In game voice
Aces High II provides built-in voice communication software to allow players to talk over two different voice radios while online. The first radio is the tunable radio where players may talk privately to squads or any tunable channel. The default transmit key for the tunable radio is key "T".
The second voice radio is the range radio and it is not tunable. The range radio allows transmission to those in icon range if you are in flight or players in the room with you if you are not in flight. The default transmit key is "F12".
All players on both radios are listed in the Voice roster list that appears whenever the radio bar is open or if the player's location is in the Tower. This roster list may be positioned anywhere on the screen.
Setting up AH Voice
If you have just downloaded the game or are attempting to use AH Voice for the first time, there are a couple of things you will need to do.
First, ensure your microphone is properly set up in Windows:
In the sound mixer controls (speaker icon in your taskbar), configure the microphone as your recording device. Make sure the microphone playback is muted and boost is selected if present. Test the microphone with your .wav recorder. Record a test message as a .wav file and then listen to the playback. If you can't hear yourself in Windows, your microphone won't work in Aces High. A quick test is to tune the V radio to yourself (/.radio 5 YourPlayerID [ENTER]) and transmit. If you hear yourself, your microphone works in AH Voice. If it doesn't work, try updating the drivers for your sound card or on-board sound and try again. If it still doesn't work, contact the folks at firstname.lastname@example.org for more help.
After ensuring your microphone works, you will want to make some adjustments to how your VOX works. Bring up you clipboard and go to OPTIONS -> PREFERENCES -> VOICE to get the interface shown at the right.
"Use Wave In" affects how you transmit and receive transmissions. Some sound need the .wav format before they can stream audio. If you can't transmit or the sound is garbled, then try this option. Some people's radios work better with it, some without. You will have to test to see what works best for you.
"Enable Range Channel Beeps" and "Enable Tunable Channel Beeps" - Clicking this will cause a short beep prior to the start of a transmission on the selected channel. I recommend having one turned on and one turned off so you can easily recognize which channel is being transmitted on without having to look.
"Mic Volume" Slider - If your transmissions are weak, slide this further to the right. If you are blasting everybody else out, slide it to the left.
"Play Volume Slider" - Adjusts the volume you hear voice transmissions.
"Effect Volume" Slider - Adjusts the volume of your sound effects while you receive voice transmissions. Useful for cutting engine noise, etc. One danger is it also reduces the "Check 6" volume while you are talking.
Once you have adjusted these, go to the arena and test your settings. Come back to fine tune them to your liking.
Using AH Voice
Using AH Voice is simple. Push the transmit key and speak into the microphone. Here are some tips that will help.
The transmit button must be held down while you are talking. The game by design limits the length of transmissions so that the radio cannot be monopolized.
- Range channel is limited to 4 seconds of continuous transmission.
- Tuned channel is limited to 10 seconds of continuous transmission.
If your message cannot be spoken within the transmission time limit, plan on breaking your message into smaller parts and re-keying the transmit button for each partial message.
It is advisable to give a slight delay between pushing the button and speaking to ensure the beginning of your transmission does not get clipped. The same goes for the end of your transmission. Hold the button down slightly longer than you are talking to avoid clipping the end.
Always speak with the microphone the same distance from your mouth. Once you have made all your adjustments, speaking from a different position will cause problems. Too close and you over-modulate, causing your transmission to sound garbled. Too far away and you won't be heard well on the other end. I highly recommend getting a headset. This makes it much easier to keep the microphone at a constant distance. You don't have to use the speakers in the headset. I simply put the headpiece around my neck and adjust the microphone from there. CHECK SIX CALLS One feature of Aces High that is all too often ignored is the "Check 6" call. While not technically a part of the radio, it does come across as a radio call.
To give a "Check 6", you must have your intended recipient in your view and then press the ' (") key. A box will appear around the icon of the individual who is going to receive the "Check 6". If there are multiple friendlies and the box appears around the wrong one, hit the ' key again to cycle through the friendlies in your view until the right one is highlighted. Once the correct individual is highlighted for about 2 seconds, the "Check 6" will be sent.
If you see a friendly with a bogie behind him, send him a "Check 6"!
Radio procedure and etiquette
With the advent of AH Voice, radio procedure and etiquette need to be thought about. This is especially true on the Range Channel, where there are potentially lots of players whose only common denominator is being within 6k of each other. While we can't expect a military type radio procedure, some common courtesy and common sense will go a long way in keeping the range channel useful.
First, keep your transmissions short and to the point. AH keeps your transmissions on the range channel fairly short. You need to keep them to the point (game focus). If you are going to discuss last night's ball game with someone, tune to a channel and do it. Don't tie up the range channel.
Second, make sure you target your audience. While "High pony north" is probably useful to everybody around you, "Watch the F6 on your 6" is only useful to the one person you're talking to. Put their ID in at the beginning. "Hammer, watch the F6 on your 6".
Finally (for now at least), remember that there are all kinds of people playing this game. Keep the language civil, the politics out, etc. There's no telling who is listening on the other end.