Like most of the world during these past few months, my family has been doing a lot more quizzes than usual. I’ve somehow become the quiz master of the house and have been trying to come up with ways to the keep the quizzes exciting. On our last quiz we had some members of our extended family join, so I wanted to make sure the quiz wasn’t just another Zoom quiz. This post will detail how I used OBS, Virtual Audio Cables and a Stream Deck to allow me to run music and image rounds, as well as the normal quiz style questions.
The first thing I wanted to address was my webcam, as my laptop’s built-in webcam is not fantastic. I managed to setup a Canon EOS 250D with the EOS Webcam Utility Beta software to allow me to plug the camera into my laptop using USB and have it function as a webcam. This setup provided much better images and also opens the possibility to me having different camera angles if desired.
I knew that in my quiz I wanted to be able to display different screens and mix different audio sources and as software I’d heard of and briefly used in the past I decided to use OBS to help me manage this. I also needed to combine and reroute different audio channels so settled on Virtual Audio Cables for that. I set up OBS so that the Monitoring Device was Virtual Audio Cable A and set my microphone and system sounds to be ‘Monitor and Output’ in the Advanced Audio settings. I then set Cable A as the microphone input to Zoom completing the setup of sending audio, but I still needed to be able to hear both Zoom and my System sounds at the same time.
I couldn’t set Zoom’s output to be the system sounds as otherwise I would have been sending the Zoom audio back into the call over Channel A. To get around this I set the Zoom output to be Virtual Audio Cable B and used VoiceMeeter to combine Virtual Cable B with my system sounds into my headphones.
Now I had audio figured out the visuals were relatively straightforward, I set up my three desired scenes in OBS and used the OBS-VirtualCam plugin to get a video output I could let Zoom use. The three scenes I set up were: one with the input from the camera, one with an audio visualiser set up to visualise audio from the system (this made the music rounds more visually interesting) and one which showed a Google Slides presentation with picture rounds on.
To help control the quiz I used my Stream Deck with a few different actions set up. I had an action for each of the OBS scenes to help me easily transition between them, as well as audio playback controls along with a timer. I was able to press the timer start and audio play/pause at the same time to start and stop the songs after a set interval each time. I also had hotkeys set up for the left and right arrow keys to let me control the Slides presentation.
The quiz went really well, with only one or two minor technical issues (mainly me pressing the wrong button). Now I’ve got this setup I’m hoping to use it on some of our virtual Scout meetings, to help let us do more interactive and engaging activities. If you have any ways I could improve or simplify my setup please do leave a comment below :)