How to use silence detection

Last Updated: Nov 26, 2015 06:44PM HKT
Welcome to the XSplit Workshop, a feature series where we provide tips to help you get the most out of your broadcast. 

This edition will explore one of lesser known features of XSplit Broadcaster: Microphone silence detection!

Microphone silence detection is a useful tool for those who want to limit the amount of background noise in their live stream or local recording audio. The general idea is that the microphone is auto-muted while the mic audio is below a set threshold after a set period of time.

You can setup silence detection by clicking the tools tab and selecting general settings. In the general settings menu click on the audio tab. Click on the check box next to silence detection to active it and to adjust the settings.
XSplit Broadcaster Audio Settings
Quick fact: 1000 milliseconds (ms) = 1 second.

Settings - Threshold
The first setting is the threshold which has a value range of 1-128. You can think of the threshold as a sort of guard or gateway that has certain requirements for incoming audio from the microphone to be passed through to your stream or recording. When the incoming audio does not reach the threshold level, then the microphone will be muted (this is also dependent on the silence period, but more on that later). When the incoming audio surpasses the threshold level then the microphone will be un-muted and audio will pass through to the live stream or local recording for as long as the audio remains above the threshold level.

Setting a high threshold level is recommend for those who have a great deal of background noise. Some items that fall under this category are mechanical keyboards, fans, external music devices, or those who speak at high volume. This can also help user with omnidirectional microphones, which tend to catch a lot of background noises. Setting a low threshold level is those who have a small amount of background noise. Some examples of this are people who might be soft spoken or want to hide light keyboard presses from coming through the stream audio.

Settings - Silence Period
The second setting is for the silence period which has a wide value range. The silence period is measured in milliseconds (1000 milliseconds equals 1 second). The silence period refers to the period after the last sound was picked up before a period of “silence”. It's the period that needs to occur before the microphone is auto-muted even if the threshold limit is not met.

Setting a low value for the silence period is useful for those who want to eliminate background noise quickly. Perhaps you had to set a high threshold level due to level of background noise and you want to speak directly into the mic and then cut out the background noise when you’ve finished speaking. Setting a high value for the silence period is useful for those who do not want their audio to be cut too quickly. An example of this is a user who likes to take brief pauses while they speak. If this user set the silence period too low, their audio could seem choppy or disjointed due to the constant muting and un-muting of the microphone.

That does it for the Silence Detection tutorial. We recommend users experiment with their silence detection settings until they find the perfect settings. If you have any further issues with silence detection after reading this tutorial please post in our support forums.

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