Questions about OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software)

I don’t think I need a full DAW for what I want to do and I’m trying to figure out if OBS will do what I need.

What I want is…

  • I want to record video and audio without having to spend a bunch of time synching anything.
  • Audio needs to include a backing track and my bass.
  • I want to be able to raise the level of the bass so it’s more pronounced in the mix.
  • I want to be able to record my son playing guitar, do a second recording of me playing bass, and then combine them.

What I don’t need is…

  • Any way to manipulate sound other than levels. I’m not even looking for equalization control.
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@JoshFossgreen can we have a Category for Recording questions?

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I’m at work at the minute … but I can fire up OBS later and document some of this for you. Can I clarify a few of things:

  1. I assume you are running on Windows 10… its a bit different depending on the OS used;
  2. Are you using an audio interface or built in mic or something different?
  3. What video do you want to end up with… you on bass, your son on guitar, both video recordings side by side or youtube backing track or something different?

OBS is a bit different from video editing software… it was built for capturing and streaming live… so it works best when you get all your (audio and video) capture sources and (audio) levels set up in advance and then record the whole scene in one take. Your requirement to add in your sons recording later is giving me some pause for thought… that is not playing to OBS’s strengths.

Generally you want to get everything working off one master clock… I use the audio interface. So I’m not sure how well the second recording (your son) will sync up… I need to experiment.

I have used it for capturing video for my son’s drum kit exams for RockSchool video graded exams and it worked well for that. (Micing the kit and getting good levels for the backing track is hard though, I used Cakewalk DAW for manipulating all the sound sources!)

We also use OBS for my son’s bass lessons. He uses musicgurus.com (replay) as the tab and backing track. We use a Zoom H6 audio interface and webcam to capture my son playing along… then OBS merges the video sources and streams it to Zoom meeting so that his teacher can watch Chris playing along and also see and hear what he is playing along to. (Hope that makes sense, I may need to add some examples later!)

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Not my area of expertise, but if I was doing this, I’d use OBS to capture audio and video and Lightworks to adjust for any syncing issues or add additional audio tracks. I believe OBS has syncing adjustments you can put in before you press Record to try to help with that as well.

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basically:

  • record both with the camera and into the DAW
  • import the video (and its audio) into a video editor project
  • edit the recorded (non-camera) audio in the DAW until you are happy
  • export the DAW audio as an mp3/wav/etc
  • add the audio file to the video editing project and put it on the timeline just under the camera audio

now, if this is a pro level video package, select “sync audio” or whatever the equivalent is. If the software won’t do it automatically, then use the old school method - manually drag the audio on the timeline and visually line up the new audio file with the one the camera recorded, looking for sharp transient peaks like snare drum hits. This is much easier than it sounds, but feels tricky the first time.

When happy, mute or delete the camera audio track.

You can use the same method to add the backing track.

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@howard’s solution is what I do also. I use Premier Pro for post production, and it does have that audio sync feature so I can align all the tracks properly, if needed, I can nudge a track one frame at a time in either direction.
Once I’ve got everything aligned, I just detach the audio from the video on the camera track, and delete it.

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Hey @eric.kiser, I think the Gear category is the best place for recording stuff, since there’s so much crossover between music gear, recording gear, recording workflows, etc.

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@eric.kiser: Let me know if this is any use to you. I had a bit of a play with OBS but too brief to get set up properly… I have made a (horrible) video of 2 of me playing along with Josh using:

  • OBS on a Windows 10 PC
  • webcam and mic on the PC
  • NUX Mighty Plug as an Audio Interface for bass and headphones.

It got a bit confusing setting up the sources but is definitely do-able… I did it as 2 recordings. The first was me playing along with one of Josh’s lessons. Then I used that recording as a media source in OBS and did a second recording with the webcam source overlayed. So I ended up with this layout in my final video. And the audio merged from the original, and my 2 play alongs. Quality could be better… but on the plus side I did no messing about with syncing sources at all.

The video is truly awful… but it is a proof of concept…

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JjcfctU9pghK5u-VvQaPyCSnxeKhWpp1/view?usp=sharing

Edit: If this useful I can do up some step-by-step instructions on how I made the video.

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Paul, that looks like I would like to do it. Just have to get something like the NUX.

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Dang it! My bad everybody. I had responded yesterday and then had to help my mom with a bunch of stuff and just realized I forgot to hit send.

Here’s the thing, I have pretty serious cognitive problems that have landed me on disability. I can still carry on a conversation and such but thinking about complex processes or even not so complex processes can be really hard ™. So, this process will have to be pretty straight forward or I’m I won’t be able to keep it all straight in my head long enough to get it done.

