OBS Recording: How to Record Desktop Audio with OBS (Windows&Mac)

Last Updated on October 16, 2020 by Robert Jackson


When a situation of recording music or other desktop audio on your computer arises, OBS will always be the optimal solution for most people. However, OBS is never friendly for beginners due to its hard-to-navigate interface and multiple configurations.

To help you out of the beginner’s position, this tutorial will list all details for you to record desktop audio with OBS on your Mac or Windows computer.

Record Desktop Audio with OBS Mac Window

Mac Users must read this:

Since Apple has disabled the functionality of recording desktop/internal audio in all Macs, before you start to record with OBS, you must download IShouU Audio Capture, an audio plugin, onto your Mac.

In this way, OBS is able to record the internal sound on your Mac.

How to make iShowU work with OBS

Step 1 Download and install iShowU on your Mac

Visit the official page of the program and download it on your machine.

You can follow the instructions on that link to install the extension correctly.

Mac Install iShowU

Step 2 Set up for iShowU internal audio device

Once the extension is installed, search for “audio MIDI Setup” on your Mac (press CMD + Space to activate the searching feature).

Mac Open Audio MIDI Setup

A new window pops out. On the window, you need to add a new audio device.

Click the plus icon in the bottom left, and choose Create Multi-Output Device from the drop-down list.

Here, you must set the Master Device as iShowU Audio Capture.

Mac Set Up Multi Output Device

Close the window after you set it up. Now, we can move to the steps about how to record your desktop audio with OBS.

How to record desktop audio on Mac & Windows with OBS

Just follow these steps, and make your OBS audio recording easier.

Step 1 Launch OBS Studio

Step 2 Set up for audio recording

On your OBS, add a new scene first and name the new scene with your preference.

OBS Add New Scene Record Desktop Audio

Then, you need to add an audio source for OBS audio recording. Right-click on the Source section and click Add, choose Audio Output Capture, an option that allows OBS to capture the speaker sound.

OBS Audio Output Capture Record Desktop Audio

While choosing an audio device for Audio Output Capture:

  • Windows users can just use the default output device, and click OK.
  • But for Mac users, you need to choose iShowU Audio Capture as the Device. Click OK to proceed.

OBS Choose Device for Audio Output Capture

Step 3 Start recording

Click the Start Recording button in the lower-right to initiate an audio capture. You can start playing the songs, lectures, or any other computer playback you want to record.

During the recording, you can go to the Audio Mixer section and drag the slider to change the volume of the audio source.

OBS Console

Once completed, click Stop Recording. OBS will export the file to a default folder.

To locate your audio file, you can go to Settings > Output and check out the Recording Path. For Windows users, you may also click the File on OBS and click Show Recordings to open the default folder where it keeps your files.

OBS File Show Recording

Note:

OBS is incapable of creating files in mp3. or other audio file formats but can only produce a black-screen mp4. video with captured audio for you.

Also, the file size is a bit larger than that of a regular mp3. file.

This is how you can record desktop audio with OBS on your Mac or Windows computer.

In short:

OBS is a great screen recorder indeed, but it’s not a perfect audio recorder and it’s quite difficult to use, especially for Mac users.

If you’re not satisfied with the output file of OBS, or you think the process of using OBS is too complex, you can try an OBS alternative to record your desktop audio.

OBS alternative

There are many audio and screen recorders in the market, Aiseesoft Screen Recorder is one of the best you can find.

Similar to OBS, Aiseesoft Screen Recorder can help you record your desktop images and capture both the microphone or desktop audio.

Compared to OBS, the program is much easier to use, you can just use a keyboard shortcut to initiate an audio capture without complex preset at all.

Aiseesoft Screen Recorder Record Video Audio

Moreover, when you use it to record desktop audio on your Mac, you don’t need to download an extension or set up a series of complex configurations. By the way, you can decide the format and quality of the output files if you like to.

Now, let’s try Aiseesoft Screen Recorder to record desktop audio.

Step 1 Download the program on your computer

Win Download
Mac Download
Win Download
Mac Download

Step 2 Start recording

Launch the program and choose Audio Recorder on the interface.

On the Audio Recorder window, turn off the Microphone option and keep System Sound on.

Turn On System Sound

Start running the contents you’re about to recording, then use the default shortcut to activate an audio capture – Ctrl + Alt + S.

The app will start to capture all the internal sounds on your computer.

A panel will appear and you can see the real-time length of your audio file. Also, if the recording is time-consuming, you can click Pause to take a break and click again to resume.

Audio Recorder Panel Stop

When it’s done, use the same hotkey to stop the recording. A new window will show up where you can preview and trim the audio.

Click Save to export an mp3.(default) audio file to a custom folder or you can click Re-record to redo one.

Edit Recorded Audio File

Quick access to recordings:

On Aiseesoft Screen Recorder’s interface, you can find a button of Recording history, click it and you can find all your recordings.


Now, the skills of using OBS to record desktop audio are clear to you. Hopefully, this tutorial helps you record desktop audio on a Mac or Windows computer and you can have a decent audio file in the end.