How To OBS Streaming

Silence is Golden – How to Setup a Noise Gate in OBS

The noise gate audio filter in OBS is the second audio filter I would recommend for your microphone. A proper noise gate will not only stop any background noise that you can’t control like the clicking sounds from your keyboard or the sound of traffic outside, but it will also help prevent any noises you make in front of your microphone like clearing your throat. You don’t want your audience to hear that and the simplest way to stop these sounds is with a noise gate.

While we’re all too concerned about our audio being too loud, making sure to keeping things quiet should be your other concern. A noise gate works by detecting the audio levels and decides if the audio level is high enough to open and let the audio through. If the audio level is too low, the noise gate will remain closed preventing any audio from being heard by your viewers.

To setup a noise gate in OBS, there are five settings you’ll need to set.

  • Close Threshold – When the audio is detected below this threshold the noise gate will close and prevent any audio from being heard.
  • Open Threshold – When the audio being output surpasses this threshold, the noise gate will open, and any audio will be heard.
  • Attack Time – The attack time is how long the gate will take from being closed to being open.
  • Hold Time – The hold time is how long the gate will stay open once the audio has fallen below the open threshold.
  • Release Time – The release time is the opposite of the attack time. This will determine how long the gate will take from being opened to closed.

Before you setup the noise gate you will want to test your microphone and look at the audio mixer in OBS to find out where the low end of your voice is. While the default settings of the noise gate in OBS is a great starting point. You should consider factors such as how loud and silent your voice is, the position of the microphone, and if you move around while talking.

Start with the default settings and do some test recordings and listen to them. If you’re noticing anything you said being incomplete or noticing a word being cut off, then you’ll want to adjust the open and close thresholds respectively.

Your goal should be that the moment you talk, your voice will be loud enough that will cause the noise gate to open. Setting the thresholds too high will result in your voice getting cut off and setting the thresholds too low will result in your audience hearing background noise or hearing you eat or drink.

To setup a noise gate in OBS, here is what you’ll need to do.

  1. In the Audio Mixer window, for your microphone click on the gear and select Filters.
  2. Click + and select Noise Gate. Confirm the name of the filter and change if desired.
  3. Adjust the open and close threshold to your desired settings and click the Close button.

A noise gate is an essential tool that you should take the time to setup as a streamer. The ability to prevent audio from being heard is just as important as not letting your audio peak when it comes to streaming.