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Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby audio_jungle » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:36 pm

desmond wrote:
audio_jungle wrote:Based on what I have seen today, it also appears that the *hijacked* audio is ultimately allowed to continue on its way to the System output. And this is why when I add Firefox as an "audio source" in Loopback, and I have my System > Output set to my Internal Speakers/USB Headset that I can listen to the streaming radio on Firefox while Loopback makes it available to other applications like Audacity, right?

So... Yes, but not *quite* :)

It's a *little* more complicated than that (for good reasons), because Loopback is trying to help you not make routing mistakes, such as routing the same audio multiple times through to the same output etc.

Let's try and explain Loopback's behaviour with an example.

So, let's say you have audio playing in Firefox, which is going to the system output as per normal operation.

You then enable Loopback, and have Firefox as a hijacked source. Audacity is not running.

At the moment Firefox is still playing to your system output (either Loopback is hijacking Firefox, and passing it on to the system output by default, *or* Firefox hasn't *technically* been actually hijacked yet, it's impossible to know how Loopback is programmed, we can just observe the behaviour). But the bottom line is that, at this moment, Firefox audio so far isn't doing anything beyond normal.

Agreed.


desmond wrote:*But* - as soon as you have another application that's set to receive audio from Loopback (eg, you run Audacity which has Loopback set as it's audio input), Loopback now knows it's "in use" and has to divert the audio away from it's regular use, and instead pass it through Loopback, so it can be recorded to Audacity.

(Verified by me sticking meters at various points in the signal path and observing what audio is being passed around when.)

How exactly did you put meters in between these virtual parts?


desmond wrote:Ok. So what's our path to *hearing* Firefox, under these conditions?

In Loopback, if "Mute audio sources" is checked, Firefox will *only* send to Loopback (while active of course), but if it's unchecked, Firefox will *also* be sent to the normal system output path as well. You can think of this as the Firefox audio is sent *both* to Loopback, and the system output. The checkbox only works when hijacking is taking place (ie, when another app is listening to the Loopback input), otherwise it does nothing. It's normally best left on.

And the second "Monitor Through" option lets you choose *another* output device to monitor to, in addition to the path above. Leave this off for now, you likely won't need it.

Okay.


desmond wrote:Note: The manual explains both these checkboxes in a straightforward enough manner, and also says that enabling the Monitor Through checkbox will *always* make Loopback active/in use *even if no apps are using the Loopback device*. I mention this just to be thorough about the above behaviour - like I say, just forget about the second option for now.

On what page of the PDF is that?


Taking into consideration what you said above, here is what I observe...

These are my current settings...

System Preferences:
Input > Logitech USB Headset
Output > Logitech USB Headset


Loopback
Virtual Device > vHeadset+Firefox

Sources:
- Logitech USB Headset
- Firefox

Mute audio sources > checked
Monitor audio through > unchecked


Audacity
Playback Device > Logitech USB Headset
Recording Device > vHeadset+Firefox


Firefox
Playing streaming audio...

- I am wearing my USB headset.
- Firefox is on, and pointing to http://www.cifm.com
- Audacity is off.
- My Loopback virtual device is unchecked.

- I can hear music from the online radio station.

- If I enable my Loopback virtual device, there are no changes.

- Next, I launch Audacity.
- I can still hear the stream.

- I open an Audacity project.
- I can still hear the stream.

- I press "Record" in Audacity...
- The music in my headset is shut OFF.
- I can see "signal" being recorded in Audacity, though.

- I go to Loopback, and uncheck "Mute audio sources"
- I can now hear the stream again.


If I had to guess, this is how things work...

When Loopback is out of the equation, then streaming radio from Firefox is passed to macOS and then to your hardware, where you hear it on your defined "Output", e.g. Internal Speakers, Headphones, USB Headset, External Speakers.

When a virtual device is created in Loopback and turned on, Loopback *inserts* itself between any applications (e.g. Firefox) and macOS and your hardware.

As such, signal is NOT going directly from Firefox to macOS and your hardware anymore.

If the application defined in "Audio Sources" is NOT actively pulling the *hijacked* signal from Loopback's virtual device, then Loopback presumably passes along the signal from Firefox to macOS and your hardware.

However, if the application defined in "Audio Sources" is ACTIVELY pulling the *hijacked* signal from Loopback's virtual device, then a few things happen...

