How To Set Up An External Sound Card

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When music is streamed into Second Life there is a delay between what the streaming software plays and what is heard in-world. This can mean that the DJ hears a confusing mixture of both the music that the software is playing and the delayed music everyone in Second Life can hear. One way for the DJ to avoid this is to mute the sound of the Second Life viewer, although the problem with this is, the DJ  needs to be told if the music cuts out. A much better solution is the use of an external sound card.

If you DJ in Second Life setting up an external sound card does not have to cost much because you don't need state of the art equipment, just something like a cheap usb sound card pictured above will do the job. The external sound card will allow you to choose whether to hear music directly from the streaming software or through the Second Life viewer. 

Using The Mic

Even when listening to music via the streaming software rather than the Second Life viewer, the DJ may still hear a slight delay, which can be very off putting when using the mic. By plugging the mic into the external sound card a DJ can talk without hearing these kind of delays, and for those who prefer not to hear their own voice at all, the PC sound can be muted whilst talking, (remembering of course that there will be around a 10 second delay between what is said and what will be heard in Second Life).

Setting Up The External Sound Card

The purpose of using an external sound card is to channel sound from the streaming software through the external card, and sound played in the Second Life viewer through the default sound card. This way the two sources of  the music is separated, and as the DJ you can choose which one to listen to.

Setting up the external sound card should be quick and easy, and should be similar for whatever DJ software you use. The configuration examples I have given here though are for Mixxx and RadioDJ.

1/ First plug in the sound card to a usb socket on your PC. Typically these devices are plug and play and so will automatically install. If your device came with any drivers however, follow the instructions that were included.

2/ If you are using Mixxx select Options > Preferences > Sound Hardware and you should see a window similar to the image above. In the Master drop down menu select the usb device as the sound option.

3/ Click on the Input tab then for the Microphone select the usb device again. Click OK and the external sound card is set up

4/ In RadioDJ click on the Options button at the bottom of the User Interface, then in the window that opens (as above) click on Options.

5/ Another window similar to the above will open. Click on the Sound Cards tab and select the usb card for Main and for any other of the players built into RadioDJ you want channeled through the external card.

6/ To the bottom of this window is an Input setting. Select the usb card here too if you want to run your mic through the external sound card. Click Close when you have finished, and the external sound card will be set up for RadioDJ.


Now that the external sound card is set up you should make sure it is plugged in to your PC before you start up the streaming software, otherwise your software may revert back to the default sound card.
Now when you  DJ in Second Life anything played in your chosen streaming software will be channeled through the external sound card and will only be heard by you if headphones or speakers are plugged into it. Whilst you DJ you can now hear exactly what your audience hears in-world through your default sound card, and if you choose to, you can also avoid hearing your own voice..

Thats all there is to setting up an external sound card, which hopefully will help make DJing in Second Life a little easier. Don't forget, we are always looking for enthusiastic DJs and hosts at Chilly Bear, so feel free to contact us for more info. In the meantime drop in to Chilly Bear and you will be made to feel very welcome.

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