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How do you share music on Skype? The usual way is to click the + icon, browse for the file and send it.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to actually play a tune to someone while you chat, altering the volume so that you can discuss it? I’m not talking about playing the track in the background and letting your friend hear it through your microphone, rather actually sending the audio to them through Skype with your voice. In fact, it might not even be music you share. You could be playing a video game, or plan to record a professional-sounding podcast with a theme tune, clips and more.

What is most surprising about all of this is that it’s achievable, and simple as long as you’re using the right app…

Meet VoiceMeeter

Donationware audio app VoiceMeeter is the tool you will need to achieve this piece of online collaboration Zen. Available via VB-Audio Software, the app is a virtual audio mixer with three inputs (two hardware, one software) and three outputs and mixes these through two buses.

Movie soundtracks, Internet radio, microphone and MP3 can be mixed and pushed to audio outputs (speakers, headphones), a VOIP client Goodbye, Skype: 4 Alternative VOIP Services You Can Record Calls With Goodbye, Skype: 4 Alternative VOIP Services You Can Record Calls With Can't record calls with Skype anymore? Recent changes that break support of third-party apps have left many users frustrated. Could now be the time to try an alternative VoIP call recording service? Read More (Skype, Google Hangouts, and others) or even a recording application.

VoiceMeeter Input Output

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VoiceMeeter is equipped with Virtual Audio I/O and this enables it to be used as your system’s main audio device, much as if it was a hardware mixer. MME, Direct-X, KS, WaveRT and WASAPI audio interfaces are all supported, and VoiceMeeter can be installed on Windows XP, Vista, 7, and Windows 8 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

As you’ve probably guessed, VoiceMeeter is capable of much more than enhancing collaboration over VOIP apps, but we’ll keep it simple and show you just how that can be achieved.

Setting Up VoiceMeeter

To start sharing audio through a Skype call, you’ll need to configure VoiceMeeter correctly. After installation, load the app and connect any headphones and microphones. Launch Skype too, and make sure you have a media player ready for testing an audio track to share.

On the VoiceMeeter interface you will see four panels, Hardware Input 1, Hardware Input 2, Virtual Input and Hardware Out, which has two outputs. The application lets you mix the first three input channels together, thus producing a fourth that can be monitored using speakers or headphones and piped through to your Skype or other VOIP client.

Select Your Monitoring Device

muo-windows-voicemeeter-right

Starting with the fourth panel, Hardware Out, click A1 and select your headset, choosing the KS option if possible. A hierarchy exists for selecting a device: for the best results, select those prefixed with KS. If this isn’t available, choose WDM; failing this, MME. Not all audio systems will support the KS option, so WDM is the most common choice.

muo-windows-voicemeeter-bitratejpg

With your headset/speaker selected, open Control Panel > Hardware and sound > Sound and select the Playback tab. Select your audio playback device and then open Properties. In the Advanced tab, use the drop down to select the Default Format, the audio sample rate which will determine the quality of the audio that your Skype contact will hear. Similarly, if you’re using an app like Audacity to record the conversation 7 Audacity Tips For Better Audio Editing On a Budget 7 Audacity Tips For Better Audio Editing On a Budget Want to move beyond simple cut-and-crop jobs? Knowing just a few Audacity tips can make your audio-editing life a whole lot easier. Read More , the quality of the recording will rely on the bitrate you select.

muo-windows-voicemeeter-nothing

On the Sound control panel, you should also switch to the Communications tab and select Do nothing. This will prove useful for ensuring microphone inputs work correctly when a VOIP call us received.

Add Your Microphone

muo-windows-voicemeeter-left

Hardware Input 1 is where your microphone should be selected, and with your headphones on, you should hear yourself speaking in real time! Open Control Panel > Hardware and sound > Sound > Recording and open the Listen tab.

muo-windows-voicemeeter-listen

Here, you will need to ensure that Listen to this device is NOT checked, in order to avoid problems with VoiceMeeter. While you’re in this section, switch to the Levels tab. Here you can adjust the overall sound of the mic device if your voice seems too quiet.

