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foldr "Voice Communications:
 
  Free Internet Voice Communication Software for Gamers, Get Talking NOW ! :


Voice Communication Software is fun and important:
(Last updated 3 Mar, 05)

There are free software computer programs available for download off the internet that allow their users to actually talk with their own voice during a game to their teammates. They are called "VOIP" software programs, for "voice over IP". This will greatly increase the fun and enhance the teamwork of your clan, squadron, guild, or club. All you need is a sound card, a microphone, and voice communication software to talk to and hear other people in your internet game. The person you are talking to would of course need a sound card, mic, and the same voice software program, and be on the same voice channel as you are too, to hear and talk to you.

(Disclaimer: As always try software at your own risk.)

There are several very popular free (and semi-free) voice comms software programs out there like Roger Wilco, Ventrilo TeamSpeak (new URL), TeamSound, Game Voice, Battle Com, etc.

Get a good 25$ PC sterio headset microphone combo, you will sound clearer to others when you talk.

Features of different voice communication software programs:

The voice software that you pick to be used by your club is very important. There are many features to consider. Some of the features that an internet gaming club should consider when choosing their voice software program are :

  • Does it work (some are really buggy and lock up a lot)?
  • How much bandwidth (LAG) does it use in games (56kers worry about this)?
  • How efficient is it, some use a lot of bandwidth and still sound bad?
  • How 'clear' do people sound on it during a game (is it choppy)?
  • Is it compatible with older and new computer sound cards and operating systems?
  • Is it compatible with the game software that your club plays?
  • Can you ban or kick troublemakers off the voice channel?
  • Can you control access to your channels or password a channel for club security ?
  • Can you add clickable links to join your voice channel from your club web page?
  • Can you display who is on the voice channel as a print out at your club's web page?
  • How many people can get on a channel at one time?
  • Can you run a fixed ip base station, that's runs reliably 24 hours a 365 days?
  • Does it feature 'hotkeys' to switch to other channels during a game?
  • Do the hotkeys work easily and reliably?
  • Is the client and base station software free?
  • Do you need to buy any extra hardware (like Game Voice)
  • Is it going to be around in the future (or die like "Battle Comm" and Game Voice did)?

Pick a voice communication program that works best for your club:

We would currently suggest going using the Roger Wilco RogerWilco free voice communications software for gamers and others. software as there is a huge base of it's users out there (to recruit from) and currently it works the best over all for an internet gaming clan. It simply works. It works well with almost every sound card and OS and most games. If tweaked a little it can provide good sound clarity. Simply using a 25$ Labtec or Plantronics headset mic and moving the microphone about 3-4 inches AWAY from your mouth really helps with clarity. Roger Wilco also uses very little bandwidth (NO LAG). Roger Wilco can have passworded channels too. Roger Wilco is limited in it's ability to remotely admin its base station and it doesn't have "hotkey switching" by default. You can add the hotkey switching feature by downloading a free 3rd party RW add-on program called MyTuner. Roger Wilco's parent company died, but was bought by GameSpy, so its future seems to be safe now. Ventrilo, TeamSpeak (new URL),  and TeamSound are 3 other good choices.

Ventrilo is the hot new voice communications software program out there. It's free if used by private clubs, but you are supposed to pay for it under some situations. It has a lot of features that Roger Wilco lacks, some say it might replace Roger Wilco.

TeamSpeak is the new kid on the block and growing quickly, it features 'hotkeys', web page integration, and many advanced and needed features that were lacking in Roger Wilco and seems to work. It's new and does support DirectX8, most games, sound cards, and Operating Systems. We will see how this grows.

TeamSound (aka formally "TeamStream") was plagued with problems at it's first release a year ago or so, but seems to over coming them now. It now must loose a bad reputation. It offers a lot of features too.

"Game Voice" software is dead, Microsoft stop supporting. This was not the best software for the full version you had to buy some unusual hardware that added extra features like in game voice recognition.

"Battle Com" software is dead, there are a few sites that offer it for download, but the product is no longer supported by it's creators. It is rumored to be the basis of the Game Voice's software.

Voice Commander has a trial version of it's "voice recognition" software for gamers, that can be integrated with other programs.

Voice Buddy is a voice recognition software program, we have not tested it, if you have tried this software please post a message about it in detailed with what you like and what didn't, etc, please?
 

Get a good Microphone and ADJUST your setup:

The best sound card and voice software will sound like crap if you have a cheap mic, or if you have the mic TOO CLOSE to your mouth, or if you have your Window's "VOLUME CONTROL" mic input level mis-set or if you have the voice software's input/out level settings not properly adjusted. A common problem with table mics are that when you lean forward you talk to loudly and when you lean back in your chair (away from your mic) you get too quite.

