Questions & Answers
Not a digital native? That's ok! We're here to help. First off, a disclaimer. I'm not tech support. Please be patient and try to resist sending bad-tempered rants of frustration on every available channel because things aren't working the way you'd like. Anxiety and stress is running high in these pandemic-fuelled times, and it's important to practice patience and acceptance! Believe me I've wanted to throw my laptop out of the window on this journey too! I'm learning these systems as I go, and together, with constructive feedback, we'll get things working in a way that is responsive to as many of the pitfalls as possible. This page simply details some of the main troubleshooting info that has come up in online sound sessions so far. It will continue to be updated in response to questions as they arise, especially as I transition to a new live streaming system. If you have a burning question that's not answered here, please MESSAGE using the form at the bottom of this page. Please note that tech support queries cannot be answered on social media or via my personal email. USE THE FORM.
How do I join a LIVE online session?
Once you've purchased your access via the SHOP you'll automatically be sent an email with the joining instructions - this will simply be a link to click, and will open in your browser. You'll also get an email reminder an hour before the event, so you have the link handy at the right time. Once you've clicked the link you should go straight through the webinar room. If for any reason you are asked to register again, do check below the input section for the 'Already Registered?' link to click, which will take you to sign in rather than register again. Be sure that you use the same email address that you signed up with. If the session has started but you haven't bought a ticket, you will be able to do so 'on the door' for immediate access to the event.
How do I access an ON DEMAND session?
This is easy - simply purchase access in the shop (there is an option to pay £0.00 as these are pay-what-you-can) and the confirmation email will contain a link to your session. At point of booking you will be offered dates and times to choose when you'd like to stream your session - please pick carefully as if you miss the beginning of your session you won't be able to go back to the start (the stream is on a loop). The stream will be watchable all week until the next one is uploaded. You can't go back to watch streams once they have been replaced. They are updated every Monday and Wednesday at 1pm.
Before you start....
Make sure you have optimised your internet connection! As most suppliers have reduced their bandwidth in response to increased usage, your home internet may not be as fast as you are used to. Start by switching off any other devices in the house that are using internet - remember things like phones, Firesticks etc which can be updating in the background even if you are not using them. If you can, wire your device direct to the router rather than using wireless. Be aware that anyone else streaming video elsewhere in the house or doing anything drawing a lot of bandwidth (streaming music, playing games etc) will slow your stream down. You'll need a consistent bandwidth of around 5mbps to stream glitch-free - check your internet speed at speedtest.net or by searching Speed Test in your browser.
Do I need to use a particular device or download anything?
Nope. The system has been built into the Silence + Noise website so you won't need to download any software. You can access live streams and pre-recorded videos on any device that plays video, so a laptop, desktop computer, tablet, or phone. Or even your TV or Kindle, if you have a swanky new one! We suggest that you use the device that has the fastest processor speed - it really helps with video quality at your end. This may not be the biggest device you own, especially if you have a newer iPhone - so check the details!
I've got the links but am still having trouble accessing the video stream/live room. Help!
Start by switching it off and on again. We know - but every IT support in the world will say the same! Ideally restart your device totally. At a minimum, close out your browser and reopen it. If you are on a laptop/desktop computer, clear your cache/cookies and then try again. My system links with YouTube so you may be able to access the event via my YouTube channel. I will send out a direct YouTube link if it looks like we are having problems my end, but please note that this affects delivery in other ways so this is only used as a last resort. If you are having trouble accessing and have already tried all the troubleshooting options at your own end, then PLEASE CHECK YOUR INBOX FOR THIS LINK, INCLUDING YOUR JUNK MAIL. DON'T PANIC. All my events are recorded and if you really can't get in, you'll be sent the full recording of your chosen event.
I have no audio, or no picture. What shall I try?
If you have no audio - CHECK YOUR OUTPUT! Especially if you have headphones attached via bluetooth, you may need to disconnect and reconnect them. Double check your device volume is on and turned up. I usually play background music from the moment I open live streams, so even if I am not in the picture you should be able to hear something. If you have no picture, try restarting the browser as above, and check your internet connection. If your bandwidth is slow that may affect picture so move closer to your router and check no other devices in the house are sapping the bandwidth. See the advice above.
Do I have to use headphones?
No. But it does help. I stream and record in stereo which means that the left and right channels in your headphones/speakers are used differently, to create a 'surround' sound feel. So ideally it's best to use audio outputs which can support stereo sound - which all but the most basic headphones can. The dream is to use a pair of over-ear, noise cancelling headphones (we personally use Bose QuietComfort 35's which are EPIC - other headphones are available of course!) - but don't worry if you are using the ones that came with your phone or none at all. The right headphones are an enhancement not a dealbreaker. Good stereo speakers and those designed for surround sound are great too. Maybe think about using your TV if you have a nice sound system on there. At home we use both Sonos Play and UE Boom 3 speakers and these both work great.
Can I watch an online session back later on?
It depends on the event. Soundscape tickets include unlimited replays, so for those, YES. The weekly 60 minute gong baths can be listened back to for up to a month. Other sessions are not available for replay although sometimes I publish them on my YouTube or IGTV channels, so make sure you follow those for a few freebies. If you especially connected with the content of a particular session just drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I may be able to share it with you as a one-off.
What if I can't access a session I've paid for, or something comes up and I can't make it?
If tech issues, internet speed, screaming kids, a sudden callout to work or anything else mean that you can't join a session you have parted with your hard-earned cash for then of course you can be emailed access to a recording, which will be set to the same streaming limitations as the original ticket. Please note that clearly I will be unable to do this or respond to your messages whilst I'm setting up or still in the middle of delivering/recording the session... so please be patient!
What's the new pricing structure?
Online soundscapes are £10 standard price, with concessions at £7. Concessions apply to the over 70s, anyone fully shielding from the virus, the self employed, or anyone in any kind of financial distress/pressure. These tickets are open so you can decided for yourself which one applies in the spirit of honesty and kindness. Access to paid sessions is FREE for anyone who is an NHS employee, key worker or care worker.
Who do I contact if I'm having trouble buying a ticket?
Use the form at the bottom of this page to let us know what's going on. Please note that if it's under an hour until the event we may not have time to come back to you. If you end up missing an event as a result we can send you the recording afterwards instead. If you can't access the event and don't want the recording, you will be refunded in full.
Who do I contact if I have a connection problem right before or DURING a live event?
Do note that once a live event is actually happening, I simply can't help you with tech issues as I will be in front of the camera with all my devices in use for recording, and it risks messing settings up to start playing around replying to messages. Although the live chat window within the webinar room will be working, once I have started the event I am unable to check it - principally as it's too far away from me, but also as stopping to answer chat messages - or texts, facebook messages etc - disrupts the session and energetic focus. Emails will be switched off around 45 minutes before events begin, and the live 'room' opens at least 15 minutes prior to start time, giving you plenty of time to check your picture and audio before the session begins. If you have tried the troubleshooting ideas above and are still having no luck, please fill out the form below and we'll be happy to send you a recording for paid events or access to something else if it was a free session. With gratitude and love, please DO NOT send messages regarding tech issues on social media or text message as these can become overwhelming and distracting. The online form has been set up especially to catch these messages and send them on to someone with better IT skills than me!