1.) Loopback now passes along the *hijacked* signal from the audio source (e.g. Firefox) to the application using the virtual device as an "input" (e.g. Audacity).

2.) Loopback looks at its own settings

3.) If "Mute audio sources" is checked, then Audacity still gets the *hijacked* signal, but the signal is NOT passed along to macOS and your hardware, so you can see things being captured in Audacity, but cannot hear them!

And if "Mute audio sources" is UN-checked, then Audacity still gets the *hijacked* signal, and it it also passed along to macOS and your hardware, so that you can hear what Audacity is capturing!

Image



It should be noted that the moment the application which is requesting the signal from Loopback stops recording, Loopback flips the "switch" back to where it is receiving signal from Firefox, HOWEVER, it is immediately passing it along to macOS and your hardware.

(So, stopping recording in Audacity yields the same effect as unchecking "Mute audio sources"...)

Whether Loopback "interrogates" that incoming signal, or simply passes it along to macO and your hardware is a function of whether Loopback determines if another application is requesting the signal it has "hijacked*.


I believe what I just described is consistent with what you said above...

How does that sound?



desmond wrote:However, there is also yet *one more* monitor pathway - Audacity is receiving audio from Loopback, but it itself probably has the system output set as it's output. If Audacity is set to monitor sources, then it will pass incoming audio through to it's output so you can hear it.

Audacity has a "Playback Device" but not a "Monitoring Device".

So, yes, if I have...

System Preferences > Sound > Output > USB Headset

Audacity > Preferences > Playback Device > Built-in Output


Then in Loopback, if "Mute audio sources" is unchecked, I will hear the stream in my USB Headset on real-time.

Later, if I want to go back and listen to the recroded stream in Audacity, then I will hear it on my laptop's speakers - and NOT my USB headset - as that is how Audacity is set up.


desmond wrote:This is why your monitoring options are useful, as it's all to easy to, for example, have Loopback passing your audio to the system output, and also have Audacity passing a copy of it to the system output, leading to not so nice results.

I suppose that could happen when you playback your audio in Audacity, yes.



desmond wrote:I'd suggest the easiest way to proceed is to leave "Mute Audio Sources" checked in Loopback, and monitor via Audacity (but you can if you prefer do it the other way around.)

As mentioned above, you cannot do that.

Audacity only allows you to define a "Playback Device" which cannot be used to listen as you actually record things.

As such, I would need to use one of these approaches...

a.) Mute audio sources > un-checked
Monitor audio through __________ > un-checked

b.) Mute audio sources > checked
Monitor audio through __________ > checked

c.) Mute audio sources > un-checked
Monitor audio through __________ > checked


I tried all 3 options above, and for some strange reason, they all yield acceptable results?! (Maybe because I split the audio source and put Firefox on two channels and my USB Headset on two separate channels that makes a difference?)

If I had to guess, I would think Option-A above is the "cleanest" approach.

What do you think??


desmond wrote:Hopefully I'm clear enough in explaining this - but if at any stage you're not sure what I'm saying, just let me know and I'll try to be clearer.

Much better than Rogue Amoeba's support... :mrgreen:


desmond wrote:
audio_jungle wrote:Thank God for experts on the Internet like you who are willing to take time to help out a stranger!!

No worries - that's what makes the internet (and this forum in particular) so cool!. We all benefit from learning from others and I'm sure others reading this thread struggling with similar issues will hopefully find something useful too.

Although frustrating in the beginning, I am finding all of this SUPER INTERESTING, and I am eagerly awaiting the day when I have a successful podcast online. (Understanding that great sound engineering is only part of the equation!)

Thanks!!


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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby desmond » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:15 pm

audio_jungle wrote:How exactly did you put meters in between these virtual parts?

I think we've got enough to deal with just sticking to the initial tools, rather than adding in other things into the mix.
I have and use many other tools than just the ones we're dealing with here, but they're outside the scope of helping you achieve your aim and might just confuse you more.

audio_jungle wrote:
desmond wrote:[i]Note: The manual explains both these checkboxes in a straightforward enough manner

On what page of the PDF is that?

Audio Sources -> Additional Settings

audio_jungle wrote:- I press "Record" in Audacity...
- The music in my headset is shut OFF.
- I can see "signal" being recorded in Audacity, though.

