Discord (or another app) to talk while sharing audio?

I have a producer friend who lives far away, and I’d love for us to be able to Discord (or Zoom or whatever) so we can talk to each other while also share what we’re doing on our screens in Cubase, and have the other person actually hear the Cubase audio coming out.

Has anyone managed to get this to work? I’m open to using any app that works.

1 Like


Have you seen VST Connect application?

1 Like


First, if you are on Windows, you should make sure to follow these few steps, if not done already.

There are several ways to do what you’re aiming to, but some are better than others :

The easiest way (but not recommended) would be to enable Loopback on your interface, and set the loopback channel as the input in Discord. Some interfaces have both a dedicated Virtual channel and an option to merge it with the 1/2 input. If you want to use a mic without having to monitor it through the output, it’s this second option that should interest you.
It will transmit everything that goes into the interface output (in short, everything that you hear) plus the mics that are plugged into 1/2, but then, that would be problematic since, when other people are talking into Discord or such apps, they would hear themselves in return.
I let you imagine if two or more users are using loopback at the same time, that would create an endless feedback loop, which is not what you want.

A workaround can be to have a Focusrite interface with S/PDIF connectors and use physical loopback (put the S/PDIF Out into the S/PDIF In) and do the appropriate routing in the Focusrite Control mixer so that only the outputs of Cubase and your Mic go into the loopback, and select the S/PDIF Input in Discord. That way other people won’t hear themselves, but it is a bit more complicated to setup and you need an appropriate interface.

The better way is to install Sonobus and Virtual Cable.

  • In Cubase, add a VST instance of Sonobus on your Output Channel or in the Control Room.
  • Add another instance of Sonobus on your Mic Input Channel.
    If you have a USB or wireless microphone, then use a standalone instance instead, but then only set the input (no need to set an output).
  • Open Sonobus as standalone (you should now be having three instances), and select CABLE Input as the output (do not set any input).
  • Connect the three Sonobus instances together.
  • In the Control Room instance, mute your Mic instance and vice versa so they don’t feed back into each other (this is critical).
  • In Discord, select CABLE Output as the Input, and the interface output as the output (same as Cubase).
  • Start voice chat with a friend and test if that works.

This way you have free control over your Mic and Cubase levels with the standalone instance of Sonobus, without the hassle of loopback.

For the microphone, you can eventually add other plugins in the chain before Sonobus, so your voice can benefit from gate, compression, etc, but keep in mind that these effects will be printed to the recording in case you record the mic in Cubase, so don’t forget to bypass the effects accordingly.
It’s good to note that Sonobus itself doesn’t affect the chain, it acts like a true bypass and only “captures” the signal that passes through to send it to other Sonobus instances, and “outputs” the signal it receives from other instances.

Additional note : In Discord when you do a mic test with Virtual Cable, you may hear a destroyed signal in return, but apparently that’s the mic test that is broken, and not your actual signal, as people will still hear it clean (a quick search on google can confirm this). Also you must disable all the enhancements like echo cancellation, noise reduction, auto gain, etc.

The best way is to ask your friends or clients to download and use Sonobus instead of Discord, Zoom or other platforms. As you can stream audio up to 32 bit PCM, they can benefit from the best possible audio quality if your - and their - connection is fast enough.
Even though Sonobus features a chat room, you can still use Discord or Zoom in parallel for this purpose and for webcam/screen sharing, but then all group members must mute their audio in these apps.

The setup is the same as the above method, except that you don’t need the third standalone instance. You should only make sure to mute every channel in the Mic instance so that the audio from other people only goes out from the output channel or control room.

Just saying that Discord is terrible due to the simple fact that it only uses mono audio.
On the other hand, Zoom does have stereo audio, but for music stuff where audio quality is a priority, then Sonobus is the way to go.

And not to mention that with Sonobus you can also remotely record other people directly inside your DAW, just like VST Connect as mentioned by Martin. It only lacks MIDI features for now.

As suggested by @Martin.Jirsak, VST Connect is the right choice when it comes to remote recording and listening that requires critical stability and performance.
It is very well integrated into Cubase as it takes the network latency into consideration when recording, so that the recorded data is always aligned to the grid even if the performer and the producer live on different continents.
The only drawback is that it can only be used by two persons, the producer and one performer, and it doesn’t work both ways at the same time unlike Sonobus — but then Sonobus doesn’t have latency compensation, so you choose.

