OBS Studio – Advanced Mic Settings (Noise Removal, Compressor, Noise Gate)


What is up guys! Welcome to the Gaming
Careers YouTube channel, my name is Pete and today we are going to be looking at
how to get that professional sound by playing around with some of the
microphone options in OBS Studio. If you are new here to the Gaming Careers
YouTube channel, please do have a look around at the other videos we’ve got.
We’ve got loads of different content all of it is based around helping you make a
profession out of your gaming passion through live-streaming and through
content creation on Twitch or on YouTube so definitely subscribe if you
haven’t already. There are four main settings that we’re going to be playing
around with in this video that OBS helps us change, all of them audio related so
the first one is the Compressor. The compressor helps reduce loud noises like
when you’re shouting or celebrating a special moment in your stream as well as
boosting the low noises such as when you’re whispering if you’re trying to be
sneaky in a gameplay moment. So it helps really just normalize all the different
volumes to make the sound profile more consistent. Secondly we’re going to be
looking at the gain filter which just helps change the gain of the actual
microphone, so if you need to boost it at all or reduce it this is how you do that.
Thirdly we’ll be looking at applying a noise gate, this is a filter that
basically cuts off your microphone when you’re not speaking and finally we’ll be
covering noise suppression which just helps reduce some of that background
noise, if you’ve got some fans running or you know air conditioning or something
like that, this will help reduce that noise within OBS. Audio as a whole is something
that often gets overlooked in a stream setup because everybody wants to work on
all the visual stuff but it’s actually really key to have a good audio setup.
Your stream viewers are really going to thank you for setting up your microphone
properly. We have in the past covered some external software such as voicemeeter which will help actually change the sound of your microphone, but this
video is more concentrated on the actual OBS sound settings that they’ve recently
released into the latest version of OBS studio and they’re going to help clean
up the sound that you have from your microphone rather than playing with the
actual EQ and the sound profile that your microphone gives. The final thing to
mention before we get started is this will work with your headset microphones or your cheap desktop microphones but you’re
going to get better results if you’re using a proper condenser mic even a
cheap one like the Blue Snowball or Blue Yeti. I’ll actually be setting up
my Blue Snowball through this video so you’re gonna be able to hear the
differences that each filter that I apply makes and if you want to check out
either of those microphones I have added links to them down in the description.
But it will work for every mic so follow along if you want to have cleaner sound,
let’s jump in! So here we are in OBS studio and right now I have no
microphone filters enabled so what you’re listening to is just the
completely raw input from my Blue Snowball microphone the reason that I’ve
done it like this is because you’re going to be able to hear the differences
in how I sound before and after I add each filter so it’s gonna really help
emphasize what’s changed in each setting. Just before we get started, if at any
point in this video you find out that you don’t have one of the filters that I
have in my version of OBS Studio please do make sure that you’re checking that
you have the latest version of OBS studio you can do that by heading up to
the Help ->checking for updates. Secondly I’m assuming that at this point
you have your microphone setup in OBS studio and that you see this little
green bar here moving with your voice if you can’t then it’s likely that you
haven’t got the right microphone selected so if you come down to the
little settings cog here, click that and select properties. You can then select
the correct device from all the list of devices that Windows has detected. For me
I’m using my blue snowball microphone and that shows up as microphone USB
audio class la blah blah blah. So I’ve selected that one and I can see
my microphone picking up the sound of my voice. You can also do some quick
adjusting of the level of your microphone by dragging this slider here
so if I drag it to the left I will get quieter and quieter and quieter if I
drag it back to the right I’ll be getting louder so you can do some quick
adjustments there but you can actually boost your microphone if you need more
than this slider and we’ll be looking at doing that a little later with the gain
filter. Now once your microphone is set up and you can see this green bar moving
with the sound of your voice we are ready to make our microphones
sound a little bit better with some filters. Now even though in the intro I
said that we were going to start with the compressor I actually now think it
makes more sense to start with the noise suppression. So what noise suppression
does is it helps to eliminate the mild background noise that your microphone
might be picking up, it’s not really that effective at removing large amounts of
background noise so you can’t be you know in a loud room with lots of other
people talking and shouting and it will remove that. It’s more for removing out
