Apple has long proven that they are the best in the world in terms of the quality and aesthetics of their devices. Their iPhones, Macbooks, Macs, and other devices are very easy to use and don’t require a significant amount of time to set up. And users rarely leave bad reviews about these products. Despite this, some shortcomings are still present in Apple devices. Perhaps to call it a disadvantage is too harsh. Most likely it’s just a minor flaw. It’s about recording audio.
If you need to record an audio stream from a video player, any app, or the Chrome and Safari browsers, you should know that you can’t do it with the standard macOS operating system tools. However, you can easily add this functionality to your Mac using third-party software. After that, you’ll be able to record sound from any macOS app.
So, if you want to record an internal audio track on your Mac, here is how you can do it.
How to record an internal audio on Mac with SoundFlower
Simple utility SoundFlower, unlike other programs, takes very little space in the system, is easy to use, and, importantly, is distributed free of charge. The SoundFlower driver app is only needed to route the audio output channel to the audio input channel.
The main disadvantage of using SoundFlower is that you cannot listen to the recording in real-time. In other words, you can listen to the recording only after the recording process is completed and the system sound settings are changed.
If you want to install SoundFlower on your Mac, you have to follow these steps:
- Download the SoundFlower. You can use this link.
- Double-click the downloaded image file.
- Then, in the window that opens, run the file SoundFlower.pkg.
- A system notification message appears with the text “The SoundFlower.pkg application cannot be opened because its author is an unknown developer”. Just press “OK”.
- Open macOS “System Settings” and go to “Security and Privacy”.
- Click the lock icon in the lower left corner, enter your Mac administrator password, and then click “Disable Lock”.
- Next, confirm the login.
- In the window that appears, click “Open” and follow the on-screen instructions to continue the installation.
- After successfully installing the SoundFlower app, open the “System Settings” app and go to “Sound”.
- Select “Soundflower (2 ch)” under “Output”.
- Under “Input” also select “Soundflower (2 ch)”.
After the above steps, all sounds from your computer will be sent directly to the SoundFlower program. Once you have successfully installed SoundFlower, you can easily switch between the different audio inputs and audio outputs by pressing the Option key and the sound volume setting icon on the menu bar simultaneously.
In order to test the program simply play an audio file, for example, through the application Music (iTunes) or in the browser. At the same time in the “Audio” settings in the “Input” tab, the “Signal Level” will be changed.
How to record audio on a Mac using Loopback
This app lets you combine hardware audio, such as microphones and line input, with the audio output of applications and system-level audio components such as Dictation, Siri, etc. The combined audio device is displayed as a separate item that you can select as input in programs such as GarageBand or Skype. You can also select it as an output device, playing both audios directly from this virtual system and audio from applications that allow you to select the source.
Loopback in your hands can be an extremely simple or complex tool. It all depends on the actual scenarios. So, if you want to start work with Loopback, you have to follow these steps:
- As in example you can use an audio in the Music app.
- Open Loopback and click on the “+” in the lower left corner to add a new virtual device.
- Press “+” on the “Sources” drop-down menu and select the application from which you want to capture audio (recording). In your case, this is the Music app.
- Click “+” in the “Monitors” drop-down menu and select the device to output audio (Mac’s built-in speakers, headphones, speakers, etc.). This is so that you can hear in real time whatever is being played back and recorded.
- Open QuickTime and navigate to “File”.
- Then, select “New Audio Recording”.
- In the appearing window, click on the down arrow.
- Select the created virtual device in the Loopback application as the source (“Loopback Audio” as a default).
- Press the “Record” button to start capturing audio.
- Press the “Stop” button when the recording is complete.
- Finally, save your audio recording.
Where to download Loopback and how much it costs
Apple hasn’t included robust audio routing and mixing controls in macOS, and it’s hard to blame the company for that. Still, such specific functionality is needed by a small number of Mac users. Loopback 2 bridges that gap, but its $118 price tag is aimed at audio professionals, podcasters on a tight budget, or business users. This tool is not random, it is designed for specific tasks and will find an appreciative user.
It’s worth noting the free trial version, the main limitation of which is the sound quality degradation after 20 minutes of use.