My settings for screencast recording in OBS


I thought it would be useful to share my experience with OBS Studio, particularly information about resolution, framerate and audio filters for recording screencasts of Foreman or other web or desktop applications. Threfore I recorded a short tutorial:

Here is the document with all my notes:

In short:

  • Target resolution: 1280x720 (720p)
  • Framerate: 10 FPS (to save bandwidth for sharper image)
  • Bitrate: 2500kbps video / 160kbps audio (default values)
  • Codec: Software x264 CBR (Constant Bit Rate)
  • Audio filters: Noise Gate and Limiter

The resulting file size is about 1 GB per one hour and the settings are ideal either for YouTube (which will re-encode it to other codecs) or for further processing (editing, final encoding). I think 720p good for YouTube which is optimized for TV (not desktop) and it is sharp enough for readable text while maintaining reasonable file size with CBR (low-CPU usage during encoding even on older machines).


An extra tip on how to normalize audio track in a video file without re-encoding the video stream:

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1280x720 is really small, dashboard and host detail page breaks awefully if you have few plugins. We should perhaps start optimizing Foreman for this resolution and perhaps say this is the minimum. Related discussion RFC: Should we support mobile browsers? - #12 by lstejskal

It’s hard to tell, because there is no such thing as a common resolution on the internet. All resolutions are below 9%, the “winner” is Full HD (1080p) with 8.8% share.

Problem is, for screencast recording, you only have two real options - 720p or 1080p, all other resolutions are scaled to match that by YouTube. And if I have to choose one out of the two, I am all for 720p because the other one might break some pages but it is perfectly readable (the default font size is readable).

Therefore I think this is a different discussion, we can pick any resolution as the “safe” one we optimize for. For YouTube, I’d still recommend 720p.

OK, pixels don’t work on my setup, since I use 125% scaling on my 4k monitor. So I used higher resolution for browser but scaled video to 1280x720.

And one more thing, we will be recording audio separately for some videos, so I have prepared a short tutorial on how to do that in Linux via Audacity.

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