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How To Record Livestreams With Streamlabs OBS

After you’ve streamed a few times, you might be interested in recording your streams to post on YouTube and Twitch, or archive them for safekeeping. Luckily, Streamlabs OBS makes it super easy to record and stream simultaneously. All you have to do is hit the “Rec” button in the bottom right, next to “Go Live.”

But, to do it right, you’ll need to make sure you’re recording at the highest quality possible, and this requires a bit of extra setup. First, read How To Use Streamlabs OBS To Create Next-Level Videos and Livestreams for some basic setup tips like selecting your input sources, choosing the right audio and video settings, using the mixer and choosing a theme.

Ready to learn how to record with Streamlabs? Read on to learn which settings to use to get the best results.

The Output settings menu is the key to setting up Streamlabs OBS for recording.

BEST SETTINGS FOR RECORDING IN STREAMLABS

Most of the key settings for recording in Streamlabs can be found in the Advanced Output Settings menu. Click the gear icon in the lower right to open Settings, select “Output,” and switch the Output Mode to “Advanced.” Then, reference the list below to make sure you’ve got the right settings for recording.

  • Set your recording path. This setting determines where your recorded files will end up. Choose your destination carefully, so you don’t have to go hunting through your hard drive to find them later. Under the Recording tab, click “Browse” and navigate to the folder where you want to save your recordings.
  • Choose your recording format. Just below the Recording Path setting, you can choose a format for your videos. We recommend using mp4 for high-quality recordings.
  • Select a video encoder. This setting determines whether Streamlabs will use your CPU or a dedicated video card to encode video for streaming and recording. You’ll need to set this in two places: the Streaming tab and the Recording tab. If you have a dedicated video card, select it from the list (AMD and NVENC are two common examples). If your computer uses built-in CPU-based graphics, choose “Software (x264).” 
  • Record audio onto separate tracks. While Streamlabs lets you easily adjust your mic volume, gameplay audio and other sources during your stream, you’ll probably want to have full control of these elements when you edit your recording. Under the Recording tab, check the boxes for all the tracks you wish to record (Streamlabs allows up to six). Then, click on the gear icon in the Audio Mixer to enter Advanced Audio Settings and assign each audio source to its own discrete track. 
  • Use Selective Recording. Selective Recording is a handy feature in Streamlabs OBS that lets you choose which sources appear on your stream and recording outputs, giving you the freedom to do things like remove your chat overlay from your recordings. First, click the “Toggle Selective Recording” icon above the Sources box. You’ll see a new icon appear next to each source—click this to choose whether a given source gets streamed, recorded, or both.

Once you’ve got everything set up, record a test stream to make sure your computer can handle the task of simultaneously streaming and recording. If you’re a game streamer, choose a processing-intensive game to test the limits of your system. Stream for at least 15 minutes and check the Performance Metrics in Streamlabs or your operating system to monitor your CPU, GPU and memory usage. If any of those stats get close to 100%, you may need to settle for slightly lower recording quality settings to ease the burden on your computer. 

When you’re done, import your test recording into a video editor like Descript to make sure the quality is good and all of your audio tracks sound clean. Now that you’ve learned how to record a livestream, you’re all set to go live and record the real thing!