Live streaming is awesome! I got hooked the Summer of 2020 and doubt I'1l be abandoning it any time soon. Its largest hurdle for me was getting a hang for the software. O.B.S., or Open Broadcasting Studio, is what you will find most streaming platforms utilize. It's incredibly powerful but has a steep learning curve. What say we chop that curve down some?

Open Broadcasting Studio

Live Streaming With O.B.S.

Open Broadcasting Studio is an open source streaming tool. It's free of charge. Wikipedia credits original authorship of the program to Hugh "Jim"Bailey.


O.B.S. hit the scene in September of 2012. And that's about all the history on the program think anyone would care to read. Especially when beginning to speak at the top I said this would be a technical article. Let's bring in the tech for live streaming!

You Will Need

  • A free download of O.B.S. from right here.

  • A relatively recent computer / one with decent CPU, as live streaming requires a lot of processing power.

  • A Twitch / Facebook Live / Youtube / Etc. account.

  • A digital audio interface.

  • A webcam, or camcorder for basic visuals. If using a camcorder remember you will need a capture card for video to encode as quickly as needed as for live streaming.

  • A strong internet connection

  • A lot of patience.

Once Downloaded

Once downloaded, you will want to configure some settings <><><>go into this now? here? im not sure

Specs Needed To Run O.B.S.

  • Open Broadcasting Software is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux

  • For CPU, the AMD FX series or Intel i5 2000-series are the recommended processors (dual or 4-core preferable) or go higher, if you like!

  • Your Graphics card should be ‘DirectX 10’ capable – I can’t say I fully know what is either, but keep an eye out for the term.

  • 4 GB of RAM is also recommended, though not 100% necessary.

Getting A Twitch Account

  • Navigate to

  • In the upper-right, you'll see Sign Up (as shown in purple above)

  • Upon selecting Sign Up, the form below appears. Fill in your pertinent details. You know, the internet!

Live Streaming With OBS Twitch

After entering in your general information, you'll be sent a verification e-mail. There's a pin you enter to receive to complete registration, which is the success pop-up seen below.


Cool! You're now a proud Twitch account holder. I'll let you explore the finer points in more detail. After all, this is about O.B.S., not Twitch!

Finding Your Stream Key

Before we dive into the immense power behind O.B.S., we need to make sure it knows where to broadcast. Two points of information allow you to 'latch onto' your Twitch account (or whomever you're using these RTMP server credentials for). You'll need the server's web address, or URL. In addition, you'll need your 'stream key'. Fortunately, Twitch and O.B.S. are buddies so aligning them to work together is no brain-buster.

  • Hit Ok

  • This will bring you to your Twitch account directly where you can copy/paste your stream key directly into the Stream Key field

  • To the right-hand side of the field for Stream Key is a button labeled, 'Get Stream Key'

  • Feel free to leave the Server on 'Auto'

  • Next to Service select Twitch

  • Select the 'Stream' option to your left-hand side (second down)

  • Start by going to settings

OBS Settings


To the bottom left of OBS. The screen seen immediately upon opening has some symbols in that corner




To add our scene, we will press the '+' button to the far-left-bottom. A new screen will pop up asking you to name the scene. Make it whatever you wish. Hit Ok. You now have an empty scene! Progress!


Adding A Video Source To Your Scene


With the scene established, we will see it in action to the bottom-most left and center areas.









Now That You're Tethered To An Account


We'll get into the settings, digging deep and getting you live!


Creating A 'Scene'



If not using Twitch, the idea is fundamentally the same. You will just need to take down the server address and key in a separate file to paste into the fields in O.B.S.





We're told beneath sources that we don't yet have any. We need to start by adding some way of capturing live movement or visuals to pull this thing off. Two things come to mind for both cost effectiveness and ease of use. The most simple and cheap would be a USB webcam. Quality of what's shot can be spotty with these. If you have the means, do spring for a camcorder. It's worth it for the resolution alone.

But Do Remember One Thing

In most cases a camcorder, or external video device, will require what's called a 'capture card'. Digital, modern motion-cameras do not record natively to a format useable by streaming services. This means you need a way to encode all this data live. You would do so through the capture card. They are not horrendously expensive, but in the time it takes you to learn that's what you need, you could have had 96 hours of content recorded.

Adding An Audio Source To Your Scene

Audio and video will operate on different channels while live streaming. This means we need to establish settings for each respectively. Now that we have video and have confirmed it's working well enough, let's go ahead and address that audio.

Most times, you will require a digital audio interface in order to stream. Not always. Plenty of services enable a mobile device as a compatible one. The differences in quality though are stark. A laptop winning every time. There's no reliance on a built-in mic, so we need our own 'audio source' to 'point' at our stream to get that sweet, sweet sound.

As always, please feel welcome to contact Chuck with questions about music marketing, music business and the Core Curriculum.