Streaming

Audio troubleshooting for Facebook Live

Don’t let troublesome audio ruin your streams on Facebook Live. In this guide we tell you everything you need to know to sound your best!

At its core, a streaming platform brings people together. The ability to connect with audiences in real time has opened up new creative opportunities for many creators, artists and other public figures.

In April of 2016, Facebook launched Facebook Live, a live video streaming feature that allows you to broadcast live video out to your audience through your business page or personal profile. Facebook Live offers users tremendous potential for live-stream events, performances and community gatherings, provided that their audio is set up correctly! 

To help you avoid running into audio issues in your live streams, let’s take a look at some common audio questions related to Facebook Live.

Audio troubleshooting for Facebook Live

Can you do Facebook live with audio only?

The most recent update to the Facebook mobile app removed Facebook Live’s stream with audio only function. If you haven’t yet updated to the most recent version of the mobile app, you may be able to access the audio only function by following the below steps:

  • Open the Facebook app on an Android phone or iOS device.
  • Tap the red Live icon at the top of your News Feed
  • Tap the three dots in the top right corner of the screen
  • Tap Live Audio on the bottom of the screen.
  • Tap Start Live Audio

How do I connect audio to Facebook live?

The process of connecting audio to Facebook Live will depend on whether you are streaming via Facebook’s Webcam or Streaming software option. If you’re streaming using the Webcam option, which means you’re broadcasting directly from your computer’s webcam, you can enable audio by selecting the appropriate microphone as the stream’s input source. To do this follow these steps:

  • Log into your Facebook account
  • Underneath the ‘What’s on your mind?’ status bar, click Live Video
  • Choose if you want to start streaming immediately or schedule a live video event for later
  • In the Camera controls section of your Stream Setup, access the dropdown menu for microphone inputs (beside the blue speaker icon)
Audio troubleshooting for Facebook Live

If you’re streaming using Facebook’s Streaming software option, you will need to make sure your input sources are correctly set up within your chosen software’s audio settings menu. If you’ve done this correctly, when you connect to Facebook Live using a stream key your stream will be configured to broadcast audio.

Why is my microphone not working on Facebook Live?

If your microphone isn’t working on Facebook Live, you’ll need to carry out a few quick checks to find out the cause of the problem. The first thing you can do is to restart your browser. If the issue persists, check that Facebook has permission to access your microphone. You can check this on your computer settings panel first (this will be different for Apple and Windows computers), and then on your browser (again, different browsers will have different settings). 

At this stage, if your microphone still isn’t working on Facebook Live, you should perform a test with another application to see if it works. Try opening up the Voice Recorder program on Windows, or Voice Memos on Apple devices, and making a recording. If your mic still doesn’t work, you may have hardware problems.

Tip: many Facebook Live users have reported that plugging in the microphone AFTER starting the live stream solves faulty mic issues!

Audio troubleshooting for Facebook Live

What is the sound quality of Facebook?

Facebook Live broadcasts audio at these settings:

  • Audio Codec — AAC low complexity
  • Sample Rate — 44.1kHz or 48kHz
  • Audio Bitrate — 128 kbps (preferred) to 256 kbps (do not exceed)
  • Channel Layout — Stereo

What audio bitrate does Facebook Live use?

Facebook Live broadcasts audio at 128 kbps. Learn more about both audio and video bitrate with our guide, too!

What bitrate should I stream at Facebook?

Facebook Live recommends a max audio bitrate of 128 kbps. If you’re broadcasting audio using a higher bitrate than this, there’s a chance that your stream will have distorted audio.

Is Facebook live audio mono or stereo?

Confusingly, although Facebook Live’s documentation recommends that you stream audio in stereo, it has been noted that Facebook Live sums stereo audio to mono.  

Audio troubleshooting for Facebook Live

How do I fix Facebook Live audio quality?

Facebook Live doesn’t include any internal audio settings, so if you want to get good sound while streaming you’re going to need to look elsewhere. If you’re streaming using encoding software like OBS or Streamlabs, you can make use of the program’s built-in audio filters to get the best out of your audio setup.

To access audio filters in OBS, click on the gear icon next to the microphone you’re using, then click on Filters. You can then add a new preset filter by clicking the + symbol, which brings up a list of filters like a noise gate, compressor, limiter and much more.

How do I get better sound on Facebook Live?

One way of getting better sound on Facebook Live is to record using an audio interface. Audio interfaces have line inputs that you can plug external microphones into, and they act as dedicated sound cards for audio production. Here’s how to set up an audio interface with Facebook Live.

First, connect your audio interface to your computer and install it according to the device manufacturer’s instructions. Plug your microphone into an input on your interface and make sure that the settings on the device are all correct. Adjust the volume to a reasonable level, and if it’s a condenser microphone, make sure that phantom power is switched on (provided your interface supports it, but most do).

Audio troubleshooting for Facebook Live

Log into Facebook and click Live Video. Next, hit Go Live. From here you can select whether you want to stream from your webcam or external encoding software. If you’re using streaming software you’ll need to make sure your audio interface is configured correctly. There’s a handy guide to setting up your audio interface with OBS available from Focusrite, which is applicable to most other USB audio interfaces.

 

How can I improve the sound quality on Facebook Live?

If you’re streaming on Facebook Live using a mobile device, you can still use external audio interfaces to get a professional sound. For example, IK Multimedia’s iRig Stream allows you to connect microphones, mixers and more to your iPhone, iPad or Android device, with convenient features designed for use on platforms like Facebook Live. 

How do you get good sound on Facebook Live?

Facebook Live offers two options for live streaming: Webcam and Streaming software. To get the best possible sound on Facebook Live you should be using Streaming software, as you will have greater control over your audio settings. If you’re streaming using the Webcam option, you should consider investing in a good quality microphone, and setting it as the input source for the stream.

