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Sound Card Adjustment

Modern PCs are usually equipped with a "sound card", which allows sounds to be captured and reproduced by the computer.  EchoLink relies on the sound card (or built-in equivalent) to exchange audio with other stations on the Internet.

The most common configuration for EchoLink is to connect a pair of amplified speakers to your computer's "speaker out" connector, and to plug a microphone into the "mic in" jack.  Many other multimedia programs work with this same configuration.

Playback Volume

[Windows 95, 98, Me, NT4.0, 2000, and XP]

The Windows operating system includes a utility program for adjusting the levels, or volume, of sound going in and out of the sound card.  You can access this utility, called Windows Volume Control, by double-clicking on the small loudspeaker icon near the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.  You will see a set of "sliders" similar to the diagram below.

Be sure the "Volume Control" and "Wave" sliders are about halfway up, and the "Mute" box is not checked for either one. You may wish to check Mute for all other sliders, or slide them down to the bottom, to prevent interference.

Your system may use names other than Volume Control and Wave, such as Master Volume and Wave Out.

[Windows Vista]

On Vista, Playback Volume is adjusted in two different places:

  • Mixer: Right-click the speaker icon in the bottom-right corner and choose "Open Volume Mixer". This will display a row of volume sliders. You can adjust the master slider on the left, or the EchoLink slider. The master slider affects playback from all programs on the computer, and the EchoLink slider affects only EchoLink's playback volume.
  • Control Panel: Right-click the speaker icon in the bottom-right corner and choose "Playback Devices". This opens the Playback tab on the Sound control panel. This will display a row of volume sliders. You can adjust the Wave or Master Volume levels, which affect all applications.

Recording Volume

[Windows 95, 98, Me, NT4.0, 2000, and XP]

A separate set of controls sets the levels, or volume, for the microphone.  To access these controls, follow the steps above for Playback Volume, and then do the following:

  1. From the Options menu, choose Properties.
  2. In the section marked "Adjust volume for", choose "Recording".
  3. Choose OK.

You will see a different set of "sliders", similar to the diagram below.


The Recording Volume controls vary considerably from computer to computer.  In the example shown above, there are separate controls for Line and Microphone.  If you have a microphone connected to the computer's mic jack, slide the Microphone slider halfway up and check the Select box for it.   Your computer may also have a "master" recording slider; if so, move it halfway up.  Move all other sliders to the bottom to prevent interference.

If you are using EchoLink in Sysop mode, you will probably have your receiver's audio connected to the computer's Line In connector, rather than Mic.  If so, raise the Line slider, and lower (or de-select) the Microphone slider.

[Windows Vista]

On Vista, Recording levels are adjusted on the Recording tab of the Sound control panel. To open this panel, right-click the speaker icon in the lower-right corner, and choose "Recording Devices".

The Recording tab shows a list of sound input devices. If you have a device with more than one jack (for example, Microphone and Line In), each jack might be listed separately. The one with the green check mark is the default device. To adjust the recording levels, right-click the name of the device and choose Properties, then choose the Levels tab. If the device has adjustable levels, one or more sliders will be shown.

If you want to use a different device (or jack) for EchoLink, you can change the default device here, or go to EchoLink's own Setup page, choose the Audio tab, and choose a specific device from the list of Input devices there.

Monitoring Your Levels

While you are speaking with another station using EchoLink, watch the Audio Level Meter near the bottom of the screen as you speak.  The meter should jump at least into the yellow area on voice peaks, but should not go full-scale.  Adjust the Microphone slider (described above), if necessary.


Careful attention to this section on audio will prevent a lot of headaches
when you log on. Wrong audio settings are a prime cause of timeout issues.

Reserved for future use.