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The O-Ring Mod seems to be a popular modification on the Geek Hack forums. Basically, you get a bunch of o-rings at the hardware store and put it under your key caps. The idea is that the rubber o-rings muffles the *Clacking* sound when you bottom out the keys. The plastic caps hitting the plastic base creates a harsh and loud clacking sound. Personally, I like the sound but for the sake of a good sleep, I decided to go through with this mod.
I went to my local hardware store and headed down to the plumbing section. The forum said? to look for size -008 standard o-rings but I could not find them anywhere. The o-rings I found used OD (Outer Diameter) and ID (Inner Diameter) measurements. I settle for 4 little boxed of #36 O-Rings which were 5/16 OD, 3/16 ID, and 1/16 in thickness. These o-rings were rather expensive at $2 per box and it only came with 10 o-rings each. If you can get it cheaper online, I would suggest you do that if you dont mind the wait.
Installation was easy. First, remove your key caps. Either use a special tool or improvise. I used the wire from a pair of cheap headphones and a nail clipper. I pushed the wire under the key cap with the help of the nail clipper. Then I spaced the wires evenly and carefully pulled upwards until the key caps popped out. Pay special care when doing wide keys like the spacebar, shift, enter, and backspace. I then placed one o-ring for each Cherry MX switch. Wider keys have stabilizers which need more o-rings for even distribution. For example, the spacebar has the Cherry MX switch in the center and two stabilizer pylons so I used 3 o-rings. Same goes for the backspace and shift keys. Refer to the picture for an idea of how I do this. Then, repeat. I only had 40 o-rings so I wasnt able to do my complete keyboard. I will probably finish that up in the weekend. For now, I have o-rings under my most used keys omitting the numbers, F-keys, arrow keys, and right-side keys.
Step 1: Get string or wire under key cap Step 2: Center string and pull up carefully Step 3: Get O-Ring Step 4: Slide o-ring deep into key cap Step 5: Firmly reinstall key cap
At first, the results were underwhelming. They only appeared to muffle the sound slightly. Almost as if it was still the same volume, just at another pitch. It was a lower sound. After a few day, I did notice it was noticeably quieter. I suppose, during the daytime, there was a lot white noise in the background which distracted from the performance. At night, the slightest sounds are amplified. At first, I wasnt too sure if the mod was worth the effort and cost. Now, I can say for sure that they’re worth it. The keys bottom out sooner. About 1/16th of an inch sooner but it is barely noticeable. This mod does not change the switch activation point, just the bottoming point. The keys do feel slightly different. The unmodded keys feel lighter while the silenced keys feels a bit mushy. Its not bad. I think the audible *clack* had a psychological impact on the feeling. Overall, I think this was a good mod. If you dont want to wake up a college roommate or want to be more discreet while typing, then this mod is worth the time and effort. If you can, order or buy in bulk. It should save you more money. I also noticed that I typed a bit faster. Maybe I was getting used to the keyboard but when taking a typing test, I scored higher than average. This mod is fairly easy to do. If you want to make your mechanical keyboard quieter, give this mod a chance. You will like the results.
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Cleaning the keyboard and using special oils should lessen the noise from the keyboard. However, we have also listed other solutions to make the keyboard quieter.
You can use a lubricant or oils to reduce the noise level from the switches. However, you cannot use any lubricant on your keyboard switch. These oils reduce friction on the switches and help reduce the overall noise from the Keyboard. Make sure to use special greasing agents labeled safe to use for the keyboard.
These oils can be used on both switches and stabilizers.
Having a hot-swappable keyboard will definitely make your job a lot easier. Since a hot-swappable keyboard will have a removable switch, you can remove it, disassemble and use the oil inside the switch.
If your keyboard switches are not hot-swappable, you may not be able to completely oil the switches. This will work, but it will not be as effective as disassembling the switch.
Follow the steps mentioned below to remove the switch for the keyboard with a hot-swappable switch.
Using the Keycap puller, remove the switch from the keyboard.
Once you open the switch casing, you will find four components, bottom housing, top housing, spring, and a stem. The bottom housing sits on the surface of the keyboard. Top housing sits on top of bottom housing. The spring goes inside the top and bottom housing. And finally, the stem sits on top of the spring.
