TC Helicon GoXLR | Australis | RRP: $699.00
The rise of popular side hustles like streaming and content creation has led to a lot of new products being marketed to podcasters, YouTubers and streamers. This is all well and good, and the products are designed for low latency monitoring, recording and broadcasting, but the savvier gamers among us can see how beneficial these products are for gaming as well. Different consoles require different inputs, outputs, signals, connectors and therefore adapters, as well as communicating via different softwares that can leave us with fragile, complexly routed gaming rig, that are teetering on crashing, and are meant to be reliable and to improve communication while gaming. Enter stage left, the TC Helicon TC Helicon GoXLR, an XLR based audio interface designed for low latency streaming and recording, but more importantly for this month: an interface uniquely suited to gaming. TC Helicon are a branch of TC Electronic, the Helicon family being more focused on digital effects and processing more suited to live streaming, gaming, video and content creation. The GoXLR is one part of a larger family of TC Helicon products, sitting pretty in the middle of the range to provide solutions for both users operating an audio interface for the first time, or the seasoned engineer who needs a simple, all-in-one solution to processes that used to take a multitude of cabling between multiple pieces of equipment.
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The TC Helicon TC Helicon GoXLR is a single XLR/microphone input audio interface with an onboard four channel mixer. It connects to your computer via a USB cable, and has an optical port for connection directly to a console. On the back panel, between the XLR in and USB ports are the Line In and Line Out, additional Mic In and Headphones output, all four being TRS connectors — a more common connector for gamers. The main front panel primarily features four separate faders with independent mute buttons, and metering on each fader to keep optimal audio levels, as well as looking great. The fader’s sources are displayed on their screen’s, so you can quickly adjust sounds without accidentally selecting the wrong fader or source. On board DSP allows you to effect your vocal with Reverb, Echo, Pitch or a Morph button. The TC Helicon GoXLR features an onboard sampler, as well as universal mic mute and an effect sound dictated by the ‘!@#$?*’ button. The XLR input has phantom power available, and captures sound at a maximum of 24-bit at 48 kHz, capturing everything from 10Hz to 20kHz. The system has signal to noise ratio of approx. 101 dB, and a dynamic range of 110dB— all this to say that even when streaming or gaming in a live situation, the TC Helicon GoXLR will maintain phenomenal clarity, even before you dive into the adjustable settings in the GO XLR app.
The GO XLR app is where the TC Helicon GoXLR really comes to life. While the adjust parameters on the unit itself are great for control once they’re set up, the customisation of it all is controlled by the app. Depending on your needs, sound can be adjusted, sent, routed and mixed from different inputs to different outputs. For gamers, you can quickly and easily route your mic or headset within the app to ensure your teammates can hear you, with easy adjustments for mute and your headphones if needed. It also facilitates a better quality mic than a lot of headsets usually used for gaming, often the low-fidelity electret-style mics, similar to what is in a smartphone. The GO XLR app allows you to set up your signal, as well as customise the visuals from aesthetic things to the lights and colour palette, to the sources on each fader so that it fits for you. Routing within the GO XLR app allows you to do things like compress, limit and EQ your microphone input, ensuring great quality of sound. The onboard effects are different from there, and are instead used to alter the voice rather than treat it. The app has multiple windows such as Mic, Mixer, Effects, Sampler and finally System, which is where you can save and store presets and settings for different games or function of the GoXLR.
The TC Helicon GoXLR is an ideal purchase for the curious gamer as streaming becomes more and more accessible. The GoXLR facilitates functions from super simple round trips of a microphone and headset while gaming, to eventual streaming rigs with signal coming in and being distributed and recorded for your audiences to listen to live, or play back at a later date. The GoXLR can be used as simply as you like, or as the heart of a more complex and involved rig for a variety of functions like music making, streaming, video content or wherever else your creativity might take you. The high quality XLR input allows you to use any microphone you like at low latency, hi-fidelity talkback during gaming or streaming. Functions that used to take multiple pieces such as a preamp, mixer and sampler are all housed within one swanky looking unit in the GoXLR, a unit that can be as involved as you need it to, and can grow with you as your audio needs evolve.