Pauses with option to continue in IVR?


I currently have Freepbx version installed with Asterisk Ver. I am kind of new to Linux and Asterisk, but I have been using FreePBX for about a year now. I am a newbie user compared to most people here.

I have set up a few IVR menus, but I wanted to create one for client support where the person would select a topic and then they would get a walk-through as to how to solve a problem or configure an option. So that the person has time to click and do what they need to do, I wanted to add pauses in the middle of the text in several points where the person could, for example, press 1 to continue.

Is that possible or does anyone know how I could do this?

Please let me know if you need more info on my installation. As I said, I am kind of a newbie.

Thank for any help.

I don’t see a question in your post.

What part are you having trouble with? Have you created your recordings? Are you struggling with the pause option?

The easiest way to pause would be to make a one option IVR and move on to the next accouncement.

I would highly suggest recording these on a PC with a quality microphone and a little bit of speech compression (not digital compression, most of the new PC recording software have gates/compressors on the channels). Or consider having them professionally voiced.

Oh I should mention I like Audacity, it’s free and has tons of channel effects. Sonar is also a nice inexpensive PC based recording software. I use a Samson USB condenser mic that is awesome. Before I got this I used a small Alesis mixer with USB and a Shure SM-81.

I found this deal on Amazon for you, it includes Sonar, ignore the bad reviews for Sonar, those are from musicians that think free software should be as good as Avid Pro Tools. I would still use the audacity Freefare, it fits me comfortably.

Hi Scott,

Sorry if I didn’t express myself well. My question is how to put a pause in the text. I thought of exactly what you told me, several 1 level IVRs leading one to the other, but that might take a long time to do since we have several tutorials I would like to put in the IVR. I was wondering how to put the pause in a way the caller would press some key to continue. Is that possible?

Thank you for all the tips. I did download Audacity, it is supposed to be very good. I have a reasonably good usb mic that will probably work for this but I’ll look into investing in a good mic to get good quality recordings.

Thanks again.

If you have a good USB mic start with that. I just didn’t want you to try doing it from an extension. I thought I would use the opportunity to go over a few options as recording is not covered much and the thread is bound to get 1000’s of hits.

Where do you want to put the pause? You can’t embed it in the recording. You have to break the recordings up.

The multi IVR was is the only way I can think of to do it within the confines of FreePBX. Something like this I would code as a script, much easier.

Do you have any programming experience (understand basic flow, syntax, variables etc.)

Hi Scott,

Thank you, the recording tips were great. I have placed an order for the USB mic. I’ll try my current USB one and see how the results go. I am playing with Audacity to see if I can produce good files. I have also checked the requirements for the file I need to export to Freepbx for it to work. I will try to do that tonight as a test.

Yeah, I thought there might be something I could do to embed pauses in the recording. I’ll just make several recordings and make the multilevel IVR as soon as I figure out how to do that.

I don’t really know much about scripting for FreePBX. I used to code, I was a DotNet developer, so I don’t know much about Linux programming (I assume it is C or something like that for FreePBX) but I might be able to do it if you point me in the right direction. I don’t really know how scripts work or how to start.

Thanks for all your help.

If you can deal with dot net Asterisk extension code is a walk in the park.

Remember FreePBX uses Asterisk. There are tons of Asterisk resources on the web and the excellent book: Asterisk, The Definitive Guide.

Don’t overcomplicate the IVR, just send option 1 to the announcement, then the announcement to the next IVR that has option 1 programmed to the next announcement and keep daisy chaining the together.

I’ll take a look at scripting, since you made it sound so easy :smiley:

I am recording now the messages and I’ll just daisy-chain them as you mentioned. I will add and option to press something to go back to the menu just in case the person started the wrong walk-thru. It will be a lot of work, but if I record them at once, then break them up into parts, that might speed things up.

I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks again.

I will save you some trouble, Asterisk requires the recording to be 8Khz Mono. I think the Asterisk 10 changes some of this but you will have to check.

Apply a touch of compression, try to get the compression to bring the dynamic range (change from highest to lowest) to around 15db.

Keep the overall level so that the 8Khz doesn’t get saturated, around -10db will do it (I think they are dbu’s don’t quote me).

Let me know how it turns out.