Oil all these parts and reassemble them. You can also lubricate the stabilizers on the longer keys, such as the spacebar or shift key.
Disassembling the entire switch, lubricating them, and reassembling them just to make it a little quieter does seem like a lot of work. This is where an O-rings comes in.
The rubber O-ring sits inside the keycap, reducing any noise from the keycap when you press on it. This is a pretty simple solution. However, it does not lessen the sound from the actual switch. So you may not hear much of a difference.
Follow these steps to use the rubber O-rings.
Invert the keycap, place the rubber O-ring over the + sign, and press on it.
Repeat these steps for all the keys on your keyboard.
Another reason your keyboard sounds noisier is due to the hollow space inside the keyboard. The gaps between the keyboard’s circuit board and the keyboard case and the gap between the keys will reflect sound waves. This will result in the keyboard making more sound when you press a button.
However, you can fix this using keyboard foam. A keyboard foam stays between the keyboard backplate and the circuit board.
Below we have mentioned the steps briefly.
First, remove the keyboard backplate.
Cut the foam in a shape so it fits under the keyboard circuit board.
When you insert the foam, make sure you cut all the screw holes and USB port opening in the foam.
Insert the foam under the keyboard circuit board and reassemble.
Note: If you have trouble taking the keyboard apart, please refer to the internet to disassemble and reassemble your keyboard.
Keyboard switches also play a vital role when it comes to keyboard sound. A premium keyboard will have better key switches and higher quality components inside the switch. This makes the keyboard sound silent without compromising the mechanical feel of a mechanical keyboard.
If your keyboard switches make a lot of noise, you can replace them with a silent one. However, you can only replace keyboard switches if they are hot-swappable. Hot-swappable keys are removable and replaceable.
If the switches are soldered onto the board, please refer to other methods to make the keyboard quieter.
A desk mat or a large mouse pad under your keyboard will restrict the sound from traveling to the desk. Without a desk mat, the noise from the keyboard will sound a lot louder as the desk will absorb that noise and amplify it by a certain amount.
Although the sound difference might seem insignificant, it will reduce the keyboard sound when you use a desk mat or a large mouse pad.
If you’re looking for a keyboard that is both reliable and quiet, then a silent mechanical keyboard is the ideal choice. These keyboards offer the same excellent performance as their louder counterparts but with a reduced noise level. They have a more silent switch actuation, which means that the keys require less force for activation, resulting in a quieter typing experience.
These keyboards are usually made with premium materials such as PBT or ABS plastic, which provide excellent durability and a longer life expectancy.
So if you’re looking for a mechanical keyboard with the same performance but a silent typing experience, then a silent mechanical keyboard is a perfect choice.
Below are the top 15 silent mechanical keyboards that will give you a seamless typing and gaming experience.
Corsair Strafe RGB MK.2
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Corsair Strafe RGB MK.2 Silent Mechanical Keyboard is a top-tier keyboard with a silent and responsive typing experience. It features a full-size layout with a dedicated media control panel and a volume roller for convenient audio control.
The keyboard features Cherry MX Silent RGB mechanical switches, which provide gamers and typists with a silent and responsive typing experience. The switches are rated for up to 50 million keystrokes and are resistant to dust and wear, which means they are long-lasting.
The keys are individually programmable, allowing you to customize their gaming experience with custom macros and lighting effects. The keyboard also features dynamic multicolor RGB backlighting, allowing you to create stunning lighting effects.
The Strafe RGB MK.2 also features a detachable wrist rest and is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. With its comfortable design, customizability, and silent mechanical switches, the Corsair Strafe RGB MK2 is the perfect choice for any avid gamer and typist.
High-quality mechanical switches rated up to 50 million keystrokes
Customizable RGB backlighting with dynamic effects
USB full-key rollover and anti-ghosting technology
Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
Textured and contoured keycaps for improved grip
Detachable soft-touch wrist rest for comfort
Onboard memory to store profiles and macros
Non-detachable cable: The cable of the Corsair Strafe RGB MK.2 is not detachable and can be a hassle to change or replace
High price: It is relatively expensive compared to other mechanical keyboards in the same price range
SteelSeries Apex M750 TKL
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The SteelSeries Apex M750 is a tenkeyless mechanical gaming keyboard with SteelSeries proprietary QX2 linear mechanical switches for a silent , responsive gaming and typing experience. The SILENT switches are linear and feature a low actuation force of 45g, making them ideal for fast-paced gaming and typing sessions. The keyboard also features a slim, solid aluminum frame that makes the keyboard light and durable.