At this stage, VoiceMeeter is sending audio from Hardware Input 1 direct to Output A1, using Bus A.

Make VoiceMeeter Your Default Playback Device

Continuing with the setup means setting VoiceMeeter as your default audio device. This can be done by opening Control Panel > Hardware and sound > Sound > Playback, selecting the VoiceMeeter Input virtual device and clicking Set Default.

By doing this, we enable every sound played on your computer How To Customize Your Windows Sound Effects How To Customize Your Windows Sound Effects You could make your computer sound like your favorite TV show, record your own sounds, or turn them off completely. Here's a crash course on changing and recording sound effects for Windows. Read More to be routed through the Virtual Input panel of the VoiceMeeter mixer.

muo-windows-voicemeeter-mp3

With your headphones on, open an MP3 in your preferred media player 4 Windows Media Player Alternatives for Windows 8 4 Windows Media Player Alternatives for Windows 8 Read More and check the audio is coming through.

muo-windows-voicemeeter-config

You should note that the Virtual Input is multichannel, able to handle eight channels. You can configure this by opening Control Panel > Hardware and sound > Sound > Playback, selecting VoiceMeeter Input and clicking Configure.

At this stage, you should have your microphone and Windows audio running through Bus A, and output to your headset.

Skype Meets VoiceMeeter

To proceed, you’ll need an extra app installed to help VoiceMeeter put the audio where you want it to go. Head to www.vb-cable.com and download the VB-AUDIO Virtual Cable, another donationware tool.

After installation visit Control Panel > Hardware and sound > Sound and check the Playback and Recording tabs where you’ll find two new virtual devices, CABLE Input and CABLE Output.

VoiceMeeter’s basic configuration is now in place, so it’s time to bring Skype into the mix.

muo-windows-voicemeeter-skype

Once signed into the VOIP client, open Tool > Options and switch to the Audio settings tab. Against Microphone, select VoiceMeeter Output, and ensure the Automatically adjust microphone settings checkbox is cleared.

In the Speakers field, set CABLE Input as the device, again clearing the checkbox.

Also, set the volume settings for Microphone and Speaker to maximum. Note that you can leave the PC speakers set as the ringing device.

Click Save when you’re done, and switch back to VoiceMeeter. In Hardware Input 2, select CABLE Output as the source. While you’re here, you should also set Hardware Input 1 to Bus B, and Hardware Input 2 to Bus A. This will avoid any issues with echoing. Should you enjoy the sound of your own voice when on Skype, however, activate Bus A on Hardware Input 1.

Your setup should now look something like this:

muo-windows-voicemeeter-wide

Talking & Playing Music on Skype

With all of that done, you’re now ready to begin making Skype calls to single or multiple contacts. While you talk, you’ll be able to play audio clips on your computer that will be sent through VoiceMeeter and mixed into your microphone audio, and then into the virtual input you set up in Skype.

At the other end, the sound quality is at least as good as when you’re speaking, and you have control over the volume of the clip using the fader gain control on the Virtual Input panel.

The beauty of this setup is that it isn’t limited to Skype. You can pipe your system audio through other VOIP systems on your computer. I discovered VoiceMeeter when looking for a way to reducing post-production on my Google Hangouts-based podcast This Is How To Run A Live Podcast Or Videocast This Is How To Run A Live Podcast Or Videocast Let me tell you - running a live video stream and podcast every week is tough work indeed. Actually... that's a complete lie - but don't tell my co-hosts that because they think I'm a... Read More (I didn’t want to spend too much time adding a theme tune or audio clips) and the app suits this purpose perfectly.

Tips for Using VoiceMeeter Successfully

Now that you have VoiceMeeter set up to send system audio through Skype along with your voice, you’ll need to make sure that your settings are retained. You can save the configuration by opening Menu > Save Settings, making sure to make a copy of the saved XML file should you need to reinstall the application.

muo-windows-voicemeeter-save

Problems with audio on a correctly set up installation of VoiceMeeter can often be resolved using the Restart Audio Engine option at the top of the Settings menu.

Various settings not covered in this guide are available in VoiceMeeter, such as the Intellipan feature (for moving your voice around the stereophonic space) and the equalizer for Virtual Input devices. Spend some time investigating these if you’re unfamiliar.

