Monday, February 4, 2013

How to exclude any Audio off your Stream using Virtual Audio Cable

The latest version of this Guide can now be found on the Helping Squad page. You should be redirected to: in a few seconds.

This is a rework of my older guide: How to exclude any Audio off your stream? Now split into two seperate guides.
You are reading:
  • Guide 2 - How to exclude any Audio off your Stream using Virtual Audio Cable
Using a Realtek or VIA Audio Chip? Check:

What we want to achieve: (You can replace Teamspeak with every program that allows you to select its own Output Device, music players, video players, games, etc.)
You will still be able to hear everything though your streamers will only hear game sound and for example music (referred to as Windows sound in the picture). Again I want to show you a picture to memorize what we have to setup.
First of all, you won´t need to setup VAC Line1 as your standard Windows audio device if all your games and software you want to be heard on stream have a setup option to output to a special audio device. I will show you how to use VAC as the standard device. This way the most customization is possible. 

Lets start. You will have to deactivate Line 1 (Virtual Audio Cable) under Playback AND Recording in your Sound settings to activate more than one VAC Line:

System control panel -> Sound -> Playback -> right-click Line 1 -> Disable
then under Recording -> right-click Line 1 -> Disable

Now we can fiddle with the settings in the VAC control panel. While the devices are active this will not work in most cases. Start -> All programs -> Virtual Audio Cable -> Control Panel 
In the upper left adjust the Cables settings to 2/3 or even more if you would need to and hit the "Set" button, a second(third/...) line should appear in the lower half of the window just as shown here:
Exit the Program and activate all Lines under Playback and Recording in your Windows Sound settings.
Now this part can be left out if your game and software allows you to set Line 1 or 2 as the Main Audio Output without changing your Standard Audio device in Windows. And I will mainly talk about using 2 Lines from now on, to seperate more Sound Sources you can use more Lines as mentioned before. There are some games that don´t give you the option to choose which audio device is used for your Output. 
Now we want to make sure VAC Line1 will be the device which gets all standard sounds of the Game and Windows Sounds (like music). So in the Playback Tab (Windows Sound settings) right click the Line 1 VAC device again and select Set as Default Device.
Now in the Program you want to exclude off Stream, I will refer to Teamspeak, set up your Audio to output onto VAC Line 2:

Last but not least we will have to get both sounds to your ears. The next step is my own approach as you could also use the repeater software VAC includes. Fiddling with the Audio Repeater (KS) and (MME) can be quite brain freezing from time to time. But you will find many youtube tutorials on how to use them if you want to!
But I am normally using the "Listen" function of Windows 7 as it never "crashed" on me like the audio repeaters did. To get one source to more than one Output, you will have to use a repeater! But this is the more simple setup. Open the Windows Audio settings again -> Recording -> Line 1 (VAC) -> right-click-> properties -> Listen:
As you see in the Picture, select Line 2 and be sure to click the check box (Listen to this device). Hit Ok and open the properties for Line 2 (still on the recording tab). This time select your Soundcard (I have two devices as you can see in the picture), in my case "Lautsprecher (USB PNP Sound Device)".
Sometimes you run into the problem that the listen to function would only work after restarting the PC, so if its not working at the first try, don´t mind it. Try a reboot and it should work.

Now you should be able to hear all ingame sound and your friends on the Teamspeak. XSplit/Fraps/DXtory should only pickup the standard Windows audio sounds and of course, all ingame sound but not your friends on the Teamspeak/Mumble what ever. If you didn´t set your VAC Line1 as the standard Windows audio device you will have to do a slightly different setup with the repeaters, but you should be able to do so on your own, you will also only need 1 VAC Line active (ran into problems? post a comment).

Very complex setups are possible using Virtual Audio Cable. Check my Guide on how to send different Audio Sources to different Audio Outputs. In the future programs like OBS and XSplit will probably also include such abilities, but until then, have fun fiddling around with VAC.

I hope everything is clear now but be sure to post a comment if you have questions. And as always you can find me in #t-h-s and #xsplit in IRC Quakenet!


  1. When setting the "listen to" on recording properties for Line 2, you say to select your soundcard, yet i can't seem to figure mine out. Does that mean to select the speaker\headphone output from the soundcard?

    1. Sorry for this late reply, I didnt get a message for this comment.
      Yes you would select your Speakers or Headphones depending on what is connected to your Soundcard. (I guess you found out by now)

  2. great tutorial helped me alot!

