How to live stream?

Hey gang, I was wondering what software would I need to stream a generative patch or performance live?

Nothing instructional or anything like @Omri_Cohen does (not yet anyway), so not sure I need to stream a camera and mic and all that, I just want to start a generative patch and let it play for a few hours.

I already have loopback to route the sound where I need it, but I guess I need some software between rack and youtube?

Thanks so much. I did some searching around but live streaming posts are all about past live streams people are posting, so if I missed this question/answer somewhere, sorry about that.


I use OBS

Hi Heath!

Yeah, OBS should work fine for you. You can send your audio to it, capture the VCV screen, and then stream it to YouTube.

do you go directly to youtube, or stream via something like Streamlabs (using OBS) ?

Ive used OBS directly before, but heard a lot of streamers being keen on streamlabs.

No, I go directly to YouTube. I heard about Streamlabs though, I will check it out.

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Thanks everyone!

hmmmm… as soon as I try to go live, VCV Rack spikes it’s CPU usage… check it out, I only streamed about a minute on a second attempt in hopes maybe I could get some feedback… is there something I’m doing wrong? Or maybe it’s just my Mac can’t handle it? - VCV Rack 2 Generative Patch Livestream #1 - YouTube

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019) Processor 2.6 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7 Memory 16 GB 2400 MHz DDR4 Graphics Radeon Pro 555X 4 GB

could this have to do with engine settings? I had it set to 1 thread

I’ve only done it once a few days ago, but +1 for OBS. It nicely served the purpose.

Also, I don’t have this problem when recording vcv rack with screenflow

hard to say (esp in dark mode :wink: ) but sounds to me like some kind of re-sampling issue given the way the audio goes… (if its resampling this might also push up cpu)

perhaps check that OBS is using same sample rate as vcv… so lock it all to 48k. also check the buffer sizes, perhaps give it a bit more to give some headroom for delays.

OBS does take quite a bit of resources… one thing to check is the encoder, perhaps do a search for best settings for your machine.

another thing I would do is try to test with something other than vcv e.g. a DAW, just to get a feeling if its vcv related or not (it may well not be)

Thanks for the leads… when you say buffer size, is that something in VCV rack or you mean in OBS?

When I first started streaming, I was told that Macs are notoriously bad at streaming. I have an iMac with similar specs to your MBP except I have the 3.1 processor. I’ve never been able to stream with OBS for some reason but I have streamed quite a bit on Twitch with Streamlabs OBS. Try Streamlabs and see if you get better results. There’s so much more going on with streaming than I ever realized. It’s way more intensive than even just screensharing on Zoom or whatever.

the buffer size is set on the audio module in vcv rack (on the larger ones its on the front panel, or the Audio 2, its on the menu)

how are you using loopback? what I do, is I create a specific loopback device … then I target that from VCV Rack (audio module) then you can add that as an audio source inside OBS. (whilst you can capture the audio from an application, I suspect writing directly to the audio device is a more efficient route … or at least I find it more useful, since easier to control monitoring etc.)

also bare in mind the stream/video settings in OBS can have a large impact on the processing you are expecting to happen… I seem to remember there are YouTube videos on how to optimise all of this, based on what your max streaming rate is possible etc.

its a while since I set it all up, I know it was a bit fiddly, and OBS is a bit buggy (or was when I last used it) but it’ll get you there…

(my Internet is so poor these days, Ive not tried it for a while, so not sure if OBS is better/worst that it was :wink: )