Incorporating Softphone and Contacts

Q-SYS Level 1 Training : Telephony Deployment

6 ) Audio Playback

13m 10s

9 ) QSC Conferencing Solution

21m 53s

12 ) Final Exam Overview

15m 59s

Video Transcript

Incorporating Softphone and Contacts 12m 2s
The Soft phone component, coupled with the Acoustic Echo Canceler, lets you use the Q-Sys Designer software
for high quality distance conferencing. This component allows Q-SYS to register to any Voice-over-internet-protocol,
or VoIP, including analog hybrids connected to a standard telephone line, or a fully digital VoIP method running on your existing network.
This feature is not dependent on hardware but is implemented in the software within each Core, therefore it comes at no cost.
Furthermore, multiple Softphone components can be used simultaneously, making it simple to create multi-room systems within a single Core.
Your first step is to add a SoftPhone component to your design.
You can do this by going to the Inventory panel, selecting the Plus icon, select “Streaming I/O”, and then “Softphone.”
You’ll see this added to your inventory, and you’ll notice that it has three components to it, which you should drag into the Schematic.
The Controller component gives you control over the Softphone, the In component acts as an input and lets you route
your incoming audio into your design, and the Out component represents the audio that you would like to send to the phone and to the outside world.
To make things simple, let’s connect these to our Core. I have a microphone attached to this Mic/Line Card in our Core,
which we’ll use to speak to our caller. I’ll just wire this microphone to the Out component.
I also have a loudspeaker connected to this Line Out Card, which we’ll also drag into the Schematic, which I’ll connect to
the In component. Now for a Conferencing scenario, we need to use Acoustic Echo Canceling. So let’s drag an AEC component from the Schematic Library.
Let’s take a moment to look at the pins on the AEC component. There are two input pins and one output pin.
The first input pin is labeled Microphone, which is obviously the local microphone that the near-end caller is speaking into.
If you are using multiple local microphones in your conference room, QSC highly recommends that each microphone has its
own AEC channel, because the impulse response for each microphone will be different. If you are unable to
provide each microphone its own dedicated AEC channel, you can sum the microphone signals with a Mixer,
but be aware that this may provide compromised results.
The first output pin is labeled Conference, which is the main output that you will be sending to your Far End caller.
If you would like to apply any additional processing in this signal path, you must do so after the signal has been
processed by the AEC component. Do not apply any processing between the local microphones and their input to the AEC.
The second input pin is labeled Reference. This should be a copy of the incoming telephone feed, after all
processing has been applied to it. You want the same signal sent to the Reference pin that is being sent to your local loudspeakers,
because the AEC is using this signal as a reference for the noise it will eliminate from your local microphones.
If you mistakenly took this signal before your processing is applied, then your AEC isn’t being given an accurate reference of what will be broadcast from your loudspeakers.
A second output pin is available labeled Reinforcement. You can activate this pin in the AEC Properties panel by
changing the Reinforcement Output field to Yes. This pin is only used for large rooms, typically conference rooms or legislative facilities,
where you would like the audio of the near end reinforced over your local PA system as well. This way everyone in a very large room
can hear both ends of the conversation. This signal will not include the local Noise Reduction or Comfort Noise processes that you learned about in the previous section.
You would not want to send the Conference output pin to your local loudspeakers.
I repeat: this first output pin is intended for the far-end caller only, and should not be sent to your room’s output channels.
We have an excellent sample design, available in the Project Files for this course that you can download, that shows more
examples of correct and incorrect ways of applying processing to the AEC component.
So back to our Softphone design, let’s apply this knowledge. I want to route our local microphone to the Microphone pin of the AEC,
and then send the Conference signal to our Softphone Out. We’ll also need to split the incoming Softphone signal to the
Reference pin of the AEC, so that it knows what echoes to remove from the final audio.
The next step is to properly configure the Softphone to work on your network, which is done in the Administrator.
I’ll run this design to the Core now, which lets me access the Administrator icon here in the upper-right hand corner.
Once a Softphone is a part of your design, you’ll see a navigation tab for Softphones here in the Administrator.
This panel has two columns – one that lists the Softphones in your inventory, and one that lists the Audio Codecs.
You have to make sure you select the proper network here in the Interface field.
Your Core has a LAN A and a LAN B connection, as well as an Auxiliary A and, for larger Cores, Auxiliary B.
Be sure to select the network that connects to the outside world.
Double-click your Softphone and you can edit how your phone connects with VoIP. You’ll need to input your User Name and Proxy,
select whether or not you would like to register with the proxy, and also input your Authentication ID and password.
You should be able to get all of this information from your IT technician or VoIP provider.
And some VoIP providers will use your User Name as your Authentication ID as well. Once your information is all input properly,
hit OK and Update Settings, and then you can exit Administrator to test out your Softphone.
If you double-click the Controller component you’ll get its Control Panel, which shockingly looks a lot like a phone.
