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Usage Guide for Virtual Audio Cables
This is a usage guide for Virtual Audio Cables and will go over settings and various sound set-ups for broadcasting.
Audio Repeaters & Audio Cables come together as a software mixer that allows you to combine your voice & your game audio (and other audio sources such as your PC sounds/music and Skype conversations), all without any external hardware. However, the possible disadvantages include slight sound delay (though relatively unnoticeable unless you're a super audiophile), and not as great of a sound quality like a hardware mixer.
In general software mixers are fine for broadcasting-- I would say this would the be the last thing you would upgrade in your whole broadcasting set-up. Video quality & internet bandwidth are more worthwhile to improve first on a live broadcast. In any case, let's move on to settings up your virtual audio cables with various examples of game set-ups.
Setting Up Virtual Audio Cables
After your VAC installation, open up the control panel. Pretty much you can leave everything on the default settings, but on the top left there is a section called "Driver parameters". Here is where you'll want to set the number of "Audio Cables". My recommendation is to start out with at least 3, I've never needed more than that but you can always come back and adjust it later if you need more cables. Press set and you're done with this configuration!
|VAC Control Panel|
To check what sound inputs & outputs are recognized on your PC, you can look in your hardware & sound settings under the Control Panel. You'll notice that I set Line 3 (Virtual Audio Cable) as my default sound instead of selecting my headset or speakers.
|Windows Audio Settings|
Now, every time you want to link up audio cables, you'll open up a new audio repeater window like this:
The two options you'll change constantly are the Wave In & Wave Out drop down menus.
Both menus should list your VAC cables, but the way it works is that whatever is feeding sound in, should be listed as a "Wave in" (e.g. microphones). Your out-put sound is usually listed under "Wave Out" (e.g. speakers). After selecting your input and outputs, press start and the Audio Repeater will start redirecting your sound accordingly. To stop the redirecting process, just press the stop button.
You can adjust the sample rate and buffers, but I believe I've left everything on default. If you experience a great delay between your sound and the gameplay movement then you may want to decrease the buffer value from 12. This value is important because it forces a slight delay so that it can "buffer" out any inconsistencies or brokenness in your sound feed, so with a shorter buffer you may get broken sound occasionally, but with a long buffer you'll get very unsynchronized sound. I wouldn't recommend going lower than 4, sometimes 12 does the job just fine and I don't experience any significant sound delay.
This is a guide for general usage of Virtual Audio Cables (VACs) and illustrated scenarios for PC & console broadcasting, or just day to day use.
For my use, I've only needed to use 3 VACs. This is how I defined each VAC below:
- Line 1 > Skype line-in (On Skype Options*, I pick Line 1 as my speakers, so that I can capture my friends' conversation. )
- Line 2 > This is my main audio line, where I feed my other two virtual audio cables & my mic into. This is where Flash Media Encoder receives the audio source to upload to the streaming site.
- Line 3> I set Line 3 as my default PC speaker (in place of my actual speakers).
Below are different configurations for your VACs, depending on what you want to do:
(remember, every time you restart your computer, you have to set-up your Audio repeaters!)
*I recommend that Skype gets it's own dedicated VAC. If you decide to set Skype to use the same VAC that you use for your default PC sounds, Skype will annoyingly take control of the sound volume and boost Skype voices way above the game sounds. Separating these audio inputs allows you to control the volume yourself manually.