How to Route Ableton Audio on Video Chat? (5 Common Platforms)

Video chats have become invaluable in the modern age, especially in the world of musicians and producers. We’re able to collaborate, teach, learn, and share ideas from across the world, all through software that’s right at our fingertips.

Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) can sometimes be a little sticky when trying to route audio through your preferred video chat platform, which can be frustrating and time-consuming. Unfortunately, third-party plugins are needed to best route audio to video chat platforms.

In this article, we’ll dive into 5 video chat platforms and how to route your Ableton audio through them using third-party plugins.

Here’s How to Route your Ableton Audio through a Video Chat:

Most video chat platforms are not compatible with streaming audio directly from Ableton, or any DAWs. Ableton users will need to download a third-party app to enable audio to be routed from Ableton to Zoom, Google Teams, and Discord, etc. Different apps are needed for Windows and Mac computers.

Laptop open on a desk with black headphones next to device.

Can I Route Ableton Audio to Zoom?

Zoom is probably the world’s most popular video chat platform, where users are able to enjoy Zoom “Meetings”.

These meetings can be held one-on-one, all the way to up to 100 participants, for up to 45 minutes on the free plan. One can also purchase a “Large Meeting” plan which can host up to 500 participants.

Zoom also allows for “Screen Sharing”, where the user can share their screen so that other participants can see exactly what the user sees, as well as “Recording,” which will record a meeting or event.

With Zoom being such a popular video chat platform, it’s often used by producers and musicians to share music, collaborate in a writing session or even teach or learn in music lessons.

Zoom is unfortunately not designed to stream audio from a DAW, but rather focuses on a simple conversation and screen sharing for documents and web pages.

This is why third-party plugins are needed as a workaround to be able to stream audio from a DAW through to your Zoom meeting.

Head to the bottom of this article for our simple guide to route Ableton audio to Zoom.

Can I Route Ableton Audio to Google Meet?

Google Meet is Google’s video conference and chat alternative to Zoom. In a similar fashion, it can host one-on-one meetings as well as up to 100 participants for 60-minute meetings.

A great thing about Google Meet is that no software has to be previously installed on your computer. A modern browser will be able to host all the participants you need.

  • Just like for Zoom, third-party plugins can be a great workaround for Google Meet as well.
  • If you’re more of a Google Teams user, don’t fear, you can also use exactly the same steps to route your Ableton audio into your Teams meetings.
  • Google Duo, however, operates in a different way to Google Meet and Google Teams, meaning audio from Ableton cannot be routed through it.

Go down to the bottom of this article for steps to route Ableton audio to Google Teams and Google Meet.

Can I Route Ableton Audio to Skype?

Skype was one of the first communication apps that allowed users to make voice and video calls and still holds as one of the biggest household names when thinking about video chats as we know them. On Skype, you can send instant messages, and share files over the internet.

Skype was originally developed as a way for people to make free voice calls and has since expanded to include a range of features for personal and business use.

Skype is a great way for producers and musicians to keep in touch, share ideas, and work together, but that begs the question, can Ableton audio be routed through to Skype?

The great news is that it most definitely can, but only through third-party plugins, as Skype was not developed to be able to stream audio from a DAW.

Scroll down to the bottom of this article for our solutions to route Ableton audio to Skype.

Although other video chat platforms have entered the fray, Skype still stands as one of the most used and well-known apps on the market, and although not initially designed for routing DAW audio, still works well with the help of these apps.

Can I Route Ableton Audio to Discord?

If you haven’t heard of Discord, where have you been? Discord is a free communication platform that offers voice, video, and text chat options to connect with friends, gaming communities, and developers.

With hundreds of millions of users, it is a highly popular online connection tool.

Discord is a powerful platform for any musician or producer who is looking to share ideas and co-writes with other artists, or even for someone who’s looking to teach or share expertise.

In the same vein as many other video chat platforms, Discord doesn’t offer a simple solution for routing Ableton audio.

Luckily for us, developers have come up with third-party plugins to help – you can find the steps on how to do this at the end of the article.

This may seem cumbersome, and a bit of a hassle, but once set up will open up lots of avenues to write, record, share, and teach, making it well worth the work to set up.

Can I Route Ableton Audio to Facetime?

Facetime is a dedicated video chat platform for Apple devices. It’s always a solid bet when wanting to catch up with friends or check in across the world.

But Facetime can also be so much more.

With video chat technology being so prevalent in the modern age, and connection being more important than ever, Facetime can be used by musicians, writers, and producers to stay in touch, share musical ideas, and even teach lessons or learn from the best.

Unfortunately for Ableton users, Facetime doesn’t innately allow you to stream Ableton audio as an input, but luckily for us, the free third-party app called Blackhole has been developed. This allows you to route your audio through a virtual mixer.

When your Ableton audio is being routed to Facetime, it can then be used in multiple ways to connect with other artists and musicians all across the globe.

Here are two Third-Party Plugins to route your Ableton audio to video chat:

ReaStream for Windows computers:

Windows is, unfortunately, a little tricky and needs three different third-party plugins to be downloaded.

  1. The first is called ReaStream (developed by Reaper).
  2. ReaStream lets you stream your Ableton audio to another app called OBS Studio, which is dedicated to audio and video streaming.
  3. The third app you’ll need is called VB-Audio, which is a Virtual Audio Cable.
  4. This captures the signal from OBS and sends it to your preferred video chat, where all you’ll have to do is select the Virtual Audio Cable as the input device in the audio settings.

Blackhole for Mac computers:

Mac is a little easier in that you only need to download one third-party plugin called Blackhole, an open-source audio routing app.

  1. Once Blackhole is downloaded, the next step is to create a “Multi-Output Device” in your Mac’s audio settings, and select Blackhole in the Outputs.
  2. Next, in Ableton’s Preferences, you’ll need to select that multi Output Device as the audio output.
  3. Finally, choose Blackhole as the input in your preferred Video Chat’s audio input settings, and voila, your Ableton audio input should be routed successfully.

Please also read our article explaining why Ableton can be hard to learn.

Final Thoughts

Although not a simple and straightforward process, setting up your video chat platforms to be able to stream audio from Ableton can be an incredibly powerful exercise.

Streaming your Ableton audio into your preferred video chat platform can help with live streams and music production sessions as well as performing over the stream to an audience, which was a wonderful release when the whole world was locked down.

You’re also able to host podcasts and webinars with the added joy of live accompaniment, and can even collaborate with musicians and producers all the way on the other side of the world.

By integrating the audio from a DAW into a video chat platform, you can get a more streamlined setup, improving the overall audio experience for both the performer and the audience.