Control live streaming and recording tool OBS Studio with other apps and tools, and route video live. Free add-ons make it all possible.
Keep in mind this isn’t just for the live streaming craze – it’s for recording, too. But if you’re going to stream, by all means, do something interesting.
Carlo Cattano has made a free tool with some major implications – and it’s simple enough that it’s also a nice demo of how to write this in Python, generally. This code lets you route Open Sound Control – the high-res, open communication protocol used by many VJ apps, touch apps on iOS, and other applications – into OBS Studio:
Control OBS Studio with Open Sound Control template example [https://github.com/CarloCattano/ObSC]
That opens up all sorts of possibilities – script and automate video switching, jam live with the input, automate screencasts and recording, and more. In action: well, blink-y viral action:
Also useful in OBS – you can route input from other applications directly.
On the Mac, you can use Syphon, open tech that lets you route 3D textures in OpenGL as easily between apps as you might audio signal in a patch bay. Just plan to stick to versions earlier than Mojave; Mojave and Catalina break support – see this article. (But you can substitute NDI – see below.)
Using this sort of mapping (Syphon, NDI, etc.), you might even go the opposite direction – using this as output to mapping, for example:
On Windows, there’s Spout2 support (the Windows DirectX 11 equivalent of Syphon):
For an example of what this is for, here’s someone recording live visuals – alongside Ableton Live – using OBS and Spout. And this is from 2017, so again, it’s not just about live streaming during the pandemic.
And across platforms, you can use obs-ndi, which support’s NewTek’s NDI for networked audiovisual support:
That’s useful,, because it lets you freely specify sources, outputs, and filters using OBS over a network.
Streamers – and gamers in particular – have been using this already to use phones as remote cameras and perform multiple computer streaming.
You can even use it to save using a capture card:
And yes, you could also use NDI to build your own switcher using something like TouchDesigner:
BUILD A NDI SWITCHER IN TOUCHDESIGNER 099 [mxav.net]
So there you have it. Let other people keep running horrible sound from their phone, while you use OBS as an all-purpose tool for routing, switching, capturing, and streaming video. Oh yeah and – you can use all of this to make your phone a capture, while using your computer to make light work of streaming/recording audio feeds and mic in high quality.
And the essential glue here is all free.
That means all of this streaming craze is a perfectly reasonable time for the rest of us to hone some of our video chops, whether we’re musicians or visualists. So hope you’re staying safe at home, and happily patching video switchers any time the news makes you a bit too anxious. At least … that’s part of my plan, for sure. Best to all of you and – yes, you can actually invite me to your streams.
Want advanced training in working with these tools and TouchDesigner? Our friend Stanislav Glazov is running another workshop on the topic of streaming; check it out.