That sounds simply like Audacity is not monitoring the signal, but is behaving exactly as I described the behaviour above.
I haven't checked, but it sounds like when Audacity goes into Record that's when it starts tapping the audio feed, Loopback becomes active, so the Firefox audio is diverted to Audacity, and Loopback no longer sends it to the system output (as Mute Sources is checked.). As Audacity is currently not monitoring audio (ie passing it from input to Output), you aren't hearing it. I would have thought Audacity would do this by default (it's a very standard feature for any DAW), it might be an option, I'll go look later. (Edit: Preferences -> Recording -> Software Playthrough of Input, or Transport -> Transport Options -> Software Playthrough On/Off to turn monitoring on.)

In any case, everything is working as I described above.

audio_jungle wrote:- I go to Loopback, and uncheck "Mute audio sources"
- I can now hear the stream again.

You should understand why, now. :thumbup:

audio_jungle wrote:If I had to guess, this is how things work...

There's no need to *guess*, I already described the full behaviour above. If you're still not sure about the behaviour yet, it might be worth going back and re-reading it.

audio_jungle wrote:When Loopback is out of the equation, then streaming radio from Firefox is passed to macOS and then to your hardware, where you hear it on your defined "Output", e.g. Internal Speakers, Headphones, USB Headset, External Speakers.

Yes.

audio_jungle wrote:When a virtual device is created in Loopback and turned on, Loopback *inserts* itself between any applications (e.g. Firefox) and macOS and your hardware.

By that, If you mean with no sources defined, and nothing routed to it - just a virtual device is created, then No: Loopback just gets added as a new audio device, and appears as an Input and Output option in all audio device choosers. It's the same as plugging in an audio interface, it's just there, if you choose to use it. It's not inserting anything between anything, it's simply a new audio device that gets announced to the system and because available to use should you choose to do something with it.

Or if you mean a virtual device is created *with* eg Firefox as a source, then kind of yes. Again, I described the exact behaviour in detail in the previous post.

audio_jungle wrote:As such, signal is NOT going directly from Firefox to macOS and your hardware anymore.

Yes, with a hijacked source, the audio is routed by Loopback according to how you set it up.

audio_jungle wrote:If the application defined in "Audio Sources" is NOT actively pulling the *hijacked* signal from Loopback's virtual device, then Loopback presumably passes along the signal from Firefox to macOS and your hardware.

You've lost me. The application defined as a source is not "pulling" any signal from Loopback (ie listening to the audio from Loopback). The application defined as a source (ie, Firefox), is *outputting* audio to Loopback. It's not receiving any audio at all.

I don't want to have to keep retyping the behaviour in multiple posts - again, if you're not sure, re-read the behaviour I described above.

audio_jungle wrote:However, if the application defined in "Audio Sources" is ACTIVELY pulling the *hijacked* signal from Loopback's virtual device, then a few things happen...

Either you're confused, or your terminology is wrong here. Remember, hijacking means diverting the *output* of your source application *to* Loopback.

audio_jungle wrote:It should be noted that the moment the application which is requesting the signal from Loopback stops recording, Loopback flips the "switch" back to where it is receiving signal from Firefox, HOWEVER, it is immediately passing it along to macOS and your hardware.

That looks like the way Audacity is behaving, from your description, but as yet, I haven't verified it (I personally can't stand Audacity....)

audio_jungle wrote:Whether Loopback "interrogates" that incoming signal, or simply passes it along to macO and your hardware is a function of whether Loopback determines if another application is requesting the signal it has "hijacked*.

Yes, pretty much. Again, explained above.

audio_jungle wrote:Audacity has a "Playback Device" but not a "Monitoring Device".

The playback device is where Audacity plays audio to.

"Monitoring" simply means when recording, Audacity send audio it's recording back out to it's playback device. This is a standard feature on basically any recording device, and is usually an on/off setting. I'm sure Audacity will have this option somewhere. Edit: Added this info above/below.

audio_jungle wrote:Then in Loopback, if "Mute audio sources" is unchecked, I will hear the stream in my USB Headset on real-time.

Yes, as things currently are. Or, like I say above, you can monitor through Audacity and not need to monitor via Loopback. It's your choice.

audio_jungle wrote:Later, if I want to go back and listen to the recroded stream in Audacity, then I will hear it on my laptop's speakers - and NOT my USB headset - as that is how Audacity is set up.

