Getting around a Discord problem
I have sound issues on Discord, an occasional background humming or similar noise - that I can’t hear, and that doesn’t manifest when I’m using Discord’s “mic check”. But others have notified me about it, and then I notice my picture in meetings showing a green border, as though I’m talking, when I’m clearly not saying anything. So that means I’m making an online meeting just a little bit harder for everyone else.
My setup for working from home is very… eBay. Cheap audio and camera equipment, along with audio and power cables far too close together I suspect. But it mostly works almost all of the time on other platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet, it just seems to be Discord that has a particularly sensitivity to it.
The simple solution is to enable Discord’s “push to talk”, so that I’m only sending any noise into a meeting when I’m pressing a specific keyboard combination.
Except while I’m talking I’m sometimes typing into Discord, so I can’t push whatever it is I need to push at the same time. Or I’m typing a note into a different program, so the required keypress won’t register with Discord unless I quickly return to the Discord window. Or I might even be typing on a completely different machine, so by the time I type all the right keyboard combinations to tell the KVM to get me back to the right machine and the right window the moment will have definitely passed.
After a little experimentation it turns out the answer to this is a simple USB gamepad.
To prevent it interupting my typing, I’ve set one of the buttons to toggle the mute in Discord, but it can work for “push to talk” too. I think the ideal solution is either some kind of “push to talk” foot pedal, or for me to spend more on a better setup - but right now plugging this specifically into the machine I’m using Discord on works. So I can minimise my disruption to a meeting, but still contribute in a timely fashion.
Even if you don’t need to mask electrical noise like I do, you might find this useful if you want to selectively mute yourself on Discord. If you’re interested in trying this a selection of gamepads are available here, I suspect this will work with their Bluetooth enabled range too, and of course there are many other sources of this kind of game controller.