  3. I tried doing this with only Line 1 (For recording, not streaming) but the audio from my music still appeared in the recording. Any ideas?

    1. Did you set your Music program to Output directly to your Headset/Speakers?
      The music program or your game has to allow this, so we can split one from the other :) I used 2 Lines in this setup to make sure everything is split before you send it to your Headset, but 1 Line should work as well.

  4. The game is through my headset by default, and my music player (I'm using Winamp) is through Line 1. When I went into the Line 1 properties on the Recording Devices and enabled "Listen to this device" I can hear my music, but it still appears in the recording.

    1. Oh, so your headset is the device that will be recorded and when you set the "listen" option on Line1, you send the Music to this headset. (and its also on the recording)
      I would suggest you set Line1 as "default Playback device" and send its audio to your Headset (Line1 -> listen to Headset), then in your Music Player select also your Headset.
      Now your recording tool should only hear the Game on Line1, while you hear Music and the Game!

  5. doesn't work for me. I followed your tut, and now I always hear "trial" by VAC....

    1. Virtual Audio Cable is unfortunately not free software. What you hear is the license protection. If everything works for you apart of this message, you could now buy VAC to get rid of it :)

    2. seems like that it doesn't work at all for me. now I have the full version but Teamspeak is still available in my Livestream.

    3. Hmm, I recently simplified the guide a bit maybe you want to check that one out: How to exclude audio V3
      Else you could join me on IRC Quakenet, I am on #obsproject #xsplit and #t-h-s. Normally around the evening time (GMT+1). And I will try to help :)

  6. hello :D i have a problem and i dont know how to setup my audio devices to solve it. so here it is--im streaming my music thru stereo mix to Teamspeak3...and everyone can hear it fine,and i put my mic on listen so i can een talk over the music and it works fine,..but when other people talk they can hear themselves in my stream,it echoes everithing from ts,ive made that TS3 is in anoher line (line1) so it doesent go into stereo mix anymore,but when i put my line1 to listen so i can hear what other people on TS talk the echo comes im kinda bumping on this,im using a laptop wiith realtek card,and have i audio chanel jack and one mic jack.. so how i can fix that echo? thank you in advance :)

    1. Hey I made you a small picture how I would do this kind of setup, its only necessary that your music program allows you to select its output device in this case:
      Here is the picture!

  7. We are currently live streaming our high school football games using Wirecast Pro and we can set this system up with three wired USB headsets. Wirecast allows this to be done easily. What we really need is four headsets that are wireless (USB Bluetooth) set up so that our cameramen (three of them) and our Producer can listen to one another during the broadcast. Can this software do this? We are using Win7 64bit. Thanks

    1. I could think of a few different ways to accomplish this. My main Idea consists of simply using a software like Teamspeak. You could use one instance of Teamspeak + a small server (which can run on the same PC) and might not even need VirtualAudioCable.
      Profile 1 -> Headset 1 for Playback / Microphone 1 for recording / Identity 1
      Profile 2 -> Headset 2 and so on...
      If each headset and microphone is connected to one PC this would probably be the easiest solution while also being very solid. Voice Activation or continuous transmission are available and in theory also Push To Talk. But in this case your cameramen would need a wireless button, which could get a bit complicated :)
      If you miss something with this setup or have a problem try to explain and I can think/talk about one or two more alternatives.

  8. Is there any way to reduce the latency caused by using the "listen" function?

    1. The listen function unfortunately gives us no options to change the latency ;/

  9. Is there any way that you can reduce the latency?

    1. With Virtual Audio Cable repeaters you might be able to tweak it to a minimal delay of 50ms, but it might be complicated to tweak it thus far. To get a totally latency free result, you would probably have to go through doing it on Hardware instead of with software. For example by using an external mixer.

    2. sry for the double comment there

  10. I followed the VAC system to the letter still can't silence my Teamspeak friends trough the stream, music passes, game passes, teamspeak too. I skipped the repeater and used the listen to function.

  11. I did the following:

    VAC 1 -> Headphones (listen to)
    VAC 1 (listen to) -> VAC 2 - > Headphones (Listen to)

    I still hear my mates on my stream...

    1. Ok, so VAC 1 is your default playback device, it receives musik/game/windows sound
      then you just need to send that to your headset through listen to, and select your headset as the output/playback device in teamspeak.
      Your stream software should be set to use the default playback device so it will pick up VAC 1 only.

