How To Play Music Through Mic In Red Dead Redemption 2

How To Play Music Through Mic In RDR2


Here you’ll find a tutorial on how to play music, or any audio file, through mic in Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) using a VoiceMeeter and a soundboard.

It’s fully free.
(Tested on Windows 10)

Following this tutorial, you’ll be able to:

  1. play audio through mic via a soundboard (can be toggled on/off)
  2. listen to that audio yourself at the same time (can be toggled on/off)
  3. and also talk through the mic yourself at the same time (can be toggled on/off)

(works even without a microphone, but you need an actual microphone if you wanted your voice to be heard in RDR2)

What’s needed for this to work: (there are other ways, but this specific setup requires)

  • VoiceMeeter
  • Soundboard
  • (Red Dead Redemption 2)

You’ll find both of them simply by following this tutorial.


How Are Those 2 Components Used For Playing Music Through Mic In RDR2?

You’ll find the step-by-step part of the tutorial further down below; this section of the tutorial tries to explain what is what. Download links are also further down.

1. VoiceMeeter

VoiceMeeter is a virtual audio device that acts as a VIRTUAL audio mixer with many inputs and outputs. Though it’s called a mixer, we won’t be mixing anything, just making use of some of its features in another way. In our case it acts as a virtual microphone.

Download And Install VoiceMeeter

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 the soundboard audio files through a virtual microphone into RDR2.

As for the longer version, I want you to 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. Easy, right?

Imagine a Physical Audio Mixer

In relation, VoiceMeeter is 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 the soundboard. A second input can be your very own microphone. These audio signals will be processed within VoiceMeeter, both the soundboard’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 Red Dead Redemption uses VoiceMeeter Output (the virtual microphone) as its Input Device in audio settings.

2. Soundboard

A soundboard, in our context a self sustained audio source, is an application to which we load our audio files in order to channel them to VoiceMeeter. We can set hotkeys for each audio file in the application in order to trigger them using a keyboard. This way we have full control over what plays when through the microphone. 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 2019 (link opens in a new tab); the soundboard used in this tutorial is called “Deathcounter and Soundboard”.

"Deathcounter and 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. Or simply follow one of the other tutorials for setting things up using YouTube or Spotify instead.


How Does This Method Work

Audio signals from the soundboard go to VoiceMeeter via VoiceMeeter Input. At the same time, audio signals from our microphone are also picked up by VoiceMeeter. In VoiceMeeter, the signals get processed and then played through VoiceMeeter Output, in our case a virtual microphone. RDR2 will pick up those audio signals as if they came from a 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.


TUTORIAL: How To Play Music Through Mic In RDR2

To start things off, open (2): (these have to be open when you follow the steps)

  1. VoiceMeeter,
  2. Soundboard.

(in this tutorial, I’ll be using “Deathcounter & Soundboard”)

Step 1

In “Deathcounter and Soundboard”, click on Settings, under Sound tab select VoiceMeeter Input as DCSB’s First Output Device.

Doing so makes the sound coming from the soundboard go into VoiceMeeter.

select VoiceMeeter Input as DCSB's First Output Device

Step 2

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 the soundboard via VoiceMeeter Output 1 (A1). Because, as you may remember, we selected VoiceMeeter Input as DCSB’s First Output Device 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.

click on A1 and select your main speakers

Step 3

(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 music or audio clips through mic in Red Dead Redemption 2.

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.

click on 1st HARDWARE INPUT in VoiceMeeter and select your very own microphone.

Step 4

Understanding this 4th 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 RDR2 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 Red Dead Redemption 2 uses our newly set up virtual microphone instead of our actual microphone.

1 – The easiest, but also the least reliable way is to make VoiceMeeter Output (virtual microphone) your Default Device and Default Communication Device under Recording tab in Sound Control Panel (to find Sound Control Panel in Win10: click Start – Settings – System – Sound – Sound Control Panel).

That way RDR2 should pick VoiceMeeter Output as the default microphone. However, it’s unreliable because under some circumstances RDR2 might probablly 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).

Make VoiceMeeter Output the Default Device and Default Communication Device under Recording tab in Sound Control Panel

2 – Another relatively easy way is to simply edit Audio Settings in Red Dead Redemption 2 to use VoiceMeeter Output as the primary Input Device directly.

This ensures that RDR2 uses the virtual microphone instead of your actual microphone.

Let’s See If Things Are Working

Since there’s no way to test the mic sound in RDR2 by yourself, we’ll have to find another way to see if the setup is working as it should.

The easiest way to check things would be within VoiceMeeter itself, but if you’re new to these things, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell if things were actually working or not. So for a more hands-on approach:

In Windows 10, Open up “App volume and device preferences” setting (hit Start – Settings – System – Sound – App volume and device preferences) and also “Voice Recorder” (another Windows 10 built-in program; hit search and type Voice Recorder).

Open Voice Recorder; Win10 built-in program

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 music is playing via the soundboard). This applies to any other target program where the Input Device is VoiceMeeter Output.

Change Default to VoiceMeeter Output under the Output tab in "App volume and device preferences"

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).”

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