Stream Quality Improvements

audio-519575_960_720Well, it has taken me a while, and I am still messing around with the settings..but I have finally got the quality and audio issues, that have been annoying me, under control.

This is great for me as I now feel comfortable to start making Let’s play videos for YouTube.  If I ever get around to it is an entirely different issue, but at least I am happy with my setup if I do.

Also, my setup for being able to record locally, has finally allowed me to organise my stream audio levels better too.  I streamed some Overwatch on Saturday night and, for the first time, it sounded like it was me streaming and not that I was just on comms with another guy that was streaming..  My voice levels were previously fine, but I just didn’t have enough granular control of my comms software, where I could turn it down to the stream, but keep the volume high to me personally.

So, thanks to Virtual Audio Cable and VoiceMeeter Banana..I now have a decent setup.  Saturdays stream was proof of that.

You see, I use OBS Studio for streaming and recording.  I love it, it’s free, flexible and relatively free of bugs.  The only trouble I was having was that it would only record everything I heard and everything I said.  1 track for everything I hear, 1 for everything I say…so I could turn up my voice, but if I wanted, say, Mumble to be quieter..I had to make it quieter for me too.  This is a problem, obviously.  Especially if I want to have some Music playing and chat to some friends when I am just recording gameplay.

The current options in OBS are pretty much all or nothing.

I do seem to recall that the OBS dev mentioned that he hoped to be able to bring in applications as independant audio sources, but had no idea how long it might be.  Also, buying a mixing desk and differing hardware solutions was not a financial possibility for me.

So, I needed a solution.

Virtual Audio CableI installed Virtual Audio Cable and told it to give me 4 virtual cables.  Being a kindly piece of software, it did just that.  I then set my PC Playback Device to use Virtual Line 1 as an output.  All of my Comms programs (Skype, Discord, Mumble, Teamspeak) to use Virtual Line 2 and MusicBee to use the VoiceMeeter Virtual Input.

 

VoiceMeeterNext up, VoiceMeeter Banana.

I set “Hardware Input 1” to Virtual Line 1 and told it to output to channel A1
“Hardware Input 2” is then Virtual Line 2, which outputs to both A1 and A2
Hardware Input 3 (no quotes, actual hardware) is my Rode NT-USB Microphone, set to A3 output.

Virtual Input 1 is set to A1 and B1 output.

Hardware Outputs are then set as follows:

A1 – USB Headset
A2 – Virtual Line 3
A3 – Virtual Line 4

Why do it this way?  Well, A1 is effectively a monitor now. I can listen to everything at the volume I want, but it is literally just that, my listening volume.  Recording volume is then set in OBS.  Also, outputtiing my Mic to a Virtual Line, allows me to apply processing on the fly and get my voice sounding all silky smooth when I stream, not just when I record.

OBS Studio:

In OBS, I then setup audio captures for Virtual Line 4 (My microphone), Virtual Line 3 (Comms Program), VoiceMeeter Speakers (Music) and Virtual Line 1 (PC Audio).  This means I can set their volumes individually.  Which is how I can now keep Comms nice and quiet in the stream, turn the music up and down etc.

This means that I don’t get to apply any VoiceMeeter control or processing to Line 1 (as I access it directly in OBS), but I don’t need any processing on that so I am not worried.

Using this setup to record local MP4 video, I can get each audio capture on it’s own track thanks to the OBS Studio mixer..so when I (eventually) import into Sony Vegas, I can mute the music or the comms, or my speaking etc etc etc.  It makes it possible to have a gaming night provide viable footage.

It seems so simple now, I don’t know why I didn’t do this before.  So simple that I helped r4tty set it up too and now he is back to having his DJ Voice from days gone by.

It’s amazing what technology can do for you, when you put your mind to it of course.

I realise that this is a bit of a techy post, but I figured it might help some others who have had the same issues…