Bonus Round: Virtual Audio And OBS

Last night I jumped into TeamSpeak to find Blamefulgecko hanging out in the lobby. I warned him that I was going to start streaming some Final Fantasy XIV, and that any conversations we might have would end up being broadcast to the world (and by world I mean myself, as my monitoring of the channel was the only registered viewer).

Turns out my voice was just fine on the recording, but Blame’s was almost inaudible. Technically, this was a “good thing”, as it kind of means that I can be in a channel with someone and they can yell all they want and they won’t be heard in the stream. But on another hand, it might be cool to hear what other people are talking about. Come for the game, stay for the colorful commentary, as it were.

This was a dark path to turn to, because it involves installing…virtual audio cables. Let’s discuss.

What the F**k is a Virtual Audio Cable?

It’s what it sounds like: a virtual audio cable. Normally, your sound is routed from it’s source — a game, or TeamSpeak — to a destination — your desktop speakers, or OBS — via Windows Audio or dedicated drivers. The source usually just uses whatever is marked as “default output” in your audio properties, although TS allows you to route output to any qualified device driver. OBS, in turn, can pick up any qualified device driver to receive.

The problem is that you, the user, have very limited control over this. You can pick an output path from one side, and an input path from another, and that’s about it.

A virtual audio cable is just another path, but it allows you to circumvent the usual path. Why, you ask? This will allow you to free up the usual path for other audio, and gives you more control.

The Free And Easy Path Of VoiceMeeter



In looking at VAC’s, I happened across an app called VoiceMeeter. This gem is a virtual mixing board, which turned out to be almost exactly what I wanted.

VM has three inputs, and two outputs. Two of the inputs are physical, like two headsets or a headset and a webcam mic, connected to the same PC. The third input is virtual, which means “software”. This would be your desktop audio player or TeamSpeak. The outputs consist of one physical, like a headset or desktop speakers, and one virtual, which is a source that an app like OBS can use for its input stream.

I mean, that pretty much sums it up right there.


After installing VM, I rebooted all audio using apps. In VM, I set the first physical input to be my Pysko headset mic (aka High Definition Device). I didn’t want a second physical input, so that was blank. The virtual input was set to the ASIO (Audio Stream Input/Output) option, which is just a general sound card driver, and the only option I had.


Teamspeak settings

Next, I set the A channel output to be Creative ASIO, which is kind of a default, and the source of contention which we’ll get to later. I set the B channel to use the Psyko headset.

In TeamSpeak, I set the Playback Playback Device to use the new VoiceMeeter Input, which tells TS to send it’s output to VM’s virtual channel.


OBS settings

In OBS, I set the Microphone/Auxilary Audio Device to use the VoiceMeeter Output, which tells OBS to receive it’s audio from VM’s virtual channel.

The idea, then, is that TS’s audio — other people — will mix with my headset mic through VM, which outputs the audio through a virtual channel and into OBS’s microphone input channel. Ideally, everyone who talks on TS will have their voices merged with my microphone voice, and that mix will be broadcast to the world.

We Do Not Welcome Your Feedback

The thing is, it worked great! The setup achieved everything that I had hoped to achieve. But there was a slight — yet still annoying — issue.

I like to have my chat audio in the headset, and my game audio through the desktop speakers. I couldn’t achieve this. Now, my own voice was piped through the headset, and the TS audio was piped through the headset and the desktop. When playing a game, that would mix the game audio with voice chat, which is unacceptable.

believe the issue is with the ASIO driver. From what I can gather, this is a generic driver that is used by many things. When selecting ASIO as a physical output, it outputs to all ASIO-using devices. For me, this is the headset and the desktop system. So when everything is routed to the ASIO output, it’ll ooze out of any ASIO connected device. I’ve found that I can mute my own headset so I don’t have to listen to myself, but I can’t stop the TeamSpeak audio from broadcasting through two devices.


I don’t know if what I’m trying to do here is actually worth the issues. For one, it’s simply to give stream viewers something additional to listen to, which takes the burden off of me to provide a running commentary. On the other hand, it’s not always a given that folks in TS are going to want to be part of the stream. Another alternative, I suppose, is to have one physical mic for TS (the headset), and one physical mic for the stream (a webcam). This would sound strange to viewers of the stream, since they’d hear me responding to people that they can’t hear, but it would provide maximum anonymity for TS users who don’t want to be heard on screen.

Gates of Maguuma; Divinity; Some Wildstar; Us Versus Them; ZMR; PowerLine Success

Gates of Maguuma

Someone on Twitter suggested that those who aren’t actively playing Guild Wars 2 should still log in and unlock the first episode of the Living Story Part II, the “Gates of Maguuma“, before it becomes a for-Gems item. I didn’t even have GW2 installed any longer, having lost interest in it thanks to the convoluted period between the downing of Zaitan and the end of the Living Story Part I. But I like free, so I re-installed the game and holy crap spent the weekend doing the new intro to LSII.

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All shiny!

What really turned me off of LSI was the busy work they had us doing. Running around, helping refugees, and then…I got behind. I tried jumping in at various parts of the process, but had no idea what the heck was going on or where I needed to be. Add to that the fact that it intersected other events were going on, like their Super Fun Box schtick, or maybe I’m just lumping it all into an unpalatable memory. At any rate, I didn’t care for LSI, but now I’m kicking myself for not having done it, and I’m really annoyed that there’s no sign that it’ll re-surface for new/players who missed out on it.

LSII, so far, is straight up GW2 story style. They even ditched that letter-boxed talking head crap for in-game conversations (which the cramped camera ruins). This mission takes you out to Dry Top, which is an area near Rata Sum, but I don’t know if it’s a regular area or new or modified for LSII. I really enjoyed it. It has some cool mechanics, and a decent storylette that killed me several times, but which I was ultimately able to send to the mat. Thank gawd I’m a ranged character.

