Standard+ subscribers can use FarPlay’s Broadcast Output feature to output a separate clean audio mix (to a livestreaming application or a DAW, for example).

Jump to: Steps for setting up Broadcast Output for livestreaming | Other uses | How it works

Steps for setting up Broadcast Output for livestreaming

The steps below use FarPlay to send Broadcast Output to a virtual sound card application that forwards that Broadcast Output audio onward to a livestreaming application.

Download, install, and set up a virtual sound card

  1. On Mac, a free option is Existential Audio’s Blackhole. Blackhole is SO easy to install: just click through the installer. Rogue Amoeba’s Loopback is a paid option that takes a little bit more time to install (details), but provides more flexibility for other future uses. VB Cable is an option for Windows.
  2. If you’ve installed Blackhole, Blackhole is “just there and ready”—there’s no application to open to turn something ON. If you’re using Rogue Amoeba Loopback, you’ll need to make sure you have a Pass-Thru virtual sound card turned ON. ⚠️ WARNING: If you are using a virtual sound card with an ON/OFF button, do NOT turn the virtual sound card OFF while FarPlay’s Broadcast Output is in the midst of sending audio to that virtual sound card (FarPlay will crash).

Tell FarPlay to send its Broadcast Output to your virtual sound card

  1. From the FarPlay Menu, choose Preferences to open the FarPlay Preferences window.
  2. Switch to the Broadcast Output tab.
  3. Check ✓ the Use Broadcast Output box.
  4. Use the Output Device pull-down menu to select your virtual sound card, Stereochannels 1-2.
  5. Set Channel Layout to Stereo Mix (2 channels).
  6.  Set the Delay in ms (even the 100 ms setting will often provide production-quality clean audio; if broadcast output still produces an unacceptable amount of static, you can try raising the delay, to 500 ms, for example).
  7. (The “Outputs” section reminds you of the audio devices you’ve selected and the audio content you are sending to individual channels on those devices).

Tell your livestreaming application to grab audio from your virtual sound card

  1. Open your livestreaming application (browser-based access to Restream shown in example below).
  2. Go to the Audio Settings.
  3. Use the pull-down menu for Audio input (maybe it’s called Microphone) and select your virtual sound card.
  4. Turn echo cancellation OFF.
  5. Turn noise suppression OFF.
  6. Enable stereo audio input.
  7. Enable high-resolution audio (the checkbox(es) you’re looking for might be called high-quality audio, Original sound for musicians, and/or high-fidelity music mode).
  8. Turn auto gain control OFF.

Preventing echos

When livestreaming, it’s common for you and other members of your musical ensemble to join a video chat on your livestreaming platform (instead of using FarPlay’s built-in video). Every performer on the livestream video chat who is NOT handling Broadcast Output needs to follow the steps below.
  1. They need to mute themselves (or else audiences will hear a slap echo from them).
  2. They need to mute the playback from the livestreaming application (or else they will hear an echoed copy of FarPlay audio). In a browser-based livestreaming application, they should Control+Click/right-click the tab for their livestream and enable Mute site. In Zoom, it’s easiest to mute the mic (step above) and mute playback in a single step by Leaving Computer Audio.

Test and adjust your livestream setup

  1. You should run a test livestream session (using, for example, an unlisted stream that can only be accessed by people with a private link).
  2. Have someone who isn’t using FarPlay open the test livestream session as an audience member. Ask the audience member whether they can hear audio being broadcast. In a pinch, a “pretend” audience member could be one of the livestream performers using an iPad, second computer, etc., but this makes listening to and adjusting mixes less convenient. 
  3. Adjust levels to taste (for super pro details, look up gain staging).
  4. If you’d like to improve lip-sync in your livestream, you can adjust the video delay, if available, in your livestreaming application. As a starting point, try setting your livestreaming application’s video delay to 100 ms less (or maybe 150 ms less) than your Broadcast Output delay. For example, if you choose a Broadcast Output Delay in ms of 200 ms, see whether setting the video delay in your livestreaming application to 200-100 = 100 ms is satisfactory.
  5. When you’re happy with the way your livestream looks and sounds, you can make your livestream public. This might be done by clicking Go Live. Enjoy!

Other uses

The role of the virtual sound card application in the instructions above is to receive audio from FarPlay and forward audio to the livestreaming application. This role can be served, instead, using physical hardware. As one example, you can send FarPlay’s Broadcast Output to a second USB audio interface, and you can tell your livestreaming application to get audio from that second audio interface. As another example, your main USB audio interface might already have a loopback feature built in. You would need to refer to your audio interface’s manufacturer’s instructions to designate channels that your audio interface would use to receive and send out Broadcast Output, and then you would tell FarPlay and your livestreaming application to use those designated channels. Not all audio interfaces offer a built-in loopback feature (in the Focusrite Scarlett line of interfaces for example, the loopback feature becomes available starting with the 4i4 interface; built-in loopback is neither available on the Scarlett Solo nor on the Scarlett 2i2).

In the instructions above, the software application that received audio from the virtual sound card was a livestreaming application. This application could be replaced by, for example, a digital audio workstation (DAW), like Logic Pro or Adobe Audition. Sending FarPlay’s Broadcast Output to a DAW and then sending the output of the DAW to a livestreaming application lets you use the DAW to adjust levels for individual channels that are sent to the livestreaming application as a mix. This setup uses two virtual pass-thru sound cards: one to connect FarPlay’s Broadcast Output to the DAW, and another to connect the DAW to your livestreaming application. When bringing Broadcast Output into a DAW, it’s helpful to know that the Channel Layout in FarPlay’s Broadcast Output settings can be changed from a simple Stereo Mix to other choices in which combinations of individual channels of your audio and remote audio are output individually. Your DAW can bring these individual channels of audio into individual tracks.

How it works

FarPlay’s latency slider lets you tune the balance between lowness of latency and cleanness of sound. You might tolerate some static (audio drop outs) to keep latency low so you can keep the beat when you’re making music. You might also want to share a higher-latency clean mix of your session with a live audience. How does FarPlay let you do both at the same time? 

FarPlay provides Broadcast Output by duplicating incoming packets of audio and sending those duplicated portions of audio into two separate jitter buffers that are maintained at the same time. The smaller jitter buffer provides the usual low-latency audio, possibly with occasional static, to the musician. The large jitter buffer provides the high-latency, but very clean, audio that is the “Broadcast Output” audio.