Audio troubleshooting for Twitch
Whether you want to stream yourself playing games, watch others play, or create something totally unique, Twitch is the platform for you. Setting up a live stream requires a bit of thought however, especially if you want to make sure your audience is getting the best possible quality audio.
As you’ll know from watching any sort of content online, how something sounds is equally as important as how it looks. That’s why we’ve put together an audio troubleshooting guide to outline everything you need to know about sounding your best on Twitch!
If you’re having trouble with your Twitch audio, there are a number of things you can do to fix the issue, both on your computer and the program itself.
It’s a good idea to perform a few basic checks before you start doing anything drastic. Take a look at the speaker icon in your taskbar to make sure you haven’t accidentally muted the sound. It’s also possible to mute internet browser tabs, so double check this as well if you’re using Twitch in a browser.
If your sound isn’t muted, try playing audio in a different app or program to see if you can hear sound on your computer when it’s coming from an alternative source.
Why is my audio not working on twitch?
Sometimes not being able to hear audio from Twitch can be due to the incorrect playback device being selected in your computer’s sound settings. To make sure that this isn’t the case follow these steps:
- Right-click the Volume Control icon on your desktop taskbar and select Sounds.
- Click the Playback tab.
- Make sure you have the device that you use to play audio on your computer set as the default audio device. If you don’t, right-click your audio device and select Set as default device
- Press OK
Why is my audio not coming through on stream?
Audio not coming through on Twitch is annoying, and takes the fun out of streaming. One solution to this problem can be to update your audio drivers on your computer. Don’t worry, this isn’t as difficult as it sounds:
- Open up Device Manager on your computer
- Select the audio device you want to update from the list
- Right click it, and hit Update Driver
- Choose Search Automatically for Drivers
- Install any recommended drivers
How do I fix audio and out of sync on twitch?
If your Twitch audio is delayed or desynced with the rest of the stream, it may be due to a number of reasons. If you’re using Google Chrome, try disabling hardware acceleration, as it can sometimes cause audio desync. To do this, follow these steps:
- Open Chrome
- Click the three dots in the top right corner and go to Settings
- Click Advanced and then Settings
- Disable Hardware Acceleration by clicking the slider beside it
- Restart the browser
The next thing you can do is clear your browser cache and cookies, as a buildup of data here can cause Twitch to malfunction. The process of doing this will vary depending on what browser you’re using, but you can take a look at this guide for helpful instructions.
To add audio from an app or system level audio device to Twitch, follow these steps:
- Go to the Audio Mixer in the bottom left of the Twitch app
- Click on Add Audio to view a list of available audio sources
- Select the app that you would like to configure audio for and click the Add button at the bottom of the page.
Note: Apps must be actively playing sound to appear within the list.
On the main Twitch Studio screen you can see your Chat, Activity Feed, and Scenes. In the bottom left corner, you will see the bar for your microphone and the rest of your system audio.
To add an audio source, click on the Audio Mixer icon with three lines. Once the Audio Mixer menu opens, you can click on the + icon to add another available source if necessary.
If you’re broadcasting copyrighted music that you haven’t received permission to play on your stream, you’re in breach of copyright laws.
This means that music performances such as karaoke, dancing to someone else's music, covering someone else’s music, and lip-syncing/impersonating cannot be the focus of your broadcast unless you’re using royalty free or rights-cleared tracks.
You can completely fix or greatly reduce stream delay on Twitch by enabling their low latency streaming option. Latency is the time measurement of a delay, and in this case it refers to the time between you getting messages on chat and what people actually see on your stream.
To turn on low latency mode follow these steps:
- Open up Twitch in your browser
- Click on your profile in the top right
- Go into Settings from the dropdown menu
- Click the Channels and Videos tab
- Select Low Latency next to Latency mode
It is safe to play music on Twitch provided that:
- you own the copyright to the music
- the music is public domain or copyright-cleared
- you have a license or permission to use it.
One way of playing music on Twitch is to use its licensed music library, Soundtrack. Soundtrack provides users with a large selection of songs and clips that can be used in Twitch streams, and is now available as a web player.
Can I play copyrighted music on Twitch?
Don’t play recorded music in your stream unless you own all rights in the music, or you have the permission of the necessary rights holder(s). Doing this is the best protection for your streams going forward. If you’re unsure whether you own all the rights, it’s pretty likely you don’t.
Twitch uses algorithms to track down copyright infringement. That means if you do decide to play copyrighted music on your streams, you risk having Twitch take down your streams, temporarily ban your channel, or get you in a spot of bother with a record label’s legal team!
Can I play copyrighted music on twitch if I'm not making money?
Even if you aren’t directly making any money from using copyrighted music on your stream, it’s still not permitted to play it.
By playing the music in your stream you’re broadcasting the track to the public, which will be in breach of the licensing conditions of the copyrighted track. Unless you own the original piece of music, or the music is copyright free, you will need a licence to use other artists' music in your Twitch streams.
Can I play Spotify on Twitch?