  12. One other thing i'm getting the full game audio in with the skype only audio what's the problem?

  13. I have a teamspeak question as well.

    I want to record my gameplay with VAC and be on tesmpeak at the same time without the sounds of teamspeak being recorded.

    I managed to do so but with that setup my microphone when im talking is not detecting my voice so no one is hearing me.

    The way i set it up is:

    2 Repeaters,

    Repeater 1: VAC 1 > Vac 2
    Repeater 2: VAC 2 > Logitech Wireless Headset

    With this setup i have sounds from gameplay in headset and i can hear my buddies on teamspeak but no one will be able to hear me.

    In teamspeak i set Capture device to: Line 2 (VAC)
    Capture device in teamspeak is set up: Wireless headset

    In windows Line 1 (VAC is default device for playback.

    What am i doing wrong?

    1. Hey, I actually simplified this guide slightly:
      You will only need to use VAC Line 1 and one repeater (or the listen function of windows). VAC Line1 still should be your default playback device in windows so your game sound goes there. You then use the repeater (or listen function) to send this game sound to your headset. In Teamspeak please make sure for Playback you have your Wireless Headset selected and for capture your Wireless Headsets Microphone.

      I think you might have mixed up the teamspeak setup slightly as you say that your "capture device" is first Line2 and then Wireless Headset.
      The capture device definitely has to be your Headset's Microphone and playback your Headset's "speakers" :)

      Hope this explains it a bit better and makes it easier as you dont need a second VAC Line anymore.

    2. Thanx for you reply.

      That is not working as well if im correct.

      This is hopw i set it up this time:
      1. Using one repeater, Wave in: VAC 1, Wave out: Wireless headset.
      2. Teamspeak playback device: Line 1 (or else i won't hear the game if im correct).
      3. Teamspeak capture device: Wireless headset.

      In windows:
      Playback: Wireless headset as Default communications device and VAC Line 1 as default device.
      Recording Micgrophone wireless headset is default device.

      With this set up when i record my gameplay with fraps it still comes with people talking on Teamspeak.

    3. Let me try to explain it step by step:
      VAC Line1 -> default playback device in Windows -> receives game sound
      Repeater -> VAC Line1 for Input and Headset as output -> you can hear the game
      Teamspeak playback -> your headset -> fraps wont record people on teamspeak but you will hear them
      Teamspeak recording device -> your headset mic -> your friends should hear you

      Fraps records the default Windows playback device, so if you choose Line1 in Teamspeak for playback, it will record your friends as well :) But if you switch that to your headset everything should be fine. The game sound comes to your headset by using the repeater!

  14. I think there is something going wrong here and i don't know what.

    In windows i set VAC Line 1 as default playback device.
    In the repeater i set Input on VAC Line 1 and Output on Headset.
    In Teamspeak my Headset speakers are set up for playback device and my microphone headset for capture device.

    When i now join teamspeak, i can talk to people but i can not hear anything else on teamspeak. It just cuts off my headset speakers.

    1. Yeah that should work just fine now :/ I actually do exactly the same on my PC.

      Ok if you still have Line2 let us try the "older" way of setting everything up:
      just switch the first repeater to Output to Line 2, then in Teamspeak you switch only the playback, also to Line2. You can by the way always check with the windows volume mixer or in the playback options dialog for visual feedback of the audio you are playing.
      So when someone in Teamspeak talks now, you should see feedback only on line2. When there is game audio both lines should have audio. So we now have to use a second repeater with Input: Line2 and Output: Headset "Speakers"
      If you now hear game sound you should definitely get Teamspeak Sound as well, as long as you already saw the visual feedback for teamspeak on line2 :)

      Gonna cross my fingers now, it should have already worked fine ;(

  15. i had a 2 line setup similar to yours
    the first 2 days it worked out just fine excluding TS3 from OBS. but then it just stopped to send the sound output to my headset/speakers.
    if i try to put any sounds throgh any of the VAC lines even though they should send it to my headset. i checked and unchecked "listen to this device" and selected my headset in the listen tab. it didnt make any difference

    any ideas why i cant hear my lines anymore?? they worked for 2 days/sessoins with the computer turned off in between. reinstalling VAC didnt help either

    1. hmm, have you checked the vac control panel, for over/under flows?
      I would also try to deactivate the listen to function and use a vac repeater instead just to test it. Report back if that showed any errors and I will have something to work with I hope ;)

  16. i use an astro mixamp.. so i can have my headset hooked up to both my xbox and my pc at the same time.. When i play i will shoot my weapon, and then since my headset is also hooked up to my pc i hear that echo on xsplit. a half second later.

