OBS: high quality local recordings

As far as I know, a lot of people is using OBS to record and stream their races. Sometimes our network or equipment does not allow to overload these tasks, or simply trying to avoid network issues within races we prefer to make a local recording, editing and checking later.

Some OBS settings are complex to understand, so I leave a recommendation to make high quality local recordings with ease.

Here are the settings you are required to change to get high quality local recordings (using the x264 encoder). Do not attempt to use these settings for live streaming!

Use CBR: Disabled
Quality Balance: 10
Bitrate: 1000
Use custom buffer size: Enabled
Buffer size: 0

Advanced Options
Use custom x264 parameters: Enabled
Custom x264 parameters: crf=X
Where X is anywhere from 1-20, lower being higher quality / higher CPU usage. A good place to start is the 15 – 20 range. A CRF of 0 enables lossless recording which will have very high file size and CPU requirements and introduces compatibility issues, so be careful!

Setting the buffer size to zero disables the VBV system, allowing x264 to hit any bitrate necessary to achieve the quality (CRF) specified. If you wish to increase quality further, you need to use advanced options – quality 10 is equal to a CRF of 22, which is fine for live streams but not so good for local recording.

For compatibility with various editing software, it’s also recommended to enable CFR (advanced options) and do not use CRF 0. CRF 0 uses “High 444” mode which a lot of editing software (and some video players) cannot handle.

If you use QuickSync, NVenc or AMD VCE as your encoder, these settings will not work.

A user added:

To add one on, I have had trouble with the audio track playing at a shifted frequency and badly chopped up. Managed to fix that today by adjusting Settings -> Encoding :Audio Encoding:Format to 44.1 kHz from the default 48 kHz. Might help newbies like me and is not very clearly explained in the documentation.

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