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Nacey

BoT Voice: TeamSpeak & Mumble Servers

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Okay so we tried Discord tonight and for Sarah and I it's not very usable. I'm open the possibility that this is some kind of setup issue and welcome any suggestions. I'm comparing to our TS obviously since that's the baseline.

  1. Voices randomly clip around the start/end of words and there is a bunch of little pops/crackles. This seems to vary a bit per person but everyone did it. It would just drop parts of words in the middle of sentences. Gaz claimed to not hear this but Sarah, myself and Tim all could so I'm sure this was server-side.
  2. Voice quality in general is just audibly worse. Increasing the channel quality to max helped a bit but that's as high as it goes and TS just sounds way better at its own max setting even though it uses less bandwidth than the default setting on Discord. If two people talk at once it's just a big fuzzy mess whereas TS holds up okay.
  3. Tim sounds a bit like an angry robot. I can understand him but he's sort of loud/fuzzy with very flat tonality. I'd normally assume this kind of thing is a cheap mic but he sounded fine on TS last I heard. May just need something tweaking on his side.
  4. There's a much bigger delay when speaking which is very annoying for Sarah and I when we're sat in the same room. It's audible in a way that TS is not. For reference, I ping 6ms to the Discord server and 2ms to TS.

So yeah, we agreed to try this but this isn't good.

Maybe I need to change some settings but I don't know what I would change. There are buttons for random things and I really have no idea what they do, e.g. Echo Cancellation, Noise Suppression and Automatic Gain Control. Are these for my input or for other people's outputs or what? There's no descriptions of any of these, they're just slider buttons. Bad UX!

Anyway, any thoughts?

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I ping 1ms on TS and 7ms on Discord, it's a bigger difference for me. Also every single word Todd says has a one second delay such that he's repeating himself one word after, forcing me to mute him which makes him difficult to hear clearly irl. Never had this problem on TS because the delay isn't noticeable at all.

Edit: Also the sound quality drop is quite noticeable.

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For some reason the server was set to use Central EU servers, I switched us to West EU instead (this reduced my ping to 4ms) and then I jumped in the other group's channel. It was better when one person was speaking but still goes wobbly when two people overlap at all. Welsper continued to cut out randomly (not just his voice, his actual transmitting status drops in and out so that might be his setup). There are still odd pops and crackles randomly but less than we had in our group.

Sarah and I also tested audio latency relative to real life, it's better on that server, thought still worse than TS.

I guess I'd need to try it with Gaz/Tim to be sure how much this has helped. It still seems worse, for sure, so above points generally still stand.

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Not a clue TBH. I've been using Discord voice for Overwatch with some RL friends for ages and never noticed any issues (voice quality might be lower but not to a point I've had a problem with it), but then I've also never tried to use it while in the same room as another person on the same server. Not sure what to suggest.

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Western EU had some technical issues once we were using it so I swapped it to Central EU. 
There is a small voice delay between IRL and Discord. Similar to every other voice program i've used. 
As for Audio Quality, what are the bitrates of the channels set to? Are they on the default 64 or up at 96? 
You can get it higher but its a paid for feature. I personally haven't had any issues.

Voice Cutting is a setup issue if you're using Voice Activated... 

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Personally, I noticed the quality was slightly lower but didn't impact on my experiences.

I'm not fussed whatever we use for the main guild events as I'll likely end up using a combination

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Only had one issue and other things were playing up at the same time so I don't think it was solely Discord. Haven't had any issues with people speaking together.

I've noticed the quality is slightly lower but I'm not that fussed about that.

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1 hour ago, Largi said:

Western EU had some technical issues once we were using it so I swapped it to Central EU. 
There is a small voice delay between IRL and Discord. Similar to every other voice program i've used. 
As for Audio Quality, what are the bitrates of the channels set to? Are they on the default 64 or up at 96? 
You can get it higher but its a paid for feature. I personally haven't had any issues.

Voice Cutting is a setup issue if you're using Voice Activated... 

As I said, we bumped it to 96kbps and it was a little better but still falls over when voices overlap at all plus it continued to occasionally pop and cut out. The cut outs may have been voice detection levels, the popping/crackling definitely wasn't. It's not unusable, I could still understand people. it's just really obviously worse when coming from TS.