On the right you can use the keypad to enter a number, or you can type it in the Dial String field, or delete a number with these buttons.
The Progress field shows the Softphone’s status, the DND or Do Not Disturb button will block incoming calls, you can press Connect to
launch your Dial String number, and press Disconnect to disconnect.
If your phone is either Off Hook or Ringing these lights here will illuminate, you can select your phone to Automatically Answer after a
designated number of rings, and the Status bar will give you critical information on what the Softphone is currently doing.
So let’s try it out – I’ll input a number, and hit Dial, and I’ll activate the Hover Monitor for my Line Out
card so that you can hear it through the PC sound card.
Hello? Hey Patrick, it’s Nate.
Hey Nate, what’s going on?
Not much, just showing Softphone!
How exciting for everybody involved. Can I go now?
Okay... Now we set up a pretty basic system, but let’s take a look at a few other options you may want to incorporate.
First let me disconnect from the Core so we can change the design. Now first of all, I would recommend pulling
an Automatic Gain Control into the incoming signal, as well as a Parametric Equalizer.
These will help balance out quiet and loud talkers and generally smooth out the audio of your caller.
However, don’t forget to readjust the reference signal that’s going to the AEC. You need the AEC to reference the best possible
sample of the audio that’s being played out of your loudspeakers in order to properly delete it, so we’ll take our new
reference from this point here after the processing.
There are a few other features of the Softphone that were added to the Designer software version 5.0 which may interest you.
The first is the embedded Tone Control, which you can configure within the Controller Status component.
Just go to the Tone Control tab, and you’ll see the ability to use an audio file on the Core as a ringtone,
and you can also specify different sounds as an Entry Tone and an Exit Tone when the phone connects or disconnects.
If you want to use this function, be sure to engage the appropriate button. You can also adjust the gain for this playback,
and choose from several available files. If you’d like to add your own file, be sure to add it to the right directory.
In Administrator, go to the Audio Files tab and you’ll see a folder called Ringtones. This is the folder that is referenced for these functions,
so be sure to add your own files to this folder in order to make them available.
You also have the option to turn off the DTMF Local Playback, which is the audio of the tone made for the digits of a telephone number.
If you don’t want to hear those, you can deactivate this button.
Finally, rather than input telephone numbers manually, you may want to manage a series of Contacts instead.
First, I’m going to disconnect from the Core, and go to the Schematic Library.
In the Control Components branch, there’s a component called the Contact List. Let’s drag that into our schematic.
In its control panel you’ll see a list of different lists, but in order to populate this with information we’ll have to go back to the Administrator.
Just a reminder - If you're running Q-SYS Designer 8.0 or higher, the Contacts feature has moved to the
Core Manager, which is only available when you're actually running on a core. So, you wont be able
to emulate this without the hardware, but its functionality is still the same. Alright, back to it!
Once there, you’ll see a tab called Contacts where you can input contact info.
You can do this manually by pressing the plus button and selecting “Add new local contact list.”
Select your new book, and you can now type in a contact’s name and number.
Alternatively you could opt to add a new LDAP contact list, which allows you to input credentials to connect to a networked
contact list, such as Microsoft Exchange.
Now, we can go back to our Contact List in the design, and we’ll see the different Contact Lists that we made, and when we select a name their number will appear.
You could put these fields onto a UCI so that a user in your room can quickly select a Contact.
However, be aware that this only displays the information – there’s no connection between this and the Softphone yet.
After all, if you had multiple Softphones in a schematic, you wouldn’t want one Contact List to automatically control all of them!
So let’s use some simple control pins to link this Contact List with our Softphone. Click on the Contact List, and let’s expose its “Number” control pin.
This is the text display of the phone number.
Then let’s select the Softphone Controller Status, and let’s open the Call Control control pins, and expose the Dial String field.
One simple wire between these two pins will send the number from the Contact List to the Dial String of the Softphone.
This way a User can simply find a user, and its number will automatically feed into the Softphone, and they only have to hit Connect.
And of course, you could get more creative with this if you want, you could wire the Softphone to automatically dial when the Contact is selected,
or you could use a combination of custom buttons and snapshots in a pop-up window to create a speed-dial of your favorite contacts.
Then you could pull this popup into a UCI such as a touchscreen or an iPhone and make a call from there.
Just imagine – being able to dial a call... from your phone! Anyways, you get the point, thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next time.

Lesson Description

Incorporating Softphone and Contacts 12m 2s
Integrate the Softphone component to receive calls and dial out using a third party VoIP system.

Tips and Definitions

Incorporating Softphone and Contacts 12m 2s

VoIP: Voice over Internet Protocol

DND: Do Not Disturb

  • You’ll need to use all three components that make up the Softphone in order to properly configure it in your design.
  • You can obtain your User Name, Authentication ID, and password from your IT department or your VoIP Provider.
  • Don’t forget to select the correct network to connect to in the Interface field of Administrator.