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GoXLR Mini Review

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When audio professionals are looking for top-end gear, one of the first companies that come to mind is TC Group. One of its branches, TC-Helicon, launched the GoXLR in 2018 as the first professional-grade audio product designed with streamers in mind. It’s a versatile and multi-purpose device, though not budget-friendly for the new streamer.

GoXLR Mini

Features

  • 3 Step Setup
  • 12 Sound Cards
  • Built in EQ, Compressor, and Gate

The GoXLR Mini, launched in 2019, is the “younger brother” of the GoXLR, generally costing about half the price. While the Mini cut out some of the “fun” like vocal effects and samples, it kept its most important features and cut the price in half, making it an appealing choice for streamers who are looking to take their audio to the next level.

The GoXLR comes with several features, such as faders, multiple audio channels, a USB interface, a powerful preamp, and onboard audio processing.

GoXLR Mini Features

Here are some of the features that make the GoXLR Mini a great device for any streamer who wants to take their audio to the next level:

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    Faders and Buttons

    The most obvious feature of the GoXLR Mini is its audio controls. Use the four faders to adjust both the audio that you hear and the output to the stream simultaneously via separate audio channels. Quickly mute and unmute channels sources with the push of a button, or cover a cough or a swear using one of the buttons for it. And of course, most importantly, all of the faders and buttons are equipped with customizable RGB lighting, so it will look sleek and at-home with any setup.

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    Multiple Audio Channels

    The GoXLR Mini creates multiple distinct audio channels on your PC, allowing you to control the volume of different apps independently. Just set each application to the proper output channel to easily adjust their levels with one of the faders. This lets you make quick adjustments to your game, chat, and music volume without ALT+TABing or interrupting the stream.

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    USB Interface with Phantom Power

    If you’re using an XLR microphone for the best possible sound quality, you need some way to hook it to the computer. The GoXLR Mini is a USB interface on its own, allowing you to connect any mic to the computer just by plugging it in. It also includes “phantom power” which is needed for some microphones with electrical components. (Don’t worry about that – it’s just there if you need it!)

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    Powerful Preamp

    The GoXLR Mini’s MIDAS preamp has enough clean gain that no additional products are needed for even the most gain-hungry mics. Dynamic XLR mics are very quiet and need additional gain from a preamp to get audible audio. The most popular mic among top streamers today is the Shure SM7B, which is notoriously quiet.

    Most USB interfaces don’t have enough juice on their own to get the sound loud enough or trying to force it will distort the audio. This is why some mics require the addition of a CloudLifter for some extra clean gain. As a mixer, an audio interface, and a powerful preamp, you only need one piece of gear to get the benefits of all three products.

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    Onboard Audio Processing

    In order to get your audio sounding clean and crisp, you’ll want to use filters like a limiter and noise gate. Using these filters through your streaming software will use up precious CPU power. Fortunately, the GoXLR Mini does the processing before the signal ever reaches your PC, allowing all of the adjustments to happen lag-free and without using any CPU power.

Pros and Cons of the GoXLR Mini

Here are a few pros and cons of the GoXLR Mini:

Pros:

  • Distinct audio channels for quick and easy audio control via physical faders
  • High-quality preamp and USB interface in one product!
  • You hear what the stream hears, for effortless mixing
  • Compatible with most microphones
  • Looks and feels great – it’s well-built with customizable RGB lights, smooth faders, and responsive buttons
  • It has built-in audio processing, such as a noise gate, EQ, and compression 
  • Sufficient I/O to use with a two-PC setup pretty easily

Cons:

  • More complicated than a simple “plug-and-play” solution
  • Expensive! And this is before taking into account that you’ll need cables and you’re likely purchasing a nicer microphone, which can easily push your cost to $400-700 or higher
  • Not always available, the stock tends to be pretty limited

How to Set Up the GoXLR Mini

Here is how to set up the GoXLR Mini:

  1. Step 1

    Connect USB cable – this powers it, so no additional wall outlets are used!

  2. Step 2

    Connect your mic to the back (ex: via XLR cable) and headphones to the front.

  3. Step 3

    Download GoXLR App and install it.

  4. Step 4

    Enter “Mic Setup” and select Dynamic, Condenser, or Line-in, depending on your microphone.

  5. Step 5

    Adjust your gain so that your normal speaking voice falls into the “Good” range.

  6. Step 6

    Route apps to the proper audio outputs (ex: discord, Spotify, system) – this can be found by going to Sound Settings → App Volume and Device Settings. Note that there must be audio actively coming from a source for it to appear on the list. Make sure your default output is set to “System” to default games to this fader!

  7. Step 7

    Change routing in GoXLR App. Anything that you want to hear should go to “Headphones” while anything you want the stream to hear should go to “Broadcast Stream Mix.” Make sure that only your Mic is routed to “Chat Mic” or else your friends will hear all sorts of things they shouldn’t!

  8. Step 8

    Set “stream mix” as your default mic in your streaming software, which sends the mixed audio from the GoXLR to your stream as its audio input, including your system, music, chat, and microphone.

At this point, you’re pretty much good to go! You should hear approximately the same thing that your stream hears and be able to adjust it on the fly. There are other tutorials that can help you set up your noise gate, compression, and EQ. Don’t forget to play with the color customizations to make it look exactly the way you want it to.

Conclusion

The GoXLR Mini is a fantastic product. By combining great design with extremely high-end audio equipment, TC-Helicon made a device that can replace two or even three separate audio controllers for a streamer. It’s the perfect solution if you’re looking to use a mic that needs a lot of gain like the Shure SM7B. A cheap solution without the Mini would be to use a Focusrite Solo and a Dynamite Preamp, which ends up at nearly the same price without the amazing routing and mixing features that the GoXLR provides. For any streamer looking to upgrade to an XLR mic, it seems like a no-brainer.

With that said, for many streamers, especially those just starting out, you can get similar routing and mixing functionality by using the software provided with the Elgato Wave 3. While it lacks onboard audio processing, it provides more audio channels along with some other great features that make it an awesome starting point for streamers with less of an audio budget. 

About the Author

Kurt

Forever an avid techie, Kurt (aka Physek on Twitch) is a Software Engineer by day and a streamer/content creator by night. These days, he mostly streams Mario while talking about life, technology, and especially cats.

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