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Cover image for 1# Virtual Event Hosting Using OBS [Getting Started]

1# Virtual Event Hosting Using OBS [Getting Started]

Mostafa Awamy
Someone who enjoys being a geek and trying to make a difference in the technical community.
・Updated on ・4 min read

Intro

Due to COVID-19 all of the big/small events went virtual, So if you need to make any kind of events you have to find a virtual (Online) Solution.
And when it comes to virtual solutions you have plenty of great ones like Zoom, Google meet, etc.

But believe it or not all of these solutions have flaws, The most important one at least for me is the lack of customization.
for example, You can't add an intro for your event in Zoom or lower-thirds, etc.
That's why I decided to use OBS + Youtube instead.

Why OBS?

You have to know that when it comes to broadcasting software studios there is a lot of various options like XSplit, OBS, OBS Streamlabs Which is based on OBS but with more features for gaming streamers, etc.
for me, I used OBS for some reasons:

  • Totally Free
  • Open Source
  • Simple UI That's just a personal preference.
  • a lot of useful plugins that can really save your time.
  • a great support community if you googled any question about OBS it's more likely to find an answer whether on OBS Forms or Reddit etc.

you can also see a full comparison here

First Steps

  1. First of all, obviously I downloaded and installed OBS
  2. Installed all the plugins that I would need
  3. Created a Scene Collection for my event and made scenes, sources and put all of my assets there to make the layout I want to work with If you don't know how to do all of this you should see a Beginner Guide first.

Tip: Put all of your assets Logos, Images, Videos, txt files etc in one folder it will save much time when we start working on the virtual machine later.

The Plugins I Used

  • Move Transition : it adds a smooth transition between scenes
  • spectralizer : Creates an Audio visualization for any audio source in OBS I used it once to create a live stream for my podcast You can check it here
  • NDI-OBS : Just in case you wanted to add speakers through skype
  • tuna : To show the now playing song name/artist/album etc.

Tip : In most cases, there is an exe file you can use it to install the plugin directly but if there is not just extract the plugin ZIP to the obs installation folder.

Creating a starting scene

Before doing anything we need a scene that will show for about 15 minutes at the beginning of the event, that scene will include (timer - Background music - Event/Organization Logo - Social media links - now playing)
Create a new scene and name it "StartingScene" for example.

Example for starting scene

Basics for Starting screen

  1. add a source for your Background (Image/Video) You'll find a cool collection of animated backgrounds here
  2. add your logos as png files

Tip : You can use 4K video downloader to download the animated background from youtube.

The Countdown

I Used Snaz to generate the timer, it's a great tool to create all kinds of timers, Countdown, etc.

Go to "Countdown to specific time" section:
Snaz

  1. make the output format $m:$s because we don't need hours in our countdown we need only 15-20 minutes.
  2. Choose the time that your event will start at.
  3. The message you type here will appear after the countdown is finished
  4. Once you are set click start then Copy Path To Clipboard and then go to OBS and create a new Text (GDI+) source name it "Timer", Check the Read from file checkbox click browse and paste your Countdown txt file path in the File Name text box and click Ok.

Background Music

There are many ways you can get royalty-free music for your virtual event, the top two for me are :

Once you downloaded your favorite music go to OBS and create a new VLC Video Source and add all your music there.
make sure your music is added to the Audio Mixer section.
Audio Mixer

Tip : If You Wanted to hear any audio source (Monitoring any audio source) just click on the settings icon below it in the audio mixer section, choose Advanced audio properties in audio monitoring section choose Monitor and Output.

Now Playing

To add the now playing data to your stream you'll need tuna plugin to do it.

Follow This Tutorial to add the now playing data from VLC Source.

Social Media PopUp

I used "The Social Media PopUp from Nerd Or Die" you can get it for free from here .
Follow this tutorial For Instructions.

Here you go! your first step to create your first scene for your first virtual event using OBS.
We'll talk next about how to add your speakers to OBS, create multiple scenes, Streaming your event to Youtube/Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, and finally the most important thing "How to use Microsoft Azure Cloud or Google Cloud to make your stream perfect and avoid your internet connection"

Discussion (1)

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Jehad Mohamed

Nice start on DEV ✌️😁