Using Discord To Listen To Meetings

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Scope

Capture here information related to using Discord, including how to get started and how to invite others to join.

Background

After using Skype for many years and having to change with the feature set and deal with difficulties in group calls, we have setup a Church In Spokane Discord server. Using Discord will allow users to drop in and out at any time without having to coordinate with anyone.
Discord was developed primarily for the gaming community and is rife with gaming terms and somewhat adolescent pop-up messages. But it does allow a large number of users to listen to a common stream, communicate amongst each other in the group setting, or in private voice or chat sessions, and come and go as they please. These attributes will alleviate a lot of issues we faced using Skype.

For a general overview of Discord, albeit from a gamers perspective, view this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDVqruRsYtA&feature=youtu.be

Getting Started

First Things - The Invite

To access the Church In Spokane server (labeled CIS in Discord), you need to request or receive a invitation. This is a one-time event. Once you are accepted into the server, you can come and go thereafter as you like. Any existing user should be able to send an invitation to someone else. Alternatively, send a request for an invitation to av@churchinspokane.org. Please supply your name and location/area or local church. This mailbox is monitored roughly once a week so it may be a little while before you receive your invitation.

 We recommend you install the Discord app (PC/Mac, Android/Apple mobile) prior to accepting the invitation.
  1. Navigate to the Discord website and create a user account.
  2. Download the app specific to your device.
  3. Launch your email client and look for the Discord invitation.

Setup on Windows PC

  1. From within your email client, click on the link supplied in the invite email.
    Be advised that many invites expire in 24 hours. If it has been more than 24 hours since the invite was sent, please ask an existing user to send another one. We expect users will get the invite and soon thereafter join a meeting.
    Once you click the link, you will get a notification similar to this:
    1-AcceptingInviteFromWebPage.png
  2. The Discord app (and possibly also the web interface which you can ignore--use the app) should open and you will see the Church In Spokane server (CIS) listed on the left hand side as shown here:
    2-cis_showsUpInApp.png
  3. Click on the CIS item and the CIS server will open. Your nickname will appear on the right side, along with all other users both currently online or offline, and you may see recent text postings. Similar to this:
    3-InCISServerNameOnRight.png
  4. The orange exclamation marks are tips. Click on them to see their message and make them 'go away'. 
  5. At this point you are in the server but not connected to any 'channel'. To join the audio channel for the meeting, click on the text "Meeting Audio":
    4-InCISNotJoinedToAnyChannelMicNotMuted.png
    You will also notice that your mic is NOT muted. Click on your Mic item to mute it.
  6. Clicking on Meeting Audio will cause it to 'turn on':
    5-ClickMeetingAudio.png
  7. You should alsol be presented with a dialog box informing you that before you can talk you need to set your audio feature to Push-to-Talk:
    6-PushToTalkNotice.png
    This displays because we have made Push-to-Talk a requirement on the server. This way ambient sounds and speaking in your area will not be transmitted to the group without your knowing. Only when you push the mic to talk can you talk. Most of the time you will not need to speak, but should you like, you can enable this feature and have private speaking sessions with other online users. However the church account (the meeting audio) is set so that all other members are 'Listen Only'. That is, you cannot add your voice to the meeting audio (as you could with Skype), such that everyone would hear. But you can, if you like, speak to other individuals.
  8. Once you click Okay, you are placed in the voice channel along with the Church and any other users:
    7-JoinedToAudioMicMuted.png
  9. At this point you should hear the meeting. Insure your mic is muted and your headphone icon is NOT crossed out (deafened).

Troubles Hearing The Meeting

  1. First insure that your speakers/headphone are operating properly.
  2. Then insure the volume on your device is turned up. We found that on mobile devices, the sound will not come out the speakers (speaker-phone mode), but only thru the small speaker you put to your ear, or via the headphone jack.
  3. Next, check the audio settings in Discord by clicking on the gear icon next to your name in the lower left.
    8-AdjustYourSettings.png
  4. Find the Audio / Video item on the Settings list:
    9-AVItemOnSettingsList.png
  5. Make  appropriate setting changes if need be. Insure the proper device is selected for the Input Device, Output Device, and that the volume levels are to your liking.
    If you think you will want to speak with someone (as opposed to sending text messages), you can switch your input mode to Push to Talk.
    10-AudioSettings.png