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How to Set Up a DAW for Streaming

A digital audio workstation (DAW; ex: Reaper, Ableton, Pro Tools) is the software program that you will use to mix and document your audio. Getting began in a DAW could be confusing for newcomers to audio manufacturing, not to mention the problems which are added when also utilizing streaming software program like OBS or XSplit. This information will show you ways to rise up and operating in a DAW, after which how you need to use the audio out of your DAW during a stay broadcast.

This information assumes that you already have an audio interface. Should you’d like to learn more about audio interfaces and examine totally different choices, take a look at our publish about Audio Interfaces. In case you are as an alternative using a USB microphone, a lot of the similar steps will apply, however your default recording gadget will be the microphone itself fairly than an audio interface.

Step One: System Sound and Sample Price

Very first thing’s first: ensure your interface is properly installed and that your drivers are up to date. The newest drivers will probably be out there on the web site of your interface’s producer.

Once your interface is put in and up to date, you’ll want to examine that it is the default communications system for your pc (on both the “Playback” and “Recording” tabs).

For this instance, the interface used is a Focusrite Saffire.

Setting Your Pattern Fee

That is the first of three factors during setup where you will want to set the pattern price. It is vital that you simply use the same sample fee in all three places, in any other case your audio will endure from a delicate, glassy distortion (most noticeable on bass frequencies).

A pattern price of 48okay is used on this instance as a result of 48okay is the max pattern fee supported by OBS Studio [free], which is the preferred broadcast software for streamers. Nevertheless, we personally use XSplit Broadcaster [not free], for a few reasons, considered one of which being that it helps any audio sample price. 48okay continues to be superior to CD high quality and more than enough for reside streaming and home recording purposes.

You’ll find the pattern price in the “Properties/Advanced” tab for your audio system.

For those who’re utilizing this guide for streaming, before stepping into the DAW, go forward and make sure this pattern fee matches the sample price that is set in your broadcast software program. For this example, we’re using OBS Studio, and the pattern price shall be found in “Settings/Audio”.

Now that your pattern fee is about for your system sound and OBS, you’re ready to launch your DAW. For this instance we might be using Reaper and strongly advocate Reaper for anybody making an attempt to determine between numerous DAWs.

Step Two: Setting Up Your Interface in a DAW

The first thing you’ll need to do upon getting your DAW open might be to be sure that your interface is about because the DAW’s audio system.

In Reaper, this will probably be found in “Preferences/Audio/Device”.

Choose ASIO (audio streaming in/out) to set your interface as the DAW’s system. (If using a USB mic, select your mic as the system, not AISO. In case your mic doesn’t appear on the record, choose “Direct Sound” of “WaveOut” to use your system’s default system.)

Now for the third and remaining sample fee choice, this time for your interface. Choose the identical fee as you set above by going into “ASIO Configuration”.

The ASIO Configuration window will look totally different relying on your specific interface. The one shown under is for the Focusrite Saffire. Locate the sample fee and set it to match your system sample fee.

That is additionally the place one can find the buffer settings for your interface. Principally, the smaller the buffer measurement, the more durable your CPU has to work. Should you expertise pops, crackles, brief audio drop-outs, or unusual bursts of audio slow-down and speed-up, you’ll need to improve the buffer measurement for your interface. It will make it simpler for your CPU to course of the audio, however may even improve latency. A very powerful PC can deal with minimal buffer sizes resulting in about 2ms latency, but most computers will probably need to use a larger buffer, especially in case you’re streaming.

Your interface, system sound and DAW at the moment are all aligned and ready for your first DAW challenge.

Step Three: Setting Up Your Microphones in a DAW

Now it’s lastly time to get your microphone plugged in and ready to report or broadcast. [Note: if you’re using a condenser microphone, you will need to send power (48v) to your mic. There will be a switchable 48v button somewhere on your interface. Make sure 48v is OFF when plugging in and unplugging your microphone.]

First, you’ll want to insert a new monitor into your challenge.

Next, you’ll select the enter channel of your interface that your mic is plugged into.

Regardless that your enter is about, you continue to gained’t be listening to the mic. First you need to “arm” the monitor, and allow stay monitoring. [Note: make sure you turn down your speakers before enabling live monitoring or there will be feedback.]

The whole lot ought to now be up and operating and you will be able to hear your microphone in your headphones (and see its degree in the monitor’s degree meter).

Step Four: Making use of Effects

The wonderful thing about incorporating a DAW into your reside broadcast is that DAWs unlock access to hundreds of results, or plugins, that you should use to rigorously sculpt and enhance your sound, or as artistic efficiency tools with issues like software program loopers, samplers, or modulation effects.

To start including effects to your channel, click on the FX button, then add the effect that you simply’re wanting for (such because the EQ used on this example)

An equalizer (EQ) will permit you to scale back or take away undesirable frequencies. Extra detailed information about how to correctly use an EQ, and different effects like compressors, reverb and limiters will probably be coming soon.

Once chosen, the EQ will appear as an lively impact on your monitor.

[Note: when adding multiple effects on a single track, their order DOES matter. The audio will be processed from top to bottom, so arrange your selected effects accordingly. Generally, you will want to order your effects by Tone (EQ or saturation) -> Dynamics (compressors) -> Modulation (reverb or delay). A sample effects chain is shown below.]

