Another OBS experiment (a different song)

My gear was all still unpacked after last night’s Community Open Mic, so a good time to play a little more with my live recording setup, either for OMs or AVOYP play & sing recordings.

For those not interested in the details, and would rather just give the video a look & listen, I’ll save you the need to scroll past a wodge of sleep-inducing, head-spinning, techno-babble. For those interested scroll on down.

I’ve picked Wasted Sunsets by Deep Purple, a ballad off the Perfect Strangers album, as the song to play in this experiment. Still needs work to be ready for an OM as the error/flub rate is not quite there yet. Not too bad (I think) on this take.

For context my approach to this is to try and achieve as close to a Home Studio recording quality as I can without the need to make use of a DAW after recording. I want to just press record, do my thing, and drop the video into my video editor to trim the start and end plus add title and credits. It is not as simple and easy as just using a phone (which I do in the other room to record practice and looper fun with the electric) but still fairly straight forward once you get the hang of it.

The setup is as follows:
Vocal: Dynamic mic → TC Helicon Play Acoustic → Focusrite 2i2 ch2 → OBS
Guitar: Built-in pup → TC Helicon Play Acoustic → Focusrite 2i2 ch1 → OBS

I use the Play Acoustic to add fx such as reverb, delay, chorus, vocal doubling to the dry input. Plus the Play Acoustic includes TC Electronics Bodyrez pedal that helps improve overall tone quality from a guitar using just a piezo pickup, resulting in a sound that is closer to the natural acoustic sound of the instrument.

In OBS I setup to have a single audio source from the 2i2 ch2 for vocal and two audio sources from the 2i2 ch1 for the guitar. When setting the guitar inputs up, I select the stereo option and create a left and right source, making the left channel in the source the 2i2 input and the right mute for the left channel guitar input and the opposite for the right channel.

Previously I added an OBS filter to add a time adjustment delay on one of the channels. In this experiment I removed that and used the latency adjustment in the OBS Advanced Audio Properties.

Thereafter I played with the time delay on one and a reduced loudness on the other in order to create a sense of width. This is making use of what is termed the Haas Effect

Something I discovered was that I needed to record to hear the final sound. I thought I ought to be able to hear it through the headphones plugged into the 2i2 but even with Direct Monitor on the 2i2 set to off and the PC set to use the 2i2 for sound output that was not the case. If someone can help me out to be able to hear the OBS output without recording that would be great.

In the end I used the Direct Monitor on the 2i2 to hear the output of the Play Acoustic. I think it is helpful to hear one’s playing in that way, rather than just hearing your guitar and voice in the room.

Still need a little tweaking as the final audio level was +1.6dB in YT which means the YT system would apply some limiting to lower the audio to be within their normative loudness level. This is to be avoided as it will negatively impact the dynamics of your recording (assuming the recording does have a measure of variation between loudest and softest moments :laughing:)

Still not sure I have the settings just right but I think it is sounding OK.



That was a great cover sir ! Overall tone and balance is very good, I doubt there would be much too improve it.

Thank you for the comprehensive set up details, I needed to read that Haas Effect description as its been awhile since I last looked at the subject. The guitar is really coming through very warm and the tone is silky and I guess that part of the width effect. Same comment on the vocals, all sounding very good.

On the Nerd Stats, yes you are coming in a bit hot at +1.8 db, so no doubt YT will be reducing that to their ceiling level. Guess you want to loose about 5 or 6db and come in on the recommended -6db. I did not use it for the OM but following the predecessor to this recording, I looked at the OBS plugins and dropped a limiter on my ASIO AIC with a Threshold of - 6db.
Left the release as the default 60ms. The plan was to record the output from that set up and see how it stacked in YouTube. Never followed through, as I started to get camera glitches and sound loss, as I think another app had pirated the sound card ! Had to reboot and decide to re-establish my OM set up and not change anything else just in case !!

Now the OM is over, I’ll have a go at replicating what you have done, using PlayAcoustic for both inputs. I’ll then try and set up something similar with the Mustang’s stereo line our into the AI but one thing at a time.

