Answering and making calls with a voice modem using the same microphone as used with Dragon NaturallySpeaking

Requirements:
  1. PCI voice modem – the one I use is marked as a US Robotics 56K Voice PCI. However whichever modem you get you need to make sure that it comes with drivers to support your operating system e.g. Windows 7 64 bit. The last modem I used I just googled for information on ‘PCI voice modem 64-bit drivers’. I then managed to buy it second hand on eBay. Even the most modern desktop PCs usually have a PCI slot still.
  2. Call software – I use a piece of software called FaxTalk Lite that came free on a CD with a voice modem many years ago and still works adequately today (I am using Windows 7 64 bit). Other software I have had success with in the past includes PhoneTools, VoiceCall and PhoneWorks so try googling these but I don’t know what is compatible in terms of your operating system any more. If you just want to dial out and not answer calls then you can also use Dialer that comes with Windows (c:\Windows\System32\dialer.exe). Also many of these companies now only market digital versions of the software, that is they won’t work with analog landline/voice modem dialling. It is a case of just trying this software to see how you get on.
  3. 2 soundcards – as an example I have a USB Buddy 6G which is used solely for DNS microphone input and voice modem/telephone input. I then use my inbuilt soundcard with my PC for all the playback functions. The only configuring you need to do is in the control panel where you set your default playback soundcard to the inbuilt soundcard (not the Buddy). See the connections below and description afterwards.
  4. connection diagram
  5. Sound settings – output from the Buddy, which only contains what you are saying into the microphone, is passed to the voice modem. No other sounds will come from the Buddy as long as you have set the default playback device to the other soundcard. Make sure in the playback section of the Buddy mixer that the microphone is not muted and you can use the playback microphone level to adjust the telephone microphone volume going into the voice modem without affecting the microphone input to DNS.
  6. You control the volume level of what you hear by adjusting the level of the line in on the recording section of the inbuilt soundcard. You can also control the volume by adjusting the overall volume of the speakers but this will alter all your volume settings. Using the line in gives you individual control of just the telephone volume.
  7. Lastly, the sound quality of your voice isn’t fantastic on the other side of the phone but it is more than adequate and I have been using such a setup for the last 10 years.

Hands-Free Telephone

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