Open Mic Tech Talk - For Advanced Users : How to connect your DAW to OBS and send audio and video to Zoom

Following Open Mic 4, back in October '21, there was some discussion about being able to use your Digital Audio Workstation or DAW to provide input into Zoom and therefore be able to “mix” your performance and stream that live into the Open Mic Zoom “meeting” or just to record your own video. Well, it is possible, using OBS (Open Broadcast Software) as an interface between the DAW and Zoom but also means that you can stream your OBS video feed into Zoom and so opening up a world of both audio and video enhancements.

The following guide is a simple step by step explanation of how to set the connections up on Windows and any additional software or drivers that are needed (all free).

I have also recorded a video, which turned into a “how to” instead of just a visual reference as planned. I have used Reaper as the DAW of choice but the instructions apply to any DAW as the “software” is cross application.

But at a high level the chain is :

mic/gtr → DAW → master track → OBS → OBS Video → Zoom + Audience
DAW Audio →

and of course, you could add pre-recorded backing in the DAW for that “band” experience.

Beware long semi technical post and 30 minute video

Connecting Reaper/DAW to OBS to Zoom using Windows 10 (but should apply to all OS).

This is not at tutorial on the above applications and assumes you are familiar with all 3 and the standard operational controls and settings when used in standalone mode. This is just a step-by-step guide, to what needs to be downloaded and what needs to be done on each application.

1. Downloads – choose the right version for your operating system.

This will include the plug-in Reastream, which will allow Reaper and OBS to communicate.
These plug-ins are standalone and can be used on any DAW, so if you are not using Reaper, you can still use Reastream-standalone to connect your DAW to OBS.

Care when the driver is installed “Cable Input (VB Audio Virtual Cable)” will be set as you default device for playback and recording. Open the Sounds/Manager Audio Device menu in Windows Settings and ensure Cable Input is in a Ready state but not the default device.

For Recording select your Audio Interface and for Playback select your system speakers/headphones or Audio Interface if using its headphones for monitoring.

After installing the VB Audio Virtual Cable driver, you may need to reboot your system. So, reboot it anyway.

  • OBS Virtual Camera plug-in, which will send the OBS video capture to Zoom.

OBS Virtual Cam Download
or visit OBS Studio Plugins | OBS Forums

2. Reaper/DAW

In Reaper or your DAW load an existing project or start a new one with a track(s) to monitor your audio input as you would do normally. Make sure a track is added and armed (ready for recording) for your mic input or for each instrument you are playing live.

On your Master Track (Reaper) or final output channel on other DAWs add the Reastream vst plug-in from the FX menu/window.

In the dialogue box, the identifier will be named “default” and must be set to enabled.
You could change the name from default but the matching plugin in OBS MUST have the same name.

Select Send Audio Midi IP and from the dropdown box select *local broadcast.

Double check your Reaper/DAW Audio Device Setting in Preferences and ensure your AI is declared for both input and output. This assumes you are declaring your AI as an ASIO device for minimal latency.

3. OBS - Audio Input from Reaper/DAW.

To an existing scene (the one you will use to be seen in Zoom, like your main webcam scene) add a new Audio Input Capture device (AIC) in Sources to receive audio from Reaper/DAW and name it appropriately. e.g. you could call it DAW or Reaper.

Double click or right click and select Properties and select your webcam mic as the device or any Audio Input device mic that you are not using in this Scene or “project”.

Next right click on the new AIC select Filters.
Use the + (plus) button and select VST 2.x Plug-in and from the dropdown menu select Reastream-standalone.

OBS will see all the plug-ins in your VST folder, so if you have a lot like me Reastream-standalone will be down the bottom somewhere.

Then in the box below select Open Plug-in Interface.

This will show a box the same as in Reaper/DAW.

Make sure the identifier name matches the name in Reaper/DAW - if you left it as Default, it will be ok.

In OBS this should be set to Receive Audio/Midi.

Note : If you plan to send multiple OBS scenes to Zoom, each one most have the Reaper/DAW AIC source added.

In the OBS Audio Mixer select any of the settings cogs, then select Advanced Audio Properties.

Audio Monitoring should set to Monitor off for all devices except your Reaper/DAW audio input which should be set to Monitor and Output.

