voice mail .wav files very quiet

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by regfixit, Mar 9, 2008.

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  1. regfixit

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    I've set up voice mail to email the vmail file to me, but when I listen to the file it is really quiet.
    If I check the VM instead from a phone extension it plays at a reasonable volume level.
    Any ideas ?
     
  2. paragondie

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    Check your sound cards .wav volume playback setting, it might be turned down.
     
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  3. Andy Schmidt

    Andy Schmidt New Member

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    No - I think the problem is with the "recording" volume of the 3CX voice message service.

    I called in from a PSTN land line and recorded a test message on my mailbox and had it emailed to me. Unless you turn the speaker volume up ALL the way, you will NOT year the recording (attached). But, if you do, then the any Windows event (such an Outlook Email coming in) will blow your ear drums!

    It's really unacceptable.

    The problem is apparently a low recording volume. 3CX compensates for the too-low recording by playing back (if you listen to message over the phone) at high volume. But the emailed WAV file is barely usable!
     
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  4. kevin

    kevin Member

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    Hi there

    Please note that 3CX Phone System does not adjust any volume levels when delivering audio.

    However it is quite common for Phones and Gateways to do some automatic level adjustment. Mic quality may also be a factor.

    In short this is beyond the control of 3CX Phone System.

    Regards

    Kevin
     
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  5. Andy Schmidt

    Andy Schmidt New Member

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    Dear Kevin,

    we are not talking about a "mic" here (as in recording a voice prompt using a PC with a Microphone attached).

    We are talking about someone leaving a voice mail by talking into a PSTN telephone - which 3CX converts into a WAV file. The audio level at which this is converted to WAV is WAYYYYYYY too low.

    However, when 3CX plays back that file itself (by calling 999 and then listening to the message over a telephone, the recording is played back at acceptable volume).

    I'm curious what other folks experience - but given the circumstances I describe and given the WAV file I uploaded, I do believe this warrants someone to look into more closely.
     
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  6. kevin

    kevin Member

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    Hi Andy

    Yes we are talking about a "mic" - the "mic" in the handset of a PSTN telephone; the "mic" in the bottom part of a mobile phone, the "mic" in the handset of a SIP DeskPhone, the "mic" when using a PC with microphone attached to use a SIP Softphone.

    Please keep in mind that when recording the Voicemail, the PBX receives this data as a waveform, or an audio signal (obviously after decoding it according to the codec with which it was received). The PBX stores this waveform WITHOUT ANY VOLUME LEVEL ADJUSTMENT AT ALL. The only processing is to convert the data format from whatever codec it is received in to WAV format.

    This behaviour is by design - in any case it wouldn't be predictable. Please understand that when 2 internal extensions talk to each other (for example) the PBX doesn't even receive the media at all, since the devices send the audio to each other directly. When a gateway device delivers a call to an extension, again the gateway and the phone exchange media directly without involving the PBX at all.

    I agree that its worth looking at - but the PBX Server is the wrong place to be looking in this case. And unfortunately there are many points where investigation is necessary. And most (if not all) of these points are not in our control. So it would likely be an academic exercise in any case.

    If the playback volume you experience is acceptable, it seems likely that one of the entities between the PBX and your ear (both non-inclusive) is boosting the volume itself.

    So if you are retrieving this using a SIP phone such as a Snom 320, it would probably be the Snom itself boosting the volume.
    If you are retrieving this using a PSTN analog phone (by dialing in from the outside to some gateway that forwards to 999), it could be either the phone itself, or the switching equipment at the telecomms provider (telephone company), or the gateway device connecting the PSTN network to the PBX Server.
    If you are retrieving this using a PSTN analog phone (by dialing in from the outside to some voip provider line that forwards to 999), it could be either the phone itself, or the switching equipment at the telecomms provider (telephone company), or the gateway equipment that interfaces the PSTN call to the VoIP Providers VoIP media proxy, or the VoIP Provider's media proxy itself.

    One workaround could be to include functionality within the 3CX IVR to automatically adjust volume levels before saving the WAV files. But its definitely not on the current roadmap. And I haven't seen many requests about this issue, so we understandably concentrate on issues where more people benefit, quicker.

    Hope this clears things up a bit.

    Regards

    Kevin
     
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  7. Andy Schmidt

    Andy Schmidt New Member

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    Hm,

    I conducted another test - this time eliminating several factors.

    I called my extension from my own handset and left a voice mail.

    This eliminates any PSTN or gateway issues.