Why is my Facebook live audio choppy?

As we mentioned earlier, sending audio to Facebook Live with a bitrate that’s over the recommended level of 128kbps can cause choppy and distorted sound on your stream. Try adjusting your output bitrate in your chosen streaming software to be in line with Facebook’s recommendations, and see if it helps. 

Audio troubleshooting for Facebook Live

How do I fix my choppy sound?

If you’re experiencing choppy sound while streaming on Facebook Live, you can adjust some settings in your streaming software to fix the problem. First, restart your streaming software and see if the issue is resolved. If it isn’t, find your list of sound devices and disable every audio source for both playback and recording that you aren’t using for the stream. 

As well as this, you should access the advanced settings in the software and make sure that the recording devices you’re using are all set to the same sample rate as OBS’ global settings. Once you’ve done this, restart your computer and perform a test stream to check your audio.

Can you play copyrighted music on Facebook Live?

As part of Facebook’s licensing agreements, there are limitations around the amount of recorded music that can be included in live broadcasts or videos. While the specifics of Facebook’s licensing agreements are confidential, they do advise on some general guidelines to help you plan the inclusion of music in your streams and videos:

  • Music in stories and traditional live music performances (e.g. filming an artist or band performing live) are permitted
  • The greater the number of full-length recorded tracks in a video, the more likely it may be limited
  • Shorter clips of music are recommended
  • There should always be a visual component to your video; recorded audio should not be the primary purpose of the video.

These guidelines are consistent across live and recorded video for all types of accounts on Facebook.

Audio troubleshooting for Facebook Live

Can you play music while streaming on Facebook?

If you want to play music while streaming on Facebook you will have to make sure that you’re not falling foul of any licensing laws, meaning your options are:

The safest way of playing music in your streams is to use a rights cleared music library like our very own Music Cellar, Soundstripe, Monstercat Gold, Chillhop, Epidemic Sound, or NCS. 

As well as this, Facebook has its own library of custom music and sound effects called Facebook’s Sound Collection. The Sound Collection includes thousands of tracks in a variety of genres that are available to use in streams and recorded video without any limits.

Can I play Spotify on Facebook live

Unfortunately, no. The rules for playing music from Spotify on Facebook Live streams are the same as with any other kind of copyrighted music – the original copyright owner's permission is still required. 

Although you might pay for a premium Spotify subscription, that doesn’t mean that you now have any kind of license or permission to broadcast the music publicly. A Spotify subscription only legally covers you for private use and listening. If you play any music from Spotify (without the owner's permission) while streaming on Facebook Live, your page is at risk of receiving DMCA violation strikes.

Audio troubleshooting for Facebook Live

What happens if your video gets copyrighted On Facebook?

If Facebook detects that your video or live stream contains copyrighted music, you will first be notified to alert you that the system has detected audio that doesn’t adhere to their licensing agreements. 

Failure to stop broadcasting copyrighted music will result in your video (or parts of it) being muted, and in some cases blocked entirely. Once your video is muted or blocked, Facebook will inform you of what steps you can take to reverse their decision, namely filing a counter-notice if you think they’ve made a mistake.

If you repeatedly broadcast video content that is in breach of Facebook’s licensing laws, your account will be banned from posting videos. A ban may be temporary (up to 30 days) or permanent, depending on the severity of the infringement.

Audio troubleshooting for Facebook Live

How do I avoid copyright infringement on Facebook Live?

The best way of avoiding copyright strikes on Facebook Live is by obtaining the correct permissions to play any music that you play on your streams. This might involve contacting the artist or their management directly and negotiating a synchronisation license to use their music, or making use of other options like rights-cleared music libraries.  

Remember, copyright infringement applies to licensed music played in any format, including background music or using Facebook Live to share an evening of live karaoke. Although you might see others doing it, it doesn’t make it right or legal.

How can I legally use copyrighted music on Facebook?

There are many online music libraries available which provide customers with licensed and copyright cleared music to use in their own work. These libraries often have many different genres and styles of music to perfectly match the mood, and are a great place to look to find background music for Facebook Live streams.

Why not try our own royalty-free music library Music Cellar, which contains a variety of hand-picked tracks sorted into albums and genres? Subscription to Music Cellar is free, and you’ll get access to all of the tracks in the library in mp3 format.

How can I change my voice on Facebook Live?

You can modify your voice in real time on a Facebook Live stream by using a voice changing plugin in your streaming software, like our very own Voice Changer. Voice Changer is a creative plugin that can be applied to your voice while recording to transform it into something totally different, and it has a host of fun presets to make things easy. 

To use Voice Changer with Facebook Live, you’ll need to be streaming using their Streaming software option, and not via the webcam. Here’s how to load and start using Voice Changer in OBS Studio:

  • Click on the Settings icon after adding the Source for your audio capture channel (or right-click on the channel)
  • Click on Filters and then hit the + icon
  • From the list, choose the VST 2.X plugin option 
Audio troubleshooting for Facebook Live
  • Rename it to Voice Changer
  • Choose Voice Changer from the available plugins list 
  • Double-click it and the Voice Changer user interface will open

Once you’ve done this, you can adjust the settings in Voice Changer on OBS while streaming, and your audio will be modified accordingly.

Live streaming is incredibly rewarding when done right, but nothing will turn an audience off quicker than poor quality sound. We hope that we’ve answered your audio troubleshooting questions in this article today, and given you the information you need to stream at the highest quality possible. For more audio tips and tricks make sure to browse through our blog, where we cover other major live streaming platforms like Twitch and Discord.  

November 24, 2021
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