"Low-latency, high quality voice chat"
It is always easier and faster to talk than type, especially when playing a game over the internet and you have to communicate with the other players. While some of those games have built-in support for microphones and voice-chat there are many others that don’t have this feature implemented. That’s where Mumble comes in, as it allows all players to communicate with each other via microphones to make the gaming experience more enjoyable and fun. The fact that it can be used for virtually anything, from a casual conversation between friends or a talk between professionals, makes it a very convenient freeware for non-gamers too.
The installer includes both Mumble (the client) and Murmur (the server). Mumble is the main application that will be used in order to let you connect to a server, whilst Murmur includes everything you need to create your own server and let other clients connect to you instead. Normally you would install the client and perhaps the server too, but you can choose to uncheck either’s installation. Mumble can run under any Windows, Linux and Mac OS X machine.
It has a very user friendly interface that will help you configure your input and output devices the first time you launch the program. After you’re done setting it up you can establish connection with a server and chat with all the users connected there using your microphone. There are many features in this program, for instance you can mute yourself if you only want to listen to the rest of the users or deafen yourself if on the other hand don’t want to listen to the others at all. In the main window you will also find a log that records every action taken for better organization.
The quality of the sound during the voice chat is superb. This is due to voice compression technology, as well as the ability that Mumble has to remove noise and improve clarity, since it uses voice pre-processing. In addition it can cancel echo, which means that you won’t be hearing your voice from your speakers or headsets.
What else is impressive is the positional-audio feature, with support for many games. Using positional-audio Mumble can determine which user controls each in-game character, so that their voices will be coming from the direction that their character is. It’s a very nice feature that can certainly make the game a lot more realistic.
The system resources that it consumes are quite a lot, therefore you can’t run the program and play a game at the same time if your computer doesn’t have a lot of memory and processing power. This is not a big issue nowadays since modern computers are powerful enough to handle heavy multitasking.
Teamspeak (Client, Server) is one of the most popular ways to communicate via voice in-game. It has a fully customizable user interface and more features than Mumble, like file transferring between users that are connected to the same server. Another voice-chat solution is Ventrilo, which is a very simple and easy to use freeware but it’s rarely updated anymore.
All gamers want to enjoy their games as much as they can, and Mumble’s help to achieve that is invaluable. However, non-gamers can use this program too, for any kind of activity, which makes it a fine software for everyone.