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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

More tech please!

Tonight while fooling with OBS Studio again, which means not actually producing another vidcast...I figured out a couple of things.  With minimal configuration, I was able to send the studio-out from SAM Broadcaster, my usual tool for DJing on Second Life, to the "Desktop Audio" input on OBS Studio.

Sure, could keep using the Yeti microphone attached directly to OBS and it works great.  Actually sounds better by default (in my opinion) than recording via Audacity. Even added a noise gate to the mike setup, removing the computer-fan noise floor before it hits the stream.  Very nice.   Doing that, I was setting up separate "Scenes" for each little chunk of audio/video I wanted to add to my casts.  This is mostly a practical way to handle things like the intros and outros.

But combining OBS Studio to do the video, and SAM Broadcaster to do the audio, opens up all my audio and video options.  I could (for no discernable reason) load all 16 audio episodes of The Everlasting Man and stream them in sequence on YouTube.  No big deal, just 16 hours, I'm sure everyone would love to listen to that on YouTube, right?  Or Facebook?  People love 16-hour-long live-ish streams on Facebook, don't they?

Downside of the Intro and Outro scenes with the audio file included is that OBS Studio doesn't offer a mechanism (that I've been able to locate) to monitor what's going out on the audio stream.  I have to watch the visual level bargraph thingie till that goes down to know when to start.  No reason, though, I can't just load a scene that doesn't include the audio file, just the video slide(s). 

Play the audio on SAM and I'll be able to monitor and know when it finishes.  Can do voice over background music or sound effects, too.  Can pick on-the-fly whatever video I want up over whatever audio makes sense next.  Oh, and I can (probably) simulcast the video stream to YouTube while streaming the audio on a Shoutcast stream via SAM.  The computer can handle it, though bandwidth might be an issue.

Oddly, OBS is easier to set up with Skype, for panels or interviews, than SAM is. 

I tell Skype to capture from the Yeti and output to the Yeti headset.  OBS captures video from the Skye window,  and catches the audio from both the Yeti's headset output and microphone input (separately).  I set the Yeti so no app gets exclusive use, so the mike output goes to both without complex configuration.  This doesn't quite do mix-minus.  The folks on the far end of the Skype call can hear me, but not the local music.  But I've got a mixer, so that could be done.

Which means, of course, I'm back to my usual problem.  I have dozens of ways to produce and distribute content.  But I don't have much original to say.  That's why I started recording the old public domain books in the first place.  I get lots and lots of words I don't have to write myself, that were written by more skilled and knowledgeable writers than I.

So it could be worse.  But it could be better.  I could write stuff.


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