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Voice Modems and Telephony Devices

NCH Software's IVM, IMS, DialDictate and TRx applications require voice modems or professional telephony boards which have fully compliant and functioning TAPI drivers. Often when software does not work, it is because the hardware is not TAPI compliant or because there is some problem with the drivers or driver installation.


Voice Modems
Is my current modem suitable?
Testing a voice modem
Recommended Voice Modems (Specific Models)
Voice Modem Driver Installation - Remove unneeded/old modem drivers
Voice Modem Driver Installation - Wave drivers not installed
Voice Modem Driver Updates
Plug & Play Problems
Audio plays through speakers not modem
End-of-Call Detection problems
Call Transfer Problems
Caller ID and Caller Name Display - requirements
Using Multiple Voice Modems
ISDN, T1 or other Digital Phone Lines
Where to buy a voice modem
Modems Support and Discussion Forum
Professional Telephony Cards
Preferred Telephony Boards
CAHTA Telephony Cards
CURL Telephony Cards
Where to buy CURL Telephony Cards
Dialogic Telephony Cards
Way2call Hi-Phone Desktop
Brooktrout Telephony Cards
Not Recommended List
Other Telephony Devices

VoIP
What is VoIP?
Using VoIP with NCH Swift Sound Software
VoIP Line and Gateway Companies

Voice Modems


Requirements
Testing
Preferred Modems
Troubleshooting
Purchase Online
Discussion Forum

Digital Lines


T1
ISDN

Telephony Software


IVR Software
DialDictate
TRx Recorder
IMS On-Hold
IVM Autodial


Voice Modems

For professional installations we always recommend professional voice boards eg. the CURL board since voice modems are not always predictably reliable. For more information please see our recommended telephony boards page.

Is my current modem suitable?
To find out if your current modem is suitable please check the following:
  1. You must check that your modem is actually a VOICE modem. Refer to the modem documentation and specifications to see if it says VOICE modem. If you are still in doubt you can look at the modem diagnostics query result (from the Control Panel -> Modems -> Diagnostics). If the query response for AT#CLS fails then it is not a voice modem. Modems which are not voice modems cannot work with IVM.
  2. It is essential that your voice modem has 100% TAPI compliant drivers (including wave drivers). It is not enough that the software provided by your modem manufacturer (or other software) works, because it might connect directly to the modem and bypass the driver files.
  3. You must also check that you have installed the voice modem driver for the modem. Sometimes Windows Plug & Play selects the driver on the non-voice equivalent modem when installing.
Testing a voice modem
Use the trial version of IVM to test your voice modem. You can download it here.
  1. Test IVM setup Call Simulator (from the File menu). If it works perfectly with the Call Simulator but misbehaves on real calls then this is a clear indication that you have a modem issue.
  2. If the modem is not a voice modem you should get a warning when you attempt to add the device from Settings. You need to purchase a voice modem to use this software.
  3. Even a voice modem requires compliant TAPI drivers. Go to the Windows Control Panel double click on the Multimedia and pull down the "Audio - Sound Playback" list. Your voice modem should be listed. If it is not listed then voice modem TAPI drivers are not installed. When this happens the IVM messages are delivered over the computer speakers even when an actual call is answered.
If your modem fails, you should check you have the correct drivers installed. Find (on the manufacturer's website) and manually install appropriate drivers. The drivers must be 100% TAPI compliant and must be the correct ones for your Windows OS. (eg. Drivers intended for use with a Creative modem model Di5631 and Windows 98 will not work with Windows XP).

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Recommended Voice Modems (Specific Models)
We regularly survey modems and contact our customers for feedback to obtain more information about common modems which are (or are not) fully TAPI compliant. Please see here for our list of recommended voice modems.

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Voice Modem Driver Installation - Remove unneeded/old modem drivers
If you have upgraded your modem or installed additional modems without removing the unneeded drivers, Windows TAPI drivers might fail. If that is the case, the only solution is to uninstall all modems, and then reinstall your single modem.

