As my stream setup has gotten more complicated, I needed a mixer to control audio levels. I started out with a free software mixer called Voicemeeter. But after using it for a year, I experienced issues with Bluetooth connectivity and audio crackling. I got fed up with it, so I spent all the money I earned from my side projects on a hardware mixer, the TC Helicon GoXLR.
The GoXLR looks like a gaming product out of the box. It has LEDs everywhere which contribute to that aesthetic. The top plate and the faders are made of plastic, but the main frame is metal. It doesn't feel as sturdy as the professional audio equipment I had before, especially the faders, but the rubber buttons are very tactile and satisfying.
Despite its looks, this little box replaces the Focusrite Scarlett Solo, DBX 286s, and Voicemeeter! Here is what my audio chain looked like before and after.
Shure SM58 -> DBX 286s -> Focusrite Scarlett Solo -> PC -> Voicemeeter
Shure SM58 -> GoXLR -> PC
I was able to uninstall Voicemeeter, its macro pad for keyboard shortcuts, and all eight of its virtual audio cables. Now the GoXLR handles all of my audio processing, mixing, and routing. Then it exposes five output devices and three input devices to the PC.
- Broadcast Stream Mix
- Chat Mic
This is amazing because now you can assign the different outputs to the GoXLR faders, and use the routing table to determine which inputs go to which outputs. And that's just the beginning, you can customize literally everything on this machine, like the LEDs, faders, mute buttons, and cough button. It even supports multiple banks of samples and voicemods.
Another great feature of the GoXLR is that you can create multiple profiles and save your processor settings, samples, and voicemods to a specific profile. Even better, the GoXLR integrates with the Elgato Streamdeck so that you can change profiles with the push of a button, or as part of a larger multi-action. I use this feature to switch to my
brb profile, which mutes my mic, when I step away from the keyboard during a stream.
Even with all of the customization options, the GoXLR was incredibly simple to set up. I had the inputs routed, processor adjusted, and audio coming into my stream in about an hour. I didn't have to read any instructions, although TC Helicon has a great YouTube channel with lots of basic and advanced tutorials.
After configuring everything, I ran a quick sound test. I thought that the GoXLR actually sounded better than the DBX 286s. Here's the footage from the first recording.
Now for the biggest drawback of the GoXLR in my opinion, it doesn't really support wireless headsets. Don't get me wrong, this makes sense as it's impossible to monitor yourself with a 250ms delay. But I was hoping to sit down at the computer and work wirelessly. I can still switch over to bluetooth and connect directly to my computer, but I'm still figuring out the best way to switch back and forth.
Overall I would highly recommend the GoXLR to streamers who are just starting out and have a larger budget. It's one box that does everything you need. I would also recommend this to mid level streamers who are looking to upgrade from their beginner audio setup, as it simplifies every step of your audio chain.
That being said, I'm looking to sell my Focusrite Scarlett Solo interface and my DBX 286s processor. It's a perfect gear combo to get you started in podcasting and/or streaming. If you're interested, shoot me a DM on Twitter!