Together with your mic plugged in, monitor armed, effects utilized, you’re prepared to begin recording. Nevertheless, there’s nonetheless another step required so as to get the audio that you simply’re listening to in your DAW into broadcast software like OBS or XSplit.

Step Five: Routing DAW Audio to OBS

Right here’s the place most people surrender on incorporating a DAW into their streaming setup. At this level, regardless of the audio coming in loud and clear by means of your default gadget, no audio is making it to OBS.

That is merely a symptom of how DAWs deal with audio routing. A DAW will be unable to share its audio with one other program, however, there’s a free audio routing plugin that can assist: Voxengo Recorder.

Obtain Voxengo Recorder, open the folder and replica the VoxengoRecorder.dll into your plugins library. For Reaper customers, this is situated in Program Information/Reaper (x64)/Plugins/FX.

[Note: Voxengo Recorder is 32bit only. This is no problem for Reaper users because Reaper has built-in 32-to-64bit VST bridging. However, non-Reaper users may need additional software to use 32bit plugins in a 64bit environment.]

Now that you simply’ve added Voxengo Recorder to your plugins library, return to your DAW undertaking. You will apply this new plugin the identical means that you simply added an EQ to your microphone channel earlier. Nevertheless, this time, you’ll add the impact to the MASTER channel moderately than the person mic channel.

Earlier than the Voxengo Recorder seems in your effects library, you will first want to scan for new results.

After scanning for the newly added Voxengo Recorder, locate and add the effect to your Grasp monitor.

[Note: Make sure that you place the Voxengo Recoder at the very bottom of your effects list in order to capture the audio after it has passed through all of your plugins. For example, you will likely want to include a Limiter on your master track, before the Voxengo Recorder, in order to keep your mix from peaking.]

The Voxengo Recorder sends a copy of your DAW audio to an audio system within your pc aside from your interface. It is possible for you to to broadcast this audio by choosing an audio supply aside from your interface (ASIO) in OBS, then use the Voxengo Recorder to route your DAW audio to that very same OBS audio source. The steps of how to do that are shown under.

First, go into OBS ‘Desktop Audio Properties’ to select an obtainable audio system.

In this example, we’ve selected ASUS (NVIDIA Hi Def Audio), but any audio system aside from your default system or interface should work.

Now return to your DAW and open the Voxengo Recorder. On the Voxengo, set the “MME Device” to the identical gadget that you simply set in OBS.

Buffer Rely will decide the quantity of CPU load and latency that may happen. Latency isn’t a problem at this level within the signal chain, so growing the buffer measurement might be for one of the best. You will nevertheless want to add a man-made delay to your video source in OBS so as to keep A/V sync.

Make certain “Output” is modified from “File” to “MME”, and change the bit depth to 24-bit in order to match your default gadget.

As soon as your whole settings are in order, press “Start” to start sending a copy of your DAW audio to OBS. You will now lastly see the audio from your DAW as desktop audio levels in OBS.

This information has proven you ways to use your DAW audio while streaming, but you may still have many questions about how to get your broadcast software set up. Configuring your broadcast software will probably be totally different relying on the streaming platform you’ll be utilizing, and which broadcast software program you choose. We advocate broadcasting to Twitch.television using XSplit or OBS. Listed here are guides from Twitch’s blog for establishing OBS or XSplit.


Under are some widespread issues and how to fix them:

When I report a check video or stream, I hear an extra copy of my audio.

Your additional copy of audio is most probably coming from one among two places, either out of your mic/aux enter in OBS, or direct monitoring from your interface.

First, just remember to have your mic enter muted in OBS.

Your mics can be picked up as a “Desktop Audio” supply due to the Voxengo Recorder routing, so muting the mic input in OBS will be sure to’re not choosing up audio from a webcam mic or your pc’s built-in mic.

Alternatively, you might also hear a copy of your audio in case your interface’s direct monitoring is lively. Enabling/disabling direct monitoring might be totally different depending in your interface. Some interfaces may have a direct monitoring button or knob on the interface, whereas others might require going into your interface’s settings on your pc. For the under example utilizing a Focusrite Saffire, it’s essential to go into settings and set the “Monitor Output” to “DAW”.

As soon as I start streaming, I’m listening to crackles and pops in my audio (or my audio sometimes drops out).

This occurs each time your pc experiences an audio buffer underrun. This video explains the difficulty in a simple to understand approach. Underruns happen when your CPU just isn’t out there to receive an audio block, and this is widespread while broadcasting since streaming could be very demanding of your CPU. So as to repair this drawback, you will have to improve your audio buffer measurement (found in your interface’s settings “Reaper->Preferences/Device/Configure ASIO”).

Improve your buffer measurement one step at a time until the pops and crackles are not a drawback. [Note: the more tracks and effects that you’re using in your project, the harder your CPU will have to work. This means you may have no problems with a project containing one or two tracks, but a larger buffer might be needed for a project with many tracks and effects.]

More Assets

For extra detailed details about gear used for streaming reside music, take a look at our guides to Microphones, Audio Interfaces and Headphones.

To seek out out extra about numerous streaming platforms where you’ll be able to perform music on-line, take a look at our Comparability of Streaming Platforms.