A voice communication platform like Discord needs a bunch of audio-related settings to provide users with the best possible experience.
And if you head over to the Voice & Video settings in Discord, you’ll see things such as Echo Cancellation, Noise Reduction, Quality of Service, High Packet Priority, Noise Suppression, Automatic Gain Control, and more.
That’s a lot of options, but for this guide, we’ll focus on Automatic Gain Control (AGC), what it does and why or whether anyone should use it.
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Automatic Gain Control – What Does It Do?
Even though Discord is an excellent app for communication, it’s not perfect. Furthermore, even if it was perfect, there still are hardware, software, or network-related issues that Discord can’t fix.
However, some options like Automatic Gain Control can alleviate these problems just a little bit to improve the quality of a voice call.
So, what does Automatic Gain Control do?
Simply put, it amplifies or decreases your audio signal based on the situation. So, for example, if you’re having any kind of problem that could result in reduced audio volume or signal, AGC will increase the audio signal to return voice quality to a “normal” state.
It also works the other way around. If the audio from your microphone becomes louder than usual, it will reduce the gain to make it quieter for the users in the voice call/channel.
Basically, this option constantly tries to manipulate the audio signal to keep it at a constant.
Should You Use It?
While AGC sounds like a handy solution to a prevalent problem, it’s not something we recommend using. It’s simply not “smart” enough to compensate or properly detect loss of quality.
Discord users frequently complain that Automatic Gain Control fiddles with the audio quality too much and too often even when it isn’t needed.
Imagine just how ear-piercing sudden spikes in audio volume can be. Or how annoying it is when you suddenly can’t hear your friends.
So, just leave it disabled.
How To Enable/Disable Automatic Gain Control
Whether you use this option or not, you’ll want to know how to access it.
- Start Discord and click on User Settings (cogwheel icon, bottom-left)
- Select Voice & Video on the lift of menu tabs on the left.
- Scroll down to the Voice Processing category and look for Automatic Gain Control.
- Flick the button to enable or disable it.
Which Audio Settings Should You Use?
If you want to get the best possible microphone audio while on Discord, here are the audio settings we recommend using:
- Echo Cancellation – Enabled
- Noise Reduction – Enabled
- Advanced Voice Activity – Disabled
- Automatic Gain Control – Disabled
- Attenuation – 0%
- Automatically determine input sensitivity – off (-40dB to -50dB)
- Audio Subsystem – Standard
- Show a warning when Discord is not detecting audio from your mic – Enabled
With these settings, you should have a greater talking experience on Discord.
However, it’s also important to note that this combination of settings won’t work for everyone. Different headsets, microphones, and even computer hardware can impact microphone quality.