FeenPhone

No-cost software for real-time high-quality remote podcasting, radio and voiceover
 

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Troubleshooting

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Troubleshooting FeenPhone

NETWORK TROUBLESHOOTING
If you don’t know how to configure your router to forward a port, read the above below.
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If you can connect and talk but have a lot of drop outs, and you’ve both tried adjusting the buffer sliders and hitting the Buff Dump, go through these steps, in order.
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1. Confirm that no one in either person’s home is using network-intensive Internet services (Netflix, YouTube, BitTorrent, downloading large files, running another server, etc.)
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2. Confirm that neither person is running a lot of memory-intensive programs (Photoshop, video programs, heavy web surfing / many tabs open, YouTube, screensavers, pretty much anything except maybe a browser and email.)
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3. Have Client disconnect and re-connect to Server in FeenPhone.
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4. Have Client and Server close and re-open FeenPhone.
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5. Have Client and Server close and re-boot their computers.
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6. Have Client and Server turn off their modem and router for 60 seconds, and allow them to start back up. (May take about five minutes to re-connect to Internet, and may also re-issue a new IP address.) You should reboot your modem and router at least once a month anyway. And you should reboot your computer at least once a day. And always reboot your computer before doing a live show if you haven’t rebooted it already that day.
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When doing a live show, we recommend using a dedicated computer for FeenPhone. Even a cheap used computer running FeenPhone alone will usually perform better than using FeenPhone on a better computer that’s used for other tasks during the show. I do recommend running FeenPhone on a computer without a lot of programs on it. It’s best if it’s a computer that you do not use use for other tasks while doing the show, or ever. Your media is worth it. Dedicate one computer exclusively to having great audio. You can get a used Windows 7 laptop or desktop computer on on Amazon that will run FeenPhone well for $100-$150.
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PORT FORWARDING
If you don’t know how to open a port and don’t have a friend who can help, go here. (The page could benefit from a link to jump readers down to the “Router Brands” section for those who don’t care about the “why.”) Here’s a good video on port forwarding. If your router isn’t covered there, search on Google or YouTube for “Port forwarding on (make and model of your router.)” ONCE YOU THINK YOU’VE OPENED YOUR PORT, you can check to see if you did it right, by starting FeenPhone, setting the port in the Server tab, click “Run Server.” Then once you’re running FeenPhone as Server, go to http://canyouseeme.org/ and enter the port you’re using (the site will auto-detect your IP address.) It will tell you if the port is forwarded.
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Also, if you have two routers (sometimes a modem is also a router), if they’re in series, like if you have a modem/router, then another router before your computer, you’ll need to open the port on both of them.
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VPNs
Make sure that if you are running FeenPhone as Server, that you are not connected to a VPN. A VPN may prevent you from figuring out what your actual external IP address is. It may be possible to run FeenPhone over a VPN, but configuring the Server for this is for networking-savvy users only. And it may increase latency dramatically.
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AUDIO TROUBLESHOOTING

ECHO
If you hear a quiet echo of yourself back from your co-host’s end, your co-host probably is using open-ear headphones (should be closed-ear), or your co-host’s headphones aren’t on tight enough, or their hair is under their headphones creating a gap that’s letting sound out into their mic. Another possibility is that someone on the call has a speaker on (laptop speaker, etc), and don’t realize it because their headphones are also working. To test for this, have each person take their headphones off and hold the ear cups of the headphones together tight so no sound leaks out. Then each person should say a few words at a loud speaking volume, then both be quiet and listen for other person’s voice coming out of somewhere besides the headphones. Then have the other person do it.
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FeenPhone and Old Phone (regular phones) can exists side by side for a year or two more, tops, before FeenPhone replaces Old Phone

FeenPhone and Old Phone (regular phones) can exists side by side for a year or two more, tops, before FeenPhone replaces Old Phone

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If you hear loud echo of yourself in your headphones coming back to you when you speak, and you’re using a mixer, it’s likely that you need to set up a mix-minus on your mixer. Not all mixers are capable of a mix-minus. In order for it to work, your mixer needs to have an “Auxiliary Send” (often labeled simply “Aux”) or at least two assignable buses.

How to set up a MIX-MINUS (using Axillary Send)

My mixer setup, including MIX-MINUS settings (using assignable buses)

My Mixer, Behringer XENYX X2442USB Premium 24-Input 4/2-Bus Mixer

BEHRINGER XENYX X1204USB – Cheaper, but with sliders, AUX – can do mix-minus, has compression

Behringer QX1202USB 12-Channel Mixer, no sliders, no AUX (CANNOT do mix-minus), has compression.

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MAKE SURE THE CORRECT MIC IS PICKED IN THE AUDIO-IN DROP-DOWN MENU
If your co-host sounds thin and reedy while using a good mic up close, they are probably being picked up by their web cam mic or laptop mic, not their good mic. The way to test is to have them scratch their finger right on the windscreen of their good mic. If you hear the scratching loud, their mic is working. If you barely hear it or don’t hear it at all, they’re probably getting picked up by another mic. You can have them do the same scratch test on their laptop or web cam to test. If they’re getting picked up by the wrong mic, have them choose the correct mic from their Audio In drop-down menu in FeenPhone
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NO SOUND
If you can’t hear your co-host over FeenPhone, or they can’t hear you, one or the other of you may need to go into your computer’s system tray. Right-click on the speaker icon, click “Open Volume Mixer” and turn up (or un-mute) your sound card, microphone, headphones and/or the FeenPhone program slider.
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Click "Show hidden icons"

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Right-click on the speaker icon (circled in red)

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Open Volume Mixer

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Volume Mixer
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If there are more than a few options, you may have to grab the side of the box by holding down your left mouse key to expand the width of the box. Or a scrollbar may appear at the bottom of the box. You can move that scrollbar to view all. The scrollbar appears at the bottom of this box:
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FeenPhoneMuted-1