How To Play Music Through Mic Using Voicemeeter And A Soundboard
Here’s a comprehensive tutorial on how to play music, or any audio file for that matter, through mic using a virtual audio cable, VoiceMeeter and a soundboard.
It’s fully free.
You can skip the explanation and scroll to the step-by-step tutorial, but you might want to read it all in order to better understand what’s going on exactly, what is and does what.
(Tested on Windows based systems)
What Are These 3 Components?
1. Virtual Audio Cable
Virtual audio cable is an audio driver that has an input and an output.
Imagine a physical audio cable. Its audio source, the input, would be whatever you plug it into, say a computer. The other end of that cable would be the output, plugged into the speakers for example. Like that, we can hear computer sounds via the speakers all thanks to the audio cable having transferred audio signals from the computer to the speakers.
In contrast, imagine an audio driver that acts as a VIRTUAL audio cable, VAC in short. This cable would pretty much work the same way as the physical audio cable. Except now we can choose within the computer what goes into the cable INPUT more specifically, such as some specific audio source for example, and where it is routed through the OUTPUT, to some program that’s designed to receive and process audio signals for example.
IMPORTANT: for a VAC, short for virtual audio cable, you have 2 options. Either use the VoiceMeeter’s own built-in VAC or an external VAC from VB-Audio called VB-CABLE Driver. In this tutorial, I’ll be using the VoiceMeeter’s built-in VAC. In case of problems, having read through this tutorial, I’m sure you’ll know almost exactly how to configure the external VAC if it came to that.
This can be compared with a physical counterpart too: imagine an audio mixer that processes audio signals. It’s one of those things that has lots of audio cables going into it from different audio sources and then cables going out of it. It takes the audio signals coming in from the incoming cables and processes those incoming signals in various ways. The audio mixer will then channel those processed audio signals to somewhere else through cables going out of it.
In comparison, VoiceMeeter is a virtual audio device that acts as a VIRTUAL audio mixer with many inputs and outputs. One such input will be the virtual audio cable I mentioned earlier, but also your microphone. The signals will be processed within VoiceMeeter, both the cable’s output and your microphone’s output signals. Having processed the signals, VoiceMeeter will then channel those signals through one of its own outputs which in our case will be used as a virtual microphone.
VoiceMeeter also has a built-in VAC, short for virtual audio cable. We’ll be using this to route audio signals from the sounboard into this virtual audio mixer called VoiceMeeter.
As the name suggests, a soundboard, in our context a self sustained audio source, is an application to which we load our audio files. We can set hotkeys to each audio file in the application in order to trigger them remotely. Though we can trigger them manually as well. If possible, run a soundboard application as Administrator, that way it gets elevated permissions and is less likely to be ignored when it’s running in the background.
IMPORTANT: You can choose a soundboard for yourself in this post: List Of Soundboard Software For Playing Music Through Mic In 2018 (link opens in a new tab); the soundboard used in this tutorial is called EXP Soundboard.
If a soundboard is an overkill for your cause, you can replace the soundboard with any configurable audio source (Windows Media Player for example) and instead play the sounds coming from that via the virtual microphone.
How Does This Method Work
Audio signals from the soundboard go through the virtual audio cable and end up in VoiceMeeter. At the same time, audio signals from our microphone are also channeled to VoiceMeeter. In VoiceMeeter, the signals get processed and then played through a virtual output, in our case, a virtual microphone.
There’s also a second output from VoiceMeeter. That one goes into our speakers so that we can hear the same things that go into the virtual microphone. We can choose what we want to hear. We’ll choose to hear the triggered sounds but not ourselves speaking through the microphone, unless that’s something what you wanted. We can choose what goes through the virtual microphone in that same fashion.
How To Set Things Up (5 steps)
If you skipped most of the text up until now, you might want to read through that in case you find this steppidy step part of the tutorial make little sense to you. A magnificent picture was painted about this whole process with the words above.
Don’t worry – it’s easier than it looks!
You can choose some other soundboard if you like: List Of Soundboard Software For Playing Music Through Mic In 2018 (link opens in a new tab). Support for EXP Soundboard was dropped in 2016, so it might not be a butter smooth experience for you with it.
You can select either Download or Install. Ultimately, they’re the same thing.
Enable VoiceMeeter Input and Output. You should be able to find them under Playback and Recording tab in Sound settings. They might be disabled by default, so you might not see them. You just have to right-click and tick the Show Disabled Devices to first see them.
Please ignore CABLE Input, that’s the “OPTIONAL” VAC
Please ignore CABLE Output – that’s the “OPTIONAL” VAC
Make VoiceMeeter Output as the Default Device under the Recording tab in the Sound settings. You can do that by right-clicking on VoiceMeeter Output and the option for doing so will pop up. It’s so you don’t have to manually set voice applications to use it as it’s already the default device (virtual microphone).
Open EXP Soundboard and select VoiceMeeter Input (VB-Audio VoiceMeeter VAIO) as the 1st Output. (Or you can select Cable Input (VB-Audio Virtual Cable))
OPTIONAL. In VoiceMeeter, for the 2nd HARDWARE INPUT, select Cable Output (VB-Audio Virtual Cable). (refer to the picture in Step 4). OPTIONAL.
In VoiceMeeter, for the 1st HARDWARE INPUT select your microphone. There are options for WDM, KS, MME or even maybe ASIO and whatnot – know that the best one is the one that works for you. For me, that was MME.
Still in VoiceMeeter, under A1 HARDWARE OUT, select your main speakers. With this, you selected the A MAIN OUT to be the speakers of your choice. B MAIN OUT is the virtual microphone – you don’t have to do anything with it as it’s aready set and ready. The virtual microphone is the pink VIRTUAL OUT, it’s also VoiceMeeter Output (virtual microphone).
DONE – now you should be able to add audio files to the soundboard and hit play to transmit them through VoiceMeeter as if it came out of a microphone (virtual microphone) in desired voice application!
Let’s Test This Out?
Insert any audio file (preferably a WAV file rather than an MP3 file, otherwise it might not work as well) to the EXP soundboard and hit play when in the preferred voice application (a game, Skype, etc).
To make sure the voice application is using VoiceMeeter Output (that in our case acts as a virtual microphone), check the application’s input preferences. It should be VoiceMeeter Output by default because it was set to be the Default Recording Device in Sound settings.
Just fiddle around in VoiceMeeter and try stuff out – knowledge comes with practice. All that you’ve read so far might start to make sense that way! (assuming you didn’t skip too much)
Alternative Options For Playing Audio Through Mic
If NOTHING here worked out for you, don’t let it get you down.
I’ve listed a bunch of methods for playing music through mic, few of which I’m still using myself. Check here: “My Best Picks – How To Play Music Through Mic (Tutorials).”