OBS-Studio: How to configure your Microphone - Noise Suppression, Noise Gate and Gain Filter

OBS-Studio: How to configure your Microphone - Noise Suppression, Noise Gate and Gain Filter

Remove background noise, turn your mic off automatically while not speaking or add gain if its volume is too low. All this can be done in just a few steps with OBS-Studio.

I will show you how to install the Mic DSP plugin to get a noise suppression filter and then how to configure your microphone in OBS-Studio to use the 3 mentioned filters.

Noise Gate and Gain filter come right with OBS but you will have to grab and install the Mic DSP Plugin.
And you might also need the Visual Studio Redistributable. Just grab both the x86 and x64 version and install both.

Then open the downloaded DSP Plugin zip file and extract its content directly into the main OBS-Studio folder. If you used the installer that would be:
C:\Program Files (x86)\OBS-Studio
It will ask you if you want to overwrite the existing files and it will ask you for administrative permission, say yes and accept the administrative permission.

Now we can start OBS-Studio and if you have not done so yet, go into the configuration and set up your Microphone there. Settings -> Audio
You can configure two playback and three recording devices (and later on configure independent filters for each of them). Most people will just need the Desktop Audio Device and most important for this guide the Mic/Auxiliary Audio Device.

The "default" setting will often work right away but you can also select your Microphone and Desktop Audio Device in the dropdown if you prefer to do so.

Push to mute and Push to talk can also be enabled and configured for each active Audio source in this screen, the Hotkeys are then configured under Settings -> Hotkeys. (Capture Cards and other audio sources will also show up in this list)

But now lets add the filters to our Microphone. In the Mixer section click on the cogwheel of the Audio Device you want to add the filters to. In my case the "Mic/Aux" device:
Two options should show up, "Properties" and "Filters", we want to add Filters so select this option. Resize if necessary and place the new window that came up above or at the side of your audio mixer so you can still see the green bars moving:
Click on the plus icon as shown in the picture to add the desired filter. The three different filters give you the following options:
  • Noise Suppress
    • Remove background noise
    • Suppress Level (dB) - lower dB Value=more suppression
    • Start on -10 and go down up to -60 until the background noise is gone
  • Gain
    • Increases the Input
    • Gain (dB) - negative Values will lower your Audio Input while positive Values will increase it
    • Do some tests by recording your Audio Input and checking the video to make sure no clipping occurs because of too audio high volumes.
  • Noise Gate
    • Turn the Microphone off if no one is talking
    • Close Threshold
      • When the mic drops below this volume, the noise gate will turn off the microphone
    • Open Threshold
      • When the mic goes above this volume, the noise gate will turn on the microphone
    • Attack time
      • How long it takes for the mic to go from off to on, as a fade in.
    • Hold time
      • How long the mic should stay on after the volume has dropped below the close threshold.
    • Release time
      • How long it takes for the mic to go from on to off, as a fade out.
    • In most cases configure your Close Threshold first (it always has to be lower as your open Threshold). First do not talk and see if the Microphone inputs any Volume in OBS, then increase the Close Threshold until the Microphone input stops.
      Now start talking and see if your Open Threshold is correct. You should see the green bar moving, meaning your voice comes in. You can then increase the Open Threshold until the Microphone stops showing input in OBS. Then slightly lower it again and you should have a good value.
I personally use them in the following order:
  • Noise suppression
  • Noise Gate
  • Gain
So first OBS removes the background noise, then it will just open the mic while I am talking and last but not least it will increase this input slightly so you can hear me loud and clear.

Always do a test recording or test stream after you configured your audio settings. Make sure no clipping occurs and that your overall input volume is not too high or too low.
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Very nice. My audio used to be very crackly, but now it sounds really nice. Thanks!
Amazing help, this helped me a lot with an experimental setup I'm making using a directional mic
The explanation of how the different filters work alone helped me a lot! Also the order of how to place the filters has made my stream sound even crisper than before!
I wish it will increase its services for youtube channel.
Thanks for this video and info. It really helped me get my sound to come out right. I had to use an Expander instead of the Noise Gate to get out all my background noise when I'm talking, because the Noise Gate gate kept cutting of my voice at setting high enough to block the keyboard sounds or be set so low that the keyboard came through anyway. That being said the Expander seems to work well for this application and no lost parts of my speech. Thanks again for the great content!
This has been super helpful, thanks.
I found this extremely helpful- thank you so much! You had a great way of explaining the difference between the filters. I've successfully managed to get rid of some of the terrible background noise in my streams - much appreciated!
Helpful, but the editable text portion is out-dated it could be better.
Works fantastic - mine worked horrible but this works amazingly