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Virtual Audio Cables for Multi-Source Remote Streaming Production

Stream4us' Anthony Burokas explains how to use "virtual audio cables" from to connect multiple audio sources when using a laptop for live streaming production with multiple remote guests.

Learn more about remote live production at Streaming Media East.

See complete videos and other highlights from Streaming Media West Connect on Streaming Media's YouTube channel.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Anthony Burokas: On the PC side, there is software available that allows you to connect different audio sources within the same laptop and being able to connect different sources via a virtual audio cable. That's how I'm wiring vMix to Zoom. If you're not familiar with virtual audio cables, it's while you just search for virtual audio cables, and they actually gave you the first cable for free. So you can download this one for free, then you can order additional cables. Plus they even have an audio mixer. I don't know why, but they call it "Banana." So you can mix different sources and they have "Potato," which is even more extreme than "Banana." And this allows you to have your different sources and your different destinations, all in a mixer, so you can manually adjust the audio levels as well, which is cool for apps that don't allow you to do that.

If you're someone that has to go to StreamYard, because it's browser-based, it doesn't give you the capability like Zoom does of selecting an input and an output. Let me show you. I will actually drag my Zoom window over here, go to the right screen. So this is the Zoom window. And then what you can see right here is, my microphone is the cable output coming from vMix, and the audio coming back from Zoom into vMix so that I can hear it is on cable A. I have purchased both the free one and then A and B as well, so I've got three virtual cables to push sounds all over the place. And that has come in handy, for instance, in one event where the remote guest was not someone who was familiar with vMix, and when they tried to connect, they had firewall issues.

And then we were like, "Let's just try Zoom, just to try and troubleshoot things." Zoom didn't work. And they were like, "Why can't this just work like Teams, because Teams works great. Why can't you just use a tool like Teams?" Well, the only reason Teams works is because their IT department opened the specific ports for their version of Microsoft Teams to work and they closed all the other ports. That's why the other things don't work, but Teams does. It's not that Teams is a better app; it's just that their IT department had opened those ports. And so I was able to fire up Teams on the laptop on one screen, run it through vMix through the other virtual audio cable, and then out to Zoom, which is what the client was actually doing the seminar.

That was was a lot of work for a laptop. And I would highly recommend using a desktop because, inasmuch as vMix and some of the other multicamera live switch apps are able to leverage a graphics processor for handling things, Teams and Zoom do not.

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Stream4us' Anthony Burokas offers best practices for making remote guests in multi-source live productions look and sound their best in this clip from Streaming Media West Connect.