4. OBS Audio and Video Output To Zoom

Open settings in OBS and select Audio.
Go to Advanced and in the Monitoring Device dropdown select Cable Input (VB Audio Virtual Cable).
Exit settings.
On the OBS control panel select Start Virtual Camera.

5. Zoom – Audio and Video Input from OBS/Reaper

In Zoom open settings.
In Video for Camera select OBS Virtual Camera
In Audio set Speakers to your Audio Interface
In Audio for Microphone set to CABLE Output (VB Audio Virtual Cable)

And that is it but some things to be aware of.

• If Zoom is just showing the OBS logo and not your video feed, start OBS virtual camera.

• If you lose Reaper/DAW sound, especially your AI input.
Check the Reaper/DAW Audio settings and make sure the AI is still visible for Input and Output.
If not shutdown OBS and Zoom and then refresh Reaper/DAW audio preferences.
You may need to toggle between Audio Systems before ASIO picks up the AI for Input and Output.
Once reconnected test your audio in Reaper.
Then fire up OBS. You should not need to change anything but select the Audio Input Device you set up for Reaper bring up the filter and open the plug-in interface to verify Reastream-standalone in OBS is receiving sound by playing the project or input via guitar/mic. Although you should also see this via the OBS Audio Mixer for the same AIC. If all is good, refire Zoom and enter meeting. Don’t forget to start OBS virtual camera.

• If audio interference occurs (echos, feedback etc) it is most likely due to another mic being open on the system. Check Windows Sound Device Manager
For Playback all devices should be disabled apart from :
Speakers (set as default), Your Audio Interface (status Ready) Cable Input (status Ready)
For Recording all devices should be disabled apart from :
Your AI (set as default), Cable Output (status Ready), Webcam Microphone (Status Ready)

Please note in the video I state that the Zoom Audio Speaker setting, should be set to you system speakers, which I later discovered was incorrect. That was amended in the instructions above and suitable advisory text added to the video. Apologies in advance.

Enjoy

Cheers

Toby
:sunglasses:

6 Likes

OK think I am happy with that and keeping it simple ie no fancy graphics.
Not sure about bullet points in download section. May change.
Bold text left as per original, to highlight key elements.

@Majik - Keith not sure you were around when this was originally posted. But I referenced you as a subject matter expert and if you said to do owt different, then for folks to do it !! If anything jumps out as wrong please advise. David used this set up for the last OM but I am now using dual virtual cables to send Zoom video and audio back to OBS. The plan was to post another guide for that in the future and not muddy the water noe. Critique welcome, as this has been culled from a number of YT vids that all seem to miss or gloss over salient points.
All I know is it works…

The only thing that springs to mind is, why do you need the DAW. OBS has a mixer in it.

Cheers,

Keith

Did not know that (in the true sense of a DAW style mixer) but I knew it supported VST plug-ins. So I guess I’d have to ask would that include, say Waves plugins ?

Well, it’s a mixer: it lets you set the relative levels of different audio inputs.

Are they VSTs? If so, I don’t see why not.

I don’t have the Waves plugins to try, but I just tried and I could insert my AVA Vocal Flow plugin without any issues.

Cheers,

Keith

I’ll stick with Reaper. The Waves plugins are accessed via some form of shell.dll. Reaper accesses them via the various release versions of the shell. Just tried adding one to OBS and it went pop ! Fortunately it restarted ok !

This might be of interest:

Cheers,

Keith

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Pretend you’re talking to a tech n00b here folks … someone who has not used plugins at all, OBS never ,and Reaper about five times.

If I send my audio interface into a computer just as is - no effects on the vocal - will plugins and OBS allow me to add vocal effects for a live performance situation such as our Open Mic events?

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Yes for sure using Reaper on any other DAW.

Just like when you are recording you would set a track or tracks for the AI input, say one for vox, one for GTR and add FX as normal (Reverb, Chorus, Delay etc) . All that happens is the Reastream plugin on the Master Track sends it to OBS and on to Zoom.

I can’t speak for adding FX into OBS…yet, I will look at the video Keith posted at the end of the Fingerstyle stuff I am watching at the moment.

Keith may have a better idea but Reaper or any other DAW yes. Just like a normal recording project. Does that help Richard ?

Normal VST plugins, yes. No Reaper or other DAW required.

The Waves plugins are different and need some hoops jumping through, either by using a DAW as a plugin host, or by following the instructions in that video I posted.

