This article will explain exactly how to be able to create live videos on YouTube, called “Study Live Stream”! If you don’t know, these live study sessions are a bit like a group of studies that would normally take place around a table, but virtually!
So I film myself working on my homework for 50 minutes, then I take a 10-minute break. These study sessions are transmitted live on YouTube, and this allows you to study (or work) with other students all over the world!
If you don’t fully understand the purpose of filming yourself while working, I have filmed a video that explains all the benefits I could get from this method.
The equipment you need to stream online
To get started, you don’t need to buy a lot of equipment. However, this can be very useful. When I started my videos, I was just using the webcam on my MacBook. By cons, here is the equipment that I bought to be able to make better videos.
- Webcam Logitech C920
- Tripod to fold the webcam
- Micro Blue Yeti
- USB dongle (if you run out of USB ports with a webcam and microphone)
A step-by-step guide to making live study with me with OBS
Download the required files for the setup
- Download OBS
- If you want to have sounds when the work or break timer is done, we need to download sound files in the .wav or .mp3 format. Make sure that that the copyright license of the sound that you choose allows streaming usage. To make this simple, I suggest you to choose audio from the YouTube Audio Library (to access it, first login to your YouTube channel account). We need to have two different files for break timer and the work timer, so download two times the same alarm, or 2 different. In the “Sound Effects” section, you can look for keywords like “bell” or “alarm.” I downloaded “Small Bell Jingle”
Start setting up OBS
- Download the software Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), and open it.
- If asked, accept the software to make changes on your system
- Accept the auto-configuration wizard
- Optimize for streaming
- Service: YouTube
- Follow the steps on this website to prepare your YouTube channel to live stream, then to link OBS to your YouTube account. Follow up to step 6 of “Link OBS to YouTube”.
- I created a set of configurations you can use to get started quickly. You can download the file on Google Drive.
- In the software menu, go to “Scene Collection”, then “Import”. Click on “…”, select the file you just downloaded, and click on open, then Import.
- Go to “Scene Collection” again, and select “Study-Live-Streams”
- Don’t worry, you will receive 1 error messages when doing so. It’s normal, we will fix it next!
- On the “Missing Files” window, click in the “New File” column and go select one the the alarm .mp3 sound files that we downloaded earlier from the YouTube Audio Library. Do it for “Bell2” and “Bell”, then click on “Apply”
- Download the text files required to create countdowns during the video. For that, you need to download this file on my google drive. It is the script Countdown-lua from the OBS website. Unzip the folder, you will find two files inside. One of them will be the timer for break time (10 minutes), the other will be the timer for work sessions (50 minutes)
- Go back to OBS, go to Tools > Scripts. The full procedure is shown in the following video.
- Click on the “+” sign, and go select one of the two “Countdown-lua” scripts we just downloaded. Then, select this new entry, and use these values:
- Timer (minutes): 10 minutes
- Text Source: countdownBreaks
- Start Text: empty the field
- Final Text: Work
- Then, we will do the same thing again but select the other “Countdown-lua” file. Click on the “+” sign again, select it, but this time use the following values:
- Duration: 50 minutes
- Text source: countdownSessions
- Start Text: empty the field
- Final Text: Break
- You have now imported the configuration successsfully! I will explain each item to you in detail! I know the camera is not connected yet, it’s a black image, but we will fix the rest in the following sections.
Scenes on OBS
The “Scenes” section is a collection of items to show to people watching our video. For example, I have three scenes: “Getting Ready“, “Work Time“, and “Break Time“.
They are quite self-explanatory, I use Getting Ready right when I start the stream. When I’m ready, I manually switch to Work Time. When the work timer is at 0:00, you can click manually on Break Time to start the break timer. However, that is pretty annoying: you’re focused, working, and you need to actively remember and look at how much time is left so you can switch the timer on time. Note that whenever you change a scene, the timer on that scene is reset to 50 minutes or 10 minutes.
That brings us to another setup we can do: we can automatically change the scenes to switch from work to break when the timer is done.
How to automatically change scenes when the timer is done
- Close OBS.
- Download the Advanced Scene Switcher plugin.
- Unzip the folder, and choose Linux, MacOS or Windows depending on what is your exploitation system, and follow the installation instruction that are on the website where you downloaded the plugin.
