YouTube gives anyone the opportunity to become a broadcaster, but in order to get started you're going to need some sort of software to mix together your content. It may be that you're just recording a straight piece to camera, but it’s more likely that you'll want to create something a little more complicated that involves the use of multiple sources.
Using OBS Studio you can not only record directly from your webcam and microphone, you can also incorporate footage from games, add in existing videos and still images, capture a window or portion of your screen, and much more.
As you might guess from the name, OBS Studio is a software studio. It enables you to work with these multiple sources, mix between them and create one seamless broadcast.
This can take the form of a record video – a good option if you would like the opportunity to go back and edit out mistakes, or you just want to be able to give things a check through – or you can live stream and mix at the same time.
With support for Twitch, YouTube, hitbox.tv, DailyMotion, beam.tv, Livecoding.tv, Facebook Live and Restream.io, all of the major streaming services are covered.
At first OBS Studio feels a little mysterious; there's little guidance or indication about what you need to do first, and you may well find that getting up and running is a matter of trial and error if you're unfamiliar with this type of software.
Mixing sources can be intimidating if you're doing it live, so you might want to get used to how things work by recording a few test videos. The workflow does take a little getting used to because it's not entirely intuitive, but nothing is so complex as to be unusable.
The latest version of OBS Studio features a new modular interface that lets users enable, disable and move elements to suit their preferences. There's also a new streaming option for Twitch that selects the best server automatically. For a full list of all changes, see the full release notes.
Another free screen recorder with a dedicating gaming mode, FlashBack Express is a great choice if you find OBS Studio's interface a little intimidating.
This free screen recorder lets you capture up to 45 minutes of watermark-free footage from your desktop, but you can only upload it to YouTube.
A neat, no-frills recorder ideal for capturing quick snippets of footage for tutorials, but not intended for gamers.