Free Virtual Audio Cable alternative

ControlPanelSound

RTL-SDR enthusiasts who use Windows are familiar with the need for a virtual audio device to connect the SDR output to decoder programs such as dsd. The hangup is that you need to purchase Virtual Audio Cable software to the tune of $25 (more than the cost of the SDR dongle itself.)

Now there’s a donationware alternative to VAC for Windows known as VB-Audio software. VB-Audio installs drivers on your Windows box giving you a VB-Audio cable choice among you audio devices. This allows you to pipe the SDR output to the decoding program of your choice for free. Of course, the VB-Audio developers appreciate a donation, and in exchange for a donation of any amount you get the ability to unlock two additional virtual audio devices, helpful if you’re using a multiple-SDR setup.

Via RTL-SDR.com.

Join the Conversation

42 Comments

  1. Yep, a very welcome application. Thank you DP for posting this. There’s a .pdf on the project home page about how to record streaming audio with the free open-source cross platform sound processing application Audacity using this driver. Very useful, not only for direct conversion SDR.

      1. i really agree with you! Unless it’d be a threat, there’s no reason to complain for it is free. Even if it was not compiled and distributed as sourcecode and even if the sourcecode would be even incomplete, the efforts are to be respected and it’s free! tho!

  2. Just started using VB audio connection on a Lenovo Laptop to do some screen recording and it does work without audio sync issues. I just switch computer playback to VB and record. Switch it back to internal sound for playback. It’s kinda like Soundflower on a Mac.
    Thanks for the use of this software.

    1. I have found a useful solution to prevent “Switch it back to internal sound for playback”

      In Windows, right click the speaker icon in taskbar and choose “Recording devices”, then double click the Cable Output icon to bring up “Cable Output Properties” box. Choose the “Listen” tab and select the “Listen to this device” option. The VB-Cable Output will now appear in your standard Windows Mixer and can just be Muted for Recording and Enabled to hear during Playback.

      HTH…

  3. VB-CABLE must be installed in administrator mode, it is a driver (right click on setup program to launch it in this mode).

    2 Other VB-CABLE A & B are also available on a secondry web page, not linked but easy to find on google or on VB-Audio Facebook page (paypal should redirect you on this page after donation, to let you download these 2 other Virtual Cables.)

    1. It’s asking for a password, which I don’t seem to have or find. Is that sent with the “cable” or do I have to make another donation to get it?

  4. Can’t get it to work. Have tried a zillion combinations of settings. The$25 one installs and works immediately. Would like to support the alternative, but even with help from the author cannot get it to work. I may just be stupid.

  5. Samuel, last message you sent to me was showing that you were using cable input and output in the same software, so it makes a useless loop. To make it work you need to use the Cable Input in a software (as playback audio device) and Cable output in an other software (as recording device). VB-CABLE is intended to connect 2 applications together. Regards, VB

  6. How do I make this work to use bluetooth audio and headphone jack at the same time from let’s say playing a video (ie on a plane). i have donated and got VB- Cable, V-Cable A, V Cable B all installed. i also installed Voicemeter. This is what i have tried. I run voicemeter, then set default audio device to Voicemeter. In Control Panel, in Recording devices i set VB Cable A to Speakers and VB Cable B to bluetooth audio. In voicemeter, i set device A(or maybe Device 1 can’t remember) to MME: VB cable A and device B (or 2) to MME: VB cable B.

    With this it does work, but there is a lag with both headphones and bluetooth compared to video and the bluetooth audio has a slightly worse lag. FYI, bluetooth audio by itself does not lag with the video when using w/o voicememter. Can this be fixed? Can i achieve this without voicemeter? if so how?

    1. Bluetooth introduces about a 250ms delay into audio (It is the way Bluetooth works for minimizing power usage, it only transmits data about 4 or 5 times a second). There is nothing that can be done about this lag in Bluetooth.

    2. I bought a bluetooth speack and I wanted to conect with my pc internal speaker I, dont know how. were you able to conect them at the same time?

  7. I want to use VB cable as default device, to route audio to an application I am developing that does some audio processing. The output of that app goes to a hardware device exclusive mode. Now I wonder, if I use WASAPI to read audio data from VB-cable, will there be clock issues, will a slight difference in sample frequency cause buffers to deplete and audio to interrupt, or will buffers that read from VB-cable be filled immediately when the source is ‘virtual’, eg Winamp.

  8. VB-CABLE supports MME, KS, DX and WASAPI, it’s up to you to decide what to use (personnally i recommend KS). Also VB-CABLE includes Multiformat Converter and can deal with every client without format constraint (up to 96kHz / 24 bits / 8 ch). for other technical questions, please contact me in private…

  9. Omg these driver works flawlessly.

    If anyone still haven’t got it work yet, I might have post to post a simple steps here.