    One would expect that the message volume recorded through the handset microphone and then played back thorough the handset "speaker" would be identical to the message volume recorded through the SAME microphone and played back through the same model phone if I call another extension. Yet, they hear my voice significantly louder when I speak to them on a call vs. when they listed to my recorded voice mail.

    So - in my mind that indicates a problem with the recording/playback of voice mails - since the mic and speaker are now a constant factor, as well as any "boosting" that the phone itself might be doing.

    PS: I'm testing with PCMU. I think having a "Recording level: +/-nn DB" option" in the general settings would be a desirable feature for anyong whose VM recording level is CONSISTENTLY low, no matter what the source. (I do understand your point of having to prioritize your issues, though.)

    Best Regards,
    Andy
     
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  8. Philco

    Philco Member

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    On my realtek HD Audio Output Master Volume panel, I can adjust the level of WAV input which seems to affect recording level, though I've not adjusted it to see if it affects 3cx VM.

    Phil
     
  9. Andy Schmidt

    Andy Schmidt New Member

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    Hi Phil,

    yeah, I was thinking the same last night before I posted. I went into the SIP server and checked the audio properties - and tried to make all volumes "high" before making my tests.

    At least in my case it did not have any effect.

    That's why I'm hoping that 3CX can use some API call to adjust recording levels when creating and storing the WAV files, based on some .INI file parameter.

    Best Regards,
    Andy
     
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  10. Philco

    Philco Member

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    Hi AndyI should have tested before I posted, becasue it makes no difference on mine too.

    Sorry about that.

    Must admit though that my recorded levels of incoming calls to voicemail is more than adequate.

    Phil
     
  11. Andy Schmidt

    Andy Schmidt New Member

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    Do you forward your voice mails via email?
    When you do that, how do the recorded voice mails compare with windows event sounds, or playing videos from major Internet sites (such as CNN)?
     
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  12. Philco

    Philco Member

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    I have to agree they are much lower volume but I am not struggling to hear them.


    Phil
     
  13. Andy Schmidt

    Andy Schmidt New Member

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    Hi Phil,

    I appreciate your time reproducing my symptom.

    Whether you "struggle to hear them" maybe a mostly a matter of personal tolerance. I have my Windows sound toned down a bit - so that I hear them without them being a nuisance. At that volume setting, you WOULD struggle to hear the emailed WAV files.

    If I do turn up the volume to the point that I can comfortably hear the emailed WAV files (at about the same volume as my Window sounds are currently), then the windows sounds are obnoxiously loud.

    So the disparaty between "normal" WAV file volume and voicemail emails does create a problem for day-to-day use (I have been alerted to this problem by a number of end users with various PC hardware, so I'm not making an elephant out of a mosquito).
     
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  14. Philco

    Philco Member

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    I think I'd struggle if there was some background noise and I have to agree the level is decidedly lower than media normally played through PC speakers.

    Phil
     
  15. jeffwake

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    My 3CX system has the same issue. Voice mail volume is quite low. I have both PSTN gateway and IP gateway and both sources leave low volume voice mail messages as do internal calls to voicemail. Yes you can adjust your handset volume to compensate, but the attendant volume is much louder than the message volume leaving you to adjust up and down continuosly.
     
  16. Philco

    Philco Member

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    AAMOI, is this since upgrading to the latest version??

    Phil
     
  17. Andy Schmidt

    Andy Schmidt New Member

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    Yes, I would be surprised if not EVERYONE can produce that (even 3CX in their environment).

    If they were to take a phone and place a phone call through the local phone company and then leave a voicemail, then play that voicemail on a regular workstations - and compare that with the standard windows sounds or sound/video files from any number of popular public sources, they too would notice the discrepancy. Then they could run Wireshark (or whatever they need) to create the data that development needs to recognize that the record volume "boost" should be a factor we can control.

    If you adjust your workstation speaker volume so that you can comfortably hear the voice mail files, then any Windows sound or other video/sound will blow you out of your chair.
     
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  18. jtbmigroup

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    3CX, any news on this, it is very common problem, and it is in your software where it needs to be addressed. I know for me, if I keep seeing 3CX tech support saying these problems are not theirs, i will not be selling the product. I HAVE to support my customers, or I dont have any..
     
  19. KerryG

    KerryG Active Member

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    Have you noticed if this is on analog lines, PRI lines, SIP trunks, all of the above?
     
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  20. dweidler

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    Has there been any resolution to this problem? I have several of my users complaining about the same thing.
     
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