- If you have error messages like it detected an older version of Advanced Scene Switcher, just close them, it’s not important.
- Go to Tools > Advanced Scene Switcher > Sequence
- Click on the “+” two times and reproduce the following settings:
Basically, what it says is that when the Work Time scene has been active for 50 minutes, we switch to the Break Time scene automatically. The same goes for when Break Time is over after 10 minutes.
Now, you will understand why I created a Getting Ready scene. The purpose is to not start the timer right away when I start streaming – so you can get time to get settled and say hello to your viewers before starting to work.
Sources section on OBS
The sources section contains all the elements that you have added to a scene.
Be-Right-Back and Lunch are two text elements that I use to tell people watching the video that I’m currently eating or that I’ll be back soon if I have something quick to do away from the computer. You can hide or show these by clicking on the eye. For example, Hide-Keyboard is hidden at the moment.
I use Hide-Keyboard to hide my keyboard when I’m writing passwords during a live stream. It is a “Color source” element, so it’s only a big black square. Similarly, I use HideScreen to hide my screen if anything sensitive comes up.
countdownSessions is the timer that I use for 50 minutes work sessions. Hiding & making it visible again will restart the timer. (For advanced users, I use the script Countdown Lua for this timer)
Clock is literally a clock showing time in EST timezone because many viewers of my stream would ask me what time it was where I live, so I decided to add it. If you want to remove it, you can use the “-” button. If you want to add your own clock or other elements, I used this website to do so. All you need to do is add a “Browser” source and copy-paste the link to the widget you want to add.
WorkingMasters is a way of telling people what I’m working on because again, that was a recurrent question. You can open the folder, and add your own “Text” source describing what you’re working on.
No of sessions is used to show which session number we’re at. I manually change the values. For experts: An experienced user could use many scenes and have them be scene-session-1, scene-session-2, and make an advanced scene switcher configuration to have the session number updated automatically, but that takes a while to configure. I did it once, lost the configuration, and don’t have the courage to do it all over again!
To move around elements like the timer, you simply need to click on the element to move it around.
To add elements like another text or any other, click on the “+” icon of the Sources section.
To change the color of the timer, or any text element, you need to double click on it. In the window that opens, you will have to scroll down and there will be two fields: “Color 1” and “Color 2” which you need to both change. These steps are shown in the animation below:
Webcam is the element that makes it possible for you to show yourself through your webcam. You need to configure this element to make it work. That’s why the background is currently black. When we’ll finish setting it up, you’ll see yourself instead of a black image.
- Double click on “Webcam” to open properties
- For the “Device” field, select the webcam that you want to use.
- Click on “OK” to save changes
- Repeat these steps for all the scenes: Getting Ready, Work Time and Break Time
Select the microphone to use for sound
The only step left is to choose which microphone you are going to use. The animation below will show you how to do so. For this example, I didn’t have my Blue Yeti connected to my laptop, so I just selected the “Built-In Microphone” of my MacBook Pro.
- In the “Audio Mixer” section, under “Mic/Aux”, right click on the rounded shape and select “Properties”
- For Device, select the microphone that you want to use.
Connect OBS to YouTube
Follow the steps on this website to prepare your YouTube channels for live streaming, then to connect OBS to YouTube. Follow up to step 6 for the “Link OBS to YouTube” section.
How to start a live stream on YouTube
- Go to YouTube
- Top right, click on “Go Live”
- Follow the instructions asked by YouTube.
- When you are ready, in OBS, click on “Start Streaming”. This will start sending your video to YouTube. To be live on YouTube, you still need to click on the blue button “Go Live” on the YouTube dashboard.
I hope this article has helped you to get started doing live study sessions on YouTube! You are now able to do your own study sessions on your YouTube channel! Feel free to write a comment if you have any questions.
Wow this post was very usefull, im having online clases and the tests require to record screen and webcam, thanks for this post
Glad I could help!!
Can you please make a full tutorial video on this?
Yes I can definitely do that! I don’t have enough time at the moment, but I hope I can one day!
Thanks ! Now I’m all set to start my live streams
Awesome Alissa, glad I was able to help! 🙂
This is awesome and very helpful. You did an excellent job of explaining and supplying visual aids without overcomplicating! Thank you!
