1-2 October 2020
HKI Jena
Europe/Berlin timezone

Guide: Recording your presentation

We recommend using Open Broadcaster Software ® (OBS) to record your presentations. OBS is a free and open source software package for recording your computer screen, including audio and your microphone. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
This guide will explain how to set up this program for the recording of your presentation for the IbSB 2020.

OBS will automatically save your video files into the default "Videos" folder. If you want, you can provide us with these unedited files by uploading them to Google Drive or similar services. Our organization team then will apply the necessary video editing.

To make editing easier for us, please create your recordings according to following checklist:

✓ We recommend to stop the current recording and start a new one if you want to pause the recording.
✓ If you make a mistake in your recording and want to make a repetition, please start a new recording. This makes the editing process more efficient.

✓ If you play videos with audio in your presentations, please ensure that the recorded audio levels of the videos are consistent with your microphone levels. See section 5) for a guide.

1) Downloading and installing the software

Please visit following site: https://obsproject.com/download and click the Download Installer
button. After downloading the file, double-click it to run the installer.

Windows: Please follow the instructions of the installer
Mac: A new window will open. Drag the OBS icon to your applications

2) Starting OBS and setting up the video output

After the installation you will find OBS Studio on your Desktop or in your Start Menu (Windows) or in your applications (Mac). Before you start your program, make sure that your microphone is plugged in.

Now start OBS Studio. You will need to do some initial configuration to set up the recording correctly. You will only need to do this once.

On the first start, you will see a screen that asks you if you want to run the “Auto-configuration Wizard”. Click Yes.  If you accidentally clicked “No”, you can start the wizard from the “Tools” menu.

OBS Studio can be used for recording and live streaming. The configuration tool will optimize the program for one of these uses. Select “Optimize for recording. I will not be streaming” to create recordings with the highest quality. Then click “Next”.

After the optimization, OBS will ask you about the size of the output video. In most cases, it is fine by default, but we recommend setting the “Base (Canvas) Resolution” to 1920x1080 (as shown in the figure). Click “Next” to continue.

This concludes the first part of the configuration. OBS will show you a summary of all settings that will be made. Please note that these settings depend on your computer’s hardware and might be different to the one showed in the figure. Click “Apply Settings”.

You should now see a screen that looks like the following figure. Please ensure that there are two entries in the “Audio Mixer” box: “Desktop Audio” and “Mic/Aux”.  If you are missing “Mic/Aux”, go to section 6) to manually add your microphone.

3) Setting up the recording

As you can see in the previous figure, there is a large black rectangle above the controls. This rectangle is a preview of what will be recorded to the video file. You must first tell OBS what to put into the recording. You can add many elements such as images, webcams, and more. First, record the desktop.

To do this, click the + icon in the “Sources” box. Then select “Display capture” (or similar).

This will open a new box where you can give the item a name. Click “OK”.

Then you will be able to select the screen to record. Select the display that will contain the presentation.

You will see that the preview area now shows the screen. If it only shows a part of the screen or the screen does not fill the whole box, you can freely move the image around. For example, we have 4k screens that have a way higher resolution than 1920x1080. We would then need to downscale the image as shown in the following figure. If your image is already good as is, you do not need to change anything here.

Drag the red corner knobs with your mouse and drag them to resize the screen. Fit it into the preview box, so there are no striped areas left. If the image is too large, you can drag it with your mouse like a rectangle in Office. You can also do the following: (i) Click the image, (ii) Right-click it, and (iii) Click Transform -> Fit to Screen

This concludes the basic setup of OBS. We have two tips:

  • You can also add a webcam via the + menu and add it to your screen
  • The Audio Mixer shows the current audio level inside the bars. Try to speak into your microphone and check if audio is detected. Play around with the volume sliders to keep Desktop Audio and Mic/Aux in balance (e.g. you want your videos to have a similar volume as your microphone)

4) Recording with OBS

To record with OBS, click “Start recording”. After you are finished, click “Stop recording”. Your video files will be automatically placed into the “Videos” directory. You can look up or change the directory via Settings -> Output -> Recording -> Recording path. See section 6) for the location of the Settings button.

5) Keeping the audio levels perfect

Many software tools like Zoom or Skype apply automated control over the microphone levels.  While such automated behavior is convenient, it often overcorrects and causes noise. OBS lets you set the audio levels manually via the audio mixer.

Ensure that your microphone and desktop audio reach approximately the lower yellow region (-20 to -15) when speaking or playing a video. Use the sliders to adapt the volume.

If your microphone is too quiet, you can boost it by clicking ⚙ and going to the “Advanced Audio properties”. Increase the “Volume” value for your microphone.

6) Trouble shooting: No microphone / no microphone audio

If you did not plug in your microphone during the first configuration phase, there will only be “Desktop Audio” in the audio mixer. “Desktop Audio” is the audio that currently plays on your computer (e.g. a video), but not your microphone. Even if you plugged in a microphone, sometimes the wrong audio card is detected. You can use the following settings to also switch to the correct input.

To add the microphone or change general audio settings, please plug in your microphone now and click “Settings” at the right-hand side. Go to “Audio” and then set the “Mic/Auxiliary Audio” setting to the microphone.