The SteelSeries Apex M750 also features RGB lighting with numerous color options, which you can customize to match any setup. The SteelSeries Apex M750 also features anti-ghosting technology that ensures all your keystrokes are registered, even during intense gaming sessions. The keyboard also features a GameSense reactive illumination system that allows you to synchronize your keyboard’s lighting with compatible games and applications.
The SteelSeries Apex M750 is the perfect keyboard for a silent , responsive, and customizable gaming and typing experience.
Features per-key RGB lighting and macro programming
Steelseries proprietary QX2 linear mechanical switches
Comfort-optimized design with low-friction, textured keycaps
Does not have multimedia controls
The keys are not programmable, which limits customizability.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Logitech G513 mechanical gaming keyboard is a top-of-the-line gaming and typing keyboard designed for gamers and typists who demand the best performance from their gaming and typing gear. The keyboard is made from high-grade aluminum alloy, giving it a robust construction and the perfect weight. It also features full RGB lighting. You can adjust the colors and brightness to match any gaming setup.
The keyboard comes with proprietary Logitech’s Romer-G mechanical switches, which provide a tactile and responsive feel for fast and accurate gaming and typing. The G513 also includes a fully programmable macro key, allowing you to customize your gameplay further.
Finally, the keyboard features a detachable palm rest, ensuring you can always get the perfect angle while gaming. Overall, the Logitech G513 mechanical gaming keyboard is an ideal choice for gamers and typists looking for a top-of-the-line experience.
Comes with proprietary Logitech Romer-G mechanical switches
It has a comfortable wrist rest
Does not have dedicated media control
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Cherry G80-3000 mechanical keyboard is designed for gamers, typists, and other professionals who demand an efficient and reliable experience. It features Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches that provide tactile feedback with every keystroke, ensuring a smooth, responsive typing experience. The keyboard also has a long lifespan since it can last for at least 50 million key presses before showing signs of wear and tear.
The full-sized keyboard has 104 keys, including a dedicated number pad, function keys, and adjustable media keys. The keys are backlit with white LED lighting, and you can customize the lighting effects to suit your preference. The G80-3000 also features a 1000 Hz polling rate, so you can ensure your keystrokes are registered quickly and accurately.
The keyboard has a classic design with a standard layout and a black, anodized aluminum top plate, giving it a professional and robust look. It is also equipped with a detachable wrist rest for extra comfort. It also comes with a USB cable for easy connectivity. The Cherry G80-3000 is perfect for a reliable and efficient typing experience.
Simple minimalist design
Features smooth Cherry switches
It is a full-sized keyboard
It is more extensive and thus occupies more space
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Fnatic miniSTREAK mechanical keyboard is an excellent option for gamers and typists, offering a comfortable and reliable experience. The sleek and compact keyboard makes it perfect if you have limited desk space.
The Fnatic miniSTREAK features silent Cherry MX Red mechanical switches, making it highly responsive and accurate. The keycaps are made from durable ABS plastic and feature a unique textured surface. The keyboard is backlit with a vibrant RGB LED lighting system. The accompanying software also allows you to customize the lighting and macros and create multiple profiles to switch between different games or tasks.
The keyboard also features full N-key rollover, which means it can recognize simultaneous key presses for fast, responsive gaming and typing. The miniSTREAK also comes with a detachable wrist rest, allowing you to type and game comfortably for hours.
With its robust build and responsive performance, the Fnatic miniSTREAK is an excellent option for gamers and typists.
Features silent Cherry MX Red mechanical switches
Has per-key backlighting
It comes with unique wrist rest
It does not have a detachable cable
SteelSeries Apex M750 RGB
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The SteelSeries Apex M750 RGB Silent Mechanical Keyboard is an ultra-durable, high-performance gaming and typing keyboard designed to give an edge in any gaming and typing situation.
The lightweight aluminum alloy frame enables the Apex M750 to withstand the rigors of heavy gaming and typing sessions with a durability rating of up to 50 million keystrokes. It features the QX2 mechanical switches, providing fast and responsive tactile feedback. The keys are illuminated with RGB lighting and offer fully customizable lighting options with SteelSeries Engine software.
