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How to get audio in sync using OBS

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 | Activities, Gadgets, Insights, Tech-savvy | No Comments

I started streaming on Twitch a while ago and the setup for a decent stream can be tricky at times. One of the biggest issues I had was audio sync or to be more precise, the absence of it. 😉

I use OBS, a free and pretty powerful piece of software. After a few streams I added music to the gameplay, but when I was humming/singing along, I was off. A bit, a few milliseconds, but I could not find a way to get rid of the issue. So I started thinking … there is a “processing pipeline”, from the computer that plays the music, to the headphones, into my brain and out of my lungs into the microphone. I figured that’s where the lag came from:

Lucky me OBS lets you add and subtract delays to each audio source (even though I have a hard time understanding how you can shift a sound source into the past … maybe by implicitly adding a delay to all other sources?). So how did I find out the “exact” delay? It’s pretty tough, ears only will be not good enough.

So here is what I did:

  • recorded while some audio was playing (e.g. Massive Attack – Teardop) and used a drum stick and a practice pad next to the mic hitting the pad to the music omitting every third stroke so you don’t get used to your rhythm and stick to the song’s timing
  • exported the audio and measured the milliseconds between the real snare and my stroke using an audio editor (i.e. Audacity) – with “Teardrop” they are pretty easy to spot
  • open “Edit” -> “Advanced Audio Properties” and change the “Sync Offset” of your audio source accordingly
  • rinse repeat, as for some reason I had to do this a couple of times before I got it spot on

This got my singing in sync to the audio that got played. (The lag can also be influenced by changing buffer sizes, but I didn’t want to fiddle with these.)

Now the only thing that is still annoying me: I am not lip-sync on video. I still have to figure out whether there is an option to add/sub delay to the video source as well. Just saw there is a filter available in OBS, but it can only add delay, not sub it. Might play with that as well and hope to come up with a “picture perfect” audio video face-cam mic setup at some point 🙂

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Waves MaxxAudio Service Application High CPU Usage

Sunday, December 31st, 2017 | Gadgets, Insights, Tech-savvy | No Comments

Sharing is caring. I hope Google will help people who also have trouble with high CPU usage on a Dell system with Waves MaxxAudio find this little piece of information.

I had a strange problem with OBS (or so I thought) consuming high CPU. Every time I launched OBS the CPU would jump to like 30% instantly. The task manager revealed that not OBS but Waves MaxxAudio Service Application consumed like 30% CPU every time I launched a freshly installed OBS on a freshly installed Windows 10 an a Dell Latitude 7280 (just dropping a few keyword here again for SEO 😛 ).

Trying to find a solution for this strange behaviour I found dozens of people that had the same problem but I could not find a solution.

So I tried to fiddle with the Waves MaxxAudio Settings and alas I found a solution (that worked for me)! Simply open Waves MaxxAudio Pro, click on “Advanced” in the lower middle section of the UI and disable the VoIP “enhancement” – CPU usage drops instantly.

Dear Dell, dear Waves MaxxAudio, why are you packing your drivers with shitloads of features instead of just releasing a working piece of software? 99.9% of your costumers only want a system that runs smoothly with a simple and easy driver, not a “fancy” UI with tons of features that foobar the system. Thanks. Just my POV.

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