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The CAVI Guide To Setting Up Ventrilo

We have our own Ventrilo server hosted by darkstar networks llc with the capacity for 50 users. We'll use this server for lectures, study groups, and social events.

Ventrilo is a voice communications program, whereby users connect to a central server. The user interface has a series of buttons through which you configure and use the program. Note there are no menu bars. There is a list box which shows all the channels on the server.

Steps to get onto this server

I have lifted these from the website of the server and modified them for our use.

Step 1

Download Ventrilo's Client from: the official Ventrilo site.
Do not download a 64-bit version for Windows or you'll only get access to 64-bit Sapi voices i.e. Anna only.

Step 2

Run the installation program with the default settings. Do not get the jaws scripts, they make Ventrilo more difficult to use. Ventrilo is usable without scripts.

Step 3

Start up the software from Start --> Programs --> Ventrilo --> Ventrilo. Note that settings for servers are saved based on user names so if you add a new username you must re-enter all the server settings.

Step 4

Under USER NAME, click the arrow next to it (your screenreader will say -> ), click NEW, and enter your first name folllowed by a period and last name both in lowercase, e.g. john.smith You can also set up the phonetic spelling for the text to speech engine, so it says your name correctly when you connect or disconnect from the server. your password will be the one given to you when your account was created. Note that if your punctuation level is set too high in your screen reader the buttons will simply say button rather than dash greater button. It is possible not all accounts have been created yet; if that is the case; send an email to cavi-instructors @ without the spaces.

Step 5

Under SERVER, click the arrow next to it ( -> ) Click NEW, and enter the NAME: "cavi" or another friendly name you willl remember for this server. Click OK. Then under Hostname or IP, enter:

Step 6

NEXT, make sure the port is set to: 28961

Step 7

Under password: enter the password you were given when your account was created.

Step 8

Click OK again.

Step 9

That set up will be saved. To connect, simply click CONNECT, and in the future after opening Ventrilo, simply just click CONNECT as the user name and server will be saved.

Step 10

Click SETUP; from here, you can change your sound card or device, your PUSH TO TALK hot key, and incoming and outgoing amplification. Note that you can not speak on channel once in the setup dialog until you exit it. Increase outgoing amplification if you're too quiet to other people, and incoming if you can't hear them well enough. Note that you need to shift-tab to find these sliders or you will become stuck in the hotkey field. If this happens, jaws cursor to the OK button and click it to get out of the dialog. Refer to the hotkey section below. The first slider is incoming amplification and will increase the volume of all people on channel to you. The second slider is outgoing amplification and is used in situations where your microphone boost is insufficient to give you a reasonable volume on Ventrilo. Please use the mixer of your soundcard and any Microphone boost before increasing the outbound amplifiers.

You can test how you would sound on channel by shift-tabbing back to the test with test button. press space on this button to toggle this mode on. Use your hotkey to open up the transmit path and listen to the results. Toggle this option off by hitting space when you are done testing.

Step 11

Set up your push to talk hotkey. Use shift tab to move through the set-up dialog boxes for the next few sections. Be sure that "Use Push To Talk Hot Key" is CHECKED, then shift tab to or click in the field next to "Hot Key" and choose a hot key to press when you want to be heard - we would recommend: right control. Tabbing to the field wil achieve the same results if not using a mouse. .

Depress your right control to talk and let go when you have finished talking. When you are not depressing the controlkey, the speaker icon next to your name is red. When it is depressed, the icon is green.

If you wish to use a key such as grave accent there are 2 extra steps you will need to take care of to make this work. Uncheck use direct input to detect hotkey and check discard hotkey so that the non-modifier key is not passed through to other applications. Note however that screen readers such as Jaws will still see these key events if they are closed and relaunched once ventrilo is open. To fix this, enter the ventrillo setup dialog and shift-tab to the okay button and exit setup. This will reset keyboard bindings and sound devices.

Using the Setup Dialog with a Screen Reader

If you are using a screen reader you may have some trouble setting certain options. When setting the hot key in the preferences Window do the following: when in the preferences dialog activate your jaws cursor by hitting numpad slash Tab through the dialog box. Jaws cursor down to the OK button. When you reach the hotkey element, press the key you want for your push to talk hotkey Do not press any other non-jaws keys at this point or you will mess up the hot key. This includes control shift or alt. Left click the OK button by hitting numpad /.

If you need to set other items in this dialog box that appear after the hotkey do it in reverse order with shift-tab.

If you have trouble with the cursor sticking in the phonetic spelling field during account setup hit windows M to minimize all applications then alt tab back into Ventrilo.


Unless medically necessary, please use headphones or a headset at all times. We would prefer that students not use auto-vox, and only use push to talk, or if students are using auto-vox disable it if they are not talking for a long period of time. Wherever possible students should avoid the use of speakers as they have a tendancy to loop sound back onto channel. Unless configured correctly autovox on speakers will cause feedback.

We will all be in the lobby initially. We will move into the lecture specific channel when it is time to commence lecture. To change channels, press alt U, arrow down to the channel title and press enter. If you have text to speech enabled, a "now entering the lecture theatre channel" message is spoken.

To enable text to speech, activate the setup button. Control-tab to the events tab. Hit space on the "all tts" button. You may then disable any tts events you are not interested in.

You will also need to be in the chat window. The chat is an IRC style text chat. We use this for students to ask questions, to interact with students who have issues with their audio setup and to submit answers in quizzes.

To open the chat window, activate the chat button. Be sure to check the Enable TTS checkbox. This means that messages that are entered into the chat window will b automatically spoken.

We might need to optimize microphone levels initially. It's best to close skype if you are not using it. Skype messes with microphone levels at times, especially when automatic microphone adjustment is enabled. If you keep Skype loaded, please turn off automatic microphone adjust in Skype under the tools menu. Choose options and arrow down to the audio settings to make the change.

If you are using Windows XP, there is an easy way to save and restore audio settings. Do a google search for quickmix and configure it if you can to quickly set things the way you like them.

Quickmix sadly does not work on Windows releases newer than XP.

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Page last modified on February 10, 2015, at 09:40 PM