Ideally, @Richard_close2u avoid the Waves plugins altogether if you want an easy life.

Cheers,

Keith

OK Freight Train Tutorial next.
Then - Using Waves plug-ins on OBS
Then - Using audio plug-ins in OBS https://blog.accusonus.com/using-audio-plug-ins-vst-obs-studio-105/

Beats FreeSat any day of the week !

May be some time. Keith btw I am not just using Waves products in Reaper, just used that as an example.

Yes, but it’s only Waves products that don’t seem to work in OBS.

Which is why I suggested to Richard that he avoids them, so he can keep his setup simple.

Cheers,

Keith

Keith checking out that Waves video now, playing tuts done for tonight.
Just pondering but do we need to split off into a different topic Using Audio Plugins in OBS. Seems to be drifting from the original post but hey while were testing, no harm no foul.

Lets see where it goes.

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Right Ok, well that is pretty painless, if I need to go that route. And takes me back to why use a DAW.

Any mixing with plugins on OBS will be on a combined track ie Vox/Gtrs as far as I can see, they are not separate inputs - correct me if I am wrong. Therefore if that is the case you are Mastering the output, one could say.

On the DAW side. My input - see screenshot.
1 Track Vocals (Dynamic mic)
2 Tracks GTR L & GTR R - these are the Stereo Line Outs from the Mustang
3 Studio Mic (Condenser) for audience participation.

So in Reaper I can add VOX FX in track 1 and GTR FX on track 2 and 3. I can make the GTR tracks sound different, as if two GTRs. I put a Comp on the Studio mic in case I got too giddy!
So effectively set up like a normal recording project, use rehearsal to get desired a sound and balance levels. Rehearsals can be recorded in the DAW and FX adjusted without having to constantly replay the set. Once happy leave as is. All set up ready to go.
Edit - delete any recordings once adjustments finalised or learn to mime !

If I can do all that in OBS across the 3 inputs, the DAW would be redundant. If not that is why its DAW-> OBS->Zoom.

Now off to check this out https://blog.accusonus.com/using-audio-plug-ins-vst-obs-studio-105/

Oh I forgot to add and one of my original drivers to go this route. Add backing track to DAW, eg Drums, Bass, Keys, to play along with on the night.

No, they would be separate inputs. You just add an audio source for each input, and you get a separate mixer strip, and separate plugins for each one.

Well, that’s a good point, but you should just be able to pipe them into OBS separately, and you can do that with any audio source, so it doesn’t have to be something in the DAW.

I suspect, for you, now you’ve gone to the trouble of refining this particular setup, especially with the Wave plugins which seem to be problematic for OBS, there’s probably not a good reason to change it.

But for most other people, I would recommend just using OBS as a far simpler way of achieving mostly the same result.

Cheers,

Keith

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OK that certainly makes sense. Yet to look at the link I posted, as someone announced we were having a party and the gate crashers are here. So doing some meet and greet,

Given all you have said, I think a separate Topic relating to “mixing” and audio plugins in OBS may be valuable, as I can see it getting lost here, given the original heading. And I would suspect once folk have read the set up guide, they’ll will have either bricked it or just gone down the route without following the whole thread.

You have made some really useful points and added some insight which I am sure a lot of folk will not be aware of. So an alternative option to taking the DAW route would be useful to the wider community.

Always good to flush out these issues and learn a little more about the world.

Cheers

Toby
:sunglasses:

2 Likes

Glad you’ve taken the time to migrate this Toby. It’s good info. Thankyou. You’re much more useful than a chocolate teapot. :rofl: not that I ever thought you were one. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Thank you Maggie, any questions on setting it up, if you take this route, you know where to find me.:sunglasses:

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Lots of useful information here … thanks @tobyjenner @Majik

All that aside, let’s be clear that for joining the Community OM in Zoom, simply using a mobile phone as the video and audio source is 100% fine. I’d hate somebody to read all this, go into a tail spin, and become put off joining the OM.

@Majik I’m a little curious as to how I would use my 2 channel AI (Audio Interface) to provide two separate input channels to OBS in order to be able to apply different fx in OBS. Apologies if I missed that. Spelling that out may help @Richard_close2u to achieve his desire to just add some basic fx to his live, streamed sound. He is using a Focusrite solo. When I feed audio from my AI using the ASIO driver into OBS it is a single input source.