I didn’t know where everything was, I didn’t know what was needed and I spent weeks getting my settings perfect and even after I was still nervous that I had done it all wrong. Hell, I even had my credit card info stolen because I purchased sketchy unnecessary software from overseas.
None of this will be necessary for you thanks to this third part in our How to Stream on Twitch and Succeed series!
We are going set up the software to broadcast to Twitch or YouTube. I’m going to go through the differences of each and explain why you’d use one over the other.
I’ll explain how to customize your stream and wrap everything up with some frequently asked questions.
Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)
Open Broadcaster Software is everything that’s needed to begin broadcasting or recording video. OBS allows for multiple scenes, overlays, plugins, extensions
You can download from the OBS Project directly:DOWNLOAD
Streamlabs OBS (SLOBS)
OBS is entirely open-source, which allows for anyone to extend and modify the code as they see fit. Streamlabs has offered streamers a variety of overlays and web connectivity for years.
Streamlabs developed their own branch of OBS, dubbed SLOBS, that attempts to integrate the most popular Streamlabs features with OBS in addition to streamlining the complicated setup process.
You can download from Streamlabs: ANOTHER DOWNLOAD
XSplit is another video-mixing application that is handled by SplitmediaLabs. It offers a free version that has limited functionality and a paid version with no limitations.
- XSplit offers no benefits that are not offered by both SLOBS and OBS.
- XSplit limits functionality right out of the gate.
- XSplit has precisely the same learning curve.
- If you run into trouble, then you have fewer streamers using it who can help.
If you want to use XSplit you’re going to have to find it on your own because I don’t want to send them the traffic.
You would only use XSplit if you’re fond of horrible disasters and prone to bad choices. OBS vs SLOBS is a bit more nuanced.
SLOBS is substantially more beginner-friendly and provides many features that would require additional chrome windows or applications open, such as chat or an event monitor.
On the other hand:
OBS is streamlined with nothing taking resources unless it’s necessary for streaming content to the service of your choice. If you need an additional component, there is likely an OBS Studio plugin, such as if you need support for the HTC Vive.
OBS Studio plugins are not supported natively within SLOBS. If it isn’t integrated already, you have to hope it’s on Streamlabs’s TODO list.
All things considered:
If you give them both the exact same settings performance differences between the two are negligible.
Best choice for beginners
I’d recommend using Streamlabs OBS right out the gate. It’s the new hotness and is getting a lot of deserved attention. Also, if you find yourself attempting to do something that SLOBS can’t, you can switch all your settings to OBS Studio.
Do you already know what bitrate, encoder, stream resolution and frame rate you plan on using? Do you even know what I’m talking about?
Then go with SLOBS. Streamlabs does a great job finding the best settings for your internet connection and processing power.
If you want to tune your stream settings
Now that we’ve got the software on our computer, we have to get everything set up. To do this we’ll need to:
- Create a scene.
- Add a source to that scene.
- Find the stream key needed for our particular service.
- Begin streaming.
Creating your first scene
All shows, live broadcast or syndicated situational comedies, are made up of collections of scenes. Each scene will include all the content your viewer will see. You can switch between these scenes with either shortcut keys, which can be customized in your settings, or by clicking them individually.
To add a new scene:
Under the scenes module click the big + (plus sign). You’ll be asked to name the scene. I suggest the following scenes at the very least:
- Game: A scene that’ll include the game, cameras, overlays and other things you want visible while streaming.
- AFK: If you need to step away for anything, then you can switch over to this scene to let new viewers know you’re
gone,when you’ll be back, etc. You can show the chat, gifs, top clips, whatever else you want that’s better than an empty office chair.
- Lobby: I don’t personally use these, but for games that have extended periods of waiting around matchmaking or other boring stuff, then it might make sense to have a scene with your face cam and chat taking up more space.
- Starting Soon: Absolutely nobody is watching the moment you begin broadcasting. Therefore it helps to have a starting soon scene. I use a timer onscreen to show when the stream will actually start. The timer also helps me by giving my brain a sense of urgency and allow me to
set upeverything I need for the day.
