Two PC Setup – Capture Card, no splitter, Audio over Lan

two_pc_streaming setup_update.fw

This setup is not as complicated as it looks, as the “Main Audio Device” I use my “Onboard Sound”. The only important thing, it has a “Stereo Mixer” which can be set to output to any audio device (use as playback device (listen to) under windows audio recording options)*. In this case my “USB Soundcard”. Any sound that is played over the “Standard Output Device” (Music/Games/Teamspeak) will be sent out your speaker port. Also everything you play will be “doubled” by the “Sterero Mixer” and sent over to your “USB Soundcards Output”, in this case my Headset. I then set my voice tool on the gaming computer to output to my “USB Soundcard” instead of the “Standard Output Device”. This can be done in many voice communication tools. I now have my voice tools sound seperated of the rest.

Using the HDMI connector of my graphics card I could also send the audio to my capture card by using the stereo mixer. But after testing alot I couldn´t get rid of a slight but annoying sound delay while recording or streaming. So for now I use my DVI connector with an DVI to HDMI cable to connect to my capture card and the HDMI connector with an HDMI cable to my gaming monitor. I then bought a shielded stereo to stereo cable for about 10€ to connect my “Onboard Sound Speaker Output” to the “Line-In” port of the streaming PC, you can get a cheap Y-Adapter to also have your soundsystem connected to this source. The capture card could also input a seperate audio source using a stereo to cinch cable, but I had the same delay I mentioned earlier, using this method. Test for yourself and maybe you will get a disturbing noise using the Line-In port or your capturecards audio connector. I could only get rid it by setting the volume on my Gaming-PC to 100% but recording the Line-In on my Second-PC with about 2% of volume. A working but not great solution.

I started searching for a solution but the only possible solution (I can´t clarify that for sure) would be buying two 80$ soundcards that either can output and input digital audio or use a decoupling mechanism to get rid of the noise. As this was not affordable for me I got a quite simple idea. Im streaming audio and video all day through the internet. Why not send the audio to my second pc over lan. Of course the delay I mentioned earlier will come back slightly but as far as I can say for a good working local area network it will be about 5-15 ms. I observed 50-100ms delay using the HDMI Audio and the Capturecards connector. Teamspeak for example offers everyone the ability to host a small free server on windows which is mainly limited by the maximum users that can connect. This won´t be a problem for us. So choose your favourite product for this step. I will explain this using Teamspeak.

First of all, the TS Client has to be installed on both machines and the server on your Gaming-PC. The standard server setup will be fine for our first test. So start the server and it will tell you your Server Username “serveradmin”. Your unique server password. Your unique token.

Save all of this information somewhere you will NOT see it again.
A text file is an easy way to do so.

If you didn’t get the information. Delete the “ts3server.sqlitedb” file, and the “logs” folder in your TS3 Servers folder. Then start the server again and don´t close the window! Use the token to get admin rights and search for a tutorial if you want to secure the server from being accessed by strangers. Now open the “Teamspeak 3 Client” on both PCs. Setup-> Options -> Playback. The standard profile should be selected. Be sure to set it to output to your Onboard Soundcard. Hit the Plus button below to enter a second profile call it “Voice”, set it to output everything to your USB/PCI Soundcard. We now need to change the recording profile.  Your standard profile should be set to “continuous Transmission” and select the Stereo Mixer as the source. Hit the Plus button again and also enter a second recording profile “Voice”. Set it to your favourite recording style and select your microphone as the source. This setting depends on your microphone and how you want your voice to be heard. On the recording PC just check the options shortly and to be sure your recording software will hear the Teamspeak client. Now click Bookmarks -> Manage Bookmarks -> Add bookmark.

Gaming PC:
Bookmark1 -> Server: Soundrelay
Username: Soundrelay
Address: localhost
playback/recording profile standard

Bookmark2 -> Server: Voice
Username: ItsaMeMario
Address: localhost
playback/recording profile Voice

Streaming PC:
Bookmark1 -> Username: Stream
Address: LAN-IP of your Gaming PC

On the streaming PC, install your capturecard install your favourite streaming or recording software if you haven´t done so. To connect with both Bookmarks to your TS3 Server on the gaming PC you will have to right click the second bookmark (voice) let it connect in a new tab. Everything you can hear will now be doubled to teamspeak and sent to your Headphones, but we probably don´t want this as the stereo mixer already does this job. So on the second server Tab the one using your Voice profile and Bookmark, select the user soundrelay with a right click and mute him. Let your streaming PC connect to the TS and start testing the sound. Feel free to use Teamspeaks best transmission settings as your local lan shouldn´t be a limit.

*This option is not available under Windows XP, I tested it under Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate without problems. If you hear no sound after activating your Stereo Mixer or the Listen to option do a quick restart of Windows 7.

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