Hi, after failing to set up OBS for the open mic yesterday, I was trying to figure it out and finally, I managed. Then I suspected it could work without OBS as well and got that to work too! That’s without buying the two virtual cables from VB Audio. I thought OBS was necessary so a bit surprised that this simple setup works and I get to use effects and backing tracks thanks to the DAW so I wanted to write a guide about it in case it helps others.
Who is this guide for?
If you want your guitar sound to be coming from direct input or a second microphone rather than the same microphone as your vocals on Justin Open Mics
If you want to use backing tracks, plugins and effects
If you do not want to use OBS or could not figure it out
If you are a Windows user
If you are happy to use Zoom’s camera
If you are already familiar with Ableton Live (Should work for other DAWs too)
What does it achieve?
Lets you input your guitar and mic sound at the same time
Lets you add a backing track and guitar/vocal effects using your DAW (not included in the guide)
With Zoom’s built-in camera feature
Windows 11 - Not sure if this would work on other versions or on a Mac
Ableton Live - I think other DAWs would work too but I did not try
Audio Interface - To connect a microphone and the guitar
VB Audio Cable - The free one. No donation is required.
Set your speaker to wherever you want to be hearing the video conference sound (other people’s speaking and playing) from, and set your microphone as the virtual cable. Also set the Audio Profile settings to what’s displayed in the image:
Yeah despite lots of chat around OBS it really isn’t required in most instances. Certainly shouldn’t be the go to for the first timer IMHO.
In all honesty you can get away without a daw in most instances too… zoom will pick up the AI as an audio input. The disadvantage of that approach is that you can’t mix the channels e.g if you’re using one for guitar and other for mic. Using the DAW ( and I guess OBS) allows you to do this.
Personally I just use a mixer with an AI built in. Easy mixing of multiple inputs, just select it from input list in Zoom. No faffing with OBS, virtual cables, DAWs etc.
Agree with Toby probably worth reviewing alongside our other tech guides for OMs to see what is already there or could be added from this.
I wrote it because I think all the guides you linked are based on OBS and purchasing a virtual cable from VBAudio.
I found this method simpler for those who do not need OBS features. It took me more than a couple of weeks to figure out OBS and I thought people could use an alternative, simpler method. Happy to remove if it is duplicated by something I missed.
Thought I would give your guide a run through and see if it would work with Reaper. I must admit after about a year of even trying to use Reaper via OBS into Zoom for Open Mics I eventually went back to using my AI Mixer and relying on FX (POD Go Gtr and TCH PlayAcoustic for Vox).
So despite following your script I ended up with no sound coming out of Zoom. Maybe I am doing something wrong, so thought I’d share some screen shots.
No 1 Shows Reaper merrily playing drum backing track in project.
No 5 Verification of Zoom Audio Settings - As you can see the mic levels indicate a signal being received. So as I was not hearing Reaper and the Speaker showed no indication of sound being received I hit the test button and as you can see by the output level, the test worked fine and I got that irritating ditty in my headphones.
All very odd and all appears to be set up as you suggested. So maybe what works for Abelton does not work for Reaper but I would have thought, as you said, should be DAW transferable.
Could not get it working with my Behringer UMC 1820 AI either and that resulted in no Audio being passed to Zoom (as above) despite being set up the same way. Mind you it does not use ASIO4ALL but its own bespoke driver, which may have to another consideration.
Shame really, as we do have a lot of Reaper users on the forum and this might well have been a good opportunity to explore a DAW to Zoom set up.
If anything looks off please shout but I have used up my morning practice time trying to get this to work and will now put it to bed. Back to the mixer for the next OM and keep it simple. But as yours is working I looking forward to some stella FX on your future songs.
Unfortunately, I do not have Reaper to try but things that stand out to me from your description:
You seem to have VB-Audio Cable B installed as well. Might the sound be going to that at some point?
Your Reaper screenshots sound settings “Output range” show “Point 1” and “Point 2” selected separately. In Ableton, that selection is not available at all. Not sure where Reaper would send the sound in this case.
Your ASIO4ALL screenshot does not show that VB-Audio Virtual Cable’s OUT as enabled (that part did not fit the screen). You probably have it chosen, but double-checking might be a good idea.
The Zoom settings look fine to me. It is odd that Zoom is showing an Input level. If the setup is not working, where is that sound coming from? Does it go up and down in line with your drum track? Could you go back to your DAW, set an external input from your guitar or mic, and see if Zoom’s input level goes up and down as you play the guitar / speak to the microphone?
If it corresponds to drum track, I think your whole setup works and it is only a Zoom issue that it does not come out of speakers. Did you try connecting to the same zoom call from another device to check if others are hearing it?
Just jumping in here as this topic definitely interests me too
If I am understanding correctly, Toby’s issue is that what you have stated above Serhat, i.e. what’s being played (with effects added via Reaper) and the Reaper drum track are not being heard back by Toby, despite it being sent to Zoom (hence Zoom showing an input level but Toby not hearing it).
Do I have that right, Toby?
What Zoom’s getting could be quickly checked by using the test mic option to record what’s being input (although picking you’ve probably already done that )
If so, then that corresponds with my question when I read through your guide, Serhat. Do you hear what is being processed and played within Ableton? If I am following the chain correctly it appears to be as follows:
Guitar/mic → USB Audio Interface (AI)
AI → Ableton (monitoring on)
Ableton mixes guitar+effects/mic+effects/backing track → VB-Audio virtual cable
Virtual cable → Zoom mic input
Zoom mic input → out to other Zoom attendees
Zoom speaker out → AI
AI → headphones/speakers
However, there doesn’t appear to be a step in the chain that sends what is coming from Ableton back to the AI as Zoom’s speaker output doesn’t include what it receives as an input (unless you are testing the mic and it’s delayed then anyway).
So, perhaps Ableton sends audio to two separate outs? i.e back to the AI and the Virtual cable simultaneously?
Or do you have the Voicemeeter Banana virtual mixer included in the chain (but not noted), that’s taking the virtual cable and outputting that to both Zoom and the AI?
I hope this makes sense and sincere apologies if I have missed something obvious here! (as most likely I have!! )