Twitch streaming software for broadcasting
one of the major bits of news that Twitch announced was that they were building the Twitch streaming software. Most of you that are watching this are probably using one of the tried-and-true streaming apps that currently exist.
So OBS Studio, StreamlabsOBS, StreamElements, OBS Live, or XSplit. Well, now there is a newcomer in the ring built by Twitch, and it is called Twitch Studio
Twitch Studio has been out for about a week in its public beta. I spent that week playing around with the software and compiling a list of things that I think it is missing, but also testing its functionality and pushing it to its limits.
So I wanted to write this article for you guys today that went through everything that I think about Twitch Studio. Okay so upon installation of Twitch Studio, it takes you through a quick but surprisingly quite a thorough process covering things like your microphone, your webcam, and setting up some basic scenes.
How do you get to advanced settings on twitch?
Still, it also goes into a bit more detail with some advanced settings like noise suppression and microphone compression, as well as some webcam filters.
There’s also an automatic broadcasting setting feature based on your existing hardware and internet connection which attempts to apply some broadcast settings for you automatically.
Certainly, for newcomers, new streamers, some of these settings, things like bitrate, frame rate, how to get your microphone set up with the right level, These are real sticking points and things that turn off streamers altogether.
They probably never tried to stream again. So something that Twitch has done well with Twitch Studio is this new onboarding. It’s the bestI’ve seen, and it makes a lot of the more complex things much more simple.
Now before we jump into what I think are the biggest missing features in Twitch Studio, Let’s just go through a quick overview of exactly the app’s layout, so you know exactly what I’m talking about.
So these are the different scenes that we set up in the onboarding, and we can obviously swap between them or add new scenes here.
On the right-hand side, we have the Twitch activity feed. So this is anybody that has followed you, subscribe to you, given bits to you, things like that, as well as your Twitch chat.
So on the right-hand side, you can kind of see exactly how your audience is interacting with you, and on the left-hand side is where you have the controls to choose which scene you are displaying.
So to be able to edit any of the scenes that you have set up you just select the scene on the left-hand side, and then come down here to edit layout.
That will bring up all the different sources, or as Twitch Studio is calling them, layers, for that specific scene. Anything that you selecton the left-hand side, any layer that you select will bring up some controls over here on the right-hand side where you can customize certain things.
So exactly how it looks, where it’s positioned, colours and things like that. So if we test out some of our alerts like our follower alert there you can see they’re pretty basic, but you can test them out, you can reposition them.
If you want to go in and customize the colour and the exact sound that plays for each kind of alert, you can do that as well. So it’s cool to see that Twitch has built its alert system.
I’ll get on to it, my complaints about that a little later in the video, but any kind of scene that you could select and any source that you select within that scene, you can customize over on the right-hand side.
If you want to add new sources to your scene or new layers to your scene, you just click the plus icon here and select what kind of layer it is that you want to add, very similar to OBS.
And if you want to crop or move any of the sources around you can use the pointer to move them around and the crop tool up here if you need to crop your webcam or something like that. Once you’ve finished making all the changes that you want to one of your scenes, you can just click the save icon, and then you’re back to the streaming view where you can again swap between your scenes as you wish to. The final last two things are down in the bottom corner.
You have your audio controls so you can see my microphone and my system volume. You can also go in and adjust those volumes and the filters that you sent earlier.
Down in the bottom middle, you have the option actually to start recordinga video or start streaming, and then finally when you do click start streaming, down in the bottom right, you will have a viewer count as well as some stats as to how your PC is performing while streaming.
So while the base features that we’ve just rattled through there, I think they’ve done an areally good job of getting a lot of the things that new streamers need.
I think they’re still missing a handful of features that many streamers have come to rely on, and this is my feedback to Twitch. If they implement these six or seven features, I think they’ll have an areally competitive piece of streaming software that’ll be very tempting for a lot of streamers to use.
The first missing feature I think that they need to include is some sort of scene transitions. Right now if you swap between scenes in Twitch Studio, it’s just a basic cut. While you might not think that stinger transitions and things like that are a hugely important feature especially for new streamers, nowadays, when you go to something like Streamlabs OBS.
You download one of their free packs, or if you get a premium pack from somewhere like Nerd or Die, they’re all going to come with stinger transitions, and these are just becoming standard now.
They used to be just for the top, the professional streamers, but pretty much everybody comes to rely on things like stinger transitions now. They already support WebM video files in Twitch Studio. So you can use a WebM video source for your alerts or something like that.
So it doesn’t seem to me like it would be that far-fetched for them to implement WebM stinger transitions or just some basic stinger choices in general, maybe some included ones with the pack that you choose on startup. The second feature that I would love to see Twitch Studio implement would be the ability to add separate audio sources.
Right now, you have your microphone, and you have your system audio. Your system audio includes your game volume, your music volume, your friends on Discord, your Twitch alerts, all those kind of things, and there’s no way to separate and control them which I think is a key feature that a lot of people rely on in streaming software.
The third feature thatI’m going to talk about is the alert system. I think it’s great that Twitch has built its alert system, so people don’t have to use Streamlabs or Stream Elements or any of the other alert providers, but one thing that Twitch hasn’t done is they haven’t allowed you to have an alert for a donation. And it’s kind of understandable, right.
