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Stephen Kilcar

Headset Set Up

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Stephen Kilcar

Hi

I am a longtime simmer but completely new to Vatsim. I am looking to set up a new headset (not purchased as yet) I would like to have ATC voice and sound only through the headset and aircraft sounds etc through my speakers.

Do I need a another sound card fitted to my pc? If so, could I use an external usb one? If not, do I just need a usb headset with microphone?

Thanks

Stephen

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Tom Earl

This should be possible with a USB headset. You can tell what output to route aircraft sounds through in your simulator. Your PC will recognise a USB headset as its own IN/OUT source.

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Stephen Kilcar

Thanks Tom

Will get a USB headset ordered and give it a go

Stephen

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Bill Casey

One thing I would warn about with using the speakers for aircraft sounds is that they can severely disrupt Vatsim comms if they are too loud or your mic setup too sensitive. Large numbers of Vatsimmers create this problem for themselves and the result is hopelessly garbled unintelligible sound. Just be very careful with your setup! 

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Tom Earl
1 hour ago, Bill Casey said:

One thing I would warn about with using the speakers for aircraft sounds is that they can severely disrupt Vatsim comms if they are too loud or your mic setup too sensitive. Large numbers of Vatsimmers create this problem for themselves and the result is hopelessly garbled unintelligible sound. Just be very careful with your setup! 

Hopefully this issue will be less noticeable when AFV rolls out!

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Andrew Horeckyj
On 07/07/2019 at 10:43, Stephen Kilcar said:

Hi

I am a longtime simmer but completely new to Vatsim. I am looking to set up a new headset (not purchased as yet) I would like to have ATC voice and sound only through the headset and aircraft sounds etc through my speakers.

Do I need a another sound card fitted to my pc? If so, could I use an external usb one? If not, do I just need a usb headset with microphone?

Thanks

Stephen

IT's entirely possible  to do what you want with the sound- I do exactly that: sim sounds through the desktop speakers and comms through the headset. I do have a soundcard on the PC, as well as motherboard sound, though this may well not be required.

As Bill cautions- loud sim sounds can interfere with your comms audio- ESPECIALLY if you select a cheap microphone option, which is not very directional. You do really get what you pay for. A quality gaming headset will reward you with pain-free ears and clearly transmitted voice, whereas something approximating to ear-buds with a mic hanging halfway down the cable, will pick-up all the room noise and will make life difficult for both you and everyone you speak to.

It's also worth considering that if your computer is being pushed a bit - i.e. your sim setup really is making it work hard to give you the frame rate you are trying to achieve, then one of the things that will tend to be compromised is the sound quality, and the resources set aside for things like mic-sampling.  If you're running a super-fast, over-clocked, water-cooled rig, then all will be just fine 🙂

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Bill Casey
On 08/07/2019 at 09:39, Tom Earl said:

Hopefully this issue will be less noticeable when AFV rolls out!

Any sound system in any environment is always dependent on the quality of the source. A scratched vinyl record on a professional sound system sounds like a scratched vinyl record and similarly a rubbish mic setup will sound like a rubbish mic setup. Some systems can be slightly more forgiving but that is no excuse for not going out of your way to sound the best you can.

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Tom Earl
2 hours ago, Bill Casey said:

Any sound system in any environment is always dependent on the quality of the source. A scratched vinyl record on a professional sound system sounds like a scratched vinyl record and similarly a rubbish mic setup will sound like a rubbish mic setup. Some systems can be slightly more forgiving but that is no excuse for not going out of your way to sound the best you can.

Yes, I certainly agree that in nearly all circumstances, you get out what you put in when it comes to sound systems, however, what I will say is that the current VATSIM codec is certainly not forgiving and works in very mysterious ways. This is most obvious during controlling sessions where you can hear and coordinate with other controllers absolutely fine on TeamSpeak, but then on the network they sound like they've got their head down a toilet.

I have previously run a studio quality dynamic microphone through a mixer into VATSIM before with the results being no more favourable than my £40 gaming headset. In fact, I've received more positive comments about my audio quality from that headset on VATSIM than I ever did with the studio microphone. Like Andrew also mentioned, there's a lot of factors that come in to play when it comes to sound quality through a PC such as broadband speeds, computer power etc. All we can do with the current codec is, like you say, go out of our way to try to achieve the best sound possible, and then let the codec decide whether or not it wants to cooperate.

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