Audio Troubleshooting for Streaming on YouTube Live

Streaming on YouTube is simple, but can often run into problems. Let's troubleshoot the major audio issues you could encounter!

Why is there no sound on my stream? This question plagues many YouTube live users who run into audio stream problems. Fortunately this article should sort out your stream problems in no time. 

In this article you’ll also find answers to what to do if your live mix not working, whether you can stream YouTube in stereo, can you upload surround sound videos to YouTube and does YouTube 5.1 audio and YouTube 7.1 audio exist on the platform?

Want to learn more about streaming with YouTube Live? Read about the Optimal Sound Settings for Streaming on Youtube Live and How To Stream Live on YouTube on our blog.

→ Find Perfect Royalty-Free Background Music for Your Stream. Start Free! No CC required

Why is my audio not working?

There are a few reasons that your audio isn’t working on your stream. However, streaming encoders and platforms are very well designed and easy to use, so the most common problem is that you simply haven’t set your audio input up correctly. Let’s look at how to fix the problem when you have no sound on YouTube live stream.

How do you get sound on YouTube live?

If you’re using YouTube Live Studio to livestream then it’s easy to make sure you’ve got the correct audio input set up.

Go to YouTube Live Studio, here you will be able to see all scheduled upcoming live streams on your channel.

Audio Troubleshooting for Streaming on YouTube Live

Click on the stream’s title. This will open a window where you can edit stream settings. Scroll down and you will see options to change your audio and video input. Make sure that the correct audio input is selected.

Audio Troubleshooting for Streaming on YouTube Live

Now your audio stream problem should be fixed.

How do I fix YouTube live sound?

If you’re already streaming and you have a technical difficulty sound wise, such as your live stream sound not working, you unfortunately cannot change your audio input mid stream when using YouTube Live Studio.

However, if you’re using a third party encoder such as OBS Studio, you may be able to fix your stream problem whilst streaming. 

With OBS Studio this is done in the same way you would add an audio input capture device whilst setting up your livestream. Click the ‘+’ icon in the Sources window, select Audio Input Capture Device from the drop down menu and then pick the microphone you wish to use.

Audio Troubleshooting for Streaming on YouTube Live

Why does my stream audio sound bad?

There are many reasons why your YouTube live audio stream might sound bad. In this section we’ll take a look at a few potential stream problem causes and also give you a step by step guide to solving your stream problems. 

How can I improve my live streaming audio?

There are some very quick solutions to improving your live streaming audio. 

  • Make sure you’re not clipping

Clipping is when audio goes over 0dB and distorts. This is very unpleasant for listeners. It’s easily fixed, just move your microphone further away from your mouth, or, if you’re using a microphone or audio interface with adjustable gain, turn down the gain.

  • Increase the bitrate of your stream

If you’re streaming using a third party encoder such as OBS, you can easily improve the quality of your livestream’s audio by boosting the bitrate. To do this go to Settings > Output > Audio Bitrate. Select a bitrate (the higher the number the better the quality of your audio).

How do I get audio quality broadcast?

To get broadcast quality audio follow this simple checklist.

  • Get a decent mic

Investing in an external microphone for your live streams is one of the best decisions you can make for your YouTube channel. They’re also fantastic for regular YouTube videos.

You can get a good USB microphone for around $40 so they’re not even that expensive. To learn more about microphones read our guide to picking the right mic for you.

  • Compression and EQ

To get that broadcast sound on your voice you need to do some compression and EQ. Accusonus’ Voice Leveler and Voice AutoEQ are two excellent options that are very easy to use. 

If you want a more complicated traditional EQ then check out our guides to the best free and paid for EQs. We’ve also got a run down of the best auto EQs.

Plugins can be loaded in your voice chain in OBS so you can use them live as you stream on YouTube. Learn how to do that here.

  • Position your microphone correctly

A common mistake for livestreamers is to place your microphone right next to your mouth. This seems sensible as your voice should be loud and you will get minimal background noise. However, placing your microphone next to your mouth means your audio suffers from the proximity effect which makes your audio unnaturally bassy.

Instead you want to place your mic about 6 inches from your mouth. This will give you well balanced, broadcast quality audio.

How do you get good sound on YouTube live?

If you’re not worried about getting broadcast quality audio in your streams, but you just want them to sound good, here are a few tips.

  • Get rid of background noise

An easy way to improve your sound when streaming is to eliminate background noise from your streaming environment. To do this, shut your window so street noise doesn’t come in, turn off mechanical devices such as fans and stream in the quietest room in your home or office space. If you want to learn more about noise and how to deal with it, we have a comprehensive guide on our website.

  • Sit or stand close to your webcam

If you’re streaming using your computer’s built-in microphone and camera, then you should sit or stand reasonably close to it when streaming. You don’t need to be right next to your laptop, but if you’re too far away then you will be very quiet when streaming. Laptop microphones aren’t the best in the world so even this basic microphone technique helps to improve your stream audio.

Does YouTube Live support stereo?

Yes, YouTube Live does support stereo audio streaming. In order to stream in stereo you will need to be streaming audio from a stereo input device such as a video game - a single microphone will be in mono. 

Does youtube support surround sound

YouTube recently announced that it would start supporting surround sound. But this doesn’t mean that you will be able to upload videos to YouTube in Dolby Digital surround sound. YouTube Dolby Digital surround sound will only be available on TV and film content streamed through YouTube TV.

