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How to Maximize Audio Quality When Streaming in OBS Studio (Windows)

Jun 05, 2023 | 15,550 Views

Compromised audio quality can ruin the experience of your live streams and podcasts. Discover how Waves plugins in OBS Studio can help you overcome background noise, room echo, and other audio issues, and achieve professional-grade audio that engages your audience.

When it comes to creating video streams and podcasts, one thing we all strive for is top-notch audio quality. After all, nothing can ruin a viewer or listener's experience faster than poor audio.

If you're using OBS Studio, the open-source software for video recording and live streaming, you're already on the right track. But did you know that you can take your audio quality to the next level with Waves plugins? Let's dive in and explore how these plugins can help you achieve professional-grade audio that will captivate your viewers and listeners.

First, a couple of technical notes:

  • Waves plugins run in OBS Studio via the free Waves StudioRack plugin chainer: You will find all the technical instructions here.
  • Waves plugins are currently compatible with OBS Studio in Windows only.

With these technical notes out of the way, here are just a few examples of how you can maximize your audio quality in OBS:

Eliminate Distracting Background Noise with AI-Powered Clarity Vx

Picture this: You're in the middle of an intense podcast or Twitch stream, or maybe you’re discussing the latest news on your live podcast—and there's an incessant background noise disrupting your flow. It could be the hum of your computer, the buzz of a nearby fan, ambient noise from your surroundings or even other people talking or TV presenters in your guests living room behind them on TV.

That's where the Clarity Vx plugin by Waves steps in. Powered by state-of-the-art AI and neural networks, it's your secret weapon to combat unwanted noise.

Clarity Vx works seamlessly during your live stream, identifying and reducing distracting noise in real-time, allowing your voice to come through crystal-clear and free from interruptions. No need to worry about annoying your viewers or listeners with background noise anymore. With Clarity Vx, you can focus on delivering captivating content, secure in the knowledge that your audio is as professional as possible. Say goodbye to bothersome background noise, and hello to uninterrupted live audio that keeps your audience hooked.

Get Your Voice Sounding Rich, Smooth, Present & Consistent

Now, let's focus on your voice. It's your most valuable tool, and it deserves to sound its best. With plugins like Renaissance Vox and Greg Wells VoiceCentric, you can add richness, smoothness, and presence to your voice.

Renaissance Vox is a powerhouse for managing voice dynamics. It ensures that your voice is always clear and audible, even in the excitement of live gaming or during an energetic podcast discussion. It has one main fader in the middle, and a gate and output gain, so tweaking is fast if you need to adjust things on the fly.

Greg Wells VoiceCentric is an easy-to-use plugin that packs a rich set of tools under the hood. With its straightforward interface, this plugin is perfect for enhancing the quality of your voice during live streams. It can add warmth, consistency, and that extra touch of magic that helps your voice sound rich and full.

Ensure Your Levels are Up to Professional Standards

Of course, maintaining consistent audio levels is crucial. You want your content to sound polished and seamless across different platforms and devices.

That's where the WLM Plus Loudness Meter plugin comes in. It helps you monitor and adjust your audio levels, ensuring compliance with industry-standard loudness regulations. With this plugin, you can effortlessly achieve optimal loudness levels, making your content sound cohesive and professional wherever it's played.

More Plugins for Improving Your Streamed Audio

While the aforementioned plugins are game-changers for maximizing audio quality in OBS Studio, Waves offers an entire array of additional plugins that can take your audio production to new heights.

  1. Need to tone down those harsh “s” and “sh” sounds in your voice or your guest’s voice? Waves Sibilance is a transparent de-esser that's perfect for controlling harsh sibilant sounds in your voice. It's particularly useful for podcasters and vloggers who want to ensure a smooth and pleasant listening experience for their audience.
  2. What if the streamed or recorded voices sounds great—no need to touch anything—except the levels are all over the place? The Waves Vocal Rider plugin is an incredible tool for automatically adjusting the levels of your voice in real time. It acts as a virtual fader, riding the volume of your voice track to ensure consistency.
  3. Streaming from a room that’s too echoey? Got a guest you’ve brought in streaming from their kitchen? You can reduce and even remove the unwanted reverberation in a very natural and transparent way with the AI-powered Clarity Vx DeReverb plugin. There are also controls in this plugin to improve the presence of your mic or guest too, so it really is a life saver of a tool.
  4. Waves Tune Real-Time: Perfect for Twitch streamers or vloggers who perform live music, this plugin provides automatic tuning in real-time, ensuring your vocals are always on point.
  5. NS1 Noise Suppressor: For streamers and podcasters who can't always control their recording environment and are also fighting with CPU and GPU limitations, this plugin is a lifesaver that won’t tax your computer’s power. It can dramatically reduce background noise, ensuring your audience hears you and not the distractions around you.
  6. CLA Vocals: This all-in-one vocal processing suite can help experienced creators achieve a specific sound or style. It's especially useful for Twitch streamers who want to stand out with a unique vocal sound.

These plugins, used individually or in combination, can significantly enhance the audio quality of live streams and podcasts.

Want to discover more plugins that will improve the audio quality in your OBS Studio stream? See these audio plugins for streaming and podcasting.

How to Run Waves Plugins in OBS Studio

The way to run Waves plugins in OBS Studio (Windows only), is to ‘host’ them within the free Waves StudioRack plugin chainer. To do this, first install StudioRack from the Waves Central plugin installation app. Then insert StudioRack on any audio source from the filters menu in OBS Studio, and load your favorite Waves plugins inside StudioRack. (For complete technical instructions, see this article).

You can purchase Waves plugins one by one—or subscribe to all Waves plugins in one easy subscription via the Waves Creative Access subscription service.

Quick Stream Hack: Streaming-Ready Plugin Chain Presets

We recommend you try the above plugins and see how they can improve the audio quality in your streams.

But how about this helpful shortcut: the StudioRack plugin chainer comes packed with thousands of presets for complete plugin chains. Open the “StudioVerse” window from within StudioRack, and search for “OBS.” You’ll immediately find presets for everything need, from cleaning up your guest’s feeds and background noise, to polishing your sound.

To get an idea what these chains do, check out these chain presets tagged “OBS.”

Improve Your Audio to Make a Difference in Your Streams

In conclusion, OBS Studio combined with Waves StudioRack and Waves plugins gives you the power to create audio that truly captivates and engages your audience. From AI-powered noise reduction to voice enhancement and ensuring professional-level loudness, these plugins bring your audio production to a whole new level.

So, whether you're a content creator, a podcaster, or a live streamer, don't miss out on the incredible possibilities offered by Waves plugins in OBS Studio. Your audience will thank you for it, and you'll be amazed at the difference it makes in your content.