As far as Skype goes, we’ve only tested this with the classic desktop version, which as you should know is far superior to the clunky Windows 8 Modern version Why The Classic Desktop Version Trumps Skype For Windows 8 Why The Classic Desktop Version Trumps Skype For Windows 8 Want to make voice and video calls on your Windows 8 computer? A touchscreen version of Skype is available from Microsoft, but how does it compare to the desktop version? Read More .

Finally, be aware that once set as your default audio device, system volume can only be adjusted through VoiceMeeter. This means that your usual hardware buttons for volume will not work – you’ll have to launch the app and adjust the volume on screen. A small price to pay for piping MP3 and other system audio to your Skype collaborators, we think you’ll agree!

Have you found other ways of including audio from MP3 files, movies, games or videos in your Skype calls? Do you have details of a better app than VoiceMeeter? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: PlaceIt

  1. The Hip
    December 10, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Christian,

    This article was incredibly helpful. I got it work on Windows 10 using YouTube Live / Good Hangouts Live. The only issue is that my voice and the audio from my computer is heard with noticeable static.

    Can you think of any simple tinkering with the settings that might resolve this?

    Best,

    Brad

    • The Hip
      December 11, 2016 at 4:09 am

      Christian -- I think I figured it out. I changed everything to MME. That seemed to get rid of the pops and clicks.

  2. akiko
    November 3, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Hi

    Thank you very much for this, it's been really really great help. My laptop has just been automatically updated (Windows 10), and after that I did an update for Skype. Now it's not working anymore. I can listen to stuff and do recordings like normal, but I can't share audio via Skype anymore. I've tried switching the audio options for Skype, but none of it is working. Any idea why this is happening? Would really appreciate some help. Thank you!

    • Christian Cawley
      November 3, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      I recall a previous Skype update caused a problem for my setup. Disabling and removing Voicemeeter before reinstalling and setting it up again worked on that occasion.

      • akiko
        November 5, 2016 at 9:02 am

        That works! Thank you so much!!

        • Christian Cawley
          November 5, 2016 at 6:35 pm

          Happy to help!

  3. akiko
    November 3, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Hi
    Thank you very much for this, it's been really really great help! My laptop has just been automatically updated (windows 10), and after that I also did an update for Skype. Now it doesn't work. I can listen to stuff and do recordings like normal, but I can't share audio via Skype anymore. Any idea why this is happening? I've tried switching around the audio options in Skype, but none of them is working. Would really appreciate some help. Thank you!

  4. Tony Cannizzo
    August 2, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Christian, thank you very much for your article.
    I have it up and running successfully, but I am struggling with fine-tuning the settings.

    I typically play music from iTunes through Skype for one individual.
    That person can hear the music and my voice, but when I play the music at a moderate level through my speakers, the other person's voice becomes choppy and unintelligible. When I turn the volume down on the music, I can then here the other party perfectly, but the volume is quite low for me.

    So, you wrote that VM is the master volume control - the hardware buttons do not work, which I find to be true. But in addition, there are other controls that can affect the volume:
    a.) the volume slider on iTunes itself
    b.) the Windows Volume Mixer (tray) which has a control for iTunes independent of VM
    c.) the audio settings in Skype

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks and best regards.
    Tony

    • Christian Cawley
      November 3, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Hi Tony.

      I haven't experienced this issue and can only surmise that it is a limit within iTunes, or with the sound hardware.

  5. niclego6448
    June 15, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Hello Christian,

    For some reason, when ever I play a song the only way that I can get sound to go through Skype is if I set the output channel to CABLE Input (Which cuts out all audio through my headset). Is there a step that I may have skipped, or did I set something up incorrectly?

  6. N8
    April 21, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    these are really great instructions!! worked for me. i've been trying to solve this issue for weeks -- THANKS!!!

    • Christian Cawley
      April 22, 2016 at 6:38 am

      No problem, pleased it worked for you!

      • Wubishet
        August 10, 2016 at 6:57 pm

        Hello Christian,

        problem: the music through the Virual input recorded TWO times !!! interfere with eachother, and the music continuses to play even if i make bus B off.