What's odd is that Discord and TS use the exact same codec, yet TS sounds better. It's not even possible to have TS use more than ~64kbps and it defaults at lower than that, so Discord is doing something really weird with the codec.

There is definitely a difference to tonality and handling of background noise which may also affect my perception of what things should sound like. Sarah's mic has much less background hiss on Discord, for example, but her voice is also less crisp. I think Discord is more heavily pre-processing, which may explain the lag. I'd love to turn that off but none of the buttons have labels so I don't know what they do.

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Busy few days hence late reply on this.

I can't say I notice the voice quality difference and haven't experienced any of the technical issues Todd is talking about. Seems strange that you had issues in a 5 man room when we have run 12-15 man raids on it without it happening (or if it did, I didn't spot it).

All that being said, I don't mind sticking with TS for raiding if there are people who have technical issues with Discord voice.

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The quality difference might be ignorable after a while (although it does have a more annoying sound conflict than TS when people talk over each other, but people should try and avoid doing this regardless of channel), but the delay is a slight issue since we raid from the same room and we'd have to logistically figure out an alternative (i.e. mute each other, but my hearing isn't great and that does mean I won't be able to hear Todd very well), there might be other alternatives, although moving desks to different rooms is probably more effort than it's worth when we don't have space to do so realistically. We could also both go talk-free and one of us could broadcast sound in the room via speakers, but that feels impractical as well. I'm not sure what the best solution is to make things work properly for Discord but I realise that there are people that want to use it so will try and figure out something if we have to stick to that.

 

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Maz and I frequently play in the same room when we're gaming and have always just muted one another on any voice chat. Often I'll just use speakers so we can both hear which works fine and feels nicer and more social too.

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I'm not sure how practical muting one of us is for raid content, but it does also reduce the social aspect a little which I do raiding for - the ability to chat with people, if muted.

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This was one of the things I considered above, but my hearing isn't really good enough to hear Todd clearly with my headset on, but also not bad enough to not hear him. :( 

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Most people that I know that play together in the same room have each other muted. Sometimes it's like what Tom mentioned and someone has it through their speakers.

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Then you get the output feeding back through the mics which is very annoying for everyone else. I know this because I've heard people doing it and it's horrible. I also don't want voices through speakers, I very deliberately layer my sound so that voices come through headphones and game/music comes through speakers. It's physical attenuation and it works really well for me.

Seems pretty clear to me that almost everyone agrees that TS has better sound quality. Since we're discussing which app to use for voice chat, I don't see any reason to use the one that sounds worse. It's basically the same number of clicks to load TS as it is to join voice on Discord. That's my reasoning on which I prefer to use. Discord is obviously still a useful platform for IM/chat and as a backup option for voice.

The delay doesn't bother me, that's just Sarah. But understand that if you choose to use Discord for an activity she probably won't join it or won't be able to hear me clearly one way or another, plus the quality is worse and annoying.

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On Tuesday 18th our data centre is moving some servers around. At some point after 2pm there will be downtime but I don't know when exactly or how long it will last. Everything should just go down and come back up on its own and I won't need to do anything afterwards. But if you're doing any Mythics that day be prepared to use Discord in case stuff is not back up.

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Since Mark seems to have issues with me/having to run TS for raid content, also since I don't have a working mic at the moment anyway - I assume the plan is just to be on Discord voice tomorrow?

Enough of a deal has been made by him about how I'm the sole cause of the fact raid content isn't on Discord and apparently that was a big concession on everyone else's part to have to raid on TS, I'd rather just avoid the drama and just not be on TS.

If that's fine with everyone else that is, to do it on Discord tomorrow instead.

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Why are you insisting that the raid should be on TS? I really don't want to be on TS for it due to invoked drama from before, is there a reason we can't just use Discord voice?

I may just stay off voice if that's the decision made then, and just participate via WoW chat.

Edit: TS was logistically easier for the circumstances that Todd and I were in, but without a mic those circumstances cease to exist, Mark made a massive song and dance over the fact that the guild being forced to use TS over Discord voice for raids was some kind of win for me because it's much easier for everyone else to use Discord voice for it and by being forced to be on TS, I'm somehow getting my way at the detriment to the rest of the guild. Surely if it's easier for everyone else to just use Discord, why are you trying to force TS as a decision and make things awkward? I'm merely suggesting that we should just use Discord voice to avoid drama right now.

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