What vox FX did you use in this one ? Was it stock or did you tweak it at all ? I want to tone down the verb for future project but not settled on an FX but your vocals came across really clear and strong with great resonance.

Apart from the db issues, I think you should bank the setup and stick with it !!



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I actually did read the whole post, David. lol.
I always enjoy your recording tones, but I agree this sounds a bit more natural perhaps than previously. Sounds extremely professional to me!

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Thanks Toby, appreciate that. Have to say I was enjoying myself, trying to sing and play with a bit more ‘let rip, express myself, and damn the clams’ attitude.

What a great musical weekend … this cover and production progress, the OM, and I dropped another crack at NYLSB in the Guitar Challenge. Will appreciate your comments on that one when you get time. I think a couple of the bends sound good my ear, and a couple I’d say were sharp.

I have a limiter on all three of the audio sources, but had it set at -3dB. May well be a good idea to bump that up, though a little nervous about using the limiter to tame the overall loudness. May be a better bet, from a dynamics perspective, to pull down the levels on each of the audio tracks by 3dB. Not sure how a reduction on all the inputs would combine to reduce the overall level.

What I haven’t seen in OBS is any equivalent of the Master bus in a DAW. Would be useful to stick a limiter on that as a final safety net.

I’d to get the PA out the cupboard and plugged in to give you specifics. I have built my own. The vox includes, a tight double, reverb, and delay. Can’t tell you which option and the settings on feedback and level.

No problem, I think I just need to experiment. Have created a few Favs but like most factory FX they need some fine tuning. But it also depends on the song.

Yes that would be helpful for sure. I am sure dropping all the AIC Limiter to -6 won’t harm. You can verify the output and fine tune. After all its a starting point. The individual track levels would be another way, that what I have done in the past before using ASIO AIC.

I’ll take Mr Green for a spin and let you know my thoughts. My have a noodle this evening but I normally take a day off following the OMs, just to draw breath and restock. Then decide what will be the coming weeks focus. All good stuff.


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Hi David,

Despite being a rocker at heart, Deep Purple were never a band I bothered with too much, so wasn’t familiar with this song. Checked out the original - has a nice undercurrent of darkness.

Nice, stripped down cover. I think your vocal pulls through that same “darkness”/melancholy.
The guitar sounds full - very nicely captured.



That was excellent David. Your let it rip approach really worked. Another great vocal and your guitar tone and playing were top drawer. Well done.
I listened on headphones and thought perhaps the vocal was a bit loud and overpowered the guitar. As you know, I’m an expert on balance. :joy:
On the subject of guitar do you realise you strum your guitar between the soundhole and the body/ neck joint? That will degrade the volume and your tone if you’re playing purely acoustically.


Thanks very much for taking the time to share your process David. I’ve copied it and printed it out.

Good job on your singing and playing. There’s a fuller tone, more texture and expression in your singing, guitar sounds comfortable and groovy and the performance has a presence all of it’s own. You’re steadily carving out a niche, I celebrate you for that David.


Great job, David. Love your smooth F barre and Dm chords. Jealous really.

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@TheMadman_tobyjenner Thanks Toby, I’ll keep that in mind for next time

@Digger72 Thanks Digger, appreciate the comment on the expressiveness of the vocal and quality of guitar tone recording.

The song comes from the first album made in the 80s, a reunion of the MkII classic lineup. Lots of emotions in play. The song Perfect Strangers also reflects some of that.

I figure you to be into heavier, harder, and darker rock than Purple. If I was forced to guess I’d imagine you to pick Sabbath from the Big 3.

@sairfingers Thanks Gordon, appreciate that. I value your expert opinion on balance and hear you, the vocal could have been a little softer. Good catch on where I am strumming. I see what you mean and will be mindful of that next time I am strumming away.

@batwoman Thanks Maggie. Always happy to share what I’ve learned and lend a hand if it will be of help as you crack on. Appreciate your feedback on the performance, always encouraging.

