If you own an Nvidia RTX graphics card, you may now be able to spare your stream viewers and/or teleconferencing compatriots from all of the intrusive, distracting sounds that permeate every moment of your existence, be it DIY banging from the apartment next door, or the incessant caw of a ravenous bird that speaks doom and heartache with each breath. RTX Voice is a free, standalone app for RTX users that employs artificial intelligence to remove unwanted noise from audio signals, and if that sounds familiar, it’s because Discord implemented something similar earlier this month.
RTX Voice has some distinct advantages over Discord’s AI-based noise reduction tech, which it licenses from a company called Krisp. While Discord’s solution only applies to the service’s voice chat and internal streaming capabilities, RTX Voice creates a distinct microphone input device that can be used by any number of streaming or chat programs, including OBS, XSplit, Twitch Studio, Skype, Zoom, Slack, and Discord, should you prefer it over the built-in Krisp solution. What’s more, RTX Voice can also apply its artificially intelligent magic to incoming audio as well, which means that your stream guest could be calling in from an active construction site, and your audience might never know it.
Nvidia’s RTX Voice tech looks AMAZING. I can finally use a desk mic again with my mechanical keyboard! @Barnacules‘s test with the fan and hammer is so impressive https://t.co/ES7ELMiMQS pic.twitter.com/PCiA0DRcpW
— theGunrun (@theGunrun) April 22, 2020
The new plugin does have a couple of noteworthy limitations. The first (and biggest) is that you have to be running an Nvidia RTX card specifically — Nvidia cards that don’t say RTX on them somewhere, such as last generation’s Nvidia GTX cards, are incompatible with RTX Voice. (A bummer to be sure, but it has RTX right there in the name, so I dunno what to tell you. This is why I don’t find it reasonable to spend $1,000 on something that gets replaced every three years.) It also goes without saying that AMD cards are right out, but I’m saying it anyway because Fanbyte has a firm 500-word minimum on news articles. Nvidia cautions that RTX Voice’s incoming audio filter may be a little funky when used with WebEx, Skype, Zoom, or Slack, so keep in mind that your mileage may vary.
As can be seen in the video above, RTX Voice sure as heck seems to do exactly what it says it will, which is pretty astonishing. As someone who’s had at least a few toes in the water of audio engineering over the last fifteen years or so, it’s equal parts awe inspiring and infuriating to see someone click a single button to solve a problem that, traditionally, would take hours of microphone fiddling and filter tuning to fix. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to turn off all the fans and air conditioning in my house for a podcast or Let’s Play recording — which is no small ask in the middle of the Texas summer, lemme tell you — but now that might not even be a consideration. Honest to God, this does more to sell me on owning an Nvidia graphics card than any amount of ray-tracing or DirectX 12 Ultimate support.