Optional : Gig Performer is an awesome software when it comes to mixing and routing multiple audio sources, specifically when used in conjunction with Sonobus, Virtual Cable and ASIO4ALL. You can add plugins wherever in the signal path, making it the ultimate sandbox

Please let us know if it works :wink:

Wow, thanks Louis! I’m gonna have some mix revisions over zoom next week and was about to google how to properly set that up. Made my day!

1 Like

You’re welcome !

I fixed some wrong steps and added a third “best” method, which I highly recommend for best quality, but if you’re a professional VST Connect will look more credible for your clients.

I hope that will work great !

1 Like

The one I use to get ASIO and WDM apps integrated about is ASIOLinkPro.

This utility allows me to route audio streams among different apps, or even stream them off to a different machine (also running ASIO Link Pro) on my LAN (If you’ve got the bandwidth for it, you could do it over the internet too).

That means you could do things like, create a cue-send or output bus out from Cubase, mixed with a Mic (or whatever else you might want to route into the bus), on to the normal WDM based ‘mic input’ of something like Skype, Zoom, A shoutcast server, etc.

You could also skip that fancy stuff, and just do direct routing in ASIO Link Pro itself (It even has basic mixing/gain staging capability built in).

It’s allows me to route stuff between WDM based apps, and ASIO based apps (virtual cables built in…as well as any jitter control and stuff to mix and mash ASIO/WDM apps).

The UI isn’t ‘pretty’ but it’s powerful and it works! It’s Free these days and gets it done.

A little confusing at first, but once you figure it out it’s off to the races.

  1. Set it to use your favorite ASIO audio interface. If you don’t have an interface with true ASIO drivers, you can use something like ASIO4ALL (A generic WDM>ASIO bridge).

  2. Set it to Multi-Client mode.

  3. Enable the loopback rail.

Understand that the lowest channels will be ins and outs of your hardware audio interface.

I.E. My Delta 1010 audio interface has:
8 1/4" analog inputs
1 set of a stereo SPDIF inputs
1 stereo set that is the built-in monitor/mixer (Stereo Mix).

So, channels 1 - 12 in the main Asio Link Pro instance (asiolinktool.exe) are the reserved ‘inputs’ from my hardware audio interface.

Mine has:
8 1/4" analog outputs
1 set of stereo SPDIF outputs

So, channels 1 - 10 in the main instance of ASIO Link Pro (asiolinktool.exe) for the ‘outputs’ of my audio interface.

Any channels ‘above’ these (I’ve mine set for like 68 channels, but I think you can go even higher) I can use to route streams around (or even split them off and send to multiple places at once). I.E. I could have Cubase coming into 13 & 14, Dorico coming into 15 & 16, A web browers in 17 & 18, etc… (I’d choose these channels by selecting ASIO Link Pro, and the channels I want as the audio device in the DAW)

The next thing that confuses a lot of new users is that each ASIO app you launch and connect to ASIO Link gets it’s own ‘instance in the system tray’ in multi-client mode. I.E. If I start Cubase, and ask it use some ASIO Link channels, a new instance of ASIO Link pops up in the Windows ‘system tray’ called Cubase12.exe.

Use these instances named after your ‘ASIO apps’ to route ‘input’ into the respective ASIO app. Don’t forget you have a loopback rail that you can use back in the main instance (asiolinktool.exe) to get streams to go to any channel(s) you like for all those ‘other’ ASIO Link Pro instances in your system tray.

It can be confusing at first…a lot of people try to connect inputs in that main instance of ASIO Link (asiolinktool.exe), and wonder why it’s not routing into their DAW/App!

Use the main ASIO Link Pro ‘instance’ (asiolinktool.exe) to get ‘output’ to the sound interface, the networking streamer…or to loopback channels to get stuff into other ASIO apps.

You’ll do OUTPUT from the main instance of Asio Link Pro (asiolinktoo.exe).

Once you figure that stuff out, it’s not hard at all.

It has WDM patch drivers built in. I think up to 8 of them are possible…and all of those can be surround sound (8 channels each). So it’s easy to route WDM apps into ASIO apps, and vice verse.

It also has support for networking audio between multiple machines on the same LAN that are running ASIO Link Pro.

I use VoiceMeeter, made by the same company that make the virtual cable mentioned earlier. I use a MOTU interface that is multi-client capable, so Nuendo can access it at the same time as Windows (OS) and Zoom. Voicemeeter is essentially a mixer so it’s the only thing I need in addition to the interface software.

In the interface software I have one output stream routed back to an input, and VoiceMeeter uses that input to route Nuendo’s mix to Zoom.

You can PM me for details if you want. You’ll need for your interface to be multi-client capable, but as long as it is I think this would be the easiest solution.