OBS Studio Configuration for Online Instructors using macOS
OBS Studio is open source and free to use. But compared to some paid alternatives, it is not so straightforward to configure. I wanted to share with you how I have configured OBS so that you can have a starting point.
Step 1: Find your screen resolution
The first thing you need to figure out is your screen resolution. What I do is to take a full screenshot of the screen with Shift + Command + 3 and to check the properties of the file generated.
In my case, the screen resolution is 3360 x 2100.
Step 2: Calculate the output resolution
If you leave it as it is, but only need Full HD (1080p), recording at this size would be a waste of your hard disk space. I recommend reducing the resolution.
I have used an aspect ratio calculator to calculate the new dimensions.
I have decided on a with of 2256 as this allows me to do some zoom-ins while editing without losing quality.
If you don’t need zoom-ins and your target video dimensions are 1080p (1920x1080), then use 1920 as your new width.
Step 3: Configure the output resolution
Open the OBS Studio preferences and go to Video:
Enter your Base and Output values.
Step 4: Configure the output file
Open the OBS Studio preferences and go to Output. Click on the Recording tab, set the Output mode to Advanced and configure a few things:
- Recording format: mp4
- Check “Rescale output” and set the previously computed value.
On the same screen but on the lower part, you will find additional settings.
Here, probably the Bitrate is the most important configuration you need to do. A low bitrate means smaller files but also the quality of the video suffers. A high bitrate means a larger file (sometimes really huge) but also higher quality.
Try playing around with the settings until you find the optimal balance between the file size and the quality.
I am using a Blue Yeti mic for recording. While the quality is very good, I have also configured a few filters to help with removing the background noise. This works best if the environment where you are recording is already quiet.
Click on the gear icon near the sound and select Filters. Please note that any settings largely depend on your recording environment, voice, microphone and possibly other factors.
This will help remove background noise. This is relatively easy to configure and experiment with.
This will also help remove the background noise but it is harder to configure. What this does it that it will close the microphone when you are not saying anything. If not properly configured, this may also lead to parts of your voice being cut which makes the entire recording useless. So use with care.
OBS Studio is a very powerful software but it just needs a bit of extra configuration work. Take your time and play around until the recording matched your needs.