        I use a screen capturing software called Microsoft Expression Encoder for screen casting (for Tutorial .. etc). Then I would like to use Voice meeter in order to include additional inputs such as played background music. in the Microsoft Expression Encoder setting , I selected Voicemeeter input and Voicemeeter Output as audio sources just like what we do when we record with Audacity(audio recording softwere). I set the Voicemeeter as follows:

        Hardware Input 1: Microphone
        Virtual Input: music played o YouTube or any media player
        Main Out (Hardware out A1): Speaker
        Virtual Out: to Audacity and Microsoft Expression Encoder

        Then I started to play the music and record my input through the mic and the virtual input (the music from YouTube) both on the Audacity and Microsoft Expression Encoder:
        I finished the recording and play it. Here is the result:

        With the Audacity everything works fine. when I disable bus B on the virtual input, the music is not played.
        However on the Microsoft Expression Encoder, when bus B is enabled, the music on the YouTube(on my computer) and the music through the bus B played at the same time. when I disable bus B, the music doesn't stop playing (the music opened on the YouTube continues to play). But You can't identify this when you play on the Voicemeeter. you only see the difference from the recorded output.

        • Christian Cawley
          August 26, 2016 at 5:13 pm

          Hmm, this reminds me of an issue I had, and reviewing the settings revealed I had something wrong in Windows.

          As I'm currently not using Voicemeeter, I can't easily check this out. Have you tried contacting their support?

  7. David Pattinson
    December 15, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Hi, I've tried to use this, but it seems to stop my webcam from working. Do you have any idea how to fix this?

    • Christian Cawley
      December 15, 2015 at 8:46 pm

      Never come across this! Is this in a Skype situation, or some other app?

      • David Pattinson
        December 15, 2015 at 8:49 pm

        Yeah, it's my Skype. It's now saying that it can't use the video as another application is using it.

  8. Alex
    December 13, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Hi there. I've been having a pretty hard time trying to set this up.

    What I'm trying to do is set it up so I can record a podcast with people through google hangouts and play audio in real time (news clips, youtube videos, things we can react to).

    I seem to follow your steps fine until trying to get Google plus connected via Cable Out/In. When I look at the I/O setting in Plus the cable options aren't there so I switch my Recording/Playback to them and then switch back. Now Google plus sees these outputs. When I try to set Hardware 2 to Cable Out, the option isn't there, only vb-audio point.

    Ideally I would like to record myself and and browser sound in Audacity.

  9. Nejc Markovi?
    October 31, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Hello,

    I was wondering if there is a way to increase quality of the sound I am sharing with my friends via skype? They said that they hear it but it is in bad quality or something. Please let me know if there is a way.

    • Christian Cawley
      November 1, 2015 at 8:35 am

      It may be related to your Internet connection speed. Beyond this, I can't help.

      • Nejc Markovi?
        November 1, 2015 at 12:27 pm

        Maybe it is, Thank you for reply.

  10. Chimiboy Wreckfulz Inc
    July 21, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Hey hey Christian!

    So I can hear the Skype sounds and such, and everything seems to work... However... When I call people or even the Echo test thingy, I don't get a response in sound...

    • Chimiboy Wreckfulz Inc
      July 21, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      Edit: I forgot the usual sucking up (it's 1:30 AM here) so I just wanted to say YOU SAVED MY D&D GAME WITH THIS AWESOME TUTORIAL! Now I hope my problem can be fixed somehow :P

      • Christian Cawley
        July 24, 2015 at 6:06 pm

        Okay, well using the test service is a step in the right direction. Have you got your AB channels set as per the screenshots above?

      • Azazel0341
        April 7, 2016 at 4:46 pm

        Hey bud i noticed u said u play D&D. Me and my bud are trying to incorporate sounds into our gaming . we play using fantasy grounds. Any advice to start up to make this go a lot quicker. New to this

  11. ddcs asd
    June 29, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Hi Christian

    Is it possible to make it so only certain programs get sent through skype? I want to avoid having game audio to be sent to my friends when i am playing.