you know computer fan noise or maybe some street noise from outside your
window things like that. So if I am now completely silent you might be able to
hear some of the fan noise from my computer and the aim with the first
filter that we’re going to be adding is to remove that. So to add our first
filter we’re gonna click on the little cog again next to our microphone, select
filters and a new window should pop up. Now the new windows currently blank
because we have no audio filter setup so to add our first filter we can click the
little plus icon here and select noise suppression. We can now name our filter
if we wish to but I think it’s pretty well named as it is so I’m going to
leave mine as noise suppression and as soon as I click the ok button here,
you’re gonna be able to hear a difference in my microphone straightaway
because it’s going to be applying the default noise suppression, the noise
suppression levels that it has is the default settings, so if you listen
carefully you should hopefully be able to hear the background noise
disappearing when I press ok. I’m gonna be quiet so that you can hear the
current level of noise and then once I press ok you should hear that noise gone. Hopefully that was a clear enough
difference and you can now hear that a lot of the background noise from my
microphone has been removed it will definitely be more obvious if you have
you know more noise in the background I don’t actually have that much but you
should still have been able to hear the difference. Now the level that is applied
by default is -30 decibels, this is a little bit too much for me but what
you need to do is maybe start a recording in OBS like I am doing right now and
play around with the levels here and make sure that you’re cutting out all of
that background noise when you listen back to the recording. For me
-30 is a little bit too much so I’m going to change mine to -20. Right that’s noise suppression done so the next filter
we’re going to be setting up is the noise gate, now a noise gate this helps
by making your microphone completely silent when you don’t speak so
absolutely no signal gets through when you aren’t speaking. Now this might sound
similar to noise suppression but it’s a useful setting to have as it completely
shuts off your microphone when the level goes below a set amount and then it re-enables the microphone when a certain level is reached again, this allows for
complete silence when you aren’t speaking. To add a noise gate we’ll go to
the plus icon again and select noise gate. Now when I hit OK the noise gate
will be applied and you might hear some differences in my voice but the real
thing that we want to be able to do is to look at our levels in OBS I’m going
to click OK and then I’m going to move the window up so I can actually see the
microphone levels that OBS is receiving. The first two settings are closed
threshold and open threshold so what we’re going to be doing here is playing
around with these settings and we want to be looking down here at this green
bar to make sure our microphone is turning on and off when it should be.
Closed threshold, the first setting this is a level in decibels at which your
microphone will mute itself at. If the audio level is below this threshold your
microphone will be muted. And the open threshold this is the exact opposite, so
this is the level in decibels at which your microphone will be unmuted. So if
your audio level is above this threshold your microphone will be unmuted. What you
want to be doing now is to test your settings by speaking into your
microphone for a few words and then being completely silent for a few
seconds and what you want to try and achieve is that when you speak the
microphone levels down here goes green and when you’re silent the microphone
levels completely die out to absolutely zero and you’re going to need to play
around with these settings the closed threshold and open threshold until you
can achieve that. For absolute best results what we want to be doing is
setting a closed threshold above the noise volume and an open threshold
just slightly below the voice level of your voice when you’re speaking into
your mic. If you are finding that your microphone isn’t picking up when you are
talking then what you’re going to need to do is reduce the open threshold until
it does. If you are however finding that your microphone isn’t going silent when
you stop speaking then what you’re going to need to do is increase the closed
threshold. Keep playing around with these two settings until you get the exact
levels in which you need to, so maybe try speaking at the level that you live
stream at and for me the defaults are actually pretty decent so I’m going to
leave these as they are but that’s quite unique you’re probably going to need to
play around with these two levels until you get something that definitely picks
up when you do start speaking and definitely shuts down when you do stop speaking. The
last three settings here are attack time, hold time and release time all of which
are measured in milliseconds. Now attack time this is the amount of
time needed for a noise to be active to start activating the microphone. Hold time
is the amount of time that the microphone will stay active after you
stop speaking but don’t set this to shore or your microphone will be trying
to turn off in between words, which obviously sounds pretty
rubbish. Finally the release time this is the amount of time that it takes for the
