For those of us who are used to paper and pen, there’s definitely been an adjustment period to using Virtual Tabletop’s (VTT’s) in 2020, and while you may have had to sacrifice the use of your miniatures and maps, there’s one thing that you don’t have to compromise on: music. Here’s 5 ways to place music in your Virtual Tabletop game:
- Roll20’s Jukebox
- Syrinscape Online
- Groovy Bot
- Spotify Group Session
- Discord: Stereo Mix (Windows)
Music is an integral part to setting the mood and atmosphere for your story,
1. Roll20’s “Jukebox”
The VTT system Roll20 has been a lifesaver for many of us who are desperate to play our regular sessions in this crazy year. Not only is it a great resource to actually host your session with maps and characters, but it can also host your groups music by using the built in “Jukebox” feature.
This feature can be used to upload your own music and sounds or you can access audio libraries from some companies that Roll20 has partnered with such as Battlebards, Incompetech, and Tabletop Audio.
This function is great if you’re already using Roll20 as your VTT provider, and is a good reason to check them out if you’re looking to get your group back to playing!
2. Syrinscape Online
If you’re already set up with a VTT but still need that sweet ambience, then there are dedicated websites and apps that you can use to stream music and audio as a group.
In terms of ease, I would recommend Syrinscape, specifically Syrinscape Online, which you can use to stream the library of Syrinscape’s audio. It’s worth noting that the person in charge of the music will need to have a Syrinscape account and to have purchased the required tracks. All the participants can create a free account to listen in.
3. Groovy Bot
Discord has been a great tool for socialising this year, as it’s free audio and video has allowed many people to stay in touch and host events. It’s also a great tool to use to stream music as a group!
There are many Discord bots that have been created with the purpose of streaming music. I’ve been using Groovy and would recommend it to anyone for its ease of use and reliability.
Groovy is a free bot that can play a wide range of music from multiple sources. It has a great range of commands that you can use to really enhance your VTT game, and it’s really easy to install.
For my sessions, I put a custom playlist together on Spotify and get Groovy to stream it, which is great for ambiance. You can also command it to jump to a specific song or playlist when the action starts to heat up!
4. Spotify Group Session
Spotify is one of (if not the) most popular music streaming platform, and for good reason. It’s very simple to use and has a vast collection of music. In addition to this, there’s one feature that’s very useful from a VTT perspective: the group session. As the name suggests, a group session is where you stream audio as a group and have everyone listening to the same tracks at the same time.
To start a group session, the host will need a premium account. They’ll then need to click this icon: . Your group will then be able to join via invite, a link, or a code!
5. Discord: Stereo Mix (Windows)
If you have a spare laptop or PC, then you can use it as a music host via Discord, using your computers’ “Stereo Mix”. A Stereo Mix is essentially what you computer is playing at any given time. When your PC is setup as normal with sounds coming out of the speakers, you’re hearing the Stereo Mix.
You can use this to your advantage by setting up music and sounds from any source that can be played on a computer (e.g. iTunes, YouTube, etc)
The Stereo Mix option is currently only available on Windows. While there are some 3rd party solutions for Mac, I won’t be covering them here as I’ve not verified them.
Before starting, make sure that your Stereo Mix is enabled within your computers’ settings (Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound > Recording > Stereo Mix > Properties > set Device Usage to “Use this device (enabled))
Simply create a new Discord account for your spare computer and add it to your group. Under your “Audio Settings” select your input to be the “Stereo Mix”. Each group member can then adjust the volume to their liking.
And there we have it – 5 ways that you can play music in your VTT session! I’d love to know if you use any of these, or if you have any questions, so why not get in touch!