It is also important that when you install your drivers the software (eg IVM or DialDictate) must not be running.
You can find more information on installing drivers on our technical support page.

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Voice Modem Driver Installation - Wave drivers not correctly installed
Often the wave drivers have not been installed. Go to the Windows Control Panel double click on the Multimedia and pull down the "Audio - Sound Playback" list. Your voice modem should be listed. If it is not listed then voice modem wave drivers have not been installed.

You can find more information on installing drivers on our technical support page.

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Voice Modem Driver Updates
  • Some modems are distributed with the drivers supplied on the CD-ROM being only for the non-voice modem version or are otherwise defective. Some manufacturers have fixed this problem with updated drivers that you can download from their websites. If your modem is not working with IVM, check your modem manufacturer's website for an updated modem and wave driver.
  • There are update drivers for Zoom Voice Modems, Maestro Modems and many more. Visit the manufacturer's website to download the updated driver.
  • USR (US Robotics) Modems: Updated drivers may be required for USR modems to function correctly. Download from www.usr.com.
  • You can find more information on installing drivers on our technical support page.

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Voice Modem Plug & Play Problems
Sometimes when a modem is first installed, plug & play detects and installs the drivers for the non-voice modem equivalent. The solution to this is to uninstall your modem (you must to this), restart your computer then when plug and play detects your modem again, manually select the modem (instead of using the automatic driver selection feature of plug and play).

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Audio Plays through Speakers not Modem
Some customers have reported this problem. It is sometimes resolved by uninstalling the modem and reinstalling the modem.

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Voice Modems End-of-Call Detection problems
Some voice modems incorrectly detect the end-of-call tone. On the IVM, use the "End-Of-Call Tone Detection Settings" (on the Settings - Devices tab) to correct defects. (a) If the modem does not detect end-of-call when it should, tick the Enable Software Based Detection box. (b) If the modem detects end-of-call when it should not (and therefore hangs up), untick the enable detection during playback option.

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Call Transfer Problems
If you have problems setting up a transfer with IVM, make sure you are able to transfer correctly using an ordinary telephone.

The other possible problem with transfers that use a hook flash, is that different countries and different phone systems can require different flash times. Check your PBX flash time or ask your telephone company (if you are not using a PBX). For professional telephony cards, you can usually set the flash time using the Configure Hardware Box. (Use Settings / Devices / Properties / Configure). For voice modems you can add the Extra Setting S29=X where X is the flash time in tenths of a second. Add the S29=1 setting to the "Extra Settings" for the modem (Settings / Devices / Properties / Configure / Connection / Advanced). Apparently some other modems (including Zoom modems) require +VTD to be set for all of the tones generated, including the flash-hook. Often the default is 0.10 seconds which isn't long enough for some flash transfers. If you are game you can attempt edit the modem registry settings and change the default to 0.70. The only negative side is that the modem sends ALL tones at this slow rate.

Sometimes IVM dials too quickly for the PBX, in that case you may need to insert a pause (',') using commas after the flash character ('!') and after the dialed digits.

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Caller ID Requirements
If you want caller ID/Name display, you must purchase a modem that supports CID. Check the documentation of your modem.

Check the modem documentation specifies that it supports caller ID in your country because there are different CID systems in different parts of the world. For example, very few modems support CID in the UK because the UK uses a different CID system to the rest of the world (we have an unconfirmed customer report that the Optima 56K EXT Business Modem 08-03157-A supports CID in the UK).

In order to have CID, your telephone company must support it. With some telephone companies or contracts you need to contact them to ask them to turn caller id display on.

It would appear that many modems detect CID but do not pass the information onto TAPI in a way that can be used by the IVM. It is not sufficient that CID is being reported to the software that comes with the modem. If it is not being reported to the IVM then it means that the drivers that are being used do not allow for this.