A source is any type of content you would like your audience to see or hear. This includes the game and your webcam. It also includes the overlay that frames your webcam and the alerts that pop up when someone hits follow. These are the sources I’d recommend including in your first scene:
- Game/Desktop/Art Camera/etc: Basically, whatever your doing needs to be visible. It’s pretty important this works. This is where you’ll add your Elgato HD 60 S
- Face Cam: Include your face cam in a corner out of the way and try facing forward or facing toward the center of the stream. I’ve mirrored the cam source when it has me facing outwards before. I think it looks nicer.
- Chat: It seems silly, right? I mean, the people chatting can already see chat, why would you want it onscreen? Well, for the purposes of clips,
vods, highlights, and archives of course! It’s nice to know why the streamer is responding and who they are responding to.
Adding your first source
Add a source under the sources module by pressing the +(plus sign). There are a lot of possible sources.
I’ll help explain:
- Audio Input Capture and Audio Output Capture: You would use these if you want specific audio devices only captured for specific scenes, or if you want to play with filters and effects.
- Browser: This will allow you to have a web page’s content displayed on
thescreen. Streamlabs and other alert systems are typically added via a browser source. I’ve also used them for timers.
- Color Source: Literally a block of color. You even get to pick the color. I’ve used this as a censor bar or to mask out something I don’t want visible on camera or in game. An example would be to block out server info from stream snipers.
- Display Capture: This will capture everything visible on a particular monitor. You can decide whether or not you want the cursor to show up on stream.
- Game: Capture a specific window or any full-screen application, such as PUBG or Apex Legends.
- Image: Displays an image. Absolutely shocking, right? It shows animated gifs too!
- Image Slideshow: Displays a slideshow of images. You can add, sort, and remove images within the settings as well as change transition times and effects.
- Media: Video or audio files can be set to play, loop, slow down and speed up here. RPGenius_ uses this for intro and outro movies.
- Scene: I heard you like scenes so I added scenes to your scenes. A portion of a scene used a lot? Make it its own scene, such as Corner Cam, and add that scene to the others. This way any changes you make to the Corner Cam scene are replicated in all scenes that make use of it. Work smart!
- Text (GDI): Used for text on-screen and scrolling text effects. You can have it pull from a text file that’s updated by a bot or other type of script.
- Video Capture Device: This is where you’ll find capture cards and cameras like the Logitech C922x Pro.
- Window Capture: If you need to capture a specific window you can do it here, such as File Explorer or Spotify. If you minimize the window on your desktop, it’ll still be displayed onstream.
Moving and repositioning sources
A source can be re-positioned in the preview screen by clicking and moving it. Sources can be resized by using the red handles (shift+click to maintain aspect ratio, alt+click to crop), or by right-clicking and (either in the Sources module or the Preview area) editing the exact values under the transform menu.
Prevent a source from accidentally being moved around by locking the source using the little padlock icon next to the visibility icon.
Finding and using your private stream key
WARNING: If you are currently streaming, do not follow these steps. You could broadcast your private stream key publicly, allowing any internet troll to broadcast on your page!
That being said, you need this section to begin streaming and I’ll assume you aren’t currently streaming.
Visit your channel’s dashboard by clicking your name in the upper-right corner of your Twitch homepage and then Dashboard from the menu.
You can also get there via: https://www.twitch.tv/dashboard
The menu on the left has a SETTINGS section, below it find Channel.
At the top of the Channel Settings find your Stream Key hidden by asterisks (*). You can click the copy button to copy the key to your clipboard and then paste it within OBS or SLOBS.
There isn’t much reason to show your Stream key, so leave that alone.
YouTube is constantly changing. I can only assume that by the time this is article is
But that’s a rant for another article another time.
Currently, you can find your key under the YouTube Live Dashboard, which you can find a link to in the Creator Studio (click your profile picture in the upper right to find a link).
Assuming no changes (hah!) you can also click here:
Beneath the card that contains basic info and stream options you can find a card with Encoder Setup.
