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What is Automatic Gain Control in Discord

Posted by Arch on August 29, 2019
Discord What is Automatic Gain Control

If you’ve tried to improve the quality of your audio in Discord, you might have come across the Automatic Gain Control option.

This option resides in the Voice and Video section within the App Settings and has more to do with your sound quality than you might think. So, should you leave this feature on or should you disable it?

This article will explain the Automatic Gain Control and help you improve your headset’s sound quality without any additional software.

What Is Automatic Gain Control?

Let’s forget about Discord for a second and focus on Automatic Gain Control itself.

Automatic Gain Control, or AGC for short, is a closed-loop feedback circuit that regulates and adjusts the loudness of an amplifier or a chain of amplifiers. This type of circuit is used in cell phone signal boosters.

If you’re not a radio frequency engineer, and the chances are you aren’t, then the definition above doesn’t make much sense. So, let’s make it simple.

Imagine that you have seen your friend across the street. Neither of you can come to the other side as the traffic is busy at that moment. So, you start talking 20 feet one from another and wait for the opportunity to cut across.

distance

Since you aren’t that close, you have to talk loud for your friend to hear you and understand what you’re saying. A few seconds have passed and the opportunity has shown itself. The coast is clear!

Your friend starts crossing the street towards you and as they’re getting closer and closer, you are lowering down your voice. You’ll be doing this, probably without even realizing, right up until you are face to face.

The Automatic Gain Control circuit works on the same principle but with cellphone signals. It plays a vital role in maintaining your cellphone signal booster’s performance. Without AGC, you wouldn’t have the same audio quality when making long-distance calls. Some signals, especially louder ones, could even interfere with your own, making the other side of your call inaudible.

amplifier

As this circuit’s significance grew over the years, it started expanding into other areas. So, how did it find itself on Discord and does it have the same role? The following section will give you an answer.

What Does Automatic Gain Control Mean on Discord?

Discord connects gamers all around the world, allowing them to talk to each other while playing their favorite games.

Oftentimes, people that are talking on the same Discord channel are continents apart from one another. With that in mind, a system that would regulate their shared audio signals is absolutely necessary. That system would have to amplify or decrease their signal as needed.

With the explanations above, Automatic Gain Control is a pretty logical solution. To answer the question, AGC has the same basic role, but it has been used in a slightly different way for the purpose of the platform.

Although its benefits are obvious, Automatic Gain Control could actually do the very opposite of what it’s supposed to. In other words, it could lower the quality of your audio while you’re in-game. So, where does this contradiction come from? Should you even enable this option on Discord?

Should You Keep Automatic Gain Control Enabled on Discord?

The Automatic Gain Control feature has turned out to be quite a trouble-maker in Discord. The reasons why developers have decided to include this feature are obvious, but the players’ feedback tells a different story.

There have been more than a few cases where Discord users complained that the volume is being lowered automatically when they’re talking to someone. This often occurs while they are in-game. The answer to why that’s happening is still not clear, but it could be because AGC misinterprets certain situations and signal strengths. So, now what?

If you’re just playing a game with your friends, this wouldn’t be that much of a problem to you. But, if you are recording your audio and video for other purposes, such as YouTube videos, this might seriously compromise the quality of your content.

Therefore, if you notice that your volume and sound quality often fluctuate while talking on Discord (and if this bothers you), try disabling the Automatic Gain Control Option.

Here’s how you’ll find it:

  1. Open your Discord app. This will also work on Discord Online.
  2. Click on Settings in the bottom-left corner of your screen. another window will open, containing a set of adjustable options.
    settings
  3. Select Voice and Video.
    voiceandvideo
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and toggle Automatic Gain Control Off.
    automaticgain

After disabling Automatic Gain Control in Discord, check if the problem still persists.

You Are Now a Discord AGC Expert

Congratulations! You now know what Automatic Gain Control is and how it affects signals on Discord. If you’ve been having some of the mentioned issues with the volume or overall sound quality, hopefully, you’ve resolved it with the help of this article.

Have ever noticed this problem before? Did disabling the Automatic Gain Control help? Tell us in the comments below.

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