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RTX Voice 1 Year Later

The following is my personal experience with RTX Voice and may not represent the opinions of Antlion Audio or its staff. I strongly recommend using this alternative free program, Real-time Noise Reduction covered here: https://antlionaudio.com/blogs/news/free-active-noise-suppression-without-rtx-voice

In April 2020 I did a quick analysis of RTX Voice's beta program and found it was good but not perfect. It's almost a year later and I figured it was time to re-download and see what's new, improved, and if my original opinions has changed.

What's New?

Probably the biggest improvement is it now supports GTX graphics cards! No more crazy workarounds like you saw in the first article to get it to work. I used my GTX 1660 Super for the tests.

I'm not sure if it is this new GTX support or other changes, but in my last test the program sat at full memory use (1.3 gigs) for the entire test. That was my major beef with the program.

This time it started at 1.3 gigs and slowly decreased its memory footprint over time, ending at a staggering 2mb after about 20 minutes. Upon restart it was back to 1.3 gigs. My best guess is every reboot it re-learns the current background noise in order to reduce it as opposed to saving a profile and adjusting it gradually. So, if your system is strapped for resources you may need to give it a few minutes before jumping into your 8k gaming experience.

Also it appears Nvidia is now bundling this program with their Nvidia broadcast app.

Otherwise, I wasn't able to find any major changes on the features side.

A New Series of Tests

Test 1: Removing Incoming Audio Issues

Well, in the first article I was excited about reducing the incoming audio problems of my friend. Sadly, that feature doesn't work as intended and a year later has shown no improvement. In fact, basically, Nvidia now suggests keeping the 'incoming audio' noise reduction turned off.

So, scratch the incoming audio. It's a cool idea, I hope they can get it to work someday.

Test 2: Light Background Noise

I re-tested the original test. A fairly quiet office with a heater (and its fan) running, plus the noise of the PC and any line noise. I tested RTX Voice, then a test with a simple noise gate.

The results were the same as last year. Both the noise gate and RTX voice achieved basically the same result of killing the fan noise, so unless you want to be very careful with how you gate your audio, RTX voice wins for being easier to setup now!

Test 3: Heavy Background Noise

I got multiple comments last year in our Discord that people had much more success with heavier background noises than my quiet office. To simulate this, I turned on Lupin's intro and did some test recordings with my phone playing. 

The results were excellent. RTX Voice outperformed both the raw audio and the noise gate with little quality loss.

Test 4: Day 2

I had written this post after a day of testing and was happy with it. The next day I logged into a discord channel and immediately saw my voice activation activate followed by the screams of pain and agony from the other people in the channel. For reasons unknown, RTX Voice had gone on a rampage. It was MASSIVELY boosting my mic signal. I double checked all my settings, made sure I had followed the directions on the RTX Voice page and found I had made no errors. I monitored the mic via listen to device for several minutes until the AI kicked in and finally resolved the problem. That said, it was a pretty jarring and unexpected problem and everyone in the channel had simply assumed my mic was broken. This problem returned at random the following day.

 

New Conclusion?

Well, I was on the fence last year at launch, especially when testing on a GTX card. I was pretty happy with my passive noise canceling solution, but after the first day of testing this time I was ready to change my tune. Then day 2 happened.

While the system resource drag is now under control, I don't know if the incorrect boost problem will return at any minute, or tomorrow, or a week from now. As someone who represents themselves with mic quality, I once again have to fall short of fully recommending it. Which kills me. On day 1 I had written that this is a slam-dunk must install.

On day 3 I have now re-written my conclusion to say, if you have a quiet house, just use a noise gate (Follow our noise gate tutorial here). However, if you do have people watching TV in a nearby room or just have a lot of general noise in the house I think the risk is worth the reward and would recommend it. Just be aware that there's still some issues that may come up along the way.


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