How To Setup Ableton With OBS No Latency (Mac & Windows)

Want to stream or record Ableton with no latency using OBS, and be able to hear your audio?

In this article, I’m going to show you exactly how you can setup Ableton (& most other DAWs), with OBS (Mac & Windows) so you don’t have any latency, and can hear your DAW audio at the same time.

You in mush? I’m in…

How To Setup Ableton OBS No Latency (Mac Guide)

First off, please make sure you have OBS, Ableton & Element VST installed.

You can get Element VST free, if you can build it yourself, but the installer is easier and only $2. It will save you a lot of hassle, so it’s worth it.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Sound Flower or Black Hole On Mac

There are some other tutorials that will tell you to use SoundFlower, but you’re always going to get latency with this method, and personally I find it a bit of a ball ache to setup.

On top of being a horrible process, it also causes a lot of lag which makes your MIDI keyboards, drum pads etc pretty much unusable if you’re streaming or screen recording.

This guide is a similar setup method to the Reastream plugin method, on Windows, which allows us to have no latency.

Unfortunately Reastream is not available on Mac, so we will have to spend $2 on Element, or build it if you’re tech savvy.

Step 1

Open Element Standalone App, & open the plugin manager: “View” -> “Plugin Manager”.

Step 2

Select “Scan” at the top left. This will scan all your VST, VST3, AU plugins.

Step 3

Open Ableton, & load the AUNetSend plugin on your master. Choose whatever audio quality you want. We’re using 32-bit

Step 4

Open OBS, go to the sources menu, and add a new audio input capture. Choose your sound card.

Step 5

Add another source for your display, by clicking “+”, “Display Capture”.

Step 6

Right click the screen recording, and select “Resize To Output Source”.

Step 7

Right click your “Audio Input Capture”, and then select “Filters”.

Step 8

Click the “+” at the bottom right, and add “VST2.xx Plugin. Select “KV_Element” from the list, then “Open Plugin Interface”.

Step 9

Search for “AUNetReceive” under the plugins tab in Element. Then hold CMD and drag into “Graph 1”.

Step 10

Select the “AUNetSend” plugin you setup in Ableton earlier, and hit “Connect”. You now have audio.

How To Setup Ableton With OBS No Latency (Windows Guide)

If you’re on Windows, this method is slightly different and free. It’s also a lot easier to set this up than it is on Mac funnily enough – usually Mac is easier all round.

To start with this you will need OBS, Ableton and Reastream installed.

Step 1

Open Ableton, and place Reastream on your master output. Then, choose “Local Broadcast”.

reastream vst ableton master windows

Step 2

audio output capture obs windows

Open OBS, and create a new “Audio Input Capture” and select your desired sound card.

Step 3

In OBS, create a new “Display Output Capture”, hitting the “+” in the “Sources section.

display output capture obs windows

Step 4

obs resize screen output source

Right click your screen recording and select “Resize To Output Source”, to ensure it fits.

Step 5

Right click your “Audio Input Capture”, then hit “Filters”.

apply filter audio output obs

Step 6

open vst obs

Click the “+” in the bottom right, and select “VST2.xxx Plugin”. Select “Reastream” from the menu.

Step 7

Click “Open Plugin Interface”, then select “Receive Audio/MIDI” from the drop down menu.

reastream settings obs ableton

Step 8

set up audio filters obs

Click the “+” in the bottom right and select gain. Repeat, and set both gains to -30db. Then put them above the VST.

Step 9

Add an “Audio Input Capture” to record your microphone. This is the same process as Step 2 & 3.

add audio input capture obs

Step 10

Start recording. You now have audio from Ableton with no latency in OBS, on Windows.

Bonus: Limiting & Microphone Setup in OBS

When recording in OBS, you might also want to setup a microphone to record your voice, or set a limiter up to prevent your audio from clipping and causing nasty distortion to your viewers.

Setting Up A Limiter in OBS

Here’s how to set up a limiter in OBS:

Step 1: Right click your “Audio Input Capture” and select “Filters”

Step 2: Click the “+” at the bottom right, and select limiter.

Step 3: Set your limiter to -1db to prevent clipping.

Setting Up A Microphone in OBS

Here’s how to set up a Microphone in OBS:

Step 1: Add a new “Audio Input Capture” by selecting the “+” in the “Sources” tab.

Step 2: Choose your microphone source. This can be an input from your sound card or a USB mic.

Step 3: Make sure phantom power is on for a condenser microphone, and ensure your gain in up.

Step 4: Hit record and start recording your beautiful voice!

Stop Double Mic Pickup

When you open OBS and Ableton, and you’re using Reastream, they’ll both pick up the mic you’re using.

To avoid this, do this:

Step 1: Right click your audio input capture, and select “Filters”.

Step 2: Click the “+” and add a Gain filter, and move it down to -30db.

Step 3: Put the gain above your Reastream VST2.XXX filter.

Step 4: If you still have audio coming through, add another Gain filter and do the same.

What Is OBS?

OBS is a free, open-source software, that’s used to record and live stream your computer’s audio and display.

You can use OBS to stream your DAW sessions to YouTube, Facebook, Discord etc, and also to record videos, and save them locally on your computer’s hard drive.

Can You Use Ableton For Live Streaming?

You can use Ableton for live streaming, but not natively. You will need a screen capturing program, like OBS, to record your audio & screen. You will also need audio routing I/O software like, Reastream (Windows) or, AUNetSend (Audio Unit Mac), Element (Mac VST Plugin). Once setup, you will be able to stream & record audio from Ableton to anywhere.

You can set these up for both Mac and Windows by following the steps above.

How Do I Live Stream With Ableton?

Here’s how to live stream with Ableton:

  1. Setup Ableton with OBS. Use Reastream for Windows, or AUNetSend for Mac, with Element VST.
  2. Inside OBS, click “Settings” in the bottom right corner.
  3. Navigate to the “Stream” tab.
  4. Select the streaming service you want from the dropdown menu.
  5. Open your account on YouTube, Twitch etc. and setup a stream.
  6. Find the stream key and, enter the key in the box provided.
  7. After this is done, just hit “Start Streaming” and OBS will start streaming to your selected platform.

Live streaming with Ableton and OBS is pretty simple. Just make sure you have an account with the service you are trying to livestream on, and to start a livestream post before you do anything else.

Then just input the stream key and hit “Start Streaming”.

Before doing all of this, you’ll need to have OBS setup with Ableton to ensure that audio is coming through correctly.

Summary

It’s always been pretty tricky to route your audio out of your favourite DAW, but now it’s become a lot easier. I remember the days where I would spend hours trying to set up some virtual sound card only for it to create latency when recording.

The methods in this article are a great way to avoid that, and they’re a lot easier to setup, than the other ways people will show you.

Hopefully this article has helped you setup audio in OBS!