[Guide] Isolating game audio in your recordings

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Snowshoe
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[Guide] Isolating game audio in your recordings

Post by Snowshoe »

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I know many players like to listen to music or videos while they are playing, including myself. Unfortunately, many recording programs capture audio from all programs (your default output device), not just GTA SA. The background noise makes the game footage "dirty" and harder to deal with; you either have to mute it or risk some kind of copyright strike/content ID. You also annoy everyone else with your music tastes. I'll be showcasing a technique I use to avoid this.

Minimum requirements: Windows Vista or newer.
Recommended: Windows 10 Version 1803 (April 2018 Update) or newer.


Installing and configuring virtual audio cables


First off, we are going to need a piece of software called Virtual Audio Cable (the full version, not trial) or VB-CABLE (free). These drivers essentially create two new audio devices for us to use: a virtual "Line In" and "Line Out". This will be useful for routing the game audio away from other programs such as web browsers and media players.

VB-CABLE official website: https://www.vb-audio.com/Cable/
To install VB-CABLE, extract the downloaded zip file to a folder and run VBCABLE_Setup.exe if you have a 32-bit OS or VBCABLE_Setup_x64.exe if you have a 64-bit OS.
VB-CABLE can be uninstalled at any time, and will automatically restore your original audio set up if you don't like it or you need to start over.

Once you have the drivers installed, you should see a new device in your Playback and Recording tabs, like this:

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Virtual Audio Cable names them "Line 1" by default while VB-CABLE names them "Cable Input" and "Cable Output" by default. You can rename them to whatever you like. In this example, I will be using VB-CABLE.

To begin separating our audio, we are going to use Cable Input as our default output device from now on. This is necessary as many games (including GTA SA) and recording software (such as NVIDIA Shadowplay) will only use the default with no other options.
  1. Click Start -> Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Sound -> Playback tab (Windows 10 users: you will need to search for Control Panel, do not use the Settings app).
  2. Right click Cable Input and click "Set as Default Device". A green check mark is displayed next to the Cable Input device entry. ✅
  3. Right click Cable Input again and click "Set as Default Communications Device" (Optional).
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What about Cable Output? This recording device essentially duplicates whatever Cable Input is playing, similar to Stereo Mix. This is crucial in actually hearing our game audio, as Cable Input on its own does not output to any real hardware speakers or headphones- it's merely virtual.
  1. Click Start -> Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Sound -> Recording tab (Windows 10 users: you will need to search for Control Panel, do not use the Settings app).
  2. Right click Cable Output and click Properties -> Listen tab.
  3. Check the box "Listen to this device".
  4. Under the drop down menu "Playback through this device", click your speaker or headphone device that you normally use to listen to audio. Do not select Cable Input or Default, otherwise nothing will happen.
  5. Click OK to save your changes and close the Properties window.
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Now, whatever is played through Cable Input should also play in your speakers or headphones. Make sure you can hear GTA SA while you are playing and in your recordings as well.

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Removing programs from your game audio


At this point, you should still be able to hear other audio on top of GTA SA in your recordings. This is normal.
Now that we have the virtual audio cables set up properly, we can start actually isolating the game audio from other programs.

Traditional programs

Some programs have a built-in option to change the output device such as foobar2000, MPC-HC, VLC and Windows Media Player.
The solution is easy here, just change the output device to your speakers or headphones instead of the default. Do not select Cable Input or Default, otherwise it will overlap GTA SA audio.

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Web browsers

Web browsers usually don't have a way to change the output device built-in, but extensions can enable this functionality.

AudioPick Chrome extension: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... ljljhagaha
Chaudev Firefox extension (for Firefox 56, Waterfox, Pale Moon, Seamonkey): https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/chaudev/

To use these extensions, change the output device in the extension's options to your speakers or headphones just like we did in foobar2000.
Note that this only works for HTML5 sites and not sites that use Flash.

Last resort (Windows 10 only)

What if there's no way to change the output device in a program, or you just don't want to use extensions? This is where the Windows 10 comes in.
  1. Click Start -> Settings -> System -> Sound -> App volume and device preferences (You can also search for "Sound mixer options").
  2. Find the program(s) you want to exclude from your recordings. They must be currently running and playing audio to see them in the list.
  3. Click the left drop down menu for each program entry and select your speakers or headphones. Do not select Cable Input or Default, otherwise it will overlap GTA SA audio.
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This method works for pretty much any program sounds you don't want in your recordings, including Firefox, Chrome, Steam and Discord to name a few.
You must have the April 2018 build of Windows 10 or newer to do this, older versions will not have it.

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To check your Windows 10 version, click Start -> Settings -> System -> About -> Windows specifications. You can also search for "winver.exe". Make sure version 1803 is listed.

Last last resort (If you hate Windows 10)

There is software for older Windows versions that can do something similar to the above, but I find it not as reliable.

Audio Router Github: https://github.com/wolfreak99/audio-router
Audio Router downloads: https://ci.appveyor.com/project/wolfreak99/audio-router (Select your platform, then click "Artifacts" to find the zip file)

Just like before, choose the program(s) you want to exclude and route them to your speakers or headphones instead of the default device.

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Final steps


Make sure your recording software is using Cable Input as the default audio device if it isn't already. If your recording software doesn't have that option, don't worry, it will still work (that's why we made Cable Input the default device!)
Make a recording of GTA SA while playing some music or videos. If you only hear game audio when playing back the recorded video file, then you were successful.

Be sure to mute the radio through the in-game pause screen as well. Your video will definitely get muted or taken down if you keep radio on for long periods of time.

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You will now have purified GTA SA recordings you can post anywhere without having to worry about copyright or missing important game sounds. All while listening to whatever you want.

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kiko
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Re: [Guide] Isolating game audio in your recordings

Post by kiko »

Cool guide, however Shadowplay has had an option to separate audio tracks such as microphone or music for some time already though.
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Snowshoe
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Re: [Guide] Isolating game audio in your recordings

Post by Snowshoe »

x6tence wrote:Cool guide, however Shadowplay has had an option to separate audio tracks such as microphone or music for some time already though.
Shadowplay records all system sounds (your default device) to the same track, with only the option to isolate an external device (such as a microphone) to another track. It will still record sounds from unwanted programs unless you follow this guide. This guide also works for OBS, FRAPS, Dxtory and more for people that don't or can't use Shadowplay.

This guide is not about making multiple audio tracks, it's about making multiple audio devices to separate game audio from other programs.

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