Finding Original Sound in StreamYard

Given the times we’re in, tools for streaming content online have become more common and more important. A few months back I wrote about the “Use Original Sound” control in Zoom, which is a key thing to know about if you are doing any kind of music over Zoom.

StreamYard is another streaming tool. It lets you bring other people into a livestream on Facebook or YouTube. This makes it possible to add a remote guest to a musical livestream by sharing your screen with the guest to chat and then giving the stage over to the guest musician to play couple of songs.

Similar to Zoom, it works well as long as you recognize that it’s optimized for speech by default and you need to uncheck a checkbox to optimize it for music.

The StreamYard setting is similar to checking “Use Original Sound” on Zoom, but the label is different – in Settings/Audio you uncheck “Echo Cancellation”.

When you’re talking, which is what the default settings assume, the software tweaks the audio signal in several ways to make your speech clearer: echo cancellation prevents echoes, automatic gain smooths out extremes of loud and soft, and noise suppression filters out background noise. But music is not speech.

The upshot is when you are playing music, you want the sound to come through unadulterated. If you’re using any type of streaming software that’s also used for speech, make sure to find the setting that doesn’t mess with your music.