How To Stream YouTube Audio Through Mic
I’ve made tutorials on how to play individual already downloaded audio files through a virtual mic, but not one that allows you to stream right from YouTube, so here it is. You can also check out this other tutorial on how to stream Spotify music through mic here (link opens in a new tab).
What this step by step tutorial goes into: (this method is fully free; tested on Windows 10 Pro)
- how to play YouTube music through mic (can be toggled on/off)
- listen to that music yourself at the same time (can be toggled on/off)
- and be able to talk through the mic yourself at the same time as well (can be toggled on/off)
(works even when you don’t actually have a microphone – but then you can’t speak through the mic yourself because there’s no physical mic that would receive your voice)
Things needed for this to work: (this particular tutorial works only when you’ve got Windows 10)
- Windows 10
I’ve made it so you’ll be able to get everything set up by simply following this tutorial, but first I’ll go over what is what. If you’re new to these things, you might not want to skip anything here.
Why These 2 Components Are Needed For Playing YouTube Music Through Mic?
1. App volume and device preferences
Windows 10 has this neat new setting called “App volume and device preferences”. Using that Win 10 setting there’s no need to use an additional program to channel the sounds from YouTube to VoiceMeeter.
Here’s how to find it:
- Click on Start;
- Advanced sound options;
- App volume and device preferences.
Found it? If you didn’t, may I remind you that this tutorial works only if you’re trying to follow it on a windows 10 system. Other versions of Windows, Mac, or what have you, might not have it and a workaround might be necessary. Otherwise just try and look harder. ^^
How does it work?
In short, we’re sending all sounds from YouTube over to VoiceMeeter using this Windows setting. That’s pretty much all there is to it…
Here’s the long version of it. Stay focused here. Now, most people on PC open YouTube in an internet browser (Chrome, Mozilla, etc). I’ve opened YouTube in Google Chrome browser for example. If you looked at the picture, you’d see Apps on the left and Output and Input tab on the right all using the Default communication device. All that tells us is that all the sounds produced by those apps go into whatever the Default Output communication device is, in most cases our headphone speakers. If we changed the Output device into something other than Default, the sounds from the corresponding app would go to another device that we used to replace the Default device. And that “other device” we’ll be using in this tutorial is called VoiceMeeter, so it’s VoiceMeeter Input as Chrome’s Output.
Made sense? If not, no worries, it will soon enough. More on that to come. This here is just explaining what’s going on.
VoiceMeeter is a virtual audio device that in our case acts as a virtual microphone. It otherwise acts as a virtual audio mixer.
Where to get VoiceMeeter? (It’s free)
- Click on this link;
- and install VoiceMeeter from the website that opened.
How does it work?
In short, VoiceMeeter plays YouTube music through a virtual microphone.
This can be explained in length, too. Imagine a physical 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. That was the physical version of it.
That makes VoiceMeeter a virtual audio device that acts as a VIRTUAL audio mixer with many inputs and outputs. One such audio input will be the sounds coming from YouTube. A second input can be your very own microphone. These audio signals will be processed within VoiceMeeter, both the YouTube’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.
Wherever you want your music heard, you have to make sure that the target program uses VoiceMeeter Output (the virtual microphone) as its Input Device.
TUTORIAL: How To Play YouTube Music Through Mic?
For starters, open (3): (these have to be open when you follow the steps)
- App volume and device preferences;
(unless you skipped everything till now, you should already have them open anyway)
Open up YouTube. Select a video and pause it. A YouTube video needs to be selected for the Internet Browser, in my case Google Chrome, to show up in Windows 10 “App volume and device preferences” setting.
Next up, in “App volume and device preferences”, select VoiceMeeter Input in your internet browser’s Output.
Doing so makes all the sounds coming from Chrome go into VoiceMeeter from where we can choose where it goes. And since we have YouTube open in Chrome, sounds from YouTube get picked up, but also any other sounds you might have going on there.
In VoiceMeeter, click on A1 and select your main speakers (your headphones). Leave A2 as is – this is the VoiceMeeter Output that acts as a virtual microphone (don’t select your speakers under A2).
What that does is it allows you to hear the music playing in YouTube via VoiceMeeter Output 1 (A1). Because, as you may remember, we selected VoiceMeeter Input as Chrome’s Output in Step 1.
Additionally, you can mute the sounds coming from VoiceMeeter by clicking on the green circled >A in VoiceMeeter Input. As long as the orange circled >A (VoiceMeeter Output 2, A2) is still enabled, the sounds still go through the virtual microphone for others to hear.
(you can skip this step if you didn’t have a microphone)
Since you wanted to also speak through the microphone while blasting music through it, you need to click on 1st HARDWARE INPUT in VoiceMeeter and select your very own microphone.
Doing so ensures that you can also speak through the microphone while playing YouTube sounds through mic.
You can toggle mute the microphone by clicking on those Circled >A and/or >B below the 1st HARDWARE INPUT. By toggling off >A, you won’t hear yourself speak through the microphone. By toggling off >B, others can’t hear you speak. Just fiddle around a little, try stuff out to make sense of them if letters on a screen didn’t quite cut it.
Understanding this 5th step is crucial, otherwise you might start to think you did something wrong in the previous steps when something’s not working quite as it should.
You need to make sure the program you’re trying to play YouTube music into is using VoiceMeeter Output as its Input Device! A program’s input device is usually a microphone. VoiceMeeter Output acts as a virtual microphone.
There are many ways to make sure that happens, but I’ll show 2 ways how to make sure the target program (e.g a game, Skype, Discord, etc) uses our newly set up virtual microphone instead of our actual microphone.
1 – The easiest, but also the least reliable way is to make your VoiceMeeter Output (virtual microphone) your Default Device and Default Communication Device under Recording tab in Sound Control Panel. This way any program should pick VoiceMeeter Output as the default microphone. However, it’s unreliable because some programs can probably tell the difference between a real microphone and something else (an audio device which I’ve been referring to as virtual microphone… To some programs it’s not a virtual microphone but rather just a random audio device, so they might just ignore it entirely).
2 – Another relatively easy way is to simply edit audio settings in the target program to use VoiceMeeter Output as the primary Input Device. But some target programs simply don’t have this setting, so in some cases this approach doesn’t work (ahem… Steam for example). Then again, it does work with Discord and many other programs.
Let’s Test If Things Are Working
Open up “App volume and device preferences” setting and also “Voice Recorder” (Windows 10 built-in program – hit search and type Voice Recorder).
In “App volume and device preferences” setting change Default to VoiceMeeter Output under the Output tab in the aforementioned Windows setting for Voice Recorder (in the picture, the Default has already been changed into VoiceMeeter Output).
That way you can test by playing back the recording of what all come out of the virtual microphone (your voice, if you had a mic, and whatever sound is playing in YouTube). This applies to any other target program where the Input Device is VoiceMeeter Output.
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).”