As you've likely noticed on Discord or Zoom by now, some of your pals live in frustratingly noisy situations. Or if you've not noticed, maybe you're the one that everyone else cusses out for all the doors slamming, keyboards clacking, washing machines rumbling, neighbours clunking, and bass pumping around you. Friends, be calm: technology is here to help us. Over the past fortnight, Discord and Nvidia have separately rolled out handy new tech to reduce background noise picked up by your microphone. Nvidia's is particularly impressive. Really, I didn't believe demonstrations of that there 'Nvidia RTX Voice' were real at first. Come see.
If your chatmates are lucky, you've already seen and been using these. If not, hey, this is a helpful reminder.
So here's "Barnacules" demonstrating Nvidia's new RTX Voice the other day:
Come on, that fan's not even on and no way he's actually banging that hammer, you can see he's just flapping it around without tou- oh. Oh! That IS good. Then he escalated:
I'm dead impressed. It processes all that noise and manages to filter out (almost) everything but the voice. Yeah it's a big mangled but mate there's a chuffing leaf blower right there - it's a technomiracle. Nvidia say it even works on incoming audio, so your chatmates' noise should also sound reduced for you.
Launched last week, Nvidia RTX Voice runs in such a way that it should work in loads of different voicecomm software. While it's meant to only work with Nvidia's RTX graphics cards, canny tweakster David Lake has found that fiddling with some files can make RTX Voice work with a fair few older Nvidia cards too. Fingers crossed? Shame it does nothing for AMD owners, though.
Something that doesn't require a specific graphics card but does require specific chat software is the new noise-reduction tech in Discord. This month Discord added support for Krisp.ai's noise suppression tech, which similarly uses computers to try to reduce the amount of background noise you send out.
Krisp.ai is available as separate software to help all voice chat, but Discord rolling it in means you can easily enable it with the click of a checkbox. I had a go and was told it made my voice unusually echoing (as opposed to usually echoing) but I've seen plenty of folks saying it's great for them, so hey! If you want to give it a go, look for the option in the Voice & Video section of Discord's settings.
Oh, and speaking of Discord: the RPS community Discord is p. neat so hop on there if you're looking for folks to chat and play games with.