    Helge

    • Christian Cawley
      June 30, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      Sadly not!

      • Grant Jung
        August 2, 2015 at 8:53 am

        When I was on skype with my friend, he said he could hear his own voice echo, is there a way to prevent this?

  12. Jude P.
    May 19, 2015 at 1:52 am

    Okay, so now it's set up and seems to work with Skype. My friend and I could both hear a YouTube video I played and she could hear my voice but I couldn't.

    But then when I shut down the program I don't get any audio through my headphones. Is there a more sensible way to work it so that the program only overrides the standard settings when it's actually running?

    • Christian Cawley
      May 24, 2015 at 10:20 am

      The AB settings on the mic channel toggle whether you can hear your voice, IIRC.

      Unfortunately you do need to flip back to your usual drivers for other apps , or else leave Voicemeeter running. It's not ideal, but for me doig either of these outweighs what it saves on money for a physical mixer.

  13. Kauê Gropelo
    May 17, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Hi, Christian, very useful tutorial, worked perfectly fine, and I was thinking of using Voicemeeter for putting ambience sounds from http://tabletopaudio.com/ in a Role-Playing Game podcast I'm doing with some friends. But the thing is, it mixes the audio I'm listening to with my voice, so they are just in one track on the recordings, which is a problem for editing later, since I'd have to end up cutting some parts from the ambience sounds as well. Is there a way for recording the sounds separatedly from my voice, still sending them through Skype ? Or, if I record this podcast live, is there a way to listen to the audio while recording me and my friends on Cubase ? It seems I can't use any output on Voicemeeter when Cubase is running, or even listen to any other audio on my computer. Thanks in advance,

  14. Zach
    April 13, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Hello. I'm hoping to take all of this, and record it. Trying to record a podcast in which my colleague and I talk and share music over skype. Do you know of a solution?

    • Christian Cawley
      April 21, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      Well the software I discuss above is a good starting point...

  15. Richard
    April 6, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Hey Christian

    I managed to finish the setup with an external microphone, but can' figure out why the music cuts out when the receiver speaks or sings. My wife's students need to sing with Kareoke music she plays them, but with a test run she was told that as soon as they start speaking/singing the music cuts out....

    • Christian Cawley
      April 8, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Richard, I can only imagine this is something to do with the soundcard, as it isn't an issue I've encountered.

  16. Richard
    April 1, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Hello Christian

    Thank you for this article. It is exactly the solution I was looking for. My wife is a music teacher and she wants to each online through Skype, so I first installed this on my laptop to test it using my headphones and it works like a charm. How will I go about installing this using an external microphone instead of a headset, is it possible? Your reply appreciated.

    Richard

    • Christian Cawley
      April 2, 2015 at 10:01 am

      Perfectly possible, as you can see in the screenshots, I use a Snowball mic. Simply plugin the mic into a USB port (or mic jack) and as long as the device is detected by Windows, you should se eit in Voicemeeter (you may need to restart Voicemeeter though).

  17. DonGateley
    November 24, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    I'd like to add that one reason someone might want both 'phones and speaker going together is that it can provide the body sensation of bass that is normally missing with 'phones and which contributes greatly to verisimilitude.

    • Joel
      January 23, 2015 at 9:24 am

      But is there an option to have different hardware inputs going to different hardware outputs? For example, Skype output going exclusively to the headset with System output going to the speakers. If there is, I haven't found it.

  18. DonGateley
    November 24, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Very powerful but very complicated. Even for a long time PC audio specialist like myself the setup is slightly daunting. For someone not as deep into PC audio I would think it prohibitively so.

    I have all kinds of uses for this and thank you for the pointer. If one want's to master it, it's also a great way to have both headphones and speakers receiving output simultaneously with the ability to control the level of each (including mute) independently from within one window. With unadorned Windows you can only have one output active at a time.

    I'm a long time user of VB-Audio Virtual Cable and it is very reliable and easy to use. My only complaint is it that its level control in the Windows Volume Mixer is always disabled rather than providing the optional ability to disable that in its Properties. My complaint has fallen on deaf ears. :-)

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