The Apex M750 also comes with a detachable cable for easier portability. The keyboard also has a 6-key rollover anti-ghosting feature for superior gaming and typing performance. It also features multimedia keys and an ergonomic wrist rest for added comfort.
With its smooth and silent operation, the Apex M750 is the perfect keyboard for any serious gamer or typist.
It is made from a lightweight aluminum alloy frame
Has a durability rating of up to 50 million keystrokes
The keys are illuminated with RGB lighting
The guide bumps on the keys can be a little discomforting
Matias FK302QPC Quiet Pro Keyboard
The keyboard also features a complete layout with all the standard keys, including the numeric keypad, navigation, and function keys. The keys are optimized for accuracy and speed, and the tactile feedback ensures a precise typing experience.
The Matias FK302QPC Quiet Pro Keyboard also features 3 USB ports, which you can use to connect a mouse, external hard drive, or any other compatible USB device. The ports are conveniently located on the rear of the keyboard, making them easily accessible.
With its quiet design and solid construction, the Matias FK302QPC Quiet Pro Keyboard is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a no-nonsense mechanical keyboard.
They are designed to provide a quiet and comfortable typing experience
The keyboard features a full-size layout with all the standard keys
It comes with 3 USB ports
It is not compact and thus occupies more space
FILCO Majestouch 2 TKL
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The FILCO Majestouch 2 TKL (Cherry MX Brown) Keyboard is a silent mechanical keyboard perfect for those who need a reliable keyboard that won’t distract their coworkers or loved ones. This keyboard features Cherry MX Brown switches, which provide a smooth, tactile typing experience with low noise output.
The keycaps are durable double-shot ABS plastic featuring laser-etched characters that won’t fade away with time. The Majestouch 2 TKL is designed with an ergonomic tilt and a full-size layout to type comfortably for hours. Additionally, the keyboard is equipped with N-key rollover and anti-ghosting technology so that the system accurately registers all your keystrokes, no matter how many keys you press simultaneously.
Whether a professional or an enthusiast, the FILCO Majestouch 2 TKL (Cherry MX Brown) Keyboard is the perfect choice for a quiet and precise typing experience.
The keycaps are made of durable double-shot ABS plastic
Features Cherry MX Brown switches, which provide a smooth, tactile typing experience
It is equipped with an N-key rollover
It is pricey
MSI Vigor GK71 Sonic
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The MSI Vigor GK71 Sonic US Mechanical RGB Gaming Keyboard is a great choice if you are a gamer or typist looking for a sturdy and reliable keyboard. This keyboard has a sleek, modern design with a durable aluminum top plate and RGB lighting, making it an attractive addition to any gaming or typing setup. The keys are equipped with MSI’s Sonic Red Switches, which provide a fast, silent, and responsive typing experience with satisfying tactile feedback. The keyboard is ergonomically designed with a wrist rest for additional comfort during long gaming or typing sessions.
The MSI Vigor GK71 Sonic US Mechanical RGB Gaming Keyboard has dedicated media keys and a volume wheel, allowing you to adjust its audio settings quickly. Additionally, it supports a variety of lighting effects that you can customize using the MSI Mystic Light app.
Overall, the MSI Vigor GK71 Sonic US Mechanical RGB Gaming Keyboard is an excellent choice for gamers and typists looking for a reliable and stylish gaming keyboard. Its Sonic Red Switches provide a silent, fast, responsive typing experience. Its ergonomic design and media keys add to its appeal. Furthermore, the Mystic Light app offers users many RGB lighting customization options.
You can customize the RGB lighting with the MSI Mystic Light app
It has dedicated media keys and a volume wheel
The keys provide a fast, silent, and responsive typing experience
It does not have dedicated macro buttons
Razer BlackWidow Elite
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is the perfect tool for any serious gamer and typist. This full-sized mechanical gaming keyboard is designed to give you the ultimate experience. It features Razer’s proprietary “green” mechanical switches, providing tactile feedback for every keystroke. The keyboard is also designed with a full-length leatherette wrist rest, giving maximum comfort while you game or type.
