Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), the open-source broadcasting software used by most streamers just received a major patch update. We’ve gone through the list of changes and condensed them to the most notable updates:

  • Audio Monitoring – Lets you hear audio from media sources, as well as hear your mic to check your own levels
  • VST Plugins – Huge for adding nice extra audio processing effects from a giant library of existing VST plugins, many of which you can get for free
  • Built-in audio compression filter to help normalize your audio levels
  • The LUT Filter is really cool for doing color grading on your sources — I definitely recommend playing around with it a bit
  • Do you have an ultra-widescreen monitor (21:9) but want to stream at the more standard 16:9 resolution without changing your native resolution? Check out the ultrawide scaling filter to intelligently scale your stream to something that actually looks pretty decent on 16:9 screens.
  • Lots of quality of life features:
    • Proper Windows auto-updater
    • “Minimize Network Impact” feature from OBS Classic
    • Connection status indicator
    • Separate Streaming/Recording timers

A lot of attention was put into audio and sound quality, which I personally feel is great. There’s also a Windows auto-updater now, so you won’t need to download a new installer for each update.

You can download the installer here: https://github.com/jp9000/obs-studio/releases/tag/18.0.0

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Below is the full changelog, directly taken from the Github page:

General Changes

  • Added audio monitoring on Windows/OSX. Audio monitoring allows the ability to listen to the audio of a source, and can be enabled via the advanced audio properties. You can set it to monitor without outputting, or monitor and output. The device used for monitoring can be changed in advanced settings
  • Added an audio compressor filter
  • Added a “Color” source which displays a solid color
  • Added a VST audio filter for Windows/OSX. Allows applying VST plugins (only up to version 2) to filter audio
  • Added a network connection stability indicator similar to classic, displays green for no congestion, yellow for increasing congestion, to red for beginning to drop frames
  • Added separate timers to the status bar for streaming and recording
  • Added options to general settings: Always minimize to tray, save/restore projectors on startup/shutdown, and options to automatically start replay buffer
  • Added command line options: –startreplaybuffer, –minimize-to-tray
  • Added an option for ultrawide -> wide scaling distortion to the scaling filter
  • Added an “Apply LUT” video filter, which allows applying a lookup table to modify a source’s colors
  • Added a warning message if starting stream/recording fails
  • Added configurable GOP size to FFmpeg output
  • Added a checkbox to custom FFmpeg output that allows using any codec with a container format (due to the fact that it can display fewer codecs than are typically compatible with certain containers, though note that it may fail if an incompatible codec is chosen)
  • Fixed a bug where mixing visible/invisible sources would sometimes cause the audio of the visible sources to stop outputting
  • Fixed a performance issue with audio meters that could cause audio latency to increase unintentionally, or cause issues with some devices
  • Fixed issues resizing a source when the source is flipped horizontally/vertically
  • Fixed a few potential crashes/freezes
  • Fixed a potential crash with the browser source and updated to chromium 57
  • Improved accessibility text on the main window
  • Cleaned up the general pane of the settings dialog a bit

Windows-specific Changes

  • Added an option to advanced settings to enable new experimental network code
  • Added a “low latency mode” option to advanced settings which minimizes network impact caused to other programs on the computer (same as “Minimize network impact” in classic). The new network code must be enabled to use
  • Added an auto-updater for Windows
  • Fixed an issue where Windows wouldn’t show up in window lists (i.e. game capture or window capture) if using kaspersky
  • Fixed an issue drawing certain chinese characters on the GDI+ text source
  • Fixed an issue capturing theHunter: COTW
  • Fixed a crash with the AMD AMF encoder

Linux-specific Changes

  • Fixed a bug where main preview would not resize properly when window is resized