Saying goodbye to the Comedian Mail....greeting

I know, it’s probably a rite-of-passage and I guess I’m short-tempered and getting sick of listening to the same tired old joke “Comedian Mail” on the voicemail greeting (folks, Northern Telecom is DEAD and pushing up the daisies) - so with a bit of work and some Windows FreeNewbieWare downloaded off the Internet I spliced together a better greeting using Allison Smith’s voice. It says:

“The Asterisk Open Source PBX, Mailbox”

Here is the readme file. I am not distributing the voice file (although I have a zipfile of it if anyone wants to pm me I’ll send it to you) because I am sure a dozen copyrights are being violated. (probably not but I’m sure SOME jerk out there will be POed and try making trouble for me if I do)

I dislike the idea of just chopping it down to “Mailbox” Might as well plug Open Source when possible!!!

Yes I’m quite sure I could have used Audacity and done it “better” It might have taken me a day and a half to learn all the commands in Audacity but I’m sure it would be better…LOL…

Go to URL

Click on Samples

Download Asterisk clip asterisksuccess.wav

Download and install the free Wavepad editor

Download and install WinSCP

Run Wavepand and open the asterisksuccess.wav file. Chop out where she says Asterisk Open Source PBX from 04.562 to 07.249 and save it as a WAV named TheAsteriskOpenSourcePBX.wav

Use WinSCP to login to your FreePBX system

Change directory to /var/lib/asterisk/sounds/en

Download vm-login.gsm

Go to the website

Upload the vm-login.gsm file, convert to a WAV file and download it name it vm-login-comedian-mail-mailbox.wav

Open the vm-login-comedian-mail-mailbox.wav file with Wavepad and cut the “Comedian Mail” out of the vm-login.wav file and save it as vm-login-mailbox.wav About 01.196 to 02.380

Play vm-login-mailbox.wav in Wavepad to see how loud it is and make sure it just says Mailbox.

Open TheAsteriskOpenSourcePBX.wav file with Wavepad and reduce the volume down to the same level as vm-login-mailbox.wav - about 50% Save this as TheAsteriskOpenSourcePBX-volumelower.wav

Go to and upload TheAsteriskOpenSourcePBX-volumelower.wav and vm-login-mailbox.wav files and merge them then download the result to vm-login.wav

Go to and upload vm-login.wav and convert it
to GSM then download and rename to vm-login.gsm

Go to and upload vm-login.wav and convert it to produce the *.alaw, *.ulaw, *.g722 files

In WinSCP on the FreePBX server rename the vm-login.ulaw, .alaw, .g722, and .gsm files to vm-login-bak.* then upload the modified vm-login.gsm, .alaw, .g722 and .ulaw files to the /var/lib/asterisk/sounds/en directory

login to voicemail to test that the greeting changed.


Or using the builtin resources, perhaps

# Build the recording

sox /var/lib/asterisk/sounds/en/demo-thanks.wav  temp.wav trim 2.4 2 
sox /var/lib/sounds/en/vm-login.wav temp1.wav trim 1
sox temp.wav /var/lib/asterisk/sounds/en/voice-mail-system.wav  temp1.wav /var/lib/asterisk/sounds/en/temp.wav 

# convert to existing  formats

for i in $(ls /var/lib/asterisk/sounds/en/vm-login*); do  
       rasterisk -x "file convert /var/lib/asterisk/sounds/en/temp.wav $i";

I’m too lazy to Google, but where did the name “Comedian Mail” come from anyhoo? Was it a take on the old Nortel Meridian systems? When I first went live with our sites people always asked me why I made the main portal greeting say that. Like it was my idea…lol.

and from that

[83] This name was a play on words, inspired in part by Nortel’s voicemail system Meridian Mail.

1 Like

Nice! I guessed correctly. Ah, the old Option 11’s, Option 61’s, etc. Throwback for sure. Used to work on those long ago. Different world nowadays!

If you want to extract ‘words or phrases’ then the transcriptions of all the files are are in


and sox can 'trim <start> <duration>' using seconds from them.

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