Yes. I have a new computer with Windows 10, 16 GB RAM, and the latest Ryzen 7 processor. I should be able to run anything I need.

Yes. I have a PreSonus AudioBox USB 96. It sounds fine for what I’m doing. I am debating on sending it back and getting a model that supports a line level in. I don’t know if I’ll need it but the cost difference isn’t that much and I would rather have it and not need it than get in a situation where I’m stuck.

Mainly, it will be for sharing videos here on BassBuzz. Secondarily, it will be for recording me and my son and yes, a side by side video would work. Whatever is easiest is what I’m looking for.

I used the link but nothing came up. Otherwise, what you show in the picture looks perfectly fine.

Thank you for the offer of step by step instructions but before you do that I have a few other questions from some of the other posts.

@howard @PamPurrs I’ve read where you both have talked about this process before and have answered other peoples questions. What I get out of it, is that I will have to learn multiple programs and have to troubleshoot interactions between those programs and the hardware involved and on any given recording something will probably go wrong.

Am I overthinking this? Am I just having bad flashbacks to my corporate computing days?

Assuming you don’t do any post work in the DAW and all you’re doing in the Video software is aligning the audio tracks, how long does this process really take?

Thanks everybody for getting into this with me.

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I use my Presonus with a line in from my BDDI. It works fine enough for me :wink:

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Hey @eric.kiser,

Everyone is going to tell you a different way they do it. None are wrong, and all are right for that person.
I personally haven’t used OBS for recording that much. I made a birthday video to Sara last August (which I posted here), in which I played Happy Birthday to her on my fretless, and then on the upright with both arco and pizzicato. In this case, both the video and audio were recorded simultaneously. OBS did the trick okay, but I still had to edit the final take in my video editing software. Some people use OBS for “soup to nuts” but I prefer to do post in Premier Pro.
With that said, I have found my Android phone, or more recently a GoPro camera, is far more efficient for recording video over soundtrack. Premier Pro makes it easy enough to align the two tracks so it’s quite handy. However, I will say there’s a learning curve involved and it can be fairly steep.
In my opinion (just my personal viewpoint) OBS is made more for live streaming than it is for recording. Not that it can’t, or isn’t being used for that purpose, I just think its strong suit is live streaming. I do plan to use OBS in future cover videos, but it’s role will only as an additional camera, not for any of its editing features.

It’s complicated stuff Eric but there are plenty of us here who will give you a helping hand or advice whenever you need it.

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It depends @eric.kiser: on what you want in quality of video and sound, but in the basis yes you’re overthinking.

If you want a one-take recording (yeah, that should do it the same way as a real life stream, including all your errors :thinking: while playing, just like a rehearsal, for simplicity without any video/stream editing); then add a second recording to that (either video or sound, which is a little bit video editing, just two clicks :wink:) save that total and just want to share it, your more then fine with OBS.
You can even improve/tweak the sound of one of your recordings within OBS, so your bass input sound can be ajusted to sound harder in the mix (like they say: ‘cut through the mix’ ) with OBS.

If on the other hand you think you need to change a sound, cut video and sound parts out of the recording, etc. In other words want to edit more specificly anything, then you will need a second or even a third programm to do so. That’s mostly done, as you can read above, in the DAW.

I’ve tested it out myself, just with a mic in front of my bassspeaker instead of specific audio interface. I get the same results as @pauls1024 (which I would like to thank for his example an inspiration)

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@eric.kiser see https://obsproject.com/wiki/Post-Production-Tools-you-can-use

If you want to learn the extra (DAW) programms :shushing_face: After OBS.

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@RemcoRG That is great. Thanks for letting me know how you got on.

And yes a mic in-front of the speaker can work well, better for recording bassists than drummers.

Another thing I meant to mention is DroidCam OBS app for the android phone… I think I paid a little for it or for the OBS addon to support it… But it enables me to use an android phone as a second webcam and capture that in OBS too. Great for the rare occasions where I need to record something like recording 2 performers or a Picture-in-picture closeup of the drum pedal. Far cheaper, and less clutter than getting another camera.

OBS can be a really good tool for a quick capture of a practice or rehearsal. Instant feedback and self critique is a very useful tool for self-improvement!

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DroidCam, I’ll check that one out as well. Setting OBS up was easy, great tool to play with, I’ve set mine to record as default settings and not for mainly streaming. My bandmates are using it now as well, lots of fun to use when rehearsing and getting feedback from each other. I’ll be checking more apps for OBS on androide as well, seems to be possible to start/stop a recording using your phone which might be more convinient.

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It’s free, but you can donate if you want to.

(yes I’ve tried it and keeping it as well, works fine with a good wifi setup at my place)

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