Live streaming services like Twitch attract millions of viewers who tune in to streamers broadcasting games, opinions, reviews, etc. Some people want to watch professionals excel at their favourite games. We have covered how to broadcast iOS content using teamviewer and how to live stream on Windows 10, now let’s talk about audio only. There is a market for live streaming audio over pre-recorder video or perhaps pre-rendered video and if you are looking to capitalize on that market, the following apps make for great audio recorders for gamers.
1. Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)
We have raved about OBS before. It is an excellent recording software filled to the brim with completely free and highly customizable features. The only limitation that we can foresee with this kind of tool is that, to some users, it might be “too” customizable. The first-time setup can be a chore. However, once you get over that hump, it can virtually cover the entire gamut of live streaming services. You can activate overlays, custom displays, move visuals around like layers in Photoshop, the works. It might sound daunting at first, but if you can invest the time to set it up and learn how it works, you will not need to venture in to any other app.
ShadowPlay by Geforce is Nvidia’s streaming software that comes coupled with the Geforce Experience tool. This tool is just as capable with audio as it is with video. You have overlay options, though Nvidia tends to leave its branding, innocuous as it may be, lying around. ShadowPlay uses the same optimization technology that powers Nvidia GPU drivers that help alleviate the stress of processing from the CPU. In order to use this tool, users are required to have an Nvidia 600 series or above GPU as that is when the hardware became capable of helping a CPU unload.
ShadowPlay has a Shadow Mode and Manual Mode. Shadow mode keeps track of the last 20 minutes of your game, this is a running total so if you are recording for over 20 minutes, you will only find the latest 20 and anything older will bite the dust. This comes in handy if you come across an awesome moment, you will have the entire 20 minutes leading up to it on drive. The manual mode is exactly that, manual. You control how long you record. You can stream the recording, or save it to your drive. The tool is equally comfortable either way. You can record up to 4K resolutions in phenomenal quality, though do expect your file sizes to go through the roof.
3. Windows 10 Game Bar
We have already talked about how to stream using the Game Bar. Microsoft has a history of enacting rather extreme responses for their “out of the box” solutions. For every failed Internet Explorer, there is a highly acclaimed MS Paint. For every RRoD there was Pinball. In our experience, the Windows 10 game bar is closer to MS Paint (in that it offers barebones functionality) and has the opportunity to deliver what it set out to, nary a problem in sight. Almost.
The Game Bar is a Windows Key + G away. Tap in that key combination and a bar appears that lets you record and broadcast. Now, it wouldn’t be Microsoft if they didn’t try to sabotage themselves at least once. They accomplish that here by limiting the stream to either your storage or some streaming site called Mixer.com. Which, in context, means if Twitch is YouTube then Mixer is Metacafe. However, the upside is that you don’t have to worry about any complicated configurations. Just press record (audio or video) and it will save to your hard disk or stream to mixer.com.
It has a ShadowPlay-like feature in a limited capacity, in that it records the last 30 seconds of data, which is ample time to cover a play or two. The quality options are Standard (720p) or High (1080p) and you can record audio between 160 and 320 kbps and that’s about as much as you can customize. It does not have the splendor of OBS, but it covers the bases.
Fraps can make one claim that no other software in this round-up will. It can fit into a standard dual layer floppy disk (2.3 measly megabytes). That limits the available functionality, but it offsets that handicap with one solitary feature that makes the whole thing completely worth the microsecond it will take to download, and that is the ability to record video at resolutions as high as 7680 x 4800 (more than even 8k) at a framerate of anywhere between 1 and 120 fps. Admittedly, it can only render as much as your system supports, but that is an impressive scale to accomplish for software that is lighter than the latest Eminem track. It can also double as a benchmarking tool, should the need present itself.
5. WM Capture
WM Capture uses initials usually reserved for the moniker Windows Media. We don’t know what the WM stands for, their site isn’t too forthcoming with that information. Nonetheless, this is the only software in this list that isn’t completely free, nor is it a dedicated gaming tool. The software records what is going on in front of a screen and is capable of broadcasting/saving with support for a mic. You can record the entire screen or a specific part of it and save it as WMV, MPEG and AVI. Just point it towards a running window and let it handle the rest. Screenshot not included as WM Capture launches a small screen with some text on it, the content is saved to a location on the hard disk of your choosing.