How do you make a donation on twitch?
Twitch has often said that they want to have the donations happening on-platform. That’s why they built the whole bit system so people could donate bits. The reason for that is Twitch can take a cut from people if they donate through bits.
Whereas if somebody donates through PayPal, then they’re not getting any of that money or any of that revenue. So the options for alerts they’re building to Twitch Studio are obviously followed, host, raid, subscription, and cheer orbits, whichever way you want to call it, but they can’t show an alert if somebody donates through PayPal. So I can understand why with has done this.
Still, at the same time, I think a lot of people if they are going to start using Twitch Studio are going to go then and add their usual Streamlabs or Stream Elements alerts through a browser source rather than use this, just purely because there is no option to be able to show an alert when somebody donates externally without using cheers orbits in Twitch.
What should my twitch bitrate be?
So the fourth thing I would love to see comes down to the actual stream settings and your encoder settings. Twitch has done a fantastic job of taking away that burden of having to choose actually what bitrate, what resolution, what frame rate, all those kind of things that are technical and difficult to understand things.
However, they still give you the option to go back and change some of those things. Now what I can’t understand is why they give you the option to come back and change these things, but then they don’t give you an option to choose the presets that are used by these encoders.
So, for example, if I chose to change my encoder from NVENC to x264, it’s giving me the option to be able to do that, but it hasn’t given me the actual x264 preset which is one of the most important settings.
It’s all good and well having a bitrate of 6,000, but if I have a CPU that capable of encoding at a preset slower and hence higher quality than very fast, there’s no way of me being able to choose that.
The fifth thing I’d love to see implemented into Twitch Studio is the ability to read text sources from somewhere on your computer.
You can add a text source in Twitch Studio and customize exactly what the text says and which font it uses. The size and position and things like that, but what a lot of people use in OBS, and other streaming software is they use programs that manipulate text files online or on their system to display some cool functionality.
So the common examples are people displaying things like their most recent subscriber or how many followers they’ve had in the last 30days or their top donation or using a program to display what their current song playing on Spotify is.
And how these programs work is they update a text file somewhere on your computer whenever something changes, and then OBS or whichever streaming software you’re using reads that text file and updates it lives as it gets updated itself.
Right now in Twitch Studio, there doesn’t seem to be a way to set a text source to read from a certain file. So it’s just static text which is a bit disappointing in a feature a lot of people rely on. The sixth feature I’d love to see implemented is the ability to record multiple audio tracks.
So it’s great to see that with Studio of the game supports both streamings as well as recording because Twitch builds this. So part of me presumed that it was just going to be streaming self and there was going to be no recording options.
So the ability to record is great, but you can only record one audio track. That is going to be a mix between your microphone and your system audio, effectively the same audio that a stream would hear if you were streaming.
The final thing we’re going to be talking about is the webcam software. So obviously during the onboarding process of Twitch Studio, they make a massive deal about adding a webcam and customizing exactly how that looks. The problem is that a lot of cheaper webcams come with all kinds of software that automatically optimizes exactly how the image looks.
It does things like change the brightness, the contrast, the focus, all automatically, and it can be more of a hindrance than a help. Usually, my advice is to dive into the webcam software, disable all these optimizations, and control things like the brightness and the contrast and the focus yourself.
As I can find in TwitchStudio, there isn’t an option to be able to customize things like that. You can turn off this auto-optimize, and then change things like the resolution and the frame rate and the color space that’s used.
Still, you can’t go into the webcam settings and disable things like this auto-brightness and auto-focus and things like that.
So, again, that’d be important for people especially if they’re using these cheaper webcams. Twitch has publicly stated that Twitch Studio’s current set of features was selected to meet the needs of new streamers specifically, but you and I both know that when you start streaming, it doesn’t take long for you to get that feeling that you want to dive in and customize your stream.
Half of the fun of streaming, I think, is being able to put your personal touch on your stream, really get creative and make your stream look different to all the others that are out there, and that’s where I think the current build of Twitch Studio falls short.
While Twitch has said that Twitch Studio is aimed at new streamers, I wouldn’t expect that to stay the same way forever.
Twitch has shown in the past that it wants to own the whole streaming ecosystem, from the platform that you broadcast to how you donate, not through PayPal, but their internal system of bits, to the relationship between brands and partner streamers through the bounty program, and now I think they’re going to be adding Twitch Studio that owns streaming software to that ecosystem.
So you may be thinking some of the features that I think are missing from Twitch Studio are more for advanced users. Still, honestly, I think that with is going to be pushing this software is probably even less than a year to all of its users and trying to compete with the streaming software that’s out there today.
So if they want to compete, they need to implement these features. I’m super interested in hearing if any of you guys have tried out Twitch Studio and if you think it’s missing any of the key features that you use in your streams that I’ve missed in this article.
Put your comments down below or join the Gaming Careers Discord and add some comments in there. I’ll be checking through some of those lists and adding some of the feedback to my report back to Twitch.
If this is your first time at the Gaming Careers YouTube channel, please do consider subscribing. Check out some of the other videos that we have on the channel. It’s all based around learning to Livestream.