Virtual Audio Cable

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Virtual Audio Cable

Hello,

I've been trying to use Virtual Audio Cable to record podcasts over skype.  I have a Dell 1520, long story is I have no stereo mix and there is no way to get it.  Virtual Audio Cable is supposed to be able to bind several audio sources into one so a program like Audacity, which I'm using, can record them.  

I followed the instructions below found on the old Skype forums. I can't seem to get my Mic input to be sent to Audacity.  I've set up 2 ACs (audio cable) using VAC and 2 Audio Repeater (AR) that links audio cables.  The instructions below mention 4 Ears but for the life of me I have no idea what the 3rd is.

 

  • Keep line in is my mimic. 
  • Skype line out is AC1
  • AR1 sends AC1 to my soundcard so i can hear my colleagues with headphones
  • AR2 sends AC1 to AC2
  • Audacity line in is AC2
  • Audacity line out is my speakers.

I thought that skype would take my mic input and send it with AC1 so that AC2 would allow Audacity to pick it up, but no such luck.  How can I get my mic to get recorded in Audacity? any ideas?

 

Best,

Daniel

 

 

 


01 November 2005 - 02:38 AM 

First, disclaimer:

[u][color=red]DO NOT RECORD VOICE CONVERSATIONS WITHOUT INFORMING THE PERSON/PEOPLE YOU ARE HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH FIRST![/color]

Now, required software:
Virtual Audio Cable (trial software)
Any wave recording software (I used Audacity, because it rocks) - just familiarise yourself with how to select its input (sound recorder would be a bad idea, because it locks to the same as Skype's input, which is not what we want)
(no, this will not work on anything that isn't Windows, sorry I have only tested it on Windows XP)

First off, install VAC and familiarise yourself with how to use it (the manual is pretty good). Basically there are two programs: one (Control Panel) controls "Virtual Audio Cables" / VACs (which create a virtual wave in and wave out which are connected) and the other program is "Audio Repeater" / AR (which connects wave outs of devices to wave ins of other devices). This may seem confusing: check the manual, have a fiddle, if you still don't get it, ask me (if you don't get it, the failing is mine for not explaining it clearly).

It is very important that everything is using the same sample rate, bits per sample, and number of channels. You will get strange and wonderful errors if this is not the case. I checked what settings to use by connecting Skype to the one VAC that is created by default, then opening up the Control Panel to see the parameters of what was connecting to the VAC (just Skype) - I got 48000hz / 16 bits / 1 channel.

I then drew a nice diagram on paper to work out how to connect everything, had a fiddle, changed the diagram a few times, and got a nice working solution! (I'm sure you're reassured to know that it works now that we're halfway through the tutorial :tongue:) Now, my solution may seem complex, but this way gave good quality and no hearing myself in my earphones when I spoke (had that with a simpler solution and it drove me nuts). Oh, and it is totally normal to hear "trial" over and over and over and over and over..

Key to my uber diagram:
---> is an audio device assignment
==1000==> is an audio repeater with buffer 1000

The uber diagram:


I needed to create two VACs to do this.. the manual says that you can't do this in the trial, it is wrong. You will need to exit and go back into programs for them to see the new "audio device" that is the VAC (eg ARs, Skype and Audacity). I set Skype's audio output device to "Virtual Cable 1 Out" which is confusingly the input to VAC #1. I set Audacity's recording input to "Virtual Cable 2 In" (don't forget to set rate / bits / channels in Audacity!). I set up an AR as:
Wave In: Virtual Cable 1 In
Wave Out: <<soundcard name>>
Sample rate, bits and channels as they should be, buffer was 60 for this one and as I explain below, I changed the number of buffers as well. You should be able to work out the settings for the other two ARs from this (I left the buffer and no. of buffers at default for the other two, i.e. 1000 / :cool:. Then I hit call on Skype, record on Audacity, and away we went with the lovely Echo123 lady! 

