May 5, 2019

Overtone: A New Solution to Voice Communication

overtone A New Solution to Voice Communication

               The world of online communication has been a long and winding road. With the grandfather of TeamSpeak and the current parent generation of Discord, it’s interesting to see what offspring come from these. It looks like we might have a new entry with Overtone, a new kid to the block that improves on a lot of basic features while introducing their own twists.


               So what makes Overtone so different? One worthy note, is their dedication to getting the strongest voice quality possible. To achieve that, they have brought along Vivox, the world’s leading company in voice communications and featured in major games such as Fortnite, League of Legends, and more. It doesn’t stop with quality either. They want quantity, sporting the ability to grab thousands of voices in a single lobby while maintaining the strength of their service. I’m not sure why you would want that many people in a lobby but it’s an intriguing claim.

               Overtone wants you to build a team that you enjoy playing with, talking to, and generally hearing from on a regular basis. This is where their Team vs Party system comes from. A Team is a gathering of people that commonly play together and want to stay in communication for future endeavors. A Party is a temporary gathering of people you may or may not know but are coming together for a common purpose. So think of the party as a one night shenanigan and a team as your roommates that you see often.

overtone team vs party

               Not only can you bring people to the Party system, but you can use Overtone for finding teammates of the same skill, caliber, or intention that you are looking for. Need a fifth for CSGO? Simply open Parties under the CSGO tab and see if you can grab another. Want a pick up group without the hassle of match making? Find them in app and get the party together right away. No need to exchange or join servers.

                On the home screen, you get a nice view of games that you’re interested in and the parties that are open to joining. I was able to find a party for League of Legends in 2 minutes and was communicating with them right away. The ease of voice chat and the clarity made the teamwork easier to coordinate, even with complete strangers.

                Speaking with the CEO Nick Burt, he maintains that, although Discord has a heavy chunk of the player base right now, Overtone can have a place without needing to compete. He talks of both co-existing, with Overtone bringing the crisp voice comms that every gamer to streamer crave for while Discord can maintain the aftermath or the channels that they are known for.

               Burt also was able to shed light on many of the future plans for Overtone, one being a strong focus on the Partner Program that they’ve pushed out. “We’re looking to our Partners, especially early on, to be the testers of all future updates. We want to work with our partners to not only have them support us but support them as well.” He also spoke about growing communities within Overtone and having a lot of possibilities that others don’t offer, some I can’t speak of at this time but sound like they will make a HUGE splash when they do launch. From my conversation, it sounds like Partners will have a strong voice in the development and where they take Overtone. Who else would you want to trust more than people that use and love your product right?

               Using Overtone over the past week, I’ve noticed a strong and reliable connection to others that I connected with. A constant crisp voice was maintained, allowing me to hear my teammates clearly. It was like everyone around me had high quality mics, even the people using basic headsets.

               Overtone dives into a very hard field to take any ground from. TeamSpeak is still used today with professional teams of many esports, finding it more reliable than Discord. Discord is used constantly for streaming and communication on many levels. With Overtone having the strength of Vivox and being featured in so many games already, don’t be surprised if you start hearing their name a lot more in the coming months. Keep an eye out.

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