Thank you so much, that is exactly what I wanted to achieve with this blog post!
I am currently connected to my 21:9 monitor with an HDMI and I am facing problems with the resolution. I am not able to fit the whole screen with my camera. Can you tell me what to do?
Thanks for making such an informative blog!
I don’t think I had that problem before. I assume you tried to “stretch” the webcam element to fill the black square?
Otherwise, you can try to look on Google with keywords like “21:9,” “Ultrawide,” “OBS.”
This was really helpful!! Thank you so much for your efforts
Hello Riddhi! Thank you so much for your comment! I’m glad it was helpful!
thx this so helpful
You’re welcome, glad I could help 🙂
How do I add a beep after the timer ends? Also would it be possible to change from “Scene 1: Study Session 1” to “Scene 2: Break Time” automatically once the timer ends?
Since you left your comment, I have since updated the blog post with your suggestions!
Hope you like it!
I dont have a laptop or a desktop with a webcam and hence I would like to use my phone to stream. Is it possible to get these features (timer, beep after timer, changing scene automatically after timer ends etc) on a mobile phone application?
Hello Bhumika! I have no idea, I haven’t tried. You could look into Streamlabs OBS! 🙂
I couldnt find anyone but you on the WHOLE INTERNET who’s put up a guide to study streaming and software info. I wish there were more people who gave this info. Would be really helpful if you made a video about this. Thank you so much! 🙂
Thank you so much for your lovely comment!
I will definitely make a YouTube video soon with a step-by-step!
I’ll also add a few steps 1- how to automatically switch the timer and 2- add a sound when the timer ends 3- how to hide the hour of the timer!
that 10 min timer was not coming when I was doing this
Can you explain a bit more what was the issue? I can’t help if you don’t give a more detailed error message or problem you encountered! 🙂
Error loading file: cannot open D:/Yayıncılık/countdown 2.lua: No such file or directory
I get this problem when I add countdown.lua why I get this error? how can I solve it?
This means that it doesn’t find the file countdown. When does this error happens?
Have you completed step 5 and more? I actually explain this error is normal and then explain the steps to fix it. Did you do that and it didn’T work?
we need mobile or camera just for video recording purpose which is going to be shown on screen because youtube app is not working in my mobile and i have a laptop for OBS
I’m not sure I understand your comment?
Thanks for the explanation.
However, could you add a section about the alarm (alarm to take a break, alarm sound to switch back to work, after 50 minutes of work) Please.
Thanks in advance.
Thanks for your suggestion! I have since updated the blog post according to your comment and I am now explaining how to do that!
thank you very much!!!!!!
I’m glad that I was able to help you!
Thank you for your walk-through procedure. Is there way to hear when the timer goes off?
Hello Min! There sure is a way – thanks for your question. I have now updated the post to explain how to add a sound when the timer is done!
My Mac doesn’t open files on google drive, can you help me?
Hello! Can you explain a bit more the issue you’re facing? You can also send me an email with the “Contact me” form so we can look into this further together.
I wish I could see this post 2 weeks ago 🙂
I have struggled to figure out and spend hours to make my own.
Thank you Marie 🙂
Hahaha, I completely understand what you mean! I also wished I had this post when I was first trying to figure everything out!
Thanks for your comment.
Hi, I am having a problem on configurations on the very first part which I’ve downloaded on the google drive, because once I’ve imported it, there’s no error found, (the downloaded youtube music sound effects). I’m using a macbook air M1 by the way. I’m hoping you can help me.
In that case, I would try selecting “Bell” and “Bell2” in sources and go to their properties to select the audio files myself.
Hope that works.
Thank you for your sharing, and I have a question about voice, when I import the scenes there is only have a black window, there is no choice to upload the sound files, so what can I do? thank you so much, and looking forward to your reply!
I am not sure I understand. The black window must be because of the webcam needing to be imported again, I believe.
You can send me a screenshot of your problem at my email: marie at girlknowstech dot com and I can help you out there, it’ll be easier!
Hey! Thank you so much for this post. Any idea how I can connect productivity apps like forest to the livestream via OBS?
Hello Emma, you’re welcome!
What do you mean? For the Forest group code to be added automatically?
I do not believe that’s possible. For that, I would always edit a text field myself and add the new group code to join the forest study group.