Open Mic Sound Setup Guide - How to Set Up DAW To Work With Zoom On Windows Without OBS And For Free

I have A & B & the freebie. Never had issues with them co-existing. But I will disable in Win Audio Device mgr to see if that makes a difference.

As I said when I made the changes in ASIO4ALL as per your guide, the Reaper Audio set up was automatically changed to those VBA outputs.

Oops bad cut but yes it was enabled. Input disabled and as you can see the USB Codec Out was disabled.

Yes it corresponds with the drum track. So yes I agree odd.

Will revisit in a day or two, as I might be needing a stable/unchanged audio set up for recording. So am putting everything back to its normal settings.

Maybe another Reaper user can try and replicate and we can see what the outcome is.

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?

Yep took Reaper out of the loop and reconnected the set up I used for the OM and all working normally. That’s with the VB Audio B from OBS and using the same AI.
ie AI → OBS → Zoom. All good.

Hi Serhat & Toby,

Just jumping in here as this topic definitely interests me too :slight_smile:

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 :slight_smile: )

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:

Input chain
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

Output chain
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!! :laughing:)

Yes, I made sure by torturing my wife in the form of joining the meeting and confirming she can hear the guitar and me without relative delay in either.

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Sorry I did not understand this.

No, I do not know what Voicemeter banana is and no mixers are involved.

I think Ableton sends the audio as Mono and I’m redirecting this to Zoom with the help of ASIO output control. So Ableton is the mixer in this setup.

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:joy: The things our better halves have to put up with! :wink:

Thanks for clarifying a couple of points and sorry for not being clearer.

So, what I was getting at is are you (via your speakers/headphones) hearing back the effects and drums/backing track which are being processed in Ableton?

This I guess is especially important if you’re using a backing track, but also nice to hear how the guitar sounds with the effects rather than just the dry signal/acoustic strumming.

I appreciate those on Zoom should be hearing what your sending, I just wondered if you’re hearing the same? :slight_smile:

Maybe not critical if playing an acoustic and not using a backing track though perhaps :slight_smile:

PS thanks for putting this together, it is a super helpful resource and will definitely help with refining a clear, easy path for setting this sort of thing up! :star_struck:

Ah I get what you are saying now. How do I monitor my backing track?

Haven’t figured or even thought of that. There goes my next challenge.

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Ah cool! Okay, that’s perhaps where Voicemeeter app might come in? I have set this up before and had it working. If you’re interested, I could send a couple of screen shots once I’m home tonight.

In saying that, there could be an easier way without adding another piece of software into the mix? Perhaps someone else will chip in with some handy tips!

Thanks again for all your work on this! :smiley::+1:

If you manage to figure it out Serhat that would be quite handy for me actually! As at the moment I struggle with Reaper->OBS->Zoom, for some reason during my last performance audio quality was awful! However I am still yet to test @jkahn advice about changing power mode on my laptop, which btw JK while plugged in turns out I was on battery saving mode all the time! Very bizarre, wonder if that will solve my issue?


@adi_mrok I almost got it to work! For some reason, Zoom is not picking up midi tracks from Ableton but it is picking up everything else while I can monitor myself from the speakers. I’ll have to look at midi later.

I’ll update the guidelines later when I’m confident with everything but for now, here is how:

On Asio, choose both the USB out (for monitoring) and the virtual cable (to send to zoom) as outputs:

Go to Ableton Audio settings. It will now show additional output options, choose 3/4 as well:

With this setup, 1/2 becomes the USB (Audio Interface) out, and 3/4 becomes the virtual cable.

Back to Ableton’s Session View, add a new Audio track. Set its Audio From to Master, Audio To to 3/4, Monitor to In:


This track will take the sound from the master track and will send a copy of it to Virtual Cable, which Zoom will be listening to.

I tried adding a backing track as an audio file, added some VST effects to the guitar, and Zoom records all of it while I am able to listen to myself and the backing track through the speakers.

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Oh hey, good thread here.

Some time ago I spent quite a while trying to figure out how to route sound to two outputs in Ableton (i.e. a virtual ASIO device AND real ASIO device) and I don’t think you can. Unless you use something like voicemeeter like @nzmetal mentioned. I got voicemeeter working with amp sims (Amplitube, with a rocksmith cable) before getting my Focusrite and honestly I just hated it, it’s quite complicated and felt brittle. I was trying to avoid OBS and voicemeeter felt worse.

So no monitoring with this setup. To me, monitoring with effectively zero latency is essential. I use a bit of reverb on my voice because my singing sucks. Except last OM, where I configured an automatic double tracker instead of reverb.

I think Serhat’s method here works fine for connecting acoustic & mic through to Zoom via Ableton or another DAW. But… why not connect the Focusrite up to Zoom directly in that case? I guess if you want to use a DAW and set your levels / etc there, or apply reverb and don’t need to hear it.

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Adrian, battery saving mode would TOTALLY tank your audio quality! If that was on, don’t bother with the detailed tweaks I sent you - just try it without battery saver on.

BTW - last OM, In Bloom - backing track was in Ableton, minor effects set in there, via OBS. Audio quality seemed OK? So with the right setup you can definitely do backing tracks without lag and with decent quality.

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@jkahn See my latest message. I figured out monitoring too!

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That will do it !! But in a live meeting you may get an echo if you can hear the actual Zoom audio. That screwed me up a few times even using AI ->DAW->OBS->Zoom. So bad in fact I just could not play. I got round that by declaring the PC speakers for Zoom audio out and monitored the DAW output via headphone connected to the AI.

Switching around “speaker” sources during the show was a complere pita, hence I gave up trying to use Reaper.

As for Voicemeeter/Banana eek, horrible latency when I tried that to cut out OBS.

If its more about using the DAW to check levels and not to apply FX, folks are maybe better off going this route.


True. It would be prudent to use headphones rather than speakers.


Yes I hope this solves the issue, if not I will revert back to your other suggestions.

@Rossco01 I’m interested in the idea of using a mixer. My cheap-chinese-focusrite-knockoff AI is fine for recording voice & acoustic from a single mic, but throw an electric guitar in the mix and it doesn’t want to know, so I foresee an upgrade in the near future; my question is, can you record electric guitar by plugging your amp into the mixer (using the line out/phones jack on the amp ) without anything blowing up? I’d find that really helpful as I can’t be doing with faffing around with VST plugins!

Yes no chance of blowing anything up. You
Might need an adapter if the mixer only has a 1/4 input but that is all. Obviously if you are taking the feed from the headphone Jack it’ll be using a cab sim in the amp but if you’re happy with the sound that’s fine. On a mixer you control the “strength” of the input using a gain control for each channel.

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I added the additional steps to enable monitoring and wrote a consolidated, v2 version of this guide here: Open Mic Ableton Live Guide v2: How to send audio to Zoom from Ableton Live without OBS

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