TeamSpeak is one of the most widely used voice chat solutions out there, today. It offers users the ability to talk in real-time to communities across multiple platforms, and even host their own servers for free with options to expand the servers to fit a larger audience with a small fee.
So, what makes TeamSpeak so useful?
For starters, the audio quality is pretty amazing. You can customize your input and output to suit your particular needs, and you can even change volume of individual speakers as needed. This makes TeamSpeak one of the most robust and inexpensive solutions for keeping your team connected, no matter what platform you’re using. Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, and even iOS users can join TeamSpeak chats on private and public servers.
Tips and Tricks
Try to avoid putting a microphone too close to your mouth. While sitting across the room from your microphone is never advised, keeping it a safe distance from your line of breathing is a good idea. You can avoid a lot of headache by going to Settings > Capture and testing your audio (with headphones on) prior to logging in to the server.
Having your microphone key up as it detects audio can be easy for you, but a nightmare for other users on the channel. Imagine every time you sneeze or a speaker comes over your speakers too loud actually keying up and sharing it with the channel. By enabling push-to-talk, you can send just what you want to send, and when you want to send it.
Bryan Miner from Technominer.net offered his advice, “To set a custom hotkey, head over to Settings > Options > Capture and click on the grey button next to Push-To-Talk. Setting the hotkey through the Hotkeys menu can be significantly more confusing for a new user.”
Create Multiple Playback and Capture Profiles
Do you frequently switch between using speakers and headphones, or change from one microphone to the next depending on what it is that you’re doing? Creating multiple playback profiles can make it easy to switch between settings so you can easily go from desktop microphone and speakers to a headset without having to configure each setting individually.
You can access this setting by going to Settings > Playback or Settings > Capture and using the Profiles menu on the left-side center of the window.
Use the Whisper Function
Want to speak with someone privately without leaving the room you’re in? Whispering back and forth is a great way to get this done, and a feature available in TeamSpeak 3. You can configure groups of people to whisper or individuals, and special hotkeys that make it easy to whisper to that group.
What’s really cool about Whisper is that you can configure settings to allow or disallow certain individuals to send you a whisper. You can also have it play a special sound when you send or receive a whisper so you know whether or not a you’re getting the message through that channel.
Set up Contacts
Contacts allows you to configure how you interact with a particular user on TeamSpeak. You can ignore, configure custom whisper permissions, and find out what channel your buddy is logged in to at any time. In addition, you can see when the person was last seen on the server.
You can also set a phonetic nickname and custom alias to help you remember the user better, beyond their given name on the server.
It’s easy to step on someone in TeamSpeak. Be polite and allow others the opportunity to talk. As with any Web-based mode of communication, lag can set in and cause these things to happen, but folks will appreciate a bit of courtesy.
TeamSpeak has a built-in method for recording audio that can come in handy when recording a podcast. Audio podcasters are constantly looking for clear and high-quality means for recording conversations across the Web, and Skype doesn’t always work out quite as well as it should. TeamSpeak gives you the ability to add some control to the environment as you can host the server yourself, making it one of the more reliable solutions out there.
Turn on Country Flags
TeamSpeak is a great way to stay connected with people from across the world. One of the interesting features of TeamSpeak 3 is that it allows you to see flags that represent where a given speaker is from. You can turn this on easily by going to Settings > Design > Channel Tree > Display Country Flag on Clients.
Turning off Sound Packs in Bookmarks
When you set a bookmark, you may notice that your deactivated text-to-speech functions return. This is because bookmarks have a habit of overriding your other settings. You can counter this problem by opening Bookmarks, hitting Advanced (or More) and toggling Sound Pack option in the lower-right area of the window to Sounds Deactivated.
Minimalist Text-to-Speech reduces the amount of text-to-speech chatter you hear to just a word or two. This is great when you need the function but don’t want a flood of robotic words. You can find this plug-in here. Alternatively, you can customize audible notifications by going to Settings > Notifications.
Use the Overlay Feature
A plug-in that comes pre-installed with TeamSpeak 3 is the DirectX Overlay Plugin. This handy tool allows you to keep track of who’s talking in TeamSpeak without having to alt-tab over from your current game. A handy overlay will keep you updated on who’s talking within the screen you’re presently viewing. This is a great feature for World of Warcraft guilds, Minecraft communities, and any other gaming group you might come across.
I’ve used this feature to get to know the members of my Call of Duty: Black Ops clan a little better. Recognizing voices can be difficult when you’re not actively looking at your TeamSpeak window, and the overlay helps avoid confusing occasions where you might think one person it speaking when it’s actually someone entirely different.
You can join LockerGnome’s ongoing TeamSpeak server by signing up for a Gnomies subscription. This server is used to interact directly with the audience over at live.pirillo.com in addition to providing tech support, Minecraft chat, and other features for Gnomies subscribers.