker Settings and select a lower Speaker Sample Rate from the drop-down list.