Sonant Voice Conferencing
Page last updated February 17, 2022
Sonant is used for voice conferencing. The original Sonant (blue icon, similar up the icon above left) will work on all servers. Sonant for iPhone (above right icon) is also available, but may not work on all Sonant servers (ask your server administrator to enable this if it doesn’t initially work).
Please review the security reminders prior to use, especially if you use an obsolete version of Windows, including Windows 7 or Windows XP. These are no longer supported by Microsoft and should no longer be used. Security updates are no longer provided, making these versions of Windows a significant risk.
The only supported version of Windows is Windows 10. Do not use older versions of Windows.
Windows: First, uninstall any old Sonant program. Next, double-click the newly downloaded program, and follow the installation wizard.
Mac: Delete any existing Sonant icon from your Applications folder. Also, drag the Sonant icon off of your dock. Now double-click the newly downloaded Sonant file. Drag the Blue icon into your Applications folder.
Run Sonant for the First Time
Sonant leads you through a setup wizard the first time you run it. Please read each screen carefully, and adjust the sliders as instructed. Pay special attention to the following:
– Check mark “Enable echo cancellation”
– Un-check “Enable positional audio”
– Specify a “Push-to-Talk” key –> Click in this field, then tap the CONTROL key. Then continue on from this screen.
Set Push-to-Talk Key
After installing Sonant, make sure your Push-to-Talk key works. To do this, log in to a Sonant server, and double-click a room name to enter a room. Make sure you are not muted (no mute flag appears in Sonant window). Now press your Control key (which was set as your Push-to-Talk key in the last step). The lips next to your name should turn red as you hold down the Control key. If not, follow these instructions:
Blue and Green versions: Press: Configure–>Settings–>Shortcuts (On Mac computers press: Sonant–>Preferences–>Shortcuts)
- Look for the shortcut as in the image below. If it does not appear, click Add.
- Now click on the word “Unassigned” which just appeared to display the drop-down menu.
- Select “Push-to-Talk” from this drop down menu.
- Now click just below the “Shortcut” column heading (you’ll see the words “Press Shortcut” appear)
- Now tap your Control key. The “Shortcut” field should now say “Control,” just like the image below.
- Press OK to finish.
Green version difference: After clicking the Control key, the “Shortcut” field will say “K:Ctrl” (on Windows computers) when properly set.
Note: If there are two shortcuts, delete one of them (use the “Remove” button). After setting the key properly, the screen should look like this:
Mac users: If you have problems setting the push-to-talk short, see the “MacOS” section below.
Connect to Server
When you run Blue Sonant, you will see a list of servers. This list will be blank the first time you run it. You will need to add a server to get started.
Press “Add New…” and fill in the details as shown in the image below.
Note: The password prompt does not appear when you add a server. You will be prompted for the password after you press CONNECT.
- Enter the info, similar to what is shown below
- Note: Some Sonant servers do not allow SPACES in your “Username”
- John-NY <– valid
- John_Anderson <– valid
- John Anderson <– not valid
- If you see a “Invalid username” prompt when you try to connect, you may enter a name without spaces and connect, but the new name will NOT be permanent.
- To change your user name, or make your username permanent (necessary if you had an invalid name, even if you corrected it while logging in). Follow these steps to change your username so you won’t get an “invalid username” error every time you connect:
- Go back to the server list
- Right-click on the server name
- Select “Edit” (you will see a window like the one shown below)
- Type in a valid username, with no spaces
- Press OK
- When you press CONNECT the first time, you will then be prompted for the password (you will see an invalid password error after you press CONNECT). Enter the password provided by your Sonant administrator. It will be saved, and you will not need to enter it again.
- The first time you connect, you will see a security certificate warning. Click OK or Yes. It will not re-appear.
- Adjust the window size and column widths so you can see the Name and Flags columns (only necessary on Green version).
Using Sonant for Conferences
After the initial installation and configuration use Sonant as follows:
- Load Sonant
- If the server list isn’t visible, press SERVER, CONNECT
- Click on the desired server, then click CONNECT
- To speak, simply hold down the Ctrl key and talk. The “lips” icon next to your name will turn RED while you’re speaking
- Note: Watch the left-side of the window for messages sent during a conference.
- Make sure your mic is not too close to your mouth. It should be level with your mouth, but positioned away to avoid breath noise.
When you temporarily leave, press the Mic button: to mute yourself (or press Audio > Mute). This puts an icon next to your name that shows others that you’re not there (or that you’re not back from SFRT), and they will know to skip you during the reading or discussion.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.
Apple’s Mac operating system, beginning with the MacOS Mojave release in September 2018, adds some security features that may prevent Sonant from working properly.
The “lips” next to your name don’t turn red when the mic is activated, and/or the microphone doesn’t work.