@sandy, Thanks Sandy, glad you enjoyed it. Every time I look at my E shape barre or the minor form of the A shape I am disturbed by the huge gap between pinky and ring fingers. So not yet exactly as it should be.

6 years playing barre chords since I started here and the one thing I brought with me from previous attempts in addition to the open chords was being able to play those barre chords.

You are well on your way, as I said in your latest AVOYP. Be gentle with yourself, you’ll get there soon enough.


Sounding good there David, it will be of use to me at some point in the (hopefully!) near future as I’m planning on adding an acoustic for some al fresco playing now we seem to have hit summer here in the UK!
Out of interest, what is the dynamic mic you’re using for the vocals?
Nice tune :slight_smile:


@Notter Thanks Mark, glad you enjoyed it.

The mic is an AKG D5 dynamic vocal mic. That mic does help to reduce bleed from the guitar into the vocal that allows one to add some fx onto the vocal and balance the live levels.

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That was great David I think your approach is great, simplicity for future recordings is what I like :wink:


That was excellent David. Very well played and sung. Sounded fantastic. I’m surprised @batwoman never commented on your head phones.


@adi_mrok Thanks Adrian. Worth getting the setup right to make these type of recordings as simple as possible.

@Socio Thanks James. That is good to hear. :rofl: yes, I have the same HPs with the coiled cable. Since I moved my electric out of the room I now hang the HPs up on the guitar hanger where the electric lived. I figure if I let that cable hang vertically it may prevent the hassles with the coiled cable getting all contorted.


@Socio I did take note James, particularly the devil’s spawn curly cable :grin: Since I replaced the ragged covering of the ear cups with lush velvet (thankyou very much @DarrellW for the tip) DS seems to be a little less devious and inventive in the ways it can derail me.

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Nicely done.
I agree with someone who said that your vocals were a a tad overwhelming the guitar. It was a close thing but maybe something to look at again.
Guitar sounded very sweet and natural.
I am now only beginning my journey into obs. I have been having trouble when I add filters etc. I don’t think my 2011 MacBook Pro has the grunt. CPU runs at 20 to 30%. Has 16GB ram but I am going to borrow (:sunglasses:) my good ladies new 2019 iMac and set that up with obs. I am currently recording my videos on the iPad Pro using Focusrite IMPACT App. Gives some basic fx in combo with my Fishman Loudbox Artist mixed DI out into the scarlet 2i2 channel 1.
Great cover.

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Thanks for taking a listen and providing feedback, Ron; appreciate the encouragement.

I agree with the assessment on the guitar-vocal balance. I reached a point where the window was closing to make more takes and upload, so I settled on a reasonable take and a balance that I had a feeling might still not be quite there yet. The overall recording was also about 3dB too loud.

Don’t know what the Focusrite IMPACT app is. 20-30% doesn’t sound too bad to me on the CPU, maybe it is memory. I know when working in my DAW I had CPU and memory issues at times when working on a big multi-track with lots of intensive plugins before we upgraded our PC. But the usage was way up in the red zone. Worth trying a better machine as a next step.


This has to be the best sounding OBS involved recordings I have heard to date. I think at one point Mari did a song that was close to this sound wise. I would have to compare the two to come up with the top dog.

I have to do some thinking and if I get time will look into your monitoring issue. However, even if you can do it as you want to. I wonder if latency might make it a bit unusable?

Good stuff and great job of dialing in your pedal and OBS!

All the best,


Thanks for the listen and feedback, LBro. High praise indeed though I shy away from anything I produce being labelled ‘the best’.

The tones and Haas Effect is in the sweet spot now, working well for a play and sing using the PlayAcoustic. I agree with some of the comments that perhaps the vox is a wee bit heavy and the overall is a little too loud.

I may also experiment with adding some of the harmony fx on the PlayAcoustic again.

As for the monitoring, latency may be a problem. I did struggle a little when I was recording an audio track into Reaper, while making a video of my play in OBS when playing over backing from Reaper. If I figured out how to monitor the output of OBS rather than the input, perhaps in this simple case latency would not be a problem.