Zoom Modems and CID. If you are using a Zoom modem and have problems with Caller ID, contact zoom technical support. They have a new driver release that fixes a bug in that made CID fail.

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Using Multiple Voice Modems
It is possible to install multiple modems on one computer - but you must check with your modem manufacturer that their drivers allow this.

From a customer re Creative Modems: "The folks at DSI / Creative confirmed that they're driver would not support two modems of the same type in one system. I replaced one of the PCI modems with an ISA modem and everything started working fine."

For professional multiline installations we strongly recommend you consider using a professional telephony card (such as the CallURL card below).

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Purchase Voice Modems Online
You can buy voice modems online. The most important question to ask when purchasing is "Is it a voice modem?".

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Professional Telephony Cards

Professional telephony cards tend to have much better audio quality and, once they have been correctly installed, work very reliably.

Recommended Telephony Boards
CAHTA Telephony Cards These boards are suitable for call recording applications. They are ideal for use with analog telephone lines. CAHTA cards can be purchased directly click here to purchase or for more information about the boards see www.nch.com.au/hardware/telephony.html.
Installation instructions for CAHTA cards are available here.
CURL Telephony Cards CURL TAPI voice boards are reasonably priced with all the features you need. CURL cards can be purchased directly click here to purchase or for more information about the boards see www.nch.com.au/hardware/telephony.html.
Installation instructions for CURL cards are available here.
Dialogic Cards Important Notice: Dialogic have announced that from 1 January 2006 their telephony boards do not support TAPI. We therefore can no longer recommend their boards for use with our software, and we offer limited technical support and only to paid support customers.
Way2Call Hi-Phone Desktop A very good value option for a single line or four port analog telephone adapter with professional quality audio is the Way2Call Hi-Phone desktop. See www.way2call.com for more information.
Brooktrout Telephony Cards The Brooktrout RDSP/432 with TAPI drivers works well. However Brooktrout have issued a press release indicating they will no longer be supporting TAPI telephony devices. For this reason they are not recommended because they might not be well supported in future.

Some Brooktrout boards play chopped audio. This is due to a bug in their drivers which means they do not accept variable buffer sizes. Speak to Brooktrout technical support, but at present we do not know of any fix being released.

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Not Recommended List
The Music Telecom Cards are not recommended. The most recent drivers have some bugs which have not been fixed. Customers have also complained about poor technical support from that company.

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Other Professional Telephony Devices
The SST PCTAN2 and PCTAN4 cards work well with NCH Swift Sound Software.
If you find a telephony device that works which is not listed, or a telephony device which does not work please Contact Us.

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ISDN, T1 and other Digital Line Devices
For T1 lines we previously recommended the D/240SC-T1 (see www.nch.com.au/ivm/dialogic.html). However, Dialogic have announced that as from January 2006 their telephony boards do NOT support TAPI, so we can no longer recommend using Dialogic boards.

A number of TAPI devices are available for ISDN lines. For a full list of available telephony boards please see our Recommended Telephony Board page. It is always preferable to purchase one with direct TAPI support, but if the card only comes with the ISDN CAPI support then you can use a special driver like COMISDN from http://www.comisdn.com.

If you find other digital devices that work well, please Contact Us.

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VoIP

Using VoIP with NCH Swift Sound Software
VoIP is a cheaper alternative to purchasing hardware such as telephony boards and voice modems. For more information on what VoIP is, click here.
We recommend you first sign up for a free VoIP phone number using one of our recommended VoIP service providers

Once you have obtained a VoIP phone number you can configure it in compatible NCH Swift Sound software using the 'VoIP' settings tab (for IVM and DialDicate) or the 'Lines' tab (Express Talk).

It is possible to purchase specialized VOIP devices but the normal computer sound card can be used in conjunction with a microphone and speakers ( or headset) for speaking to a person across the town or across the world. For a detailed guide to setting up your VoIP click here.

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