The rules for playing music from Spotify on Twitch 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 Spotify subscription, this doesn’t mean that you now have any kind of license or permission for broadcasting the music publicly. A Spotify subscription only covers you for private use and listening. This means if you play any music from Spotify (without the owner's permission), your Twitch channel is at risk of receiving DMCA violation strikes.
How do Twitch streamers play copyrighted music?
Although you might hear some Twitch users playing music from Spotify playlists or game soundtracks, don’t be fooled. Twitch has a very strict set of rules for what type of music you can play, and essentially anything with a copyright on it isn’t permitted. Channels that play copyrighted music are likely to have their VODs muted or taken down, and even receive temporary bans.
Synchronisation and Master licenses are required in order to use copyrighted music in Twitch streams. These licenses are obtained in the normal way through a license provider or through an agreement with the owner.
Can you listen to copyrighted music on Twitch?
Although you’re restricted from using copyrighted music on Twitch, you can play some types of music, including:
- Original music that is owned by you.
- Copyrighted music that you have already licensed.
- Other music if you are giving a vocal performance on Twitch Sings.
The safest way of playing music in your streams is to use a fully licensed music library like Soundtrack by Twitch, or other rights cleared music libraries such as Music Cellar, Soundstripe, Monstercat Gold, Chillhop, Epidemic Sound, and NCS.
How do I avoid copyright on twitch?
The best way of avoiding copyright strikes on Twitch is by obtaining the correct permissions to play music. This might involve contacting the artist or their management directly and negotiating a synchronisation license to use their music.
If you’re trying to obtain a license for a track from a global artist, it’s going to be pretty tough. However, you may have more success with mid or smaller size acts, who will charge how much they believe it‘s worth considering their profile.
How to play music on Twitch without copyright
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 Twitch 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 improve the sound quality of my stream?
If you’re using streaming software like OBS Studio to stream on Twitch, you can make adjustments in the program’s Mixer settings to get the best sound quality.
In OBS, the Mic/Aux settings adjust the volume of your microphone. If your mic is set up correctly, you should see a light showing as you speak. The ideal range for this is keeping it at the yellow level. If it shows as red, the mic volume is too high and if it’s green, it’s too low. Adjust the volume using the slider below the bar.
Set your desktop audio a little below the yellow level so it doesn’t go too high when you’re trying to speak over the game or program you’re using.
You can also make use of OBS filters to get the best sound on Twitch. The filters on OBS are effects you can apply to the audio that will do different things to improve it. You can access them by clicking the gear icon on the right of your Mixer Settings.
Each of the filters can be finetuned, but it’s important to note that the best settings for you will depend on your voice, microphone and the room you’re streaming in. Add a filter by hitting the + button on the Filters window. Here is a short description of what each filter does to your sound:
- Noise Suppression: Reduces the amount of background noise your mic is picking up
- Noise Gate: Eliminates audio below a certain level when you’re not speaking
- Compressor: Balances the audio by squashing the peaks of your audio signal
- Limiter: Cuts audio above a certain dB value
The Noise Suppression filter could be useful if you have a fan or other audible machine in your room. Likewise, the Noise Gate could be helpful for reducing noise created by a keyboard or controller that’s too close to the mic.
To use Twitch alerts, your stream must be broadcast from a streaming software like OBS Studio and Twitch Studio, which allow for the use of customized layouts and graphics, scene transitions, and other special features.
The alerts themselves are powered by third-party services like StreamLabs or Muxy, which can be linked to your streaming software. Once you’ve installed your chosen software and set up alerts according to the program's instructions, copy the program’s widget URL, go into OBS and follow these steps:
- Click the + icon in the Sources window
- Select Browser as your source
- Name your alert
- In the URL box, paste in the widget URL from your third-party software
- Customize where exactly you want the alert to appear on screen
Setting up custom alerts for your stream in Twitch Studio is quick and easy. First, select an existing scene and click the Edit Scene button at the bottom of the screen. When in the edit window, add a new layer by clicking on the + icon next to Layers, and select Twitch Alerts under Additional Layers.
Check out our complete guide to Twitch sound alerts!
How do I customize my Twitch alert sound?
As we mentioned previously, using third-party programs allows you greater flexibility for sound alerts than Twitch extensions like Sound Alerts.
Using software like Streamlabs means you can customize your alert sounds in the program’s settings panel. This process will obviously vary depending on what program you use, but the essential idea is that you select an event type that you want to customize, and upload a custom alert sound from wherever you like.
You can find a list of supported sound file types for Twitch alerts here.
Good quality audio gives your streaming audience the information they need to become fully absorbed in what they’re looking at, and playing music and using sound alerts will really increase the production value of your stream.
We hope you found solutions to your Twitch audio issues in this article. Remember, if you want to use music and sound effects that won’t get your Twitch channel in trouble look no further than Music Cellar and SFX Cellar, our premium royalty free audio libraries. Sign up for free today and never have to worry about your content getting taken down or demonetized!