At long last, it is now possible to record OBS without overlays or alerts super easily using a simple OBS plugin called Source Record. This is super exciting for anyone looking to create a YouTube presence using content from your live streams. It opens up many editing possibilities that simply weren’t possible before without using some hacky workaround.
Now, this has always been possible to do using a complicated set of steps where you run two instances of OBS, NDI, and a few other tools to achieve the same effect. However, this new method simplifies this process immensely, only requiring a single instance of OBS to be running and that you download a plugin for OBS Studio.
It also removes the need to download your old streams to upload to YouTube, as you are recording them as you are live.
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Record OBS Without Overlays Using the Source Record Plugin
The Source Record Plugin was created by Exceldro, who has also created several other plugins for OBS, some of which were actually added into OBS as standard features. In fact, his “Move Transition plugin” was also featured in my Top OBS plugins list a while back, but I’m going to amend that list shortly and add this to it, as it is simply an indispensable tool.
How the plugin works is by adding an effect filter to a specific source. One of the best parts is that you can add this filter to multiple sources simultaneously, allowing you to record your webcam and your gameplay as individual feeds without any trouble.
The benefit to doing that is you are free to play with your webcam feed, adding shaking effects, grow/shrink it, among other quirky, eye-catching movements. Doing these things in a YouTube video can help keep somebody’s interest in otherwise slow or uninteresting parts.
The installer is the easiest way to get it working. Just be aware that you’ll need to allow it, as it is unsigned.
Limitations – 3 Encoding Sessions on NVIDIA Cards
You should be aware of one thing before I dive into the configuring of the source record plugin – Nvidia cards have a hard limit of 3 encoding sessions at one time. This means you cannot record more than two sources plus your stream at once when all three utilize NVENC or New NVENC. You can get around this limit by choosing your CPU to encode the recording for some other sources, and there are unofficial tools to unlock this limit, but by default, it is locked to 3.
I don’t have an NVIDIA card handy to test the unofficial tools to unlock this limitation, so I’m not going to recommend any, as I cannot confirm nor deny how well they work.
How to Configure the Settings of the Source Record Plugin
There are quite a few settings available in this plugin. It allows you to customize a lot of parameters – however, I’m going to show you the most suitable method for recording while streaming – Watch Eposvox’s video above for a detailed breakdown of every setting.
Recording Mode Selection for Source Record
There are currently four recording modes within the source record plugin:
- None – This mode is intended to be used alongside the Replay buffer feature for instant replays during a stream, or if you intend to use this to stream to another server simultaniously.
- Always Mode – This mode will make the source plugin start recording as soon as OBS studio is launched. I wouldn’t really recommend using this mode though, as it will end up consuming a lot of disk space
- Streaming Mode – The “Streaming” recording mode is configured to start recording a source when you hit the “Start Streaming” button in OBS Studio. This means that it will only record while you are actually live, which can save on disk space.
- Recording Mode – The recording mode is confusing in its naming scheme, but like streaming mode, it will only record when the button is pressed to record in OBS Studio. This can be handy if you intend to record a webcam or camera feed directly to your computer, enabling you to easily obtain some B-Roll footage to swap to.
- Streaming or Recording Mode – This is a combination mode of the two separate buttons, in that it will record if either the go-live or start recording buttons are pressed. This adds some convenience, at least if you do a mix of recording only/streaming-only content.
- Virtual Camera – This mode will start recording the source when you click the “Start Virtual Camera” button in OBS Studio.
Source Record Plugin Path and Naming
I will say this – it seriously pays to be organized early on. I recommend that you set up a folder for raw source records and name the folder what source it is – for example, what I use is something like this:
D:\video-production\videos\streamers-haven\webcam-feed\ - Source Record filter path 1 D:\video-production\videos\streamers-haven\gameplay-feed\ - Source Record filter path 2
Then, you can simply select the gameplay-feed and webcam-feed folders as an editor folder to improve your editing workflow later.
As EposVox recommended within the video, make sure that you add gameplay_ and webcam_ to the respective source record filename formatting. This helps immensely with the organization of files, which can get out of hand over time. This is especially true when two recordings share the same timestamp – It adds a (2) because an identical file name is created.
Recording Format Recommendation – MKV
As with my stance on recording settings in this post, I recommend that you stick to using MKV format, even though it adds an extra step to your workflow. As this plugin is somewhat new, it is prone to bugs, crashes, and more. As a result, I recommend this because the mkv format is resistant to file corruption that can occur when said crash occurs, saving footage that would otherwise be lost.
Encoding Settings – Use CQP
Honestly, just check out this post on the best recording settings to use – though please be aware that the (new) Nvenc encoder does not currently work in the plugin.
And that is all you really need to set up to use the source record plugin. But, again, if you’d like a more detailed breakdown of the plugin, the video by EposVox does a great job of showing everything off.
Other Settings – Mostly Optional Stuff
|SettingValueExceptionsReplay BufferLeave DisabledEnable only if you want to use replay buffer, set recording mode to noneSource StreamingSet to NoneIf you intend to stream to an RTMP server, enable to your choiceDifferent AudioLeave UncheckedIf your webcam has no built-in mic, enable|
- Replay buffer – I haven’t quite had a chance to dive into replay buffers, but this plugin does make it easy to set one up. For the purpose of this article though, I’m going to skip this.
- Source Streaming – Source streaming allows you to stream to an RTMP server, which can allow for remote recording on a separate PC. Each of the settings correspond to the same settings above for recording mode. Most of you will probably be fine leaving this set to None.
- Different Audio – The Different audio setting simply allows you to select what audio source that you want to be paired with the source record. You can even omit the audio entirely, if the intent of the recording is just b-roll using this feature. This feature is necessary to use for webcams that do not have a built in microphone.