How to stream music to twitch from your computer

We want you to stream and for viewers to see the amazing art you are creating. Of course, we do expect you to be a part of our community and get to know you a little. Make sure you join us on Discord and participate. Please read through this guide to get set up and ready to go.

Tech Requirements

  • You must stream using a computer running OBS. No mobile devices allowed.
  • You need a camera that can connect to OBS.
  • You must be hardwired via ethernet cable. No WiFi allowed.

Streaming Specs

  • 720p (1280×720 pixels) 30fps
  • video: H.264 1500kb/s to 4000kb/s
  • audio: AAC 160kb/s, Sample Rate: 44.1kHz, Stereo

Basic Performance tips

  • Set your camera to 720p (higher settings will not improve quality, it will only make the encoder work harder)
  • Set your audio interface to 44.1kHz (again, higher settings will not improve final output quality and only make your computer work harder)
  • Quit and close applications or services you are not using. Like Anti-virus, back-up services or anything that uses CPU and network.

Initial Set Up

  1. Join us on Discord and introduce yourself. This is a community and like any community we would expect to know a new neighbor before we hand out keys to our home. The same goes for streaming keys.
  2. Register an account on twitch.
  3. Follow https://www.twitch.tv/newyorkmodularsociety
  4. Download OBS – Open Broadcaster Software https://obsproject.com

Configure OBS

  1. Skip the Auto Configuration
  2. Open Settings
OBS Settings
  1. Streaming service setup
    1. Select “Stream” from the sidebar.
    2. Select “Custom” from the “Service” drop down
    3. Input the ingest server URL — rtmp://ingest.golightstream.com/inbound/
    4. Copy and paste your stream key (be careful to select the whole thing)
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  1. Test you upload speed at https://www.speedtest.net
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  1. OBS Output Settings (see below image)
    1. Select “Output” in the settings sidebar
    2. Select “Advanced” from the Output Mode dropdown
    3. Select “x264” from the Encoder drop down.  (If you have a modern Nvidia or ATI GPU in your computer, selecting “Hardware Encoder” will improve encoding, CPU usage and speed.)
    4. Do not check this box. Your video settings everywhere should be 1280×720 so you should not need to downscale the output.
    5. Select “CBR” from the Rate Control drop down
    6. Depending on your upload speed, this should be set to 1500-4500Kbps.  Ensure you are only using 50% of your upload speed.  For example, if you upload speed is 4.5Mbps (4500Kbps) then you should set this to “2250 Kbps”.  If you set it higher then you may get frame drops and cause audio skipping.
    7. Set Keyframe Interval to “2”.  If this is blank or 0 your stream may not display.
    8. Start by selecting “Very Fast” for CPU Usage Preset.  Setting this higher sends lower quality but improves performance.  It should be somewhere between medium – very fast.
    9. Leave this alone, but sometimes setting it to animation can help with quality.

Hardware encoder settings in below image:

10. Select the Audio tab and make sure all tracks Audio Bitrate are set to 160

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  1. OBS Video settings
    1. Select the “Video” tab in the settings sidebar
    2. Select 1280×720 from the Base Resolution dropdown
    3. Select 1280×720 from the Output Resolution dropdown
    4. If steps 2 & 3 are followed, this becomes less necessary, since you will not be doing any video downscaling.  Selecting “Bicubic” should be fine.
    5. Select “30” form the Common FPS Values dropdown
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  1. OBS Audio settings
    1. Select “Audio” in the settings sidebar
    2. Select “44.1kHz” from the Sample  Rate dropdown
    3. Select “Stereo” from the Channels dropdown
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  1. Click “OK”

Set up your Stream Scene

  1. Right click on “Scene” in the lower left of the OBS screen and select “Rename”
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  1. Click “+” in the lower left “Sources” section.
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  1. Select “Video Capture Device”
  1. Rename the device in the “Create New” input field. Then click “OK”
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  1. Select your camera source.
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  1. You should see video.  If you do, Click “OK”. If not, check you camera connection.
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Setting Up an Audio Source

This is where things get complicated and specific to your system.  If you are sending a stereo signal to your audio interface you may be able to just select it from the “Audio Input Capture” source “Device” drop down in OBS.  If you are running more channels or sending audio through your DAW then you will need to create a virtual Input on your Operating System.  You can do that with these utilities:

Mac OS

Windows

  1. Click the “+” in the “Sources” section of OBS and select “Audio Input Capture”
select audio source
  1. Select your interface or virtual audio device from the “Device” drop down. Then click OK. I this case I have a virtual device named “Modular Audio”
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  1. Set your gain structure.  Turn up the audio from your Modular pretty loud but ensure it is not clipping and you have some headroom. Then using the OBS Audio Mixer make sure your loudest noises are hitting the RED but never go more than 1/2 into RED.  OBS audio meter is a little weird in that it is not clipping if in RED.  The bottom of RED is about -9dB.
  1. Ensure you are not double monitoring the audio. Click on the gear icon “⚙“ and select “Advanced Audio Properties”
do not get echos
  1. From the “Audio Monitoring” column, make sure you select “Monitor Off” for all of your audio sources.
turn monitoring off

Test your stream

You need to ensure you are not dropping any frames to ensure audio quality.  Audio is more important than video for the experience.  Test by streaming to your own twitch channel.  You will need to change the streaming service and key to do this.

  1. Click “Start Streaming”
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  1. In your Menu Bar  select “View > Stats”
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  1. Review your stats
    1. This should always say 0/### (0.0%) 
    2. This should always say 0/### (0.0%) 
    3. This should always say 0/### (0.0%) 
    4. This is an indicator of your network capacity and what you are trying to send.

BAD EXAMPLE

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GOOD EXAMPLE

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Ready to Stream

By now you should be ready to stream.  A few last steps will help ensure a smooth show.

  1. Make sure you join us on Discord
    1. Admins will let you know when it is good to start streaming.
  2. Make sure you have a browser window open to the NYMS Twitch channel during your stream. MAKE SURE YOU MUTE THIS VIDEO ON TWITCH. Issues can arise during a stream and people in the chat will usually mention these.
    1. You can view and engage with chat.  
    2. You can see if your stream is working as expected.
  3. Be respectful of time slots.  If someone is coming up after you, try to finish a few minutes early.
  4. In OBS, click “Start Streaming”
start streaming
  1. After your performance let the stream continue for about 2 minutes.
  2. Join the twitch chat and bask in the glory of the accolades you will receive.

Helpful Resources

Recommended Gear

There are many options out there, these suggestions are simply to get you started.

Updated July 18th, 2020

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