OBS Studio Full Review and Alternatives

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Overview

OBS Studio is one of the best free, open source screen recorders and live streaming software that also doubles as a video editing program. It is a very powerful tool and especially gamers will definitely love it as it incorporates everything that you need for that extra professional  OBS project.

Its biggest plus is the ability to handle multiple sources, mix them, and output that single and seamless broadcast for you, something that most of the other tools out there cannot even match a bit. To be specific, it showcases its prowess in live streaming by supporting a ton of major streaming services including hitbox.tv, Livecoding.tv, YouTube, beam.tv, Twitch, Facebook Live, DailyMotion, Restream.io, among others. The user interface may be a bit daunting for starters but once you have taken the time to acquaint yourself with it, the effort and time you invest will surely not be in vain.

To make the learning curve less steep, OBS Studio takes you through a wizard-like guide that lets you set up this software to suit the task at hand – video recording or streaming. Some of the sources that you can mix and even live stream at the same time include footage from the webcam, personalized watermarks, audio from the mic, gameplay footage, incorporating readymade videos, images, capture an area on the screen among others all in one scene.

Before we hit the features in a more detailed perspective, how about we look at a quick summary of the pros and cons of OBS Studio. It delivers the power required and is considered the overkill solution for game capture, tutorials, screen recording, and blasting out live streams on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

OBS Studio – Free Download

Product NameSupported OSOffline VersionDownload Link
OBS StudioWindows 7/8/8.1/10 (32 Bit & 64 Bit)Full VersionFree Download
TalkHelper Screen RecorderWindows 7/8/8.1/10 (32 Bit & 64 Bit)Full VersionFree Download

Pros & Cons of OBS Studio

Pros

      • Recorder and live streaming app – OBS Studio will not only capture the screen for you among other sources but will also let you stream all that with the utmost ease.
      • Cross-platform – This recording tool is available on all the popular Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms which means you are not restricted to a specific platform.
      • Lots of supported sources – This software lets you compose scenes consisting of multiple sources like webcam overlays, capture cards, screen capture, audio sources among others.
      • Free and open source – You need not dig into your pocket to obtain this application and being open source means it gets a good development behind it to realize new features and refinements.
      • Optimized for games – The gaming industry appreciates the robustness of this tool especially the fact that it makes live streaming so much fun and easy.

Cons

      • Little help and guidance – Considering just how robust OBS Studio is, there is not much user support that you can rely on and you are mostly left to find out most stuff on your own.

How to Use OBS Studio

OBS Studio Features

To understand just how powerful and flexible this screen recorder is, we embark on a journey that will see to it that you get to learn all the features you can expect.

There are definitely lots of features and settings to tinker with and once you are familiar with each, you will be in a good position to make the most out of OBS Studio. Here is a comprehensive roundup of what this capture and live streaming app boast of.

1). Powerful and Flexible Configuration

OBS_features

You get to realize this when working with the different sources you intend on incorporating in your broadcast or screen recording. At any time, you can pull in new sources, duplicate those that you have active already and on top of that, get to tweak the properties of each of these sources to fit your demands.

Better yet, the configurations you make can be saved for reuse and in the distance you are stuck, just pick an existing preset and bend it to your specifications. Did I mention that this is one of the easiest tasks to achieve? Play with the sources in scenes till you get just the right angle for your OBS project. You are also opened up to one of the most instinctive settings panel whose layout is in a way that tweaking the aspects of the screencast or broadcast is just like a walk in the park.

2). Real-time Top-tier Performance

OBS_top-performance

No matter the number of sources you are working with, OBS Studio is able to capture and mix all that without breaking a sweat. When you combine multiple sources into a single broadcast, you get a scene. Basically, a scene can be made up of window screencasts, still images, web browser windows, capture cards, text, webcam overlay, just to mention a few.

Better yet, you can always configure an unlimited of scenes that you can seamlessly switch between by incorporating custom transitions. You also get empowered with the option to use custom backgrounds in your streams and for the webcam overlay, you can opt for a transparent background to blend with the main recording window.

3). Implement Transitions

To make your broadcast even more enticing and less boring, this video capture and live streaming app has custom transitions in store for you. And not just any kind of transitions but those that are customizable to the greatest extent like in terms of duration. These transitions come in very handy when switching between scenes and in case you do not want to rock the provided ones, you can always sew in your own video.

OBS_implement-transitions

4). Avid Audio Mixer

audio-mixer

OBS Studio goes the extra mile to take audio management to another level. You will not only get to mix multiple source audio but also implement filters on each source for that crisp clear audio in your video. This is made possible by intuitive features like gain, noise suppression, and noise gates not forgetting the included VST plugin that gives you all the control that you need.

This gives you a chance to correct any issues in your setup, add missing sources and scenes, and do a clean up so that the final content is nothing less than perfect.

5). Studio Mode and Multiview

mutiple-view

This is a very special mode that every user out there will fall in love with. How it works is that, once you have your sources and scenes set up, you can preview them before blasting to the target audience. On the other mode, the Multiview basically gives you a high-level view of your multiple scene layout in a way that you can keep track of up to 8 different scenes with the option to transition or cue between them at the click or double-click of a button. This way, it becomes very easy and convenient to manage and control the live stream.

6). Modular User Interface

Instead of a static user interface, OBS Studio has more of a dynamic user interface whose layout can always be rearranged to your preference. In fact, the layout is in the form of docks that you can even pop out into single windows depending on the kind of working convenience you are looking for. This kind of layout presentation also goes a long way to rid you of the need to keep interacting with menus.

Conclusion

The bottom line, OBS Studio is a top of the top program for those of us who want to take our screen recording and live streaming to an advanced level. The moment you rock it, you can rest assured of a professional final product on services like Twitch and YouTube.

It will still work even on not so high system specifications but for the best experience, make sure you have some good spec machine as part of your base artillery. It is also advisable to dedicate time to learn the ropes considering just how scary this capture app can be especially for novice users.

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