The BlackWidow Elite also features customizable backlighting and a fully programmable macro system, allowing you to customize your gaming and typing experience. The keyboard has several dedicated media keys to control your music and videos. It also includes a USB pass-through port for easy connection to other devices.
The BlackWidow Elite also features Razer’s Hypershift technology which gives you access to an array of secondary functions for each key, allowing you to customize your gaming and typing experience even further. It also includes onboard memory to save your custom profiles and settings.
Razer’s proprietary “green” mechanical switches provide tactile feedback with every keystroke.
They are designed with a full-length wrist rest
Customizable backlighting and a fully programmable macro system
The software can experience some glitches at times
ROCCAT Vulcan 120
The Vulcan 120 comes with ultra-fast Titan switches, which provide an unbelievably fast and precise keystroke response. The switches also feature a unique design that helps to reduce noise, making the Vulcan 120 one of the quietest mechanical gaming keyboards on the market. The Vulcan 120 also features RGB lighting, which is fully customizable to match your gaming and typing setup.
The ROCCAT Vulcan 120 also features several convenient features that make it ideal for any gaming or typing setup. It has an anti-ghosting capability of up to 26 simultaneous key presses, allowing you to execute fast and precise multi-key commands easily. It also has a convenient volume wheel, allowing you to quickly and easily adjust the media volume. The Vulcan 120 has a dedicated media control panel, allowing you to access your music and other media effortlessly.
Titan switches provide an unbelievably fast and precise keystroke response
A dedicated media control panel that allows you to access your music and other media easily
Its wrist rest is not as comfortable as padded wrist rests
Dell Alienware Pro
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Dell Alienware Pro quiet mechanical keyboard is perfect for a reliable, responsive gaming and typing experience. This keyboard features a full-sized design with a low-noise mechanical switch for a smooth and comfortable user experience. The keycaps are also durable and resistant to wear and tear.
The Alienware Pro keyboard is also designed with a detachable wrist rest for added comfort during extended gaming and typing sessions. The palm rest offers a comfortable and supportive surface to help reduce fatigue. This keyboard also features an adjustable backlighting system with five levels of brightness that you can adjust to suit any environment.
The Dell Alienware Pro mechanical keyboard is perfect for gamers and typists who want reliable performance and a comfortable user experience. Its durable construction, multi-media controls, adjustable backlighting, and detachable wrist rest make this keyboard an ideal choice for gamers and typists.
Features a full-sized design with a low-noise mechanical switch for a smooth and comfortable user experience
Adjustable backlighting system.
AlienFX only works with the Alienware system
ANNE PRO 2
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The ANNE PRO 2 Mechanical Keyboard is perfect for gamers, typists, and writers. This silent mechanical keyboard has a sleek and modern design. It features a set of 61 keys, including arrow, customizable, and multimedia keys. The keyboard also features an RGB backlight. You can adjust the brightness and speed of the backlight, making it perfect for any gaming and typing setup.
The ANNE PRO 2 uses Gateron mechanical switches, which offer a smooth and tactile typing experience. You can choose between Blue, Brown, or Red switches depending on your preferences. The keys are rated for up to 50 million keystrokes, so you won’t have to worry about replacing them anytime soon. The keyboard is also equipped with NKRO, allowing you to press multiple keys simultaneously and the system registers each keystroke.
The ANNE PRO 2 also has a software suite that allows you to customize your keyboard. You can create your macros, adjust the backlight settings, and more. The software also allows you to save up to 8 profiles, so you can quickly switch between different setups.
Overall, the ANNE PRO 2 Mechanical Keyboard is perfect for gamers, typists, and writers. Its sleek design, customizable backlight, and Gateron mechanical switches offer a great typing experience without being too loud or disruptive.
Offers backlight lighting
It comes with a software suite that allows you to customize your keyboard
It is rated for up to 50 million keystrokes
It is not a full-sized keyboard.
Keychron K2 Version 2
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Keychron K2 Version 2 Wireless Quiet Mechanical Keyboard is the perfect choice for any serious typist. This keyboard offers the best of both worlds by combining the tactile feedback of a mechanical keyboard with the convenience of a wireless connection. The keyboard has a slim design with a sleek aluminum frame, making it stylish and lightweight. It also features Cherry MX Red switches, providing a smooth and silent typing experience.