This has your upstream server URL you should use within OBS or SLOBS and your private Stream Key, which you can’t copy unless you reveal it. I need a concerned dino emote here.
Starting your first live broadcast
You’re going to need to go to File -> Settings and select your upstream server, input your stream key and then hit Start Broadcast on the home screen.
That’s all there is to it. Why isn’t everyone a millionaire streamer like me?
Who even knows?
Common Setup Questions Answered!
These are common on the r/twitch so I imagine you might be thinking about or should have thought about them as well.
Do I need a facecam?
There are plenty of streamers out there that never use a facecam, but that doesn’t mean you should. People will be in your stream for you, not the game. That’s something important to remember.
You don’t have to be attractive, skinny, female, super rich, celebrity
That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful without it, but you are going to have to have one hell of a
How can I make my webcam look the best?
Lighting, lighting, and more lighting. Look up what a key light is and know the differences between it and a fill light. A back light is largely self-explanatory but it also helps separate you from your background, which is even more important if you use a green screen (I do not recommend a green screen).
Every streamer you’ve seen with a stellar camera probably plays a game with a big-ass light shining directly into their face. It sounds like a huge distraction, and it is to some degree, but you get used to it.
You can find some nice ring lights on amazon, like this Neewer kit that comes with everything you need. You can also make use of a house lamp in some spectacular precarious position.
Another trick I’d recommend is to turn off your camera’s auto focus if it has it. Set your focus manually for where you’re typically seated, otherwise you might be annoying the piss out of all your viewers.
If I have a PS4 or Xbox One can’t I just stream through the console itself?
Another neat benefit is that I was still able to connect my USB mixer and AT2020 microphone into the PS4 by plugging it in through the front USB port. It was recognized as a headset and worked perfectly.
I will say that the PS4 camera is absolute horseshit and nobody should bother with it on stream. It’s low quality, is intended to film an entire room, and can’t be positioned/adjusted as much as I’d like.
One mega drawback for streaming from the console directly is you won’t be able to make use of all your stream overlays and alerts, which is why I don’t rely on it too often.
Definitely a great way to get started though!
How do I get my PS4 or Xbox One as an OBS source?
“But I want to use those stream overlays and alerts and play a console game!”, you might shout at me from the other side of your monitor.
“Stop shouting at your monitor.”, I might respond. “You look weird.”
You’re going to need a capture card. I’d recommend the Elgato 60 HD.
This guide is already a little bit too long to add the instructions on how to use the most common capture cards, but suffice to say that once it’s connected to your streaming PC and your console, it’ll show up as a Video Capture Device in OBS similar to the way your webcam shows up.
IT’S THAT SIMPLE.
How do I get a retro console that uses composite or RGB to work with OBS?
Streaming from composite, component or even old school RF means you’re going to have to get a little trickier. Although the same instructions above apply, getting it to work is another thing entirely.
You can see my review of one such device over here: Capture Card and CRT Ready to Roll
That said, if you get really into this and have a PVM for your RGB modded NES then you’re going to have to look into all sorts of complicated tricks, including the framemeister[?]. This will get a little expensive.
In all honesty, I actually got a lot of compliments on using my cruddy RF output and when I upgraded to something nicer a lot of my viewers were upset.
You could also use an emulator, but an emulator will introduce input lag that the original hardware wouldn’t have experienced. If you’re speedrunning that’s the difference between a frame perfect jump and failure.
It’s your call which way you go.
What should I do about the OBS audio being out of sync?
Have you considered prayer?
On a serious note, there are a couple things you can try before starting to google like a madman through 8-year-old tech forum posts.
Right clickthe audio device within OBS and go to the Advanced Audio Properties. From here you can set a Sync Offset by millisecond. Record yourself clapping your hand or jumping in a video game or whatnot until it sounds right.
- Capture cards can introduce sync issues between the audio and the
game,if you can separate the audio channel from the console you can pass this through your PC’s line-in jack on your sound card. This bypasses the capture card and can solve the audio sync issue.
What do I do next?
Wait another month for the next blog post, lolrorlfoforofoflfloforlol.
Hit broadcast and kinda wing it for awhile!