Using Tir-y-Don’s Discord Channel for Online Meetings

Due to the Covid-19 social distancing requirements, we are currently holding our A&S and business meetings online using the Discord meeting service. This page will explain how to use Discord and in particular the Tir-y-Don channel.

Discord can be used in any web browser on any web capable device. There are also client applications that can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. Using their app can enable some extra capabilities. Discord supports multiple sub-channels (for example: A&S, Rapier, Business meeting), text and voice chatting, screen sharing for presentations, and even video calls.

TL;DR Just Get Me There

The easiest way to join Tir-y-Don on Discord is to click this link. (The link has no expiration date but is limited to 100 uses. Let us know if it needs to be updated.) That should take you to our channel in either your web browser or the Discord program if you have it installed.

You should see something like this:

My Discord Window

Let’s look at the parts of the screen quickly. First, there are four vertical sections to the screen.

The Four Columns of the Discopolis

Working from left to right:

  • The narrow left-most column (1) with the circles are all the different Discord channels that I belong to. If you are a new Discord-er, you will only have the Discord “Home” icon (top item in picture) and the shiny Tir-y-Don dolphin channel (third item down in my case).
  • The second column shows all of the sub-channels for Tir-y-Don. You can choose both a text and a voice channel.
    • The text channel choice controls what you see in the third text-chat column.
    • The voice channel choice controls which voice chat topic you can hear and talk in.
  • The third, widest, column is the text chat column. You can type at the bottom to talk to others in the channel
  • The fourth, right-most, column shows the other channel users
  • There is no column for voice chat.

Discord looks a little different on a phone, but all of the pieces are still there. The normal view just shows the text chat column. Swiping left and right will bring up the other columns.

Android App Chat Window
Swipe left and right for other columns

Text Chat

Choose a channel with a # symbol to the left to enter a text channel. You should start in the “general” channel. Then you can see what people have typed there and add your own comments by typing at the bottom of the third column.

I’m in the general text channel
Type at the bottom to add your thoughts

Setting Your Settings

Down at the bottom of the second column is your picture and your setting buttons. It will look something like this:

My Name and Setting Buttons

The three buttons on the right control your microphone, speakers/headphones, and other settings (gear icon). A diagonal red strikethrough will indicate that your microphone and/or speakers are turned off.

I’ve Muted my Microphone so that I’m not transmitting

Important Voice Chat Etiquette: Mute your microphone until you have something to say. Most computer/phone microphones are very sensitive and can hear you typing or other background noises. If you don’t mute yourself, the channel administrators may do it for you and you’ll need to ask in text chat to get unmuted if you want to actually talk. If we’re getting echoes it is almost always due to an open microphone near a speaker.

A lot of configuration options are accessed from the gear icon, including volume, video, and notifications. This month’s newsletter has a lot of great detail on those options.

Voice Chat

The voice channels all have a speaker icon beside them:

I have joined the A&S Voice Channel

When you do this, you will also get a new row down near your name:

More Buttons!

This new box shows that you are connected, what you are connected to, and adds two new buttons. The right most shows a phone handset and an “x”. Click this to disconnect from the voice channel (hang up). We’ll cover the computer monitor with the arrow in a second.

Sharing or Viewing Someone’s Screen

Discord calls screen sharing “going live”. If someone is sharing their screen you will see a red “live” text box beside their name, like this. (If they are live and you do not see the red “live” box, you probably need to switch to either the Discord app or to Chrome.)

I’m Live!

Click on the word “live” to open a window to watch what they are showing. This is how we are currently doing most of our A&S meetings.

To share your own screen, first please close any windows containing personal information or other material that you don’t want to share with the world. Note that you need to be using the installed Discord program on a computer to be able to share. The phone app and browser interfaces do not support screen sharing. Click on the computer monitor with the arrow button on the voice area:

This will pop up a screen to ask you what window or monitor you want to share. You can pick a single application, or if you click on the word “Screens” you can share a whole display. Pick one and hit “Go Live”.

You will now see a third row of information down by your name, as well as a small preview window showing what you are sharing with the world.

Even More Buttons!

The new text is what window or screen you are sharing and the new monitor with an “X” button is used to turn off sharing when you are done.

Video Calls

Discord does not have “video” channels where multiple people can see each other and talk. But, you can call someone and have a video chat. It may also be possible to add people to this chat, but I haven’t been able to test that yet. To call someone, look at the list of names on the right side of the screen, right click on a name and choose “call” from the menu. Then you can choose to turn on your video camera and/or microphone or just text chat with them once they answer the call.

Tech Support

Please use the general text and voice channels for help in getting set up. We’re all still learning, but will try to help. Discord’s website is https://discordapp.com/

Experimenting with Different Browsers and Operating Systems

Things we have tried and worked

Going live

  • On windows with the Discord app
  • On chromebook with Discord app

Watching a live presentation

  • On Windows with Discord app
  • On Windows with Chrome
  • On Chromebook with Discord app
  • On Chromebook with Chrome
  • On Android with Discord app

Not working for Us

Going Live

  • On Windows with Internet Explorer
  • On Windows with Microsoft Edge
  • On Chromebook with Chrome
  • On Android with Discord app
  • Presenting from Keynote on a Mac

Watching a live Presentation

  • On Windows with Firefox
  • On Windows with Microsoft Edge
  • On Windows with Internet Explorer (won’t let you even log in)
  • On Android from Chrome

Not tried yet

  • Mac with Discord app
  • Mac with Chrome
  • Mac with other browser
  • iOS devices
  • Linux devices