- Run Sonant (click “Allow” if asked, etc.)
- Run MacOS System Preferences
- Click on Security & Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility
- At the bottom, left of this window, look for a padlock icon. If it appears “locked,” click it, and enter your Mac’s login password to unlock it.
- Checkmark Sonant
- In the left-side column of this same window, click on “Microphone” and checkmark Sonant.
- Close and restart Sonant
If the Sonant icon is not visible on either of these screens, click the “+” button, then navigate to the Applications folder, select Sonant (blue icon), and click “Open.” Now checkmark Sonant as described above.
Unable to select the Push-to-talk shortcut when setting up Sonant (or Mumble).
Go through this list until you are able to set the CONTROL KEY as the Push-to-talk shortcut. You may not need to perform all of these steps.
- In System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility, checkmark Sonant. (you may need to first click on the lock icon and enter your password on this screen to allow changes.)
- If unsuccessful, REMOVE the Sonant item from this Accessibility screen and RE-ADD it. Click the MINUS button to remove it. Click the PLUS button to re-add.
- Run the Sonant Audio Wizard (from Sonant’s Configure menu). Don’t change anything until you get to the Push-to-talk shortcut. Try to set the CONTROL key as the Push-to-talk shortcut.
- Reboot your computer and repeat the above steps.
- Install Mumble (an updated version of the original Sonant app) and repeat the above steps. If successful, use Mumble rather than Sonant (see below for more Mumble info).
Using an iPhone / iPad to Connect
An iPad or iPhone can be used to connect to some Sonant servers. Sonant for iOS is now available.
Install “Sonant – audio conference call” from the iOS App Store https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sonant-audio-conference-call/id1518714520
- Add your Sonant server to the app:
- Click “Favorite Servers.”
- Then click “+” to add the new entry.
- Before connecting, on the Sonant for iOS home screen, click in the upper left: Preferences > Transmission, and make sure “Push-to-talk” is selected. This should already be the default. Do NOT use voice-activated or continuous. Use “Push-to-talk.”
- Tap “Favourite Servers”
- Tap your server
- Tap “Connect”
- The first time you connect, you’ll see a certificate validation prompt. Click “Trust Certificate”
- Tap the three-line icon on the upper-right corner and click “Disconnect”
- To talk:
- Tap once or hold down the microphone icon to begin talking. Tap again, or release it to stop talking.
- The Sonant server you wish to connect to must be configured to allow iPhone access. If you are unable to connect, contact your Sonant server administrator.
- If you see errors, like certificate errors, use a username that is slightly different from the name you use on your other computer (contact your server administrator if this doesn’t work) (there is a way to use the same name, if you export your certificate, then import it in Sonant for iOS, but that’s beyond the scope of these instructions).
- Always use headphones (on PC, Mac, and iPhone, etc.) as consideration to others, to prevent annoying loud echo when more than one person speaks at the same time.
- If you are not participating, mute yourself by clicking the three-line icon on the upper-right corner in the Sonant for iOS app, and click “Self-Mute.” This will let others know you aren’t participating.
- The app will remember what room you were in. The next time you connect you will automatically be taken to that room. If that isn’t what you want, remember to go to the Lobby prior to disconnecting.
Mumble is basically the same app as Sonant. Sonant was based on Mumble, but Mumble has been updated regularly over the years, unlike Sonant. Here are a few settings that may improve your use of Mumble. Some also apply to Sonant.
- Run the Audio Wizard after installing. You won’t have to change much, but running it once is a good idea.
- Enable Echo Cancellation
- Disable positional audio, You can set your push-to-talk shortcut here too.
- Configuration Screen settings:
- Audio Input
- Transmission: Push To Talk
- User Interface
- Checkmark –> “User selected item as the chat bar target”
This is optional, but makes Mumble chat work like Sonant. If you highlight “John” during a conference and send a chat message, it will go to only John. By default in Mumble the message would be sent to the entire room, and to send to an individual you would have to right-click “John” and select “Send message.”
- Checkmark –> “User selected item as the chat bar target”
- Messages section (also applies to Sonant) – To eliminate most of the beeps and dings when people enter and leave the conference:
- In the Messages section, first scroll down to “User joined channel”
- Uncheck the boxes in the “Sound-file” column, “Notification” column, and “Text-To-Speech” column.
- Now REPEAT the box unchecking (in all three columns) for “User left channel,” “User connected and entered,” and “User left channel and disconnected.”
- Audio Input
- Fix for Mumble/Sonant asking for “Control” of other programs you launch:
To eliminate these messages:
- Go to Configuration > Overlay
- Install the Overlay
- Restart Mumble
- In Configuration > Overlay, “Disable” the overlay.