Multiple Sound Output Devices?

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration of Parallels Desktop' started by The Azza, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. The Azza

    The Azza Bit poster

    I did try to search the forums for a similar topic, but either my search terms weren't right or I truly have a unique case. Any help is appreciated here!

    I'll start by explaining what I am trying to do:
    I use Parallels to run Windows 10 for a number of reasons, one of which is to play games. Yes yes, I know, Parallels is not ideal for gaming, but it works fine for the older games I play (notice I said fine, not great). One of these games I sometimes stream on Twitch for a few viewers to watch. Nothing fancy, but it makes a few of us happy. I've found that using OBS Studio is a great way to easily set up a live stream, but I've also found that if I have OBS and Age of Empires running at the same time, a slight lag gets introduced into my gameplay. It makes sense - graphics resources inside of a Parallels virtual machine are scarce, so having two graphics intensive applications running at once is likely to stretch things pretty thin.
    As such, my "brilliant idea" is to install OBS on Mac, set it up to simply stream my entire screen and computer audio (since I can no longer select the individual application). This will allow the Mac resources to power the stream while my VM resources are all dedicated to my game. Hopefully this works as well in practice as it does in my head. A preliminary test seemed to be successful.

    Except for I ran into the problem:
    The audio would not come through from the VM to the OBS software trying to record. Of course, I can still hear it on my speakers/headphones. Parallels settings did not change (set to default output, which = computer speakers or 3.5mm headphone jack).

    I did make a little progress in understanding what is going on:
    Not until I changed my settings to use Soundflower did I achieve success in recording audio from what my VM was outputting (settings changed in VM output to Soundflower, Mac settings to Soundflower, and OBS settings to Soundflower). This is a good thing - it means there is a way to record audio in Mac from a Parallels VM.

    But I'm stuck on this:
    For those of you familiar with Soundflower, you probably know that using it means I can't hear any sound through the speakers/headphones. So right now, I can record the audio or I can hear the audio, but I can't do both. UNLESS perhaps I were able to configure Parallels to have two sound output devices at the same time: Soundflower and default computer hardware. OR maybe one of you has a better idea that I haven't thought of. Either way, I am all ears.

    A few technical details:
    Computer: Mid-2012 Macbook Pro 2.6Ghz i7, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1 GB, Intel HD Graphics 4000 1.5GB
    Parallels Version: 13.3.2
    Windows Version: Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 1803 Build 17134.228

    Once again, I appreciate any input you guys can give. Feel free to ask any questions you need to gain a better understanding of the situation. If this thread turns out to be a good one, hopefully it can help somebody else in the future as well.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  2. Dmitry@Parallels

    Dmitry@Parallels Parallels Team

    Hi @The Azza, great idea!

    Let's start with updating to a brand-new Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac version. I've checked that you're a Pro subscriber, so you're eligible for a non-charge upgrade. Simply follow this link to download the installation image:

    Adding another sound device to the virtual machine is not possible, unfortunately. But, I've checked OBS on my Mac, it records VM sound output when 'Audio Output Capture' is added to 'Sources', please check:
    Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 23.17.19.png

    We have improved overall virtualization performance in the new version, please let me know your feedback also. What other games do you play in virtual machine?
  3. The Azza

    The Azza Bit poster

    Thanks @Dmitry@Parallels for your response! I've updated my Parallels to version 14. I'm not noticing much difference - but that's a good thing considering things are usually good. :)

    I am using the 'Audio Output Capture' as my source in OBS (shown below), but my problem still persists.
    Screen Shot 2018-08-27 at 9.36.46 PM.png

    I've double-checked my settings in OBS, Mac, and Parallels to ensure I'm not missing something as well:
    Screen Shot 2018-08-28 at 12.12.33 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-08-27 at 9.36.31 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-08-28 at 12.16.20 AM.png
    *I have tried selecting 'Built-In Output' in Parallels settings but I see no change.
    Once again, I can hear the audio through my headphones/speakers, but no audio is present in the recording in OBS.
  4. Dmitry@Parallels

    Dmitry@Parallels Parallels Team

    Hmm, that's interesting. Can Soundflower drivers cause this? Can you please check with it drivers unloaded from the system?
    1. Please go to Finder-> /System/Library/Extensions.
    2. Find Soundflower.kext.
    3. Remove it, then reboot your Mac.
    4. Soundflower plug-in will be fully removed from your Mac.
    Please check it without Soundflower and let me know. Also, when you refer to speakers do you mean built-in Mac speakers?
  5. The Azza

    The Azza Bit poster

    Hi @Dmitry@Parallels.

    I am indeed referring to the built-in Mac speakers.
    I was also thinking along the same lines as you, so I uninstalled Soundflower completely (it was quite an ordeal since I was not able to find the files in Finder - I had to use the Terminal to delete the directories). I found that not only did it not fix my issue, but now OBS did not recognize ANY of my sound devices (not even my built-in ones).
    After further research, I found that this seems to be a Mac issue (or trait - seeing as it's true on all Macs and has been since forever). The fact is: OBS (or any recording software) on Mac requires an extension such as Soundflower in order to record the desktop audio at the same time as it plays it through the speakers. So in reality, I actually uninstalled my only hope at achieving what I wanted to achieve. I just had the configuration wrong in the Audio MIDI setup (had never touched it before now, so default settings do not work).
    I am still perplexed as to how yours was working.

    However, in short, this means this is not a Parallels issue.

    I am sure others who use Parallels (and other Mac users) have run into the same situation I have. As such, I would like to use this thread to post a quick guide with screenshots when I get the time. I can either add it as an edit to this post, or reply one more time to this topic with the guide. Whatever you think is best.
  6. Dmitry@Parallels

    Dmitry@Parallels Parallels Team

    >I am still perplexed as to how yours was working.
    Can't tell you for sure.. I simply installed OBS and added 'Audio Output Capture' to sources, it recorded YouTube sound played from my VM..
    Absolutely feel free to post your guide here as a message, much appreciated!

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