MacMost Now 554: Recording Internal Audio

Learn how to record audio coming from applications using SoundFlower and WireTap Studio. SoundFlower acts as alternative sound input and output devices on your Mac. WireTap Studio lets you record and edit sound coming from all internal sources.

Video Transcript
Hello this is Gary from MacMost Now. In this episode let me show you how to record audio coming out from another application. So I get asked this question quite a bit, how do you record audio coming out of one application into another apploication? Say for instance you're playing a game and you want to record the audio from it, inside of say Garage Band or Audacity,
Well you can't do that normally, you can only select a microphone or an audio input but by using the Soundflower extension you can actually redirect audio from one applicatino into another. So the first thing you need to do is download soundflower from this url and install it. Once you do that, your next step is to go into system preferences. You don't see a mention
of Soundflower right away but you have to go to into sound and here you have output to input and normally your output would be sent to either internal speakers or line out but you'll see that soundflower appears here twice, we only need the two channel version. And this basically means that instead of sending sound into your speakers its going to send the sound into soundflower. So now you won't hear anything but it will be going into this internal device. Now in Garage Band lets create a simple recording document here and then once we have that and it's open, we can select an input device for one of the channels. So I'll create a new channel here, a new track, and I'm going to set it up as a real instrument and we're going to go into garage band preferences, and I'm going to set to the audio input into garage band to soundflower. Once we do that i'll be able to see it as theinput for this track here so i've got the input source here and I could set it to stereo Soundflower getting both channels. Now here I am with a game running and you can see that there's audio playing but you can't hear it. If I go into garage
band I can see here that there's audio coming in and I can actually record that audio and see it coming in there, it's not my voice talking thats the audio coming out from the game gold strike and going into garage band via soundflower. I'm going to test it out and go back to system preferences and set it to line out again so I can hear the audio and now in Garage Band I'm going to play what's there and I'll be able to hear the music. Now it would be great if you actually hear what it is you're recording and you can that using Sound Flowerbed which is in the applications folder under Soundflower after you install it. You run that and it will put this menu bar item up here and you can tell it to put the Soundflower output into the regular line out
from your Mac so you basically can be routing your sound from your mac into Soundflower and picking it up into Garage Band or Audacity, and also be sending it to the speakers so you can hear what's going on. Now you could also do this using Wiretap Studio which you can get here, and this takes a slightly different approach. So here's Wiretap Studio and you can see
that you've got this recording pane that floats above everything else, but also includes this library system here so you can record directly
in Wiretap Studio its not just a sound redirect that you set in your preferences. So for instance if I were to run Gold Strike now and it were to start to play its theme music, I could hit record and it would record exactly
whats playing on the Mac. You can see that there's something coming in there. Then I could put that out, stop, and you can see I kept the recording right in here, I could play it back. So it handles a lot more than just simply redirecting sound but the difference is that Soundflower is free whereas Wiretap Studio is $69. It probably depends on your needs: if you just
need to record something here and there or one time, then Soundflower is probably the way to go whereas if it's something you really need to do pretty often and you want a very elegant solution for it then Wiretap Studio is probably what you want. Until next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 22 Responses to “MacMost Now 554: Recording Internal Audio”

    Cyrus Dubash
    5/17/11 @ 8:06 am

    Gary is there a way to send Itunes songs into a Skype call and speak at the same time while the other person on the skype call can hear my itunes song and myself speaking ?

      5/17/11 @ 9:35 am

      Not sure. I’d look through the version of Skype you are using for such a function.

    5/19/11 @ 1:22 pm

    Gary, I downloaded and installed Soundflower, but when I click on the folder in applications I get an error message saying: “The folder Soundflower can’t be opened because you don’t have permission to open it”.
    What do I do?

      5/19/11 @ 2:22 pm

      Did you select it, get info, and try to set permissions for you can open it?

    5/19/11 @ 3:24 pm

    Yes I did and there is no name that says Soundflowerbed app. as in your video just Soundflowerbed. I’m not seeing the menu bar with the output stuff. I downloaded it again and the same thing.

      5/19/11 @ 3:45 pm

      You would only see the .app if you have “show extensions” on. It is the same file, I’m sure. Did you run Soundflowerbed?

    5/19/11 @ 4:09 pm

    O.K. Gary. I see what’s happening. Your right it’s the same app. In Get Info the hide extensions box is checked and I can’t uncheck it, but that’s OK.
    When I click on Soundflowerbed it’s putting an icon on my upper right hand menu bar. When I click on that it opens like your video.
    Thanks for your help.

    5/27/11 @ 3:12 pm


    When I record as instructed into garage band, there is background noise. It’s a tapping sound that is evenly spaced throughout any recording. Any idea how to stop this?

    Much appreciated!

      5/27/11 @ 6:12 pm

      Do you mean the metronome? Turn that off with Control, Metronome.

    8/25/11 @ 8:50 am

    Hi Gary
    I watched your video about Soundflower in May and it worked fine for what I wanted. But after every ‘restart’ the System Preferences always reverted to the Soundflower options automatically. I have no further immediate use for Soundflower and because the need to reset my sound options every time was beginning to annoy me I deleted Soundflower from the Applications folder. Unfortunately this has not helped as the sound system preferences still reverts to Soundflower each time I reboot, even though I have deleted the app! I must be missing something here, any thoughts please?
    I am learning a great deal from your podcasts – thanks!

      8/25/11 @ 8:57 am

      I’m sure there is more to SoundFlower than just the app. It must put something in your Library too. I believe you need to do the standard thing: download the installer again (unless you still leave the installer around). Run it. Select the uninstall option.

        8/25/11 @ 9:50 am

        Brilliant! It worked beautifully and took just two minutes start to finish. The uninstall brings up an AppleScript window and you just press ‘run’. I am very grateful to you. Thanks Gary.

    9/1/11 @ 8:53 am

    Gary, I am trying to download this app from safari on my ipad and its saying cannot download item. am i downloading the wrong app as in for MAC OS or something? please HELP

    Paddy zoller
    12/23/11 @ 9:05 am

    I thot Lion would do this audio recording from Internet sound

    3/15/12 @ 6:57 am


    I have searched and searched for an instructional video for Soundflower and Audacity. Is there any chance you would be willing to do a how to video with Audacity for Mac and Soundflower. I have tried every which way except standing on my head. Thanks in advance.

    Paddy Zoller
    8/13/12 @ 9:33 pm

    Gary, a week ago I used Soundflower and it worked perfectly. I am now having a problem and don’t see where the problem is. I’ve set the System Pref to SF 2 for Line out and Garage Band also the SF 2 for Line In. I’ve also set to Stereo in GB. When I play a internet sound I’m getting no reading in GB in the “sound bar” and nothing is recording. I have restarted my computer twice thinking that would re-set something. Have you ever experienced this. I’ve gone through the settings several times and listened to your instructions the same amount and hope you’ll see something obvious that I’m over looking. Last week I was so delighted with Soundflower. I even tried recording something from iTunes, but no go.

    Paddy Zoller
    8/14/12 @ 7:38 pm

    thanks, I just sent them an email and will let you know the outcome. I was going to uninstall and re-install, but I’ll wait to hear from them first.

    Travis G
    10/16/12 @ 7:11 pm

    Wow, you totally just made my day. Thanks man!!

Comments Closed.