OBS filter to actually turn off your microphone, so it won’t turn off
instantly it likes to do it over a certain amount of milliseconds which
sounds much more natural. Normally the default settings for these three are
absolutely fine but you feel free to change them if you do need to. Great so
hopefully you agree that my microphone is already sounding quite a lot better
and the next thing that we’re going to be adding is a compressor. Now a
compressor is a really useful tool for live streamers as what it does is it
helps with those situations when you’re really loud maybe you’ve got an exciting
moment in your game and you’ve screamed out in joy. What the compressor will do is
automatically turn down the input volume so that it hopefully doesn’t peak,
doesn’t distort and the volume can then be turned back to normal when you’ve
stopped making such a loud noise. So to add a compressor we’re going to do the
exact same as we have done so far, go down to the plus icon, click compressor
and name it whatever you’d like. Now like most of the audio settings in this
guide the settings that you apply here for the compressor are going to
completely depend on you know how your voice sounds, how loud your voice is, what
microphone you’re using, what acoustics you’re in, what your room shape is, all
these kind of things so these settings really are going to be completely unique
to you and I’m afraid there is no way for me to share the best settings. What
you’re going to need to do is play around with them and get something that
sounds good for your stream. I will however explain now what each of these
settings does so you can adjust them as you see fit. The first setting is the
ratio and this is the amount of compression to apply, so this is default
set to 10 but if I set this to say 2, this would mean that when the compressor
kicks in it will reduce the amount of noise, the amount of volume
coming from your microphone by half, if you set this to 4 that’s going to be
twice as much compression so it’s going to compress it by even more than that so
2 is a very low setting, 10 is quite a high setting but you need to set this to
whatever ratio you want the compressor to compress your voice by when it is
enabled. The threshold in decibels this is the threshold at which the compressor
will kick in, so this really does need you to fiddle around
with the setting and choose something that you need the compressor to kick in
at. So if this is you know -18 decibels like it’s default is or maybe that is much
too high of a level and you actually want it to kick in a lower level or you
know it’s a higher number of decibels for us because it’s negative but a lower
level like -30, you need to play around with this setting and choose
something when you want the compressor to kick in at. The attack is how quickly
in milliseconds you want the compressor to kick in when it does detect that high
volume. And the release is how quickly in milliseconds you want the compressor
volume to return back to normal once the loud volumes have calmed down. The output
gain finally this is just simply a gain we’re going to be looking at adding a
gain filter anyway in the next step, you can leave this at default and I’ll be
showing you how to add a gain filter if you need one in the next filter. As with
before I do recommend playing around with these settings here whilst doing a
recording of yourself in OBS so you can hear what your microphone sounds like
with certain different settings here for the compressor. Try raising your
voice a few times like you might do when you’re live streaming and see at which
point you want the compressor to be kicking in at and this might feel a bit
fiddly and require you know a little bit of time to get right but you know you
only need to set it at once and once that has set up you have a clean
software compressor in OBS for all of your future streams. The final super
quick filter that we’re going to add is a gain filter and this is just purely a
way to be able to boost or reduce your microphones volume, it’s as simple as
that. All we have to do is click the plus icon, select gain, name it whatever we
would like and then here we can set a boost volume or a reduction in volume if
we need to so obviously if your microphone is super quiet and you need
to add a boost here that is how you do it. Once you’re happy with all your
settings you can just click close and again if you want to go back into any of
your microphone filters you just click the cog icon and then hit filters and
all four of them are there for you to play around with again. Hopefully by this
point you now have a great sounding audio setup through OBS studio and your
stream viewers are hopefully going to really thank you for less background
noise and just a better sounding setup. If you’ve got to this point in the video
and you have found it helpful please do give us a thumbs up that really does
help us out with the YouTube sharing our video all over the platform
and if this is your first time at the Gaming Careers YouTube channel please do
have a look round of all the other videos that we’ve got loads of things on
sound and visual all to do with setting up your live stream and content creation
on YouTube and Twitch so if you are new here and you’ve had a look around please
do consider subscribing and subscribers I’ll see you in the next video. Peace!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *