OBS Studio is one of the best free and open source screen recording software. It is capable of both screen recording and live-streaming on multiple platforms be it Windows, Linux or Mac. However, it is good to note that, Windows Vista is no longer supported by the latest version of OBS Studio. Being open source, it means that if you are a developer you can also contribute to the development of OBS Studio to make it even better as the source code is provided on Github.
OBS Studio as the, “Studio”, name suggests, works more like a studio since deals with multiple sources and scenes which can be mixed and transitioned seamlessly to give a well organized single broadcast. OBS Studio review will give you information on what to expect when you decide to rock it on your Windows 7/8/8.1/10 PC, OBS Studio is also being listed in 17 most welcomed screen capture app for PC
OBS Studio – Free Download
Product Name Supported OS Offline Version Download Link OBS Studio Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (32 Bit & 64 Bit) Full Version Free Download TalkHelper Screen Recorder Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (32 Bit & 64 Bit) Full Version Free Download
To be honest, I was confused where to start after installing the OBS Studio screen recorder. I just got a blank window and a bunch of options at the bottom. After a few seconds, an auto-configuration wizard popped up with two options. On closer look, I noticed that you can choose to use OBS Studio primarily as an optimized streaming tool with recording being a secondary option or use it mainly for screen recording without a streaming option. Choosing any of these modes took me to another screen where I was presented with video settings which allowed me to select the canvas resolution to use and the frame rate of my choice.
If you selected streaming being the main task, streaming information settings are provided where you specify the stream type (is it from a streaming service like Twitch or a custom streaming server). In addition, you get an option to include your stream key link, opt-in for hardware encoding and whether to estimate bitrate with bandwidth test.
Your OBS Studio will then be optimized with the settings you selected and will be ready for first-time use. For those of us who are not sure of the settings to go with, you can just skip the wizard and set them manually in the settings options after familiarizing yourself.
On the main screen, you will notice scenes, sources, mixer, scene transitions and controls. These are the basic blocks for your recording or stream you are to work on. They all work together to make sure you achieve that perfect screen recording or stream. Let us look at what each category deals with
Scenes and Sources
With OBS Studio you can have the unlimited number of scenes and in turn the scenes carry multiples sources of what is to be displayed. Sources that can be used for the scenes include audio, browser, color, display capture, game capture, image, image slideshow, media source (like from webcam), text, video capture device, VLC capture device, and window capture. It does not end at that as you can also have one scene serve as a source for another scene.
Depending on the kind of scene you select, appropriate customization options are provided for you to tinker with. For instance, in case you take the text as your source, you can modify the text size and font style. Customize your scenes even more with the inclusion of filters. What’s more? You can duplicate scenes and sources depending on what you need to achieve.
When recording or streaming you will most of the time dealing with two audio sources. This is usually audio from the system and audio from the microphone. OBS Studio lets you choose which audio to record besides letting you modify the volume level of the audio of interest to the required level. Besides modifying volume level, other audio properties are provided to spice up your audio even more. These include;
- Audio compressor
- Audio gain
- Noise gate
- Noise suppression
- VST 2.x plugin
Advanced audio properties will enable you downmix audio to mono, pan the audio and also apply necessary sync offsets.
After having our scenes and sources ready, switching from one to the other requires a special way to do this and that is where transitions come in. OBS Studio provides several transitions to work with and make the project even more enticing to watch and moreso command attention. Fancy transitions make the video fun to watch and on top of that blend scenes into each other perfectly. You also get more control of the transitions by determining how long the transitions last between scenes.
Basically, the control section of OBS Studio lets you choose what you want to do. It is here that you actually start streaming, start recording, open studio mode or open main settings. Studio mode especially when you are live streaming lets you organize scenes and source before you allow them to go live.
What makes OBS Studio Unique?
- Hotkeys – Hotkeys are quick key combination shortcuts that OBS Studio provides instead of having to use menus. Almost all activities on OBS Studio can be activated with a hotkey
- Multiview – As seen earlier, OBS Studio allows implementation of multiple scenes and with a multiview feature, you can transition between all these scenes without much hassle.
- Modular User Interface – OBS Studio lets you customize its layout to your preference. This is not a feature you can find in many similar functioning applications.
- Free and open source – You do not spend anything to obtain OBS Studio. Moreso, you can rest assured that development to make it better goes on every day due to it being open source.
Before we end the OBS Studio review, it would not be justice enough to not talk about how well the settings are organized. I opened the settings and got amazed at how clean they are.
The developers have taken time on the settings section to make sure it is well polished so that any setting you need to tinker with is at the right section and place. The categories are very clear and precise so that you do not get confused on where to go to modify a specific setting. I commend the developers for the input into this part.
How else better does this get? You get a free, open source and feature-laden recorder for all your screen recording and most of all live streaming tasks. Better yet, OBS Studio supports all the major streaming platforms available including Twitch and Youtube.