The Keychron K2 Version 2 offers a charming RGB backlight with elegant keycap legends, providing a great typing experience in the dark. With its wireless connection, you can seamlessly type on any compatible device and switch between different systems.
The Keychron K2 Version 2 is the perfect accessory for anyone looking to upgrade their typing experience while remaining mobile.
Offers wireless connectivity
It has a slim design with a sleek aluminum frame
The Keychron K2 Version 2 provides a Charming RGB backlight
Sometimes, Bluetooth constantly disconnects.
Code V3 104-Key Illuminated
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Code V3 104-Key Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard is the perfect keyboard for a silent and efficient typing experience. The keyboard has a black case and 7 levels of white LED backlighting. This keyboard is designed to look its best even in the darkest of rooms. It also comes with Cherry MX Blue switches, providing a silent and tactile typing experience. The switches have a low actuation point, meaning you don’t have to press down on the key too hard to get it to register. This makes typing easier and more comfortable, allowing you to type more accurately and quickly.
The keyboard also features full N-Key rollover, allowing you to press multiple keys at once and have them all register. It is also ergonomic, with the keys slightly curved for a more comfortable typing experience. The keyboard also has dedicated media controls, allowing you to easily control your music or videos.
Overall, the Code V3 104-Key Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard is an excellent choice for serious typists. The Cherry MX Blue switches provide a silent and tactile typing experience, while the ergonomic design and dedicated media controls make it perfect for gaming, typing and everyday use.
7 levels of white LED backlighting.
Features full N-Key rollover
It has an ergonomic design
It has a wired connection no
The best silent mechanical keyboards are perfect for typing and gaming. Their keys make little noise while typing. Many of these keyboards also come with special switches, such as Cherry MX red or brown, designed to be quieter than traditional mechanical ones. Ultimately, the best silent mechanical keyboards are designed to provide a quiet but responsive typing and gaming experience perfect for the home office or gaming environment. The above-highlighted mechanical keyboards offer seamless and silent typing and gaming experience.
Keyboards are of two kinds: (1) the cheapo, no-name slabs that are bundled by the millions with PCs, and (2) the ones that are actually worth using—and in most cases, that’s a mechanical keyboard. Stalwart friend to gamers and power typists alike, the mechanical keyboard’s physical operation and durability make it the gold standard for computer use. It’s not the only option out there—good alternatives abound for wireless, ergonomic, and other purposes—but if nothing else, ditching that freebie is something everyone should do. Read on to learn more about why a mechanical keyboard should be in your future.Why mechanicals are worth the money
Even though mechanical keyboards tend to cost a bit more, their build quality is worth it. Rather than lay down some cheap membrane layers and rubber-domed keys, these bad boys sport heavy-duty switches and functional parts. This makes them durable, and it also gives them tactile feedback that detects a keystroke before the key bottoms out. That means that with a little practice, your fingers are doing only half the work, sparing them a world of hurt.
Key ghosting occurs when a keyboard can’t distinguish a keystroke. The above are examples of indistinguishable key presses since they share rows and columns on the keyboard matrix.
Mechanical keyboards also multitask better. Gamers out there will understand the frustrations of holding down multiple keys (for example, sprinting forward while reloading) and hitting one last key for the ultimate grenade kill, then nothing. Did you screw up and miss the key? Not likely. Key ghosting happens when three keys are held down and a fourth keystroke doesn’t register, due to hardware or software limitations on matrix keyboards (keyboards that use multiple keys on the same circuit). Mechanical keyboards handle this issue with Key Rollover, which provides more consecutive keystrokes than the rubber-domed keyboards allow—usually six with a USB connection, and infinite over the older PS/2 connection.Which switch is right for you?
Cherry switches (manufactured by ZF Electronics, formerly Cherry Corporation) are the most common type. Every type is denoted by a color and varies in actuation force (how much pressure is required to actuate) and in audibility levels.
Cherry MX Red (Linear switch)
The lower actuation force makes rapid keystrokes much easier than MX Black switches, but mistyping is also a more common issue. Certain games require quicker actuation, such as first-person shooters, while others, such as real-time strategy games, require accuracy. It’s up to the gamer to decide which works best. Cherry MX Red switches are generally more expensive due to higher demand.
