How to set up OBS Studio? – Streamer’s Guide

Is your stream laggy? Are they always typing, that they’re not hearing you well? Or this is your first setup of the OBS Studio. In the previous article, we mentioned how you should start streaming. In this streamer’s guide, we will discuss the basics of the OBS Studio.

How you can set up OBS Studio? Which are the recommended preferences that you need to adjust. That includes audio, video, recording, and streaming settings. You’ll learn how to adjust the settings so that everything works perfectly.

OBS Studio and Downloading

OBS Studio is currently one of the best streaming software, which you can use for screen recording, or video capture (like webcams, or DSLR cameras) recording. The first step is to install the software if you didn’t do it yet. Let’s go to the OBS Studio website, and download the latest version of the program.

The installation process is self-evident. You should install to program files folder, if you have an SSD that’s should be the place for OBS.

OBS Studio – Main Screen

OBS Studio main screen.

On the main screen, you will find the settings, that you need on the daily basis. If you want to start streaming, firstly you need to create a new Scene, by clicking on the plus sign.

OBS Studio input sources, that you can add to Scenes

At the Sources tab, you can add new pictures to the scenes. That includes images, videos, Streamlabs alerts, animations, display capture, video capture (webcam), what your viewers will see. The easiest way to add a game to the obs, by adding a new Display capture, which will record the full screen of your monitor. There you can set up, which screen the OBS should record, and what your followers should see. There you can add, any type of pictures, texts, your Webcam picture, or a Donate alert source, later on.

The following window is the Audio Mixer, where you can control all of your audio, like the Gaming sounds (Desktop Audio), or the Mic sound (Mic/Aux), how loud should it be. You can set, that what input source should be the Mic, if you have an external mic, not the built-in one (click on, the gear icon, but we’ll talk it about later). To your voice, you can add filters, along with the desktop audio, which gives you the opportunity to gain the sound or add a noise filter.

In the Scene Transitions tab, you can set the transitions, for the different put-up scenes, how they should change each other (how they fade, etc.).

At the end of the bottom bar, you will find the Controls, where Start Streaming and Start Recording button is located. Where you can start the streaming for your picked streaming platform, or record it later, to make compilations and shorts, stories.

For saving these options, you need to create a New Profile, where all of your settings will store, and if someone else is using your computer, you can change profiles easily.

The next step, we enter into the OBS Studio’s heart, the Settings

For that search for the upper left corner, File -> Settings options, and click on it.

At the general tab, there are the basic settings of the OBS, but nothing interesting, besides the language, and the theme.

Stream settings

The next tab will be more devastating. At the Stream settings. In the How you start streaming article, we already discussed the topic, but the Server settings we’re not. There you can fill out, which Twitch server do you want to connect to.

OBS Studio stream settings

We’re recommending the automatic settings, besides you don’t need to deal with it, and if something happens, Twitch automatically locates you to a new server. And of course, it’s already recommending the best one. But you can test it, which is the fastest one for you.

Output settings

The next is the output settings. The following settings are required if you want to stream to Twitch. But let’s view in detail:

  • The Audio track is matters mostly in at recording, when you want to record the game and the mic sounds to a different track,
  • At the encoder, the x264 is the most comment solution, which is a software one, when the CPU is used to encoding. While NVENC (NVIDIA users) or AVC (AMD users) encoding is using your GPU, this solution is considerable when your video card is powerful,
  • The rescale output option is helpful, when you only want to stream at 720p and your stream specs only reaches the minimum. If you have a better PC, like playing in 4K, then a Full HD (1920 x 1080 ) rescale may needed,
  • At the bitrate, you need to set, how much data you want to send to Twitch, or the streaming platform. It’s important to test your internetspeed, and see what’s the recommendations. If you want to stream at Full HD, then a minimum is 3000 – 4000 Kbps,
  • While for HD streamers, the 1500 – 2000 Kbps is enough, but if the value is to low, the picture will starts to collapse. If you set this value to 3000, then it’s means that you lost 3Mbps uploading speed.
  • The keyframe interval needs to be 2 second, based on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook recommendations,
  • CPU Usage Presets is for to set, how much CPU power to consume for encoding, the faster you set it, the less it will use the CPU, but it’s going to the detriment of quality, while it’s working vica-versa,
  • The profile should be main for the most stream platforms, and this setting is determines the CPU and RAM usage,
  • The other settings, we will not tweaking for now.

You need to experiment with the bitrate, the rescale output, the CPU Usage Preset, and the Profile, for the best setting suited for your PC. The above-mentioned settings are the recommendations, which is a good starting point, but with testing, you will get out the most power from your computer.

At the recording tab, you can set the recording path, the type, and other settings. The recording file type should be MP4 or flv. While mkv is another good choice, because if something happens, like OBS crashes, the file will be usable.

OBS Studio recording settings

Besides, with a little tweak, you can use the recording to multi-streaming, like to YouTube.

Audio settings

The next option is Audio.

There you can set the quality (Sample Rate) of the streaming sound. It’s recommended to use 44.1 kHz because Twitch uses this, but you can set it further to 48 kHz, but it doesn’t make much difference for the viewers.

You can set, which microphone the OBS should use, and which is the default sound device. With the Hotkeys, you can make one of your buttons, instantly mute your mic.

Video settings

The next important page is the Video.

OBS Studio video settings

The base (Canvas) resolution, is your monitor resolution too.

The output (scaled) resolution, when you have lower specs, it’s HD (1280 px x 720 px), if higher, then Full HD (1920 x 1080) is ok.

The downscale filter is based on your hardware performance. The Bilinear is the lowest when, while the Lanczos is for the maximum performance. The Bicubic is between the two, as the Area, which is a good starting point for testing. The FPS should be 30, but if your stream is laggy then you can take it down to 25 (of course, you can take to 60 as well).

Hotkeys & Advanced

OBS hotkeys use

At the Hotkeys, you can set, which button press should active some of the OBS features. If you’re streaming with only one monitor, then you should set them, especially mute, start streaming, end streaming, and for the different scenes. Then if something happens, you can stop and start streaming.

On the advanced page, you will find some settings, like the Process Priority, or the filename formatting. But for the event or contest streamers, the Stream Delay option will be one of the best features.

obs advanced set up

The final

These are the most important settings for OBS. Do you have any questions or recommendations? Let us know in the comments. The next thing is recruiting followers.

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