If you’re a streamer, you’ve probably already heard of VoiceMeeter in one way or another. There are three versions — VoiceMeeter, VoiceMeeter Banana (which we will cover in this article), and VoiceMeeter Potato.
VoiceMeeter usually comes up when you’re looking for ways to split up your audio sources or get more control over what sounds are broadcasted on your stream. Depending on what you stream, you’ll usually find suggestions to use some hardware mixers. However, if you only use a microphone as your audio input (and your desktop’s audio for the rest), the next suggestion is usually VoiceMeeter.
VoiceMeeter allows you to do a lot with your stream’s audio. It gives you much more control over what you broadcast, your audio volume(s), and more. VoiceMeeter essentially acts as a mixer, except it’s a digital one instead of a hardware version.
If you want more control over your audio, VoiceMeeter might be the answer for you. This guide can help you figure out how to set it all up!
What is VoiceMeeter Banana?
Before we get started, first let’s talk about how VoiceMeeter banana is donationware. This means that you can use it for free and pay whatever you want if you find it useful. You don’t even have to pay at all. However, for professional use, you might want to pay the company’s recommended license fee. There are also bulk licenses available.
VoiceMeeter Banana is an advanced piece of software acting as a virtual audio mixer. It works in tandem with virtual audio cables (drivers that are also available for free) so you can split your audio sources and control them individually within Banana. Essentially, the virtual audio cables allow you to isolate certain sources.
VoiceMeeter Banana also has some effects built right in, alongside some compression software that can help improve your mic and audio quality. You can also record audio from within Banana.
Unfortunately, there are some downsides to routing your microphone and audio through VoiceMeeter — sometimes, it can cause some syncing delays with your video. So, if you would like to make sure your mouth is moving exactly in time with what you are saying, you’ll have to make some sync adjustments in OBS.
VoiceMeeter Banana also has some issues when you use Bluetooth headphones or speakers as your output device, where the audio you hear can get very delayed due to latency. You will need to find some workarounds to make sure you are hearing everything exactly as they happen.
Should You Use VoiceMeeter Banana?
If you stream, you probably use “desktop audio” on OBS so that your stream hears what you hear. Your desktop audio is basically the single output of every sound your system produces (minus your microphone).
There’s nothing wrong with using desktop audio alone — many content creators do. But what if you want to separate some of your audio sources so you can control their volumes separately? For example, if you would like to make it so that your stream cannot hear people in Discord comms with you, VoiceMeeter Banana can help you. You can do the same with your music since splitting it from your desktop audio can allow you to control its volume and mute it separately without affecting anything else.
Once you’ve split up your audio, you can create shortcuts and hotkeys through VoiceMeeter Banana to control your audio better. Alternatively, you can also set things up to work with your Stream Deck (or other alternatives, such as Touch Portal).
What is the Difference Between the 3 Different Versions of VoiceMeeter?
- VoiceMeeter is the basic version which has two hardware inputs and one virtual output. It can work for certain purposes, but the fact that there is only one virtual output usually means it is not enough for streamers looking to separate their audio sources.
- VoiceMeeter Banana is the middle version that is also preferred by many content creators. It has three hardware inputs and two virtual outputs, as well as a small mixing function and effects library.
- VoiceMeeter Potato is the third and largest version with five hardware inputs and three virtual outputs. For most streamers this is overkill, and it can also be quite complicated to figure out. However, it does have more effects in its library.
How to Set Up VoiceMeeter Banana
Getting Everything Installed
- Download VoiceMeeter Banana from this link and install it.
- Download Virtual Audio Cable from this link and install it.
- Restart your computer.
Parts of VoiceMeeter Banana
Before we continue, let’s look at the parts of Banana real quick:
As you can see from the diagram, each section of VoiceMeeter Banana serves a different purpose.
- Simple hardware inputs are where you set your hardware inputs like your microphone or your music instrument if you play one. You can use hardware input A1 for your microphone.
- Virtual inputs are the audio signals you can send either to your headphones or OBS (or both). VoiceMeeter VAIO (B1) is what you select as your output device through Windows Sound Settings (seen in the steps below). VoiceMeeter AUX (B2) is the signal you will be sending directly to your OBS or other streaming software.
- Hardware outputs send audio to your hardware devices like headphones and speakers. You can use hardware output A1 for your headphones, etc.
If you see A1, A2, A3 and B1, B2 — these are how you control which audio signals go where.
A1, A2, and A3 are your hardware outputs (seen on the top right of the diagram above).
B1 is your PC audio and B2 is your aux input, which is the signal you will be sending into OBS.
Seems confusing, right? Don’t worry, it will all be explained below.
Setting Up Your Audio
- Make sure that your computer’s audio is passing through VoiceMeeter. To do this, right-click on the sound icon on your task bar and select sound settings. In your sound settings, select VoiceMeeter Input (VAIO). Do not select AUX input. Now, your computer’s audio will get routed through VoiceMeeter Banana.
- Set your microphone input as hardware input 1. If you’re unsure what WDM, MME, and KS means, they are drivers. WDM is the driver with the lowest latency and is often the best choice. If you have issues with the connection or you run into problems like static noise, you can change the driver (you might need to restart). Remember that you can only use one driver throughout VoiceMeeter Banana so everything must match.
- Set your A1 Hardware output to your headphones or speakers. Remember to use the same driver!
- Send your microphone’s audio to VoiceMeeter AUX by ticking B2. This will make sure your stream hears your microphone. Do not tick A1 because this will send your microphone to your headphones and you will hear yourself as you speak.
- Send your VAIO audio to your headphones by ticking A1 so you can hear your PC’s audio such as games, etc. Tick B2 to make sure your stream will also hear your game, music, and so on.
- Set up your OBS audio to ensure it uses your VoiceMeeter AUX input. Go to Settings > Audio and disable everything except for your Mic/Auxiliary Audio. Select VoiceMeeter Aux OUTPUT and this will use your B2 column in VoiceMeeter Banana.
When set up this way, anything you have through VoiceMeeter that isn’t set to go to your B2 column cannot be heard by your stream. Which brings us to the next point below:
How to Split Your Audio
If you want to make it so your stream can’t hear your Discord comms (or something similar), you can split your audio through VoiceMeeter Banana by using Virtual Audio Cables. This whole thing is why you installed Virtual Audio Cables (the drivers) earlier.
In Discord, set your input to your microphone and your output to Cable Input.
What this does is it sends your Discord Audio into the input of a virtual cable. Virtual cables pretend to be hardware inputs, so you can use the Cable OUTPUT in VoiceMeeter Banana (by setting it as one of your Hardware Inputs).
Then, you can tick A1 so you hear your Discord comms through your headphones without your stream hearing it. If you also want your stream to hear it, you can tick B2.
This setup also works for music and so on. You can go to your Windows Sound Settings, scroll down to Advanced Sound Options, and change individual apps’ outputs.
For example, if you want to make sure that your stream can hear your music but you can’t (or vice versa), you can set the output of Spotify to Cable Input.
You can then set your Cable Output as a hardware input in VoiceMeeter Banana.
Note: If you use Cable Input on Discord AND Spotify at the same time, you will not be able to control them individually. You will need more virtual audio cables (there are higher versions of the driver available for sale).
Setting up VoiceMeeter Banana can be confusing and at times, frustrating — especially if you aren’t too technologically inclined. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should just give up. The way that VoiceMeeter Banana can improve your quality of life as you stream (and your stream’s production quality, too) is worth the hassle of figuring it all out. If you want more control over your stream’s audio, consider VoiceMeeter Banana (or Potato, if you’re so inclined!).
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