Our original set-up, as described in A Very Basic Guide to Soundmixing Using Voicemeeter worked very well for us back in a time when we could use Hangouts on Air to do our Game Nights on, although it had its own limitations (namely: five frames per second). In 2019 Google has decided to end Hangouts on Air so it’s time we updated our methods as well. In our examples here we’re using non-Hangouts-on-Air Google Hangouts, and either XSplit (which I prefer) or OBS (which is free and popular). It should not be difficult to transpose settings to other programs (Skype, Discord etc) when we eventually move fully over to those. I’d like to thank Scott Rux for tech support, do follow him on Twitter (@sensei256).
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Sound mixer and settings
We’ve moved up to Voicemeeter Banana, slightly more professional, greater use of sliders. The illustrations presume you have that downloaded (it’s donationware, so free with a suggested contribution as and when). You also need a Virtual Audio Cable. Unpack and install both of those as Administrator (left click, “Run as Administrator”).
First of all, settings. You want the Sound Control Panel. In Windows 10 Type “Sound” in the search Bar, and click on Sound Settings. That should bring this panel up:
I’ve highlighted Sound Control Panel. Click it. Scroll down to Voicemeeter Input and make it the default.
Remember, you can go back to your normal device settings quickly by right clicking the speaker icon bottom right of your taskbar and selecting your monitor or standard speakers.
We can now set the Voicemeeter settings:
Relevant bits, just click on device name to change it, pick the WDM Option for each one:
- (1) Hardware Input – Your mic, make sure this is set to your standard microphone. Make sure B1 is lit. If you want to hear yourself in your headphones, you can light A1.
- (2) CABLE-Output – Hangout Chat. Make sure A1 is lit.
- (3) Hardware Out – Click on A1 and select your headphones.
- In the Virtual Inputs column, make sure A1 and B1 are lit. You can control volume with this fader, and also the first column underneath the cassette tape.
Go into your chat place of choice and put these sound settings in (I’m using XSplit here as it has its own virtual cam, you may need to do some screenshare fiddling if you’re using something else):
Right! That’s the background stuff sorted, now your settings for XSplit and OBS. I find XSplit a bit more intuitive, but it has a licensing cost attached although keep an eye out on Humble Bundle for cheap licenses which pop up. OBS is powerful and free and you may prefer it.
This guide assumes you are happy enough to fiddle about with the graphics and streaming stuff, you just want the audio settings so that everyone (you, panellists, streaming audience) can hear the game audio and the chat.
In these examples I’m streaming the games through my Switch using an Elgato Video Capture Card, however the source settings should be pretty universal whether you’re doing that or using your PC.
Let’s start with OBS.
On the right, click on Settings, go down to audio. Change Desktop Audio to Voicemeeter Input (VB-Audio Voicemeeter VAIO) and Mic to your normal mic.
If you’re using a video card it needs to be set to Output Desktop Audio. Add it as a source and then in your sources right click on it, go to Properties and change it, it’ll be down the bottom.
Next you need to add the chat. Add an Audio Source, you want CABLE Output. I’ve renamed it Hangout Audio here.
Your OBS mixer should look something like this (may be scrollable):
Right click on one of the gears, doesn’t matter which one, to bring up Advanced Audio Properties. OBS has a habit of trying to overcompensate on game audio, some playing around suggest this is a fairly good set-up so that the game audio doesn’t drown out the chat on the stream (which you won’t notice when recording).
All things being well, you are set up!
This is actually relatively straightforward! Go to your settings (the gear icon next to your speaker icon) and make sure the mic and output are correct. System Sound needs to be Voicemeeter Input, microphone is your mic.
Next you need to add CABLE Output as an audio source.
Finally right click on the CABLE Output source to bring up its properties. Ensure the Audio Output is set to Stream Only, or you’ll get looping.
And that’s it! You’ll need to use the faders on Voicemeeter to adjust the levels but XSplit doesn’t do a lot of adjustment in itself.
We hope you find it useful – we still refer to the original guide whenever we needed to do a Game Night, OBS and XSplit will remember your settings between sessions which is useful, so you might only need to set-up once.