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Discord's noise filtration beta wants to silence noisy keyboards

CLACK. CLACK. CLACK. We’ve all been in that call. Discord, Teamspeak, (god forbid) Skype, or whatever your voice channel of choice, there’s always someone hammering away on their mechanical keyboard. This week, Discord pushed a beta for integration – a machine-learning powered tool for cutting unwanted background sounds out of your call, leaving your friends with only the crisp, clean sound of your sexy vocal chords.

Developed by a company of the same name, Krisp is a machine-learning driven noise filtration service that aims to cut background audio out of voice calls. In regular words – it learns what sounds shouldn’t be in the audio feed, and learns to filter them out. Pets, traffic, expensive keyboards or noisy neighbours, that sorta thing. While normally a paid thing, its integration with Discord comes free of charge as a new button in the client’s options menu.

Krisp can be toggled on or off in the general “Voice & Video” settings, or directly through whatever call you’re on. While the folks at RPS fanzine PCGamer claim it managed to cut keyboard clacking, I’ve had a harder time verifying its accuracy.

Maybe that’s because, between soft laptop keys and an unusually quiet road out the window, there’s not much noise to cull here. Maybe it’s because this room echoes like a bloody canyon, so any incidental sounds are carried and amplified to hell. Or maybe, simply, it’s because my current audio setup is shite and the tool is still in beta. Who could say?

But hey, if you’re looking for a friendly Discord server to try it out on, we’ve got a lovely RPS server right here. It’s a nice place, honest.

In an FAQ, Discord stress that activating the tech at no point sends data or information to the noise filtration firm, as the “machine learning model runs on your device to cancel out noise – no data is ever sent to Krisp’s servers under any circumstances”. Activating it only affects your audio, too – if someone’s blasting unwanted beats through their own mic, either ask them nicely to toggle it on or get zealous with that mute button.

Given that everyone and their gran is hopping on voice calls right now, Discord are trying to position themselves as the best option for chatting to folks during the lockdown. Beyond trying to clean up audio quality, the chat client recently upped its Go Live screenshare limit from 10 to 50 people, and added templates to make setting up a new server easier than ever.

More important than any of that, though – it seems they finally killed the memey startup messages. Thank god.

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Natalie Clayton


Writes news when everyone else is asleep, sometimes

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