    How to setup and make it work on win7
    ============================
    1. download these three drivers available on the official website and install it with Admintrator mode
    (VB-CABLE Driver, VB-CABLE A Driver, VB-CABLE B Driver).

    2. Go to to your right corner screen then click on the speaker icon > Mixer > Systems Sounds > Playback tab.

    3. Select CABLE-A Input > Click on Set default button, the one with the drop down arrow.

    4. Go to recording tab and do the same as step 3

    5. In recording tab, right click on CABLE-A Output > properties > listen tab > click on the check box Listen to this device

    6. Below the checkbox there’s a drop down menu of “Play back through this device”. Click that and choose your current working sound card which where the sound came from your speaker. That’s it you’re done.

    PS. Oh yeah meke sure you check under advance tabs in the properties as well for both Playback and recoding of your soundcard and CABLE-A Output/Input. Choose the best sample rate for you which is (2 channel, 24 bit, 96000 Hz (Studio Quality)).

  10. I run karaoke through a media player (winamp). Using a USB audio interface, each mic for the karaoke are set up in a audio track in Propllerhead Reason (this allows for many effects). I can record the people singing in Reason but of course I’m just recording their vocals without the music from the media player (winamp). Would this software allow me to add winamp as an input device in Reason? And therefore allow me to get a complete recording of someone singing karaoke?

  11. Sadly none of the software appears to work in windows 8.1 I sincerely hope the makers can get it to work with 8.1 because I hate having to set up VAC everytime I start windows.

  12. I just started using this a few weeks ago to record footage for my reel and it worked great. I just installed the lossless codec and shortly thereafter, the virtual cable doesnt seem to work- I select it as the system output, but sound still comes out of my speakers, and theres no audio on the file i record. Any ideas? Thanks for a great product thus far :)

  13. Sorry – an update: I reinstalled the cable software and it seemed to work fine. But there seems to be an interface issue with Silverlight. Do you know anything about that? And the lossless codec was for the screen capture video software I use, not the virtual cable, sorry for the confusion.

  14. I have a question about this: I currently have an application that takes sound from an audio device driver capturing audio at 44.1 kHz. It then does some dsp and displays a spectrum.
    What I would like to do is to connect instead to a different audio device that takes it;s input from a network stream. Most audio capture devices take the input from a line in for example. I installed this cable software and then connected the output of VLC into the input of this cable and then connected to the output of this virtual cable in my software. It seemed to work. However here is a question:
    Does the virtual cable re-sample the input data? Also i was streaming using mp3 encoding and I must use lossless streaming. So I presume that the input to the virtual cable is analogue? Is there an option to just pass cpm audio directly to the output?
    Thanks

  15. This cannot be uninstalled or reinstalled. Always finds things using it and aborts. Nothing is using it.

  16. It is ridiculous not to allow optional Windows Mixer control of it’s output. Purity could be guaranteed with a check box in it’s properties in Windows Sound control panel.

  17. I was going to buy VAC so I can get call in on my radio show through SAM Broadcaster. Will this program do the same thing and will this knuckle head be able to figure it out?

    Thanks Ozzy

  18. I have been sing VAC for years. It is somewhat cumbersome but works. My application is broadcasting deep space telescope images (using very sensitive cameras) over internet using flash. For the audio portion of the output to the viewers I use a headset and also pipe out public common “planetarium’ music in the background. Sometimes I have a guest with me (that also uses a headset), and have even set up Skype to be able to input multiple callers and send the voice output to the viewers as well. Needless to say, it takes a fast computer (i7 quad). My system can actually handle all this, but the number of VAC cable connections (all are separate cable applications) gets complicated, plus the delay and buffer overflows start to take their toll. Will this software allow me to emulate say 8 virtual cables easily?

  19. Hi, I am trying to get VB to help me to take Skype calls during my radio show, which I broadcast witg SAM Broadcaster.
    I have installed the 64 bit cable, as I am on Windows 8, but SAM itself is a 32 bit program, is that a problem?

    I have Voicemeeter too, but so far, i have not had much luck getting listeners to hear my Skype calls on air.
    Either I get a loopback, or the sound gets choppy.

    Can anyone please give me some pointers as to how to connect Skype and SAM broadcaster?

    Thanks.

  20. I run an audio stream all the time my pc is on. I also sometimes record a separate stream using audacity at the same time. I have been doing that part on my laptop, but I would like to do it all on one pc. I can use a separate browser or a media player for the second stream and to monitor what all is going on I can view it on my secondary monitor. Can VB cables be used to send that stream to audacity so I can still use my speakers for the first stream? And if so is there a way to switch my speakers to that recording stream to check on that all when I want? Thanks.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply to VB Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.