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, and BlackHole installed. You will need to install BlackHole 16ch. So, get that and run the .dmg setup.
If you're on BigSur and OBS doesn't work, check out our StreamLabs tutorial for streaming on Mac.
Step 1 – Change Your Audio MIDI Setup
Open “audio MIDI setup”, and create a new multi-output device. To do this, press the “+”.
Step 2 – Choose BlackHole 16ch for Sound Card.
Choose “BlackHole 16ch” as master device, & select your sound-card, or built-in output.
Step 3 – Setup Audio Output Capture
Open OBS, go to the sources menu, and add a new audio output capture. Choose “BlackHole 16ch”.
Step 4 – Choose The Multi-Output Device You Set Up
Open Ableton and change your sound card to “Multi-Output Device”
Step 5 – Test Your Audio
Test your audio, you should have it coming through in OBS now.
Step 6 – Add A Display Capture
Add another source for screen recording, by clicking “+”, “Display Capture”.
Step 7 – Resize Your Output Source
Right click the screen recording, and select “Resize To Output Source”.
Step 8 – Start Recording!
How To Setup Ableton With OBS No Latency (Windows Guide)
If you're on Windows, this method is slightly different. 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.
Open Ableton, and place Reastream on your master output. Then, choose “Local Broadcast”.
Open OBS, and create a new “Audio Input Capture” and select your desired sound card.
In OBS, create a new “Display Output Capture”, hitting the “+” in the “Sources section.
Right click your screen recording and select “Resize To Output Source”, to ensure it fits.
Right click your “Audio Input Capture”, then hit “Filters”.
Click the “+” in the bottom right, and select “VST2.xxx Plugin”. Select “Reastream” from the menu.
Click “Open Plugin Interface”, then select “Receive Audio/MIDI” from the drop down menu.
Click the “+” in the bottom right and select gain. Repeat, and set both gains to -30db. Then put them above the VST.
Add an “Audio Input Capture” to record your microphone. This is the same process as Step 2 & 3.
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: Click the cog icon in the right hand corner, and make sure you click “downmix to mono”
Step 5: 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.
OBS Keeps Crashing on Mac (Workaround)
If you have a Mac that's on BigSur, you'll have probably found that OBS just crashes and won't open again. There isn't much information online about how to fix this, and it was really frustrating when it happened to me.
Luckily I spent 3hrs figuring out a workaround and I'm sharing it here.
Don't use OBS. The bug isn't fixed yet, and won't be for a while.
Instead you'll want to use StreamLabs + OBS.
StreamLabs is a program that has OBS integrated inside it, and the layout is almost exactly identical to OBS' layout. And, luckily for you, it works on BigSur absolutely no issues, + is easier to setup (in my opinion).
How To Setup StreamLabs When OBS Keeps Crashing (Mac)
To start this process, please make sure you have installed StreamLabs, and BlackHole. Also you'll need Ableton/a DAW of your choice.
Open “audio MIDI setup”, click the “+” in the left corner, and “create multi-output device”.
Choose “BlackHole 16ch” as your master device, and checkmark your built in output, or sound card.
Add an audio output capture, by clicking the “+”. Select “BlackHole 16ch” as your source.
Open Ableton, and change your sound card to “Multi-Output Device”.
Add a “display capture device” in your sources, by clicking the “+”.
Right click your screen box, and select “Transform” -> “Fit to screen”.
Test your audio and delete any duplicate audio output capture devices, then start recording!
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 To Stream Ableton On Twitch
Here's how to live stream with Ableton:
- Setup Ableton with OBS first.
- Inside OBS, click “Settings” in the bottom right corner.
- Navigate to the “Stream” tab.
- Select the streaming service you want from the dropdown menu.
- Login to your account on Twitch.
- Go to the menu, then profile photo -> settings.
- Click the “Stream” tab & Select stream key & copy the stream key.
- Go to stream settings in OBS and paste it in.
- Hit “Start Streaming” and OBS will start streaming to Twitch.
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 and your interface to ensure that audio is coming through correctly.
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!
With over 8 years of hands-on experience in the music industry, Harry has run successful raves, played alongside industry heavyweights such as Max Chapman, DJ EZ, DJ Zinc and more (pictured below), had music played on national radio, DJ'd on live radio, produced until he hated every song, mixed until his ears bled, created sample packs from scratch using just a Zoom H1n and some sound design skills… and pretty much anything related to music production – he's done it, tested it, tried it.