Cherry MX Brown (Tactile)
Cherry MX Brown is the quietest of the tactile bunch and requires very little actuation force (45 grams). Like the other Cherry switches, it actuates at 2 millimeters, but it can travel as far as 4 millimeters to the bottom.
Cherry MX Clear (Tactile)
Cherry MX Clear switches are considered the “stiffer browns.” Their actuation force is 55 grams, with a peak force (force to press the key all the way down) of 65 grams.
They’re often compared to the feel and sound of a rubber-domed keyboard, with a more tactile feel and higher actuation force. Though some enjoy the stiffer resistance, they’re not as popular as other types and are generally difficult to find on today’s keyboards.
Buckling Spring (Tactile)
Topre switches are so new that they’re still tough to find. They act as a hybrid between mechanical and membrane: A rubber dome sits over a spring that creates a capacitive circuit when pressed.
The actuation force depends on the model but can vary between 30 and 60 grams. The key actuates at the half way point, then a tactile bump can be felt. Bottoming out is common since the resistance disappears after the actuation. They are some of the quietest and smoothest switches available, even when compared to linear switches.
Switch gifs created by Castin Cramer
Live streaming has become an incredibly popular form of entertainment, and a lot of this can be credited to the rise of the streaming site Twitch. If you’re thinking about starting your live stream or are already streaming casually, you may be wondering how you can take this hobby to the next level and make a profit off of it.
Many questions may arise from this, though. For example, how much can you make from streaming? How difficult is it to make money on Twitch? These are certainly some things you’ll want to ponder. This article will hopefully answer some of these questions and help you start.
Table of ContentsHow Twitch Streamers Make Money?
There are a few ways you can make money streaming on Twitch. However, most of them involve becoming an Affiliate or Partner with Twitch. These titles grant you special resources to make money through the service.
To become an Affiliate with Twitch, you must meet the following criteria within the same month:
Have 50 followers
Stream for at least 8 hours
Stream on 7 different days
Have an average of 3 viewers
To become a Partner, you need to meet these requirements, also within the same month:
Stream for 25 hours
Stream on 12 different days
Have an average of 75 viewers
Keep in mind that even if you meet all the requirements to become a Partner, Twitch may still not accept your application.How Much Do Twitch Streamers Make?
So, how much can you expect to make through each stage of your Twitch channel? The answer can be complex and depends a lot on how many views you get.
The average Twitch streamer makes about $2.50 per follower, so you’d need 200 followers to make $500. If you eventually become a partner, you can also make extra money by doing sponsorships and subscriptions.
If you’re looking to make thousands of dollars, you’ll need many followers to achieve this. However, you can do it over time with a lot of hard work. So don’t quit your day job to stream, at least not until you have a few thousand viewers/followers.How to Make Money With Ads How to Make Money With Bits
Viewers can buy Bits and use them to Cheer during your streams, which gives you 1 cent per Bit used. Viewers can send multiple Bits at once, which means more money.
You can see who sends you Bits during your streams, so it’s a good practice to thank your viewers who send Bits, as this can give other viewers incentive to send Bits as well. Making custom Cheer emotes for your streams can also help, as it makes the experience of giving Bits to you feel unique to the viewer.How to Make Money With Subscriptions
Viewers can choose to subscribe to your channel if you’re an Affiliate or Partner. Subscriptions can range from $4.99 to $24.99 a month. You’ll get half the amount of the subscription, splitting it with Twitch.
Subscribers can get ad-free viewing and other perks, and it can be a great source of income, especially if you get a lot of viewers to subscribe. Whether you’re a Twitch Affiliate or Partner, the subscriptions for your channel work the same.How to Make Money When You’re Not a Partner or Affiliate
While you’re working towards becoming an Affiliate or Partner, there’s another way you can make money during your Twitch streams. This is by setting up a donation box on your channel.
You can do this through services like Donorbox or PayPal. You’ll set up a link on your channel that viewers can go to and donate to you. You can motivate people to donate to you by setting up a goal by using the donation money for new equipment, a game, etc.
It can also help set up alerts during your stream whenever someone donates so that you can thank them.Making Money on Twitch
If you have some time to invest in your Twitch channel, it can become a good side source of income. Once you gain traction on the service and become an Affiliate, making money will get easier from there on out. And who knows, you might even be able to become a Partner one day.
