Using a DAW with OBS on Mac

 

How to set up a DAW with OBS on Mac

In this guide, we will go over how to create a Multi-Output and Aggregate Device on your Mac so you can stream audio directly from your DAW using OBS to stream.

Mac devices do not have a built-in method for creating a multi-output device, so you will need to download some additional software in order to achieve this.  There are many options available, but this setup guide provides steps for how to use BlackHole, which is an OS X system extension that allows an application to pass audio to other applications. 

Installing BlackHole

You can find information about downloading BlackHole here: 

https://existential.audio/blackhole/

 

Due to recent Mac OS versions' security settings, you may need to take some extra steps to download  BlackHole successfully.  Volume.com always recommends that you be cautious of software that you download from the internet and be sure of what you are installing before you install it!

If you are on Mac OS Catalina, you can install BlackHole successfully by opening the download folder, right-clicking on ‘BlackHole2ch.pkg’, and select "Open With > Installer" as depicted below.
 
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If these install steps do not work for you, we recommend checking out the install steps on the download page to troubleshoot further.
 

BlackHole Setup

Launch the Audio Midi Setup application on your Mac either by using Spotlight Search (cmd+space) or by searching in Launchpad.  The Audio Midi Application will look similar to this:
 
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Once on the Audio Midi Setup screen, click the plus sign in the bottom left corner as shown by the orange arrow below.  Click ‘Create Multi-Output Device’ to link your interface to BlackHole.
 
 
Screen_Shot_2021-07-06_at_11.37.57_PM.png
 
On the right-hand side of the application, next to the BlackHole (2ch) and your interface rows, check the checkboxes in the "Use" and "Drift Correction" columns.  If you have more audio devices, you will need to use BlackHole (64ch) instead.
 
Screen_Shot_2021-07-06_at_11.46.34_PM.png
 
Now you're ready to use BlackHole as an audio device in OBS.  See the following articles for additional setup steps:

Aggregate Device Creation and Setup

Aggregate Devices can be used in place of a Multi-Output device when configuring I/O settings in a DAW that only allows one I/O Device. Aggregate Devices can also be used if one wishes to combine the I/Os of several interfaces. 

Launch the Audio Midi Setup application on your Mac either by using Spotlight Search (cmd+space) or by searching in Launchpad.  The Audio Midi Application will look similar to this:

 
Screen_Shot_2021-07-06_at_11.34.13_PM.png


Once on the Audio Midi Setup screen, click the plus sign in the bottom left corner as shown by the orange arrow below.  Click ‘Create Aggregate Device’ to link your interface(s) to BlackHole (64ch).

Screen_Shot_2021-07-06_at_11.55.27_PM.png


On the right-hand side of the application, next to the BlackHole (2ch) and your interface rows, check the checkboxes in the "Use" and "Drift Correction" columns.  If you have more audio devices you wish to link, select them under the use columns.  If your interface(s) have more than 2 channels you will need to use BlackHole (64ch) instead.

Screen_Shot_2021-07-07_at_12.00.35_AM.png

 

Now you're ready to use your Aggregate Device as an audio device in OBS.  See the following articles for additional setup steps:

Setting Output Device in DAW

In order for OBS to use your DAW sound in your stream, you will need to set your Multi-Output Device as an output in your DAW.  Steps for how to do that in some popular DAWs can be found below:

 

Ableton Live: Click Live > Preferences > Audio tab > Change Audio Output Device to “Multi-Output Device (0 in, 2 out)”

FL Studio: Click File > Options > Audio settings > Audio tab > Under Input/output change device to “Multi-Output Device”

Garageband: Click GarageBand at the top > Preferences > Audio/Midi tab. Change Output Device to “Multi-Output Device”

Logic Pro: Click Logic Pro X > Preference > Audio > Devices Tab. Change Output Device to “Multi-Output Device”

Pro Tools: Click Setup > Playback Engine > Select “Aggregate Device”

 

Additional Notes about BlackHole

Built-in Output

Linking your built-in output to BlackHole means that any audio playing on your computer desktop will be relayed to your stream.  This includes tip sounds or other notification noises.  If you don't want these sounds in your stream, unlink your built-in output from BlackHole in Audio Midi Setup. 

 


Setting up OBS with BlackHole

In OBS, click the ‘+’ icon within the Sources section and select ‘Audio Output Capture’.  Name your Audio Output Capture source whatever you want (you could use "BlackHole") and click OK. 
 
 
In the Audio Output Capture setup screen, select whichever BlackHole option you have set up -- either 2ch or 64ch depending on your setup.
 
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After following these steps, you will now have the ability to stream audio directly from your DAW into OBS. You can check that your audio is coming through using the ‘Audio Mixer’ section of OBS.
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