Pass-through Audio While Screen Sharing

This is a tutorial about how and when to use a virtual audio device to bypass audio.This is most often used as a presenter during screen share when you need to play an external video or audio file with high fidelity. Generally audio played back through your speakers is a poor experience for everyone else on your call. 

macOS

Note: this changes your mic input and you will not be heard again until changing your local input device back to your mic.

  1. Install and configure Loopback Audio: https://rogueamoeba.com/loopback/ 
  2. Add a new Virtual device.
    • This new virtual device can be used as a Mic in your Video conference app.
  3. Add sources to the Virtual device.
    • Add your target audio source. If you are using Chrome I'd suggest using either a different browser or app for playback.
    • Optionally you can add the mic you normally use so you can quickly switch back. Do not leave both sources on at the same time.
  4. Output channels
    • Leave these in place so you can see if audio is being captured.
  5. Monitors
    • If you want to hear the output of what you are broadcasting select your audio output device.

Use Loopback in your meeting

After you have configured your local setup you need to select the correct capture device for the respective video conferencing app. This can be done before or while in the meeting.

In-meeting instructions

  1. While in a meeting, hover over your self-view in the lower-left corner and click the gear icon.Highfive_Settings_-_Loopback.png
  2. Select Loopback Audio as your microphone.
    Highfive_Settings_-_Loopback_mic_input.png

Windows

Note: this changes your mic input and you will not be heard again until changing your local input device back to your mic.

The overall flow for the process of adding a virtual audio device in Windows is:

  • Use Virtual Audio Cable (or equivalent) to pipe output audio into a virtual input device
  • Use Audacity (or equivalent) to monitor the output audio device locally so you can hear it
  • Change apps and/or Windows to play out to the virtual device
  • Switch between your microphone and the virtual device in the conferencing app.

Detailed steps:

  1. Install Virtual Audio Cable.
    • This will create a new virtual speaker device on your system called "VB-Audio Virtual Cable".
    • This will create a new virtual input (microphone) device on your system called "VB-Audio Virtual Cable".
  2. Install Audacity.
  3. Set your playback device via one of the following options:
    • From a media player app: select "VB-Virtual Audio Cable" as the playout device.
    • Change your Windows audio output device to "VB-Virtual Audio Cable," and then change your speakers in Highfive to be your local speakers. This will play conference audio to your real speakers instead of routing back through the virtual audio cable, while playing your media audio directly into the meeting.
  4. Launch Audacity and configure it as follows:
    1. In the microphone device dropdown, select "CABLE Output (VB-Virtual Audio Cable)".
    2. In the speaker device dropdown, select your system speakers.
    3. Click "Click to Start Monitoring" in the input meter area. This will let you hear the audio being played to the virtual device.
  5. When you're ready to play media in the conference, change the microphone input in the Highfive settings to "VB-Virtual Audio Cable".
      • Note: the other participants in the conference will ONLY hear your virtual audio; they will not hear your microphone until you complete the following step.
  6. To switch back, change the microphone in your conferencing app back to your regular microphone.

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