"Table mics" WILL work and come with most modern computers, but "headset mics" are better for in game voice communications with a clan. "Headset mics" are usually 2 speaker headsets with a quality microphone that will work with most modern computer's sound cards or built in mother board's sound chip. Table mics also pick up your computer's sounds if they get to close to your speakers and rebroadcast the noise back over the voice channel when you transmit to everyone, making them UN-happy. USB headset mics, that plug into your USB port, are more expensive then the normal analog headset mics that plug into your sound card. Most people simply use the normal analog headset mics, the USB mics do not need a sound card however. Labtec" is company that makes headset microphones that work and are very reasonably priced. "Plantronics" is pricier alternative, some say better quality, both work well too. Labtec's Axis-502 (or older version C-324) are well worth the 25$ US for a good microphone and STEREO head set speaker combo set and we highly recommend them. You can usually pick up a headset mic at any local computer store like CompUSA or BestBuy or over the internet.

Tips for a good computer voice headset microphone combo for a gamer:

  • Is it a stereo headset?
  • Are the ear pieces comfortable and covered with soft padding and enough of it?
  • What is the price?
  • Do you want to pay extra for a cordless headset?
  • How durable is the headset, can it take nightly wear?
  • Is the mic crappy, how does your voice sound to others after adjustments?
  • Are the speakers in the headset crappy?
  • Are the cables strained relieved where they exit the headset?
  • Does it have a on-cord volume adjustment knob?
  • Does it have a mic mute switch, to prevent embarrassing transmissions?
  • Do you have a sound card or on-board chip or do you need the more expensive USB mic?

Some PC headset microphone manufacturers:
Labtec
Plantronic
TurtleBeach
(surround headset)
Altec Lansing
Koss
Audio Technica
Telex

The Roger Wilco Troubleshooting Guide offers some great voice commo troubleshooting tips for solving just about any type of voice commo problem, if you ever have any.
 

Get a FREE Roger Wilco voice channel for your clan, squadron, guild, or club:

You can could go over to places like "VIPOR'S Roger Wilco Users Group", and politely asking him to host a Roger Wilco Base Station channel for your club. (Note: "Vipor's Roger Wilco User's Group" has went off line after many years of helping others, the gaming community owes "Vipor" a great debt for all he has personally contributed).

You will want to add a link on your clan HOME page to your brand new clan RW channel, once you get one. Go to the RogerWilco.com site to learn how to add a link to your RW channel on your club's HOME page. If you have any other problems, check out the Roger Wilco Support page.

If you know of any other place, that runs, free, stable 24-7-365, Roger Wilco, Ventilo, TeamSound, or Battle Com channels, just contact us, we will add their link here.
Help the friendly gamers, please?


FREE add-on channel switchers for Roger Wilco:

There are free add-on software programs called "hot-key channel switchers" (also called "RW tuners"), that add extra features and enhancements to the basic Roger Wilco internet voice communication program. These add-on "hot-key channel switchers" are programs that are written by 3rd party volunteers (not the www.rogerwilco.com guys), that add the ability to change channel RW channels without exiting a game to do so. For internet Flight Squadrons, "hot-key" switching is a must, as different elements of the team uses different RW channels. Some channel switchers offer more features then others and some don't work to well with every operating system. Some just don't seem to work at all for some people. Some give other features besides "hot-key switching", like in game changing of Roger Wilco's volume level without exiting a game.

Here is the current list of "tuners":

MyTuner is the MOST popular "hot-key" channel switcher for version Roger Wilco Mark 1C or above. It is used by an estimated 60% of internet Flight Squadrons. It has many extra features and seems to work well with all operating systems. There is an estimated 10,ooo downloads of this software. The software is a little rough looking, but MyTuner is a project that is supported by the [TiC]Clan guys. They have a extensive "MyTuner Manual" and a Feedback Evaluation Form too. [TiC]Gadgetman, the author of MyTuner, is politely asking for $5 donations to help fund his FREE RW tuner development, he is currently considering touching up MyTuner.

MyTuner adds "hot-key" channel switch features and other long need extras to gaming community standard voice communication software Roger Wilco. MyTuner is the preferred RW channel switcher by internet gaming Squadrons. It is used by tens of thousands of gamers world wide. to get the absolute latest version or to donate to help [TiC]Gadgetman advance this click here!

RWTuneG2 is written by "Hexdump" and has been around for a while (years). It was one of the the first to offer a clean interface. It was a little buggy at first, but he has released his second version. "Hexdump" has been supporting the Roger Wilco gaming community for years! Hats off to his generous helping hand to the gaming community. They also offer several other 3rd party Roger Wilco utilities.

BoseTuner (now offline) is the tuner, it is modeled after MyTuner. BoseTuner's author "BadRat", states he wrote it to work with the game "WWII Online", because he had trouble getting MyTuner to work with "WWII Online". It has a professional looking web site with support and forums. We have not tested it yet, give us feedback if you have.


Quake3 RW Thingy is an in game Roger Wilco controller program that works differently then all the other "tuners". It is designed to specifically work with only Quake3 as an add-on to Quake3. It allows special Quake3 console commands to be used to tell RW which channels to switch too, it too has not been tested by our team yet.

"RWtuner" was the original Roger Wilco add-on tuner it was written by a guy called Keith Kile "Gunny". No contact email or web site is available from his original version. The original "RWtuner" version 1b came with limited documentation.


"Others", there were several other "tuners", but they seemed rather buggy and they have now faded from the gaming scene.

 (Page last updated 30 July, 05)

 

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