Making music on the Mac is easier than it ever has been with many open source apps which allow you to multitrack. They layer up tracks of samples and virtual instruments and turn them into MP3s ready for listening or uploading to iTunes.
But can just anyone on any computer do this? It depends on how elaborate the music is. Music takes memory, and this goes doubly when the instruments you use eat memory like samplers.
In this article we look at what you need to make your music flow and not stop or judder because your machine is fast but just not fast enough.I/O, I/O, It’s Off to Work You Go
Most computers are fast today, and the new Macs are the fastest the Mac has ever been. That goes without saying, but what also goes unsaid often is that in order to function perfectly, professional apps need a lot of system resources.
This means although you can buy a new Mac Mini and make some kind of music on it, you might find that when you start trying to layer up 24 voices to make a choir that everything comes down to a crashing halt.
Even with a top-of-the-line iMac or Mac Pro, you would be hard-pressed to have seamless playback of that many tracks simultaneously one-hundred percent of the time.
So how is it that professional musicians make amazing and complicated music on computers if it can’t be done? The answer is that it can be done, but you need a bit of hardware – a special sound card and I/O box to take the load off the CPU. Latency is the problem, and this fixes it.First Find Your Box
I/O boxes range in price from cheap to expensive, depending on your level. If you are a beginner you can use M-Audio audio interfaces and some of the low-end Edirol boxes by Roland. Higher-end boxes are made by AKAI and Protools. (The name of the AKAI box is a joke. by the way. It’s called EIE I/O. Old McDonald clearly had an audio interface as well as a farm.)
The sky is the limit when buying an audio box, and the rule is as usual with pro kit; get the best one you can afford. A good thing to bear in mind is that whatever you need, good secondhand ones are always available on eBay. A good cheap secondhand box which is quite common is the Edirol UA-25. Although a little noisy, some say it’s good for hobbyists although perhaps not as good for professional sound work.ASIO
Usually these I/O boxes use a type of hardwired ASIO protocol and some nice sound card hardware to take the sound processing load off the CPU and let it get on with running your digital audio workstation (DAW) software, such as Audacity or Reaper.
ASIO (or Audio Stream Input Output) is a protocol for the fast driving of sound cards designed by German music software company Steinberg to provide high fidelity and “low latency.” In normal human language that means it makes them sound good, and it drastically reduces the processing time of sounds so they play without a noticeable delay.
Most I/O boxes additionally provide useful music business inputs not usually available on computers like dual function XLR plugs which are also ¼” phono jacks, both common on high-end microphones.
They often also feature MIDI out ports to control actual hardware synthesisers synchronized with the virtual instruments.
PC users can use ASIO4All to reduce latency on non-ASIO peripherals, but Mac users can rely on the Core audio driver to take care of any low-end (software-based) music production processing.Fitting an I/O Box
Usually I/O boxes are USB devices. Back in the day they were also Firewire-based, but as USB has gotten so much faster, Firewire has fallen out of style and is no longer used.
Most of the time, you can just plug the I/O box into the USB, and it will be detected by the DAW software so you can select it for output. Sometimes you may need to install a driver for the box and reboot. Either way, installation is usually trouble-free and quick.
Most DAWs have a Preferences setting to direct the audio from the software to a specific device. This means you can set the system audio to the speakers and set the audio from the DAW to go through your I/O box and into headphones.
In our example, the old Roland Edirol UA-25 I/O box needs no drivers to work with Yosemite. Just plug and play. If you want to make the system sound come out through the box, open your System Preferences and choose Sound.
Select the UA-25 on both the input and output tabs.
Similarly with applications like Audacity, choose the UA-25 from the input output drop-down menus to the right of the toolbar.Sounds like Perfection
But by and large, having an I/O box dealing with your sound makes everything a LOT smoother and more professional. With an I/O box installed you can load more tracks, have more sample data sloshing around and run many more tracks stacked up at once than you could before.
Phil South has been writing about tech subjects for over 30 years. Starting out with Your Sinclair magazine in the 80s, and then MacUser and Computer Shopper. He’s designed user interfaces for groundbreaking music software, been the technical editor on film making and visual effects books for Elsevier, and helped create the MTE YouTube Channel. He lives and works in South Wales, UK.
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