    I'm confused on how to set up these VACs so that doesn't happen. all these VAC lines are making my head spin. haha.

    1. On the other page you wrote:
      "the problem is that i want my headset to be my default playback device that way i can listen to music while i stream. idc if my viewers hear it or not, as i jsut like to listen to it in down time usually.. i'm not really sure what i need to do."

      So here my reply:
      Ok you dont want the echo but hear music in your headset. Currently XSplit will always output its sound to the default Windows playback device, so that where the echo comes from. Now its important that your music player allows you to select its output device. If that is not the case we cannot split XSplit from the Music ;( But if your music player allows this, select your Headset inside the Music Player and just make one single VAC Line (or VB-Cable Line) your default playback device.
      That done xsplit will output your gunshot to the vb-cable/vac and you wont have an echo, but your music will go to your headset so you will hear it (your viewers not in this case).

    2. do i click the "listen to" option? for that vac line?

    3. No "listen to" should not be needed. Unless you want to have an echo again ;)

  17. in the properties of line 1 what should "playback through this device" be set to? i'm gonna try this later when i have the chance just wondering because i've messed with it a lot to try to get it to work on my own.

    1. With the setup we talked about you dont need to set anything there while streaming. Only if you want to check the XSplit sound output for example you could select your Headset in the dropdown. But in this case you will hear the echo again.
      After streaming is done you could set your Headset back to be default playback device. So only while streaming you switch that to Line1 to get rid of the echo :)

  18. Hello, i have a problem with this.
    All working nice.
    But after rebooting PC i can't hear any sound from Line 1, which set as default.
    If i set my Speakers as default, then i can hear all sound, if Line 1 set as default - no sound.
    When look in the VAC panel i saw the column named "UFlows" and line 2 had over 170000 UFlows.
    I tried to disable-enable ALL VAC lines (including 2 in the playback and 2 in the recording) and all working well.
    But it's so lazy to every time disable-enable my lines.

    1. Hey, hmm this is actually a problem I did not hear of so far. Because of that you might wanna get in contact with the VAC developer to pinpoint the reason for this.
      What you could try is going through the last versions of VAC, see if it happens on all versions or is a new bug related to 4.13.

  19. Hello, i got everything to work but now my audio when recording / streaming is stuttering harshly, any help there?

    1. Hey, this normally happens if your VAC cable has under or overflows. For example if your CPU is already near its limit or if there is a big timing difference between VAC and your Soundcard. You can check the VAC control panel to see the under/overflows.
      If too much CPU usage is the reason, its unfortunately hard to say what to do next. You could try reducing your Game settings/ Recording or Streaming settings or consider an upgrade ;//
      If the over/underflows occur more "randomly" or constant I would try to deactivate all vac cables, activate just one and test using it. See if you can tweak the VAC settings a bit. (Change MS per interval and priority)

  20. I have some latency issues when i take these steps:

    This is what i got.

    - USB Headset
    - Line 1 (Standard)
    - Line 2

    - USB Headset (mic)
    - Line 1 (listen to: line 2)
    - Line 2 (listen to: USB Headset)

    When i select Line 2 ingame, i get latency. That is not good when you are simracing.
    When i select USB Headset ingame, i have no latency but also no sound in OBS for streaming.

    Can you help me?

    1. You can try using repeaters instead of the listen to feature of windows, and tweak their settings to get less delay. Also check my Advanced VAC Guide and tweak the control panel settings for vac. Highest priority, maybe a decrease in "Ms per int" from 7 to 5 for each of the lines.
      A minimal latency is unfortunately "normal" and is very hard to completely remove. But you should be able to lower it to a workable state!

  21. So I did this before, and it worked. Just fine. But this time Im doing exactly this. But then theres just no Sound at all coming out of the stream. (I use xsplit) Sooooooooo... Im kinda at an impasse cause before it worked as is.

  22. Greetings have tried this to exclude system sounds of obs, how does that work? I havn't had ANY sucess whatsoever after 12 hours of trying z.z


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