I also figured that, having been away for a while, my gear was probably behind the curve. I’m not a gear-monger; I don’t spend hours grinding rep or whatever to get the top of the line crap. But sure enough, when I checked the exchange, I found a set that was better than what I had at the time, although now my girl looks less like a high plains drifter and more like a lower town stripper.


I also put some time into Divinity this weekend, armed with some knowledge from the hive mind who are also having trouble with some of the free-form questing. I dug up a grave and found some caves. I rescued — and then killed — a lost archaeologist. I handled some smelly panties for what I thought was a slam dunk on this murder mystery, but turned out to be a total and disgusting waste of time.

When running around wondering what to do, the game isn’t all that fun. When you are in that real “adventuring” mode, skulking around unknown areas and engaging in combat and the considerations thereof, it totally rocks.

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I really hope this fantasy world has rubber gloves.

Some Wildstar

Because I said I felt bad, I made it a point to jump into Wildstar this weekend for a bit. I spent some time helping the Lopp, the merchant bunnies. To be honest, I don’t remember what the hell I was doing out there, or where “there” is. After spending several hours in GW2 with the story and the NPC interactions, my time in Wildstar seemed woefully uninspiring. Le sigh.

Us Versus Them

Because I wanted to see what it would be like, I jumped into Firefall on Friday to participate in one session of their “Doomsday” event that is ushering in their launch patch on the 14th/15th (yay!). It was pretty cool to see so many players working in concert, because the “Doomsday” army was made up of Red5 staff. Players were scouting out the important areas of the map, and were shouting out when a Red5 employee was seen jetting around the area. The dev incarnations were not easy to take down: I guess there were about 30-40 players in an area, and it took a good 10-15 minutes, maybe, to take them out. It didn’t help that their Chosen incarnations had jump-jets, unlike the AI Chosen. But it was a lot of fun to see all of those players working together like that.

I also spent my pilot tokens and got the Bastion, because TURRET SPAM IS THE BEST SPAM!

I also spent my pilot tokens and got the Bastion, because TURRET SPAM IS THE BEST SPAM!


So Pete of Dragonchasers fame mentioned on Twitter that he had received an email from En Masse, operators of TERA, exhorting him to give their new open beta a try. I decided to also give it a try, because why not? The mysteriously named ZMR, I learned, stands for “Zombies, Monsters, and Robots”. It’s a co-op third person “lobby shooter” which pits you, a human, against the titular foes. Zombies…ok, that makes sense. Monsters…sure, but I guess there can be…dinosaurs with lasers involved? And robots, of course, because it would just be unfair to leave out the robots when zombies and monsters are involved. Robots have powerful Union representation like that.

On first blush, there was something about the game that reminded me of that “give the players a palette, and you’ll get nothing but dongs” darling, APB. Although where APB was an open world gang versus cop simulator (with player created dongs), ZMR drops you into a lobby where to attempt to join a game alongside or against other players and are asked to complete a scenario. When the scenario is over (or you die, I guess), you’re back to the lobby. It’s what we get from MechWarrior Online and Hawken and others, so you know what I’m talking about.

I guess as a F2P game it could scratch that instant action itch, when the also-F2P Defiance just has too much indecision hanging about it, but you can tell that ZMR comes from the East because you start out with some weapons, some clothing, and some perks, and then it very quickly devolves into “rentals” where you only get to use a weapon for a week, or a fucking shirt for 6 days. I don’t get that logic. If the places I shopped for clothes came to my house and tried to repossess my clothes, I’d be pretty pissed. And naked. And cold. At least in that scenario there’s no zombies, monsters, or robots. I don’t even own a Roomba.

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I’m one bad-ass mutha…panda. This suit was free with beta. I’m rethinking my decision to take them up on the offer.

I can’t decide if I want to give this a continued shot with my Monday Night friends, since we’re always looking for something we can co-op on. I am normally a fan of Western F2P implementations, but this Eastern power-model is just so over the top that it actually gets in the way of enjoying the game.

Powerline Success

This weekend my daughter wanted to watch a movie with me, so I fired up Netflix on the living room TV and started Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs 2, which I had not seen. I got about 10 minutes into it when Netflix barfed up a spleen and refused to reconnect.

My wireless router is one floor down, and on the other side of the house, so I’m blaming the crappy “SmartTV” apps and wireless, and my router for this situation. So today I was laying on the couch while my daughter was doing some summer math worksheets that she got for her next-year’s Algebra I class (she takes after me in almost everything except math skills), and it suddenly hit me: What about that Powerline shit? So I told my daughter that her homework could wait: we needed to get to Best Buy because Daddy wants to spend some money.

I got the Netgear Powerline 500 + Wifi, which consists of two devices: a box that you plug into the wall, and into your router/hub with an Ethernet cable, and a box you simply plug into the wall somewhere else in the house. You pair them up, and voila! You get angry because they don’t work right out of the box.

The instructions that come with the device are horribly out of date, or simply aren’t comprehensive enough to matter. Normally I’m pretty fearless about messing around with stuff like this; what’s the worse that can happen? But for some reason, this time I didn’t want to do anything that would require me to factory reset them. Maybe it was because there was a flight of stairs involved. Maybe it was because I didn’t have a concrete way to test if it was working. Eventually, though, I threw caution to the wind, punched it in the mouth, and got both halves to agree to work together.

The “receiving” end of this contraption is stuck in an outlet right behind the TV in the living room, so to test it out I went back to Netflix, fired up the movie where it had left me off, and voila! It worked. I haven’t benchmarked it or anything, so this isn’t a technical review. I was able to watch the movie without incident, which is the entire reason I wanted the thing, and since it works, I declare that “good enough”.