In this guide, I’m going to show you how you can separate audio in OBS so that you can have completely independent control over your game audio, Discord chat, your music, and your microphone without having to spend any money on something like a GoXLR or an Elgato Wave microphone.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to install some sure complicated software like Voicemeeter either, this new method can be done completely within OBS Studio.

Step 1: Installing Separate Audio Plugin

To get started, we need to grab the newly released win-capture-audio plugin for OBS. A couple of caveats, this does require you to be running Windows 10 updated to at least version 2004 which was released at the end of May 2020. At the time of writing, this plugin is still in beta but in my testing, I’ve encountered absolutely zero issues and it’s just too good not to be telling you about it early.

Download either the executable for easy installation, or the zip folder to drag and drop this into your OBS plugins folder. Once installed, you should have a new option in your add sources menu, called Application Audio Output Capture.

Separate Game Audio, Discord, Music in OBS - Application Audio Output Capture

Step 2: Creating a Nested Scene

Before we go about adding all our individual audio sources, we need to do a couple of things. First, open up your audio settings in OBS, and make sure that Desktop Audio and Desktop Audio 2 are both set to disabled. This’ll prevent us from getting any duplicate audio coming through.

While in your audio settings, make sure your microphone is added correctly in the Mic dropdown, and then we can close down the settings.

Separate Game Audio, Discord, Music in OBS - Global Audio Devices

Since we’re going to be adding our audio sources individually, it could get quite repetitive to add every individual audio source to every single scene.

So instead I’d recommend we make use of a nested scene for all of our individual audio sources. To do that, add a new scene and let’s name it [NS] (nested scene) Audio Sources.

Separate Game Audio, Discord, Music in OBS - Nested Scene

Step 3: Adding Audio Sources

Next let’s add our first audio source, which will be music.

It’s important to know that you need to have already opened the application that you want to capture, otherwise it won’t show up. So that could be Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, or whatever it is you use for music.

Start playing some music and then come back to the new nested scene in OBS. Add a new Application Audio Output Capture source, name it Music to keep things nicely organised.

Next, use the Window option to find Spotify.exe, or whatever application you’re using to play music. For Window Match Priority you want to set this to Match title, otherwise, find window of same executable.

This’ll ensure that no matter what song you’re playing, the correct Spotify executable will be found. You can leave the Recapture rate at Normal and then press OK.

Separate Game Audio, Discord, Music in OBS - Win Capture Audio

What you should see is a new fader in the Audio Mixer showing your new Music source’s audio levels, and this is completely independent of any other audio sources on your PC like system sounds, game sounds, or Discord voice chat. Perfect!

So next, you want to repeat this process for every other audio source you wish to capture. So maybe add a source for Discord called Chat, one for your Game Audio, one for your Browser if you sometimes use that on stream to watch YouTube etc.

Separate Game Audio, Discord, Music in OBS - Independent Audio Sources

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Once you’ve added all the audio sources into the nested scene, you can then go into your normal scenes and then add that nested scene as a source.

This means that you get all of those independent audio sources to control in the Audio Mixer easily, that’s the beauty of the nested scene method!

Separate Game Audio, Discord, Music in OBS - Adding Nested Scene SourceSeparate Game Audio, Discord, Music in OBS - Adding Nested Scene Source

You now have completely independent control of each of your audio sources for your stream so you can change levels, mute sources, and even add advanced filters to each audio source as you desire.

A couple of bonus advanced tips; if you use a Stream Deck, you can add keys for adjusting volumes of these independent sources to quickly change volumes of these sources without having to alt-tab back into OBS. You just need the OBS Tools plugin for Stream Deck by Bar Raider, and then you can add what audio source you want to control and exactly what you want that button to do.

Separate Game Audio, Discord, Music in OBS - Stream Deck Control

Also, if you want to automatically lower your music volume whenever you speak, you can easily set up audio ducking or sidechaining by adding the compressor filter to your music source and selecting your microphone as the Sidechain/Ducking source.

You’ll need to adjust the Ratio and Threshold to suit your setup. If you want to see a quick but detailed walkthrough of how to do this, I’ve got a 4-minute video on my channel covering exactly that.

Finally, if you’re looking for more stream upgrades, why not check out my post on 7 Free Tools to Improve Your Twitch Stream?

Video Guide

As with all of our guides, below I have included a full video tutorial if that is your preferred method of learning.