Does youtube support 5.1

Yes, you will be able to stream Film and TV content in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

Does youtube support 7.1

No, YouTube does not support 7.1 surround sound. All surround sound is streamed at 5.1.

How do I stream internal audio on YouTube?

The technique for streaming internal audio on your computer varies depending on whether you are using a mac or windows computer. Streaming internal audio lets you live stream from your browser, a video game or video call. Here’s how to do it no matter which operating system you’re using.

How do I stream internal audio on YouTube? - Mac

In order to live stream internal audio on your mac you will need to install a third party program to route audio from your computer to YouTube Live. We recommend Blackhole.

Step 1: Install Blackhole

First, download and install Blackhole from their website. Blackhole is totally free to download and use.

Audio Troubleshooting for Streaming on YouTube Live

Step 2: Set Blackhole as your system’s output

Go to your Mac’s System Preferences > Sound > Output. Here you will find a list of possible audio outputs for you to choose from. Select Blackhole 2ch.

Audio Troubleshooting for Streaming on YouTube Live

Step 3: Set Blackhole as an input on your stream

Finally you need to set Blackhole as and audio source for your livestream. If you are using YouTube’s website to live stream, simply select Blackhole 2ch as your audio input when setting up your live stream.

Audio Troubleshooting for Streaming on YouTube Live

If you are using a third party streaming software to set up your live stream then create an audio source using Blackhole as the input. The method for this will be different depending on your streaming software so please refer to the user manual for the program you are using.

How do I stream internal audio on YouTube? - Windows

It’s very easy to stream internal audio on Windows when using OBS. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Check where your internal audio is going

First go to your sound settings and scroll down until you find Sound Control panel. Open it. 

Now, play a video or a game on your computer. The audio should register on one of the available output devices in the Sound Control panel. Make a note of where the audio is routed to.

Step 2: Create and Audio Output 

In OBS Studio, create a new Audio Output Device in the Sources panel. Select the device you made a note of in the previous step as your source. Your internal audio is now routed to OBS.

Can I play background music on YouTube live stream?

Yes you can, however if you play copyrighted music then you will probably end up with a copyright strike. This can result in your channel getting demonetized which you obviously don’t want.

That’s why it’s a good idea to build up a library of royalty free music that you can play in your YouTube live stream without any risk of getting a copyright strike.

Royalty free music is music that is available to purchase with the agreement that the purchaser can use the music in their content. The composer of the music waives all rights.

Resources like Music Cellar are packed full of royalty free music in a wide range of genres. It’s also very affordable - a subscription gives you unlimited access to royalty free music that you can download and use in your content however you like.

How do I play music on YouTube while streaming?

If you want to stream music on YouTube whilst you’re streaming then you need to have a library of royalty free music.

You can’t stream background music and talk into a microphone simultaneously if you’re using YouTube Live Studio to stream to YouTube because you can only have one audio input at a time when using the platform. However you can if you stream using a third party platform such as OBS Studio, Stage Ten or Streamlabs OBS you can easily set up backing music to play while streaming on YouTube.

For a technical step by step guide to playing backing music on YouTube while streaming read our section on ‘How do I put background music on live stream?’ later in this article.

What happens if you stream copyrighted music?

If you livestream on YouTube live and play copyrighted music you are breaking the law. YouTube has advanced algorithms that will quickly detect if you are streaming copyrighted music. 

When this happens a placeholder image may replace your livestream and you’ll be notified to stop streaming the copyrighted music. If you comply with the warning then you will be able to continue your stream as usual.

To learn more about streaming copyrighted content read Google’s help page.

Where can I get background music for streaming?

The best place to get royalty free background music for live streaming is Accusonus Music Cellar. However, you can also get a limited selection of royalty free music from YouTube’s own audio library.

Is YouTube audio library free?

Yes, YouTube audio library is free to use. You can browse YouTube’s library of music and sound effects, download them for free, and incorporate them in your content.

Audio Troubleshooting for Streaming on YouTube Live

However, for a more extensive selection of royalty free music and sound effects Music Cellar and SFX Cellar are the best places to go.

How do you add background music to a YouTube stream?

To add background music to a YouTube livestream you will need to be using a third party encoder such as OBS Studio or Streamlabs OBS. Lets learn how to set this up in OBS Studio.

How do I put background music on live stream?

Here’s how to add background music to a YouTube live stream in OBS Studio.

Step 1: Set up your scene

First, set up every other aspect of your OBS scene such as video input and your microphone input.

Step 2: Download background music to your computer

Find some music that you like on Accusonus Music Cellar and download it to your computer. If you want to play multiple tracks as a playlist, place them all in one folder so that they’re easy to find.

Audio Troubleshooting for Streaming on YouTube Live

Step 3: Add a media source

Next, in OBS, add a new Media source by clicking the ‘+’ icon in the sources panel and selecting VLC Video Source from the drop down menu.

Audio Troubleshooting for Streaming on YouTube Live

Name your media source. In the next window click the + button and locate your backing music on your computer. 

If you want a looping playlist of songs select multiple files. If not, select just one.

Press OK. You now have backing music on your stream!

If you want to learn more about getting the best possible sound on YouTube Live, we have a guide to getting the optimal streaming settings on YouTube Live. In that article we go over how to access YouTube Live control room and share the best bitrate for YouTube Live

If you live stream using a different platform, we have information on streaming with Twitch, Mixcloud and more on our blog, as well as loads more content giving you tips and advice on getting professional quality sound for your content.

November 15, 2021
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