View Full Version : Soundflower help?

Doug Lassiter
09-24-2012, 07:18 PM
OK, I'm trying to use Soundflower with Quicktime to record Gmail phone conversations. I'm impressed with Soundflower, but can't quite get it to do what I want.

I have *no* problem recording the sound coming out of Gmail phone (or any other Mac application). But when I'm doing Gmail phone, Quicktime only sees the audio from the remote party. My speaking voice (from the built-in microphone) isn't seen by Quicktime. So the recording I get is just one side of the conversation. The remote party hears me just fine.

Now, what's frustrating and confusing is that there are five separate places (!) where you can adjust settings, and many of these settings look the same.

System Preferences > Sound Input?, Output?
Soundflowerbed Audio Setup Input?, Output? (Audio MIDI window)
Soundflowerbed pull-down menu (2ch) setting?, (64ch) setting?
Gmail > Settings > Chat Microphone? , Speakers?
Quicktime > Preferences Microphone?
(yes, I know this last one has to be pointed at Soundflower (2ch))

I just want a settings recipe for recording a Gmail phone conversations, where my voice is picked up by the built-in mike and recorded as well as that of the other party. Or at least some kind of functional diagram showing which settings are connected to which other ones.

(There are online instructions for doing this with Garageband, but Iím hoping that it can be carried out far more cleanly and easily with QT.)

09-25-2012, 02:09 AM
I think you problem is that Quicktime in not an audio mixer - it allow just one input device(soundflower from g-phone) at the time. Garageband can have multiple inputs so you should use that.

Doug Lassiter
09-25-2012, 08:15 AM
I think you problem is that Quicktime in not an audio mixer - it allow just one input device(soundflower from g-phone) at the time. Garageband can have multiple inputs so you should use that.

That makes some sense. Quicktime can get input from Soundflower OR built-in mike, but not both.

But doesn't Soundflower offer an "aggregate device", which I would interpret as a mixer? Sure wish there was a manual for Soundflower somewhere!

I thought it had been suggested, on the web, that g-phone recording could be done with Quicktime, but I maybe what was left unspecified was that what you could record was only half of the conversation!

Doug Lassiter
09-25-2012, 09:06 AM
P.S. Here's a writeup about how to do it with Quicktime. But it doesn't work for me. Perhaps because there are things left unspecified in this writeup.


Again, I can record the remote party in a phone conversation using these directions, but not me.

This writeup doesn't specify what "Sound" settings one needs to set in System Preferences. If that's important, it would be useful to know. Also, pretty clearly, it might be pointed out that Quicktime needs to be set to record from Soundflower. It doesn't say that here, but I think that's true. The writeup neglects to say that you aren't allowed to make an "aggregate device" unless you are Administrator. Took me a while to figure that out. Also, you have to set Gmail>Settings>Chat "Microphone" to "Built-in microphone", and "Speakers" to "Soundflower (2ch)". When I do all that, at least Gmail things appear to work when I do "Verify your settings". That is, the Gmail VU meter sees my voice, though the Quicktime VU meter does not.

Quicktime is a MUCH simpler operation than Garageband. So if it's possible to use Quicktime, I'd really rather do that.

09-25-2012, 11:32 AM
Aggregate device doesn't mean that the audio is mixed in OS X. It adds two devices together to appear as one.

So for example, if you have a USB sound 'card' that gives you a mono input (for a microphone, say) and a stereo output (for speakers maybe) and you have a FireWire sound 'card' that has eight inputs and eight outputs, then you could aggregate these two devices and have a single virtual device that appears in your audio apps with 9 channels in and 10 channels out.

If you want to mix audio channels, you still need the software to do that.

I've never tried to use Quicktime for audio mixing, I have no idea if it's possible there or not. Maybe something like the free Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/mac) might help?


Doug Lassiter
09-25-2012, 05:57 PM
That's useful to know about "aggregate devices", but if that's the case, it sure isn't clear why it would be of any use to me in what I'm trying to do.

Oh, but wait a minute. Soundflower allows me to point different channels to the same output device. Is that how it works? Aggregation turns devices into "channels", which can be directed more easily?

09-26-2012, 10:34 AM
Perhaps this link will help you? (Or maybe not--they're using Ableton Live, which is a multitrack audio app. I'm more and more suspicious that the problem you're having is because you're trying to mix with Quicktime, and that's just not set up for mixing. Quick thought--do you have Quicktime [free version] or Quicktime Pro [i.e. the paid version]?)

Record multi-track Skype group call on OS X (http://lublog.tuttoeniente.net/archives/399/record-multi-track-skype-group-call-on-os-x)


Doug Lassiter
09-26-2012, 04:23 PM
Hmmm. Well, thanks for the link. I hadn't seen that one, and it may provide more insights about Soundflower. Yes, it's possible that Quicktime won't do the job, but the zaplabs link I posted *said* you could, and allegedly gave instructions how. So I'm told that what I want to do once worked for someone! Sure wish their instructions were more transparent.

I have both QT7 Pro (paid subscription), and QT10. FWIW, I've been mostly trying to use it with QT7.