best audio quality for streaming (1 Viewer)

taubstumm

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hola pricks. been a while.

have any of you done any live-stream music stuff in the pandemic times? any hot takes on what’s best or worst for audio quality? like can i just go with youtube and it’ll be grand as long as the audio is going through soundcard and the like? or are any other ones better? twitch or discord or whatever else?

i did a live-soundtrack thing via zoom recently and the sound was constantly getting punched in the balls by the zoom audio defaults, so I’m trying to figure out how to switch it all up next time around

thanks ☁️
 

ann post

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I've not really done any of this but i've a notion people are using stuff like obs and porting from that to whatever interface. Youtube makes shit of everything - even hq is often substandard mp3 level sampling, zoom caps around 8k (40% of sound spectrum) - best would be to rip audio from a few different platforms and throw them in a spectral analyser. Internet audio is shit in general.
 

pete

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yeah i think OBS is the standard. afaik youtube lets you stream video at up to ~50,000kbps for 4k @ 60fps, but audio is 44.1 KHz/128Kbps stereo
 

shitepipe

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Keep in mind any copyright policies that they platform may have, youtube and to a lesser extent Twitch shuts down plenty of live broadcasts, even if it is original music played live (they will unlock the stream again but you are at their mercy in terms of time). Vimeo also do a livestream option and I don't think have the same strict copyright monitoring.. Mixcloud too...
I am guessing most of the major streaming platforms will have similar limits on audio quality which probably tops out at 44.1 KHz/128Kbps as mentioned previously. Let us know what you opt for, am also looking into setting one up soon for some live shows
 

taubstumm

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an update

it’s pretty fiddly to actually get this all working.

the basic audio setup I have is one semi-decent mic (AKG C1000S), in front of the amp, going into a semi-decent soundcard box (focusrite 2i2). the card goes into macbook pro.

the simple option is: youtube. you need to wait 24 hours to have live streaming enabled on the account, but then it all just works in the browser. chrome-only, though. however, the sound quality is pretty terrible. maybe fine for unboxing videos or whatever, but pretty awful to actually try to play music.

the more complicated version: twitch.

you can’t really use twitch directly in the browser, you need to use some kind of external software. (or rather, there is an option to run it in the browser via another thing called lightstream, but I couldn’t figure out how to use that without having to sign up for a paid account).

the main streaming thing for twitch is twitch studio. but I’m running mac os 10.13. the twitch studio app only runs in 10.14+. but, confusingly, the twitch app (as opposed to the twitch studio app) runs fine on 10.13. but you apparently can’t stream from that. I suppose it’s just for watching other people’s streams or whatever the kids are up to.

so I installed OBS. again, there are seemingly two things, OBS and OBS streamlabs, again with two different supported versions of mac OS.

OBS is seriously clunky-looking, but then it’s open-source stuff for nerds that want to get fussy.

so I fiddled with it all and started streaming through OBS to a twitch account (to do this you need to connect one to the other with a token) and checked the stream. the sound was ok, but it was only coming out one channel. some searching online reveals that it often does this with mono inputs. so.... more searching in the OBS settings, and I got it more-or-less fixed with a stereo-to-mono option in the advanced audio settings. the sound quality is still not great, but better than youtube.

also in the middle of all this I tried to track down an ethernet-to-thunderbolt dongle (so I can connect straight to the router and not rely on wi-fi). but of course all thunderbolt dongles have been banished from the known universe because apple has gone all-in on USB-C. you can still order them online but they’re not in shops anymore. my fault for choosing the apple jail over the PC jail.

so far I feel like I’m still just getting my head around the basics, but hopefully this might be useful to someone. it’s a bit weird that twitch won’t just let you do this in the browser but I suppose their main user base is gamers, who... hate browsers or something. anyway, there’s my outline of the basics, thanks for coming to my ted talk
 

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