Buffers:
I set the VAC #1 ==> Soundcard as low as I could get without quality loss (note: to get it as low as 60 I had to set buffers to pretty high values - 64 min, beyond 128 showed no change, I settled for 128 and **bleep** the 8% cpu usage the AR gave me). An extra 60ms lag in what you hear isn't a huge amount. I left the other two repeaters on 1000ms buffer because it doesn't make a difference to me if the recording is a second behind. (Thinking about it, you could set this very high and then have a "start recording 5 seconds in the past" option ^_^) This setup worked fine with barely any quality loss in what I was hearing, and the recording sounded totally normal! I'm not sure if I should add the VAC #1 ==> Soundcard lag to the VAC #1 ==> VAC #2 lag, it would make the recording match more what [b]you
 heard, but not what is in fact happening...

Links:

Virtual Audio Cable (trial software)
Audacity (audio editing software, what I used to record)
Proof of the pudding (mp3)

If anyone finds this useful, or has any suggestions (free alternatives to this software, for example - I intend to buy this as I can see it being useful, but others might not), I'd love to hear from you (and I won't record our call, I promise :wink:)

Finally, a request: Skype devs, please save me a massive headache and put this in Skype. That way it could also be more controlled i.e. require all parties to agree to recording first etc. 

 

dgchou5
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Registered: 14-08-2011
Message 1 of 7 (9,750 Views)

Re: Virtual Audio Cable

A couple of years ago, I had needs comparable to yours. I discussed them with the developper of VAC. Though I did not explicitly ask for a modification, within a week he had made one and mailed it! A highlight of cooperativeness. So, talk with him directly.

 



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kicks-mobil
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Message 2 of 7 (9,504 Views)

Re: Virtual Audio Cable

thanks for the idea!

dgchou5
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Message 3 of 7 (9,493 Views)

Re: Virtual Audio Cable

I went through and did this tonight... So I wrote it out for you. 

 

Settings for virtual cable that records with audacity:

------------------------------------------------------

First, set up a virtual cable that receives all activity on Skype like this:
Set skype to use line 1 as microphone, and line 2 as speakers. (Skype is now deaf and mute.)

Then create four repeaters like this:

Mic -> Line 1
Line 2 -> Main out

Mic -> Line 4
Line 2 -> Line 4

Explanation:
------------
Mic repeats to line 1 (Now skype hears your mic, as Skype is set to use line 1 as mic)
Line 2 repeats to Speakers so that you can hear the other party on Skype. Skype couldn't playback what it hears as it had no actual path to audio out -
until now).

Mic and Line 2 are repeated to Line 4 because that's the signal we're going to record.

Since line 4 is our mixdown with both in and out combined, you will have to set levels in Skype for recording the other party. Do a test run with your
interviewee!

To record in Audacity:
----------------------
Set Microphone to line 4.
Set speakers to your normal out (speakers usually).
Hit record.

D O N E!
--------

If this helped you, check out my site www.souleye.se for some audio candy! :happy:

- Magnus

Souleye
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Message 4 of 7 (9,188 Views)

Re: Virtual Audio Cable

Hey there! I am using Skype and VAC with Spreaker.com to broadcast live and pre-recorded shows. All levels sound great, until i record or go live...then the guest is played back 'very low'. How do I get the guest to sound as loud as they do in my personal headset? Thanks!
danisemarie123
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Registered: 17-05-2012
Message 5 of 7 (7,953 Views)

Re: Virtual Audio Cable

Thanks, thank, thanks. Now it is OK for me.

ONe small thing, eho is thre but only for lessner.

radule
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Registered: 16-12-2012
Message 6 of 7 (6,363 Views)

Re: Virtual Audio Cable

Help! I cant get my mic working with VAC line 1! and i got a egg stuck half way up in my ass, now i cant get it out :sad:

CantGetEggOutOf
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Message 7 of 7 (3,774 Views)
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