After celebrating Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we decided to take a look at something that might be a little more gentle on your wallet. Some free software in the form of OBS Studio and specifically some plugins you can install to extend its functionality.
What is OBS Studio anyway?
You can browse the OBS Studio plugin repository to learn more about other plugins.
Apps, Scripts, Widgets — Oh my!
Sam Proof unpacks the different ways of extending OBS Studio functionality:
“When people talk about different ways to modify OBS, they’re going to say plugins or scripts or widgets or apps.”
“And we should start off by: widgets and apps are basically third party softwares that exist outside of OBS.”
“Plugins and scripts are both things that happen inside OBS and are just a little nuanced in their differences, where scripts are just literally a block of code that the scripts tool in OBS calls up to run and you have like a little readout to do whatever. It’s usually smaller things like countdowns, like dynamic countdowns and things like that. So there are a lot of really cool scripts go look for those.”
“But we’re going to be talking about plugins. Plugins are chunks of code that are dropped into the plugin folder of OBS and are natively brought in. So it essentially just becomes a part of the software.”
John’s 3 favourite OBS Studio Plugins
The OBS ASIO plugin allows you to use Audio Stream Input/Output system to bring in multitrack inputs as individual audio sources from devices like the Rodecaster Pro.
“So ASIO is Audio Stream Input/Output. And I’m fortunate enough to actually have a Rodecaster Pro, sort of the original version.”
“And the way you work with the audio that comes out of the Rodecaster Pro is you sort of have two options.”
“You either just have a stereo track of everything that’s going on there, but you do also have the multitrack options.”
“And the OBS ASIO plugin actually gives me the ability to bring in those as individual audio sources.”
“So I’ve got things like a sound pad, which I can actually have as its own audio source within OBS, and that lets me do all kinds of things.”
“I can sort of combine it with other plugins so that, you know, if I hit a button on my sound pad, for example, it’ll actually bring up something visually on my screen.”
“I often have pre recorded material as part of my stream and if I head over to that particular scene and I’m playing the video, it just helps with the fact that my microphone is not going live at the same time. So if I need to clean my throat or cough or whatever, that can be really, really useful.”
The Waveform Visualiser plugin lets you specify an audio source and have a waveform be displayed on screen from that audio source.
Scale to Sound
The Scale to Sound plugin will cause elements to pulsate to a specified audio such as music or sound effects.
John explains how he uses these plugins together:
“I especially like using this and another plugin, which I’ll talk about a little bit later, in relation to sort of my start and end screens.”
“I guess one of the things that sort of caught me by surprise when I first started streaming was just appreciating that there’s a bit of a lag between what I do and when it actually reaches the destination.”
“And I think sometimes when you first start off and you’ve said your last sentence, you can hit that stop streaming button straight away and it’ll cut you off mid sentence because it hasn’t quite reached where it needs to be.”
“So I like to have that as part of my sort of start and end screens for my streams just so I can see visually and I’ll save the audio out because I have a bit of music playing at the time and I can see visually when those things have actually stopped reaching the destination.”
Sam’s 3 favourite OBS Studio Plugins
The Source Record plugin allows you to add filters to scenes or individual sources to record elements separate to OBS Studio’s built in recording functionality.
The Move Transition plugin will compare shared elements between two scenes and subtly move the position and size of those elements.
Directory Watch Media
The Directory Watch Media plugin allows you to add a filter you can add to media sources to load the oldest or newest file in a directory. This is best combined with the Replay Buffer.
Manage OBS Plugins with Starscape Creator Studio
Starscape Creator Studio includes an OBS Plugin manager that is free to use, helps you keep your plugins up to date and supports the top 77 OBS plugins.