Reading time: 3 minutes

This is a quick rundown of how to set up a Twitch livestream for DJing. There's a lot of steps, but they're all quick because most of them are simply checking boxes.

It takes ~5 minutes to do everything, but I strongly recommended doing your first set-up at least a few days before your first public broadcast. This gives you time to solve bugs and pick up anything you need (cables, sound capture device, camera).

Let's jump in!

 

Prerequisites

  • Laptop or PC with:
    1. webcam
    2. stereo audio input
      • sound card or
      • DJ controller with sound input*
    3. OBS Software (obsproject.com) - available on Windows/Mac/Linux
  • A personal Twitch account (twitch.tv)

 

One-time setup

Start with setting up OBS. Open the app and select the Scene. Next:

  1. Click Sources tab (below)
  2. Add video source:
    1. Click the plus button in the bottom left corner and choose Display Capture
      1. Select your video Device (your webcam)
      2. Change your preset to 1920 x 1080 (or 1280 x 720 if you can't do 1080p)
      3. Click OK
    2. you should now see the video in the OBS window
    3. move or scale your video image in the window so it fills the window
  3. Add audio source:
    1. plug your music source into the sound card or DJ controller
    2. play music (let it run until you’re done setting up)
    3. Click the plus button and choose Audio Input Capture
      1. select your audio Device
      2. Click OK
    4. you should see the audio levels moving in the Audio Mixer window
    5. adjust your input levels so you’re not maxing out the audio
  4. Optional:
    • You can add more cameras or an app window as video, but test your stream to see if your computer can handle multiple video inputs at the same time

Let's set up your stream:

  1. Log in to Twitch in your default browser
  2. Click Settings in OBS to open the Settings menu
  3. Select Stream in the left menu
    1. Select Twitch as your Service
    2. Leave Server settings as Auto
    3. Click the Get Stream Key button

      • This will open Twitch in your browser
      • You should see your stream key (password protected dots)
      • Optional: while you’re here, change these settings:
        • Store past broadcasts (yes)
        • Enable clips (yes)
      • Click Copy (in Twitch page) to copy your key
      • Go back to OBS and paste your key in Stream Key
  4.  In OBS Settings, select Output in the left menu
    • Change Video Bitrate to 4500 or 6000 Kbps (6000 is max)
    • Audio Bitrate should be 160 (that’s Twitch’s max)
  5. In OBS Settings, select Audio in the left menu
    • Confirm Sample Rate is set to 44.1 kHz
  6.  In OBS Settings, select Video in the left menu
    • Set Base & Output Resolutions (both settings) to match your video: 1920 x 1080
  7. All done!

 

Test your stream

Before you begin, make sure your video & audio are connected, the audio is playing, and then launch the OBS app.

  1. Click the Start Streaming button
  2. Open your Twitch page in a browser
    • You should see your stream start within 5-45 seconds
    • When the stream starts, you’ll notice it runs 5-20 seconds behind
  3. Check your Twitch audio levels. Any stuttering? Too quiet? Too loud?
    • stuttering: Check your PC sounds settings to see if they’re 48 kHz instead of 44.1 kHz
    • too quiet: raise the gain on your mixer
    • too loud (cuts out):
      • OBS > Audio Mixer window
      • lower the volume and retest (wait for Twitch to catch up)
  4. When you’re done click Stop Streaming in OBS

 

That's it! Now you're ready to play. Once you're set-up there's not much to it.

I highly recommend that (at least) an hour before every performance you test your gear and stream. I was in a rush once and forgot to hook up my audio cable and got 10 minutes into my set before I noticed there was no sound. A DJ I know forgot to revert his Twitch key and dropped into another group's stream and hour before NYE (fortunately they weren't live that night). Stuff happens, so be safe.

I'll post a few more advanced tips later. For now, dig in and have fun!

* DJ controller with sound input: I connected an RCA cable from Booth Out to Line C and it worked!