Connecting Lyrics Projection To OBS Studio

In this section we are going to install AirServer, then we are going to setup OnSong to project lyrics to AirServer, and finally we are going to superimpose those lyrics on top of the webcam picture in OBS Studio.

Installing AirServer

If you haven't already done so, download and install AirServer from the AirServer Universal for PC page. During installation use the default settings except set it to always run at startup.

After installation no window will be displayed but you will find its icon in the System Tray. While mirroring is in progress a window is displayed.

OnSong Setup

OnSong is an iOS/iPadOS app that runs on the iPhone/iPad/iPod.

OnSong currently comes in two tiers:

This system only requires the Pro version - phew!

If you haven't already done so, install OnSong from the App Store.

There are many tutorial videos available on the OnSong Tutorials page, which will teach you how to use OnSong. If I have one piece of advice to give then it is to enter your songs in plain text and use bracketed chords; you will make life so much easier for yourself if you do this right from the start. Avoid songs in any other format; they will only trip you up.

Add a song in plain text, if you haven't already done so. Importing PDF files will probably not do what you want. An example of a plain text song using bracketed chords is shown below.

My First Song
Me, Myself and I
Key: C
Flow: Verse 1, Chorus, Verse 2, Chorus, Chorus

Verse 1:
[C]This is verse 1 line 1
[F]This is verse 1 line 2
[C]This is verse 1 [Am]line 3
[D7]This is verse 1 [G7]line 4

[F]This is verse 1 line 5
[C]This is verse 1 [G7]line 6
[C]This is verse 1 [F]line 7
[C]This is [G7]verse 1 [C]line 8

[F]This is chorus line 1
[C]This is chorus line 2
[G7]This is chorus line 3
[C]This is chorus line 4

Verse 2:
[C]This is verse 2 line 1
[F]This is verse 2 line 2
[C]This is verse 2 [Am]line 3
[D7]This is verse 2 [G7]line 4

[F]This is verse 2 line 5
[C]This is verse 2 [G7]line 6
[C]This is verse 2 [F]line 7
[C]This is [G7]verse 2 [C]line 8

In the above song each verse comprises eight lines, however, because we need to keep the number of lines displayed at any one time to around four, an extra blank line is included to split the verses into two parts. The need for this will become clearer when we start superimposing lyrics on video.

Tap on the External Video menu. Set the background to plain green with no texture or media; you want to make it as close to an RGB value of 00FF00 (no red, maximum green, no blue) as possible. Don't worry that the colour scheme looks crazy/ugly/incongruous.

Set the text colour to white and the font size to 56pt. Set the stroke colour to black and the stroke width to 2pt.

Set shadow colour to transparent and its width to 0%.

Set Transition Speed to 0.5s.

Tap the spanner in the top left corner of the menu; ensure that Screen Mirroring (iOS) is off, and Screen Resolution is set to Highest Available.

Tap on Lyrics Projection and set Font to Verdana, Text Alignment to Left, Vertical Alignment to Bottom, Margins to Thin, Maximum Lines to None, Adjust Lyrics To Fit to On, Display Footer to Off, Background Fill to Fit. Tap on Done to exit.

With a song formatted as shown above on display, start screen mirroring. On newer iPads you swipe down from the top right of the screen, on older iPads you swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the iOS menu where you can turn on/off screen mirroring.

On your PC, AirServer should open a window displaying the mirrored screen. Tapping on the iPad screen to move the highlight down through the song should cause the highlighted lyrics to be displayed on the PC. A Bluetooth foot pedal is a great way to move through the song.

If you now have your lyrics displayed by AirServer then you are close to getting them superimposed on your webcam picture.

Connecting AirServer to OBS Studio

In OBS Studio select the Scene Collection named 'Church'.

In the Scenes window add a new scene and name it 'Lyrics Projection'. We are going to configure this scene so that it uses nothing but the webcam's video and audio and also superimposes the OnSong lyrics over the video.

The Sources window should have no entries in it. Click on the + button at the bottom to add a source. In the pop-up menu select Video Capture Device and add the existing source named 'Webcam Video'. There should now be a single entry in the Sources window called 'Webcam Video'.

Add another source, this time select Audio Input Capture and add the existing source named 'Webcam Audio'. There should now be a second entry in the Sources window called 'Webcam Audio'.

Add another source, this time select Game Capture and give it a name of 'Lyrics'. For Mode select Capture Specific Window, for Window select [AirServer.exe]:AirServer Universal, uncheck Capture Cursor, leave everything else as default, click on OK.

Right click on the Lyrics in the Source window and select Filters from the menu. Click on the + below the Effect Filters window and select Chroma Key from the menu. Give the filter a name of 'Chroma Key Green' then click on OK. Set the Key Color Type to Green, set Similarity to 300, leave the rest as default, click on OK. This is what gets rid of the green background of the lyrics and replaces it with transparency.

We now have two scenes, both will use audio and video from your webcam, one will overlay OnSong lyrics on the video.

Now we need to configure the video side of OBS Studio.

Select the Lyrics Projection scene. In the Sources window right click on Webcam Video and select Transform and then Fit to Screen from the resultant menus. The webcam video out put should fit the canvas exactly with no distortion.

In the Sources window right click on Lyrics and select Transform and then Reset Transform from the resultant menus. From the Transform menu select Edit Transform and set the Bounding Box Size to 1024 x 576, set the four Crop values to 2 - the red rectangle will turn green. Close the dialog and drag the rectangle to the bottom of the screen. Then from the Transform menu select Center Horizontally.

You should now see the OnSong lyrics superimposed on your webcam video at the bottom of the screen. As you move through the lyrics in OnSong the lyrics should change on the OBS Studio preview screen, and if you are connected to a Zoom meeting then they will change on there too.

We have now achieved our primary goal of superimposing lyrics on our webcam video without introducing a delay between audio and video.

Leading Worship In A Zoom Meeting

In order for the other Zoom meeting member to be able to see you and the lyrics as you lead, you should be made host just before the song(s) slot.

As host you can then mute all microphones except for yours with a single click of the mouse. It is important to remember to do this so that everybody else's voices are not heard because they will be delayed and it will sound like an unedifying racket.

As host you can also set the spotlight on you, which will put you on display for those who are in Speaker view. They will then be able to follow the lyrics as you lead.

Once you have finished, remember to unmute the microphones (if appropriate), turn off the spotlight, and make the next person host so that they can take control.

Sound Quality

If you are relying on the microphone in your webcam to pick up the sound of your voice and your instrument then you would be advised to have a few dry runs before you embark on your first online session. Fortunately OBS Studio can record your audio and video so that you can see for yourself how it both looks and sounds.

My own experience has led me to abandon my webcam mic when performing in favour of using a headset to close mic my vocal and run my acoustic guitar through an FX unit to tame the sound. This allows me to produce a more consistent and, hopefully, more pleasing sound for the other meeting members. It should be remembered, however, that no matter how good the sound you input into Zoom, what comes out at the other end is subject to the unknown quantities of their compression algorithms - fortunately most people won't notice.

Click here if you are interested in improving your sound.

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