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How to record Discord voice calls on Linux

Discord is one of the most popular VOIP/Video communication applications in 2019. Ever since the app was made available on Linux, support for the Linux platform has gotten better. However, there’s still no built-in way to save calls in the Linux app. Instead, if you’d like to save your Discord calls, you’ll need to take matters into your own hands.

The best way to record a Discord audio call on Linux is by making use of OBS. The reason that OBS is a useful tool for the job is that it allows for adding multiple sound sources, including your own computer’s speakers, which can record a Discord audio call.

Install OBS on Linux

To get started recording a Discord audio call on Linux, you must install the Openbroadcaster software on Linux. Open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, with the terminal window open and ready to go, follow the instructions for how to install OBS that correspond with the Linux OS you currently use.

Ubuntu

Ever since Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the OBS tool has been in Ubuntu’s software sources. To install it, use the following Apt command below.

sudo apt install obs-studio

Debian

sudo apt-get install obs-studio

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S obs-studio

Fedora

Fedora Linux’s default software sources do not have the OBS Studio application, because it contains some things that the Fedora developers do not approve of. To get it working on Fedora Linux, you must first enable RPM Fusion.

After enabling RPM Fusion on your Fedora Linux PC, you will be able to install the OBS Studio application with the Dnf package manager using the command below.

sudo dnf install obs-studio

OpenSUSE

Like Fedora, OpenSUSE does not have the software in their repositories. So, if you’d like to get OBS, you must enable the “Packman all” software repository.

15.1

sudo zypper addrepo http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_Leap_15.1/ packman

15.0

sudo zypper addrepo http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_Leap_15.0/ packman

Tumbleweed

sudo zypper addrepo http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/ packman

After enabling the repo, refresh your software sources and install OBS on OpenSUSE.

sudo zypper ref sudo zypper install obs-studio

Flatpak

OBS is in the Flathub store, so if you can’t get your hands on OBS through your distribution’s software sources, this is a good option. To install, enable Flatpak on Linux. Then, enter the commands below to get OBS.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo flatpak install flathub com.obsproject.Studio

Record Discord audio call on Linux

To record a Discord audio call on Linux, start by opening up the OBS application. Upon opening it, you will see an OBS pop-up requesting you use the wizard tool to configure your broadcast setup. Close this pop-up, as we do not need it for this tutorial.

After closing the OBS wizard pop-up, go to the “Audio Mixer” portion of the app. In this area, you will see “Desktop Audio,” followed by “Mic/Aux.” The “Desktop Audio” is the sound output for your Linux PC’s sound system. “Mic/Aux” is your PC’s microphone.

Look through the audio mixer, and change up the volume levels to what you see fit. For best results, consider setting the audio so that neither audio channel sits in the red zone on the meters.

Once you’ve set your OBS audio levels to what works best for you, join a Discord call in a server or start a private audio call in a DM. Then, click the “record” button.

Upon clicking the record button, you will see a pop-up message that appears. In this message, you will see, “It looks like you haven’t added any video sources yet, so you will only be outputting a blank screen. Are you sure you want to do this?” Click the “Yes” button to dismiss the message.

Continue with your Discord audio call and record everything you plan to record. When call ends, or you do not need to record it any further, click “Stop Recording” in OBS. The output of the recording will appear in your home directory as an MKV file by default (sometimes it is FLV in older versions).

Convert the call recording to an MP3 file

If you want to edit your recorded Discord file, you must convert it to an MP3 file. The best way to do this is in the command-line with FFMpeg, the encoder that OBS uses in the backend.

Open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, once in the terminal, use the mv command to rename your MKV recording to “discord-call.mkv.”

Note: be sure to change name-of-obs-recording.mkv to the actual name of the MKV file in your home directory.

mv name-of-obs-recording.mkv discord-call.mkv

After renaming the file, use the FFMpeg tool to convert the MKV file to an MP3 audio file for editing (or listening) purposes.

ffmpeg -I discord-call.mkv discord-call.mp3

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