All this routing is up to you - if you always want to hear everything on your headset headphones, then set your system output to the headset, and set Audacity to output to your headset. If the headset is your primary monitor choice, then that's where you want to hear stuff.

audio_jungle wrote:
desmond wrote:I'd suggest the easiest way to proceed is to leave "Mute Audio Sources" checked in Loopback, and monitor via Audacity (but you can if you prefer do it the other way around.)

As mentioned above, you cannot do that.

Of course you can. I'm not going to suggest things that don't work :)
Only because you currently aren't monitoring through Audacity by default (again, I don't know what exact state you various software is on your computer at the time of posting.) I assumed it would monitor by default, but in your case it's not, so like I've said, you can continue to monitor via Loopback, or set Audacity to monitor. One or the other (but not both) is equally fine.

audio_jungle wrote:Audacity only allows you to define a "Playback Device" which cannot be used to listen as you actually record things.

Of course it can - don't *guess* based on nothing more than sound engineering inexperience! :)
I looked - the setting you want is Preferences -> Recording -> Software Playthrough of Input, or Transport -> Transport Options -> Software Playthrough On/Off (it's the same setting). When checked, Audacity should send the recordings to it's output while recording.

audio_jungle wrote:Much better than Rogue Amoeba's support... :mrgreen:

If you were expecting their support to do this with you, then no wonder you were disappointed - no software support would do this, it's *wayy* beyond software support remit to help you plan and config complex needs across multiple applications and requirements and teach you how to use it. It's like buying a car, then phoning up the dealer expecting them to teach you how to drive!!

Support will help you with installation problems, clarify how a feature works, or suggest some use cases, but they are not obliged to plan your podcast recording setup for you!

So, we have pretty much covered all the behaviour of all components in your system, you now have all the pieces you need, and you know how to config everything so it works for you - anything else is just repeating myself. If you are unsure, go back over what's been written here, and try the behaviour for yourself to verify it if necessary.

Look forward to the first podcast... :thumbup:
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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby audio_jungle » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:34 am

Desmond,

Seems I have worn you out!

desmond wrote:
audio_jungle wrote:How exactly did you put meters in between these virtual parts?

I think we've got enough to deal with just sticking to the initial tools, rather than adding in other things into the mix.

I have and use many other tools than just the ones we're dealing with here, but they're outside the scope of helping you achieve your aim and might just confuse you more.

Maybe later on as I advance...


desmond wrote:
audio_jungle wrote:- I press "Record" in Audacity...
- The music in my headset is shut OFF.
- I can see "signal" being recorded in Audacity, though.

That sounds simply like Audacity is not monitoring the signal, but is behaving exactly as I described the behaviour above.

Right.


desmond wrote:In any case, everything is working as I described above.

Yes.



desmond wrote:
audio_jungle wrote:If I had to guess, this is how things work...

There's no need to *guess*, I already described the full behaviour above. If you're still not sure about the behaviour yet, it might be worth going back and re-reading it.

You said you weren't sure how Loopback was programmed.

What I was trying to say below, but mangled up was this...

It appears that when you create a virtual Loopback device, define an audio source in Loopback and then another application defines the virtual Loopback device as its "input" and then that application (e.g. Audacity) starts pulling data, then it appears as if Loopback stops routing audio to macOS and your hardware and starts routing it to the application using the virtual Loopback device.

I say "it appears" because Loopback is a "black box".

(In the above scenario, it is also possible that when the virtual Loopback device is not in use, that audio from applications like Firefox is just following its normal path and going directly to macOS and your hardware.)

However, my suspicion, is that once a virtual Loopback device is created with sources, that it reaches up and starts grabbing audio from the applications in its "audio sources" but lets that audio pass-through to macOS and the hardware until some other application starts requesting/pulling audio, and then Loopback flips an internal switch and the audio flows directly to the application (e.g. Audacity).

If you have "Mute audio sources" turned OFF, then Loopback ALSO routes data to macOS and the hardware, but the point I failed to make earlier is that it seems in either scenario that audio is flowing through Loopback and Loopback is the one doing the routing.

Not sure if that makes more sense?

And I am not sure if my suspicions are correct, but just trying to thing outside of the box and figure of how this "black box" works.

Enough on all of that!


desmond wrote:
audio_jungle wrote:Whether Loopback "interrogates" that incoming signal, or simply passes it along to macO and your hardware is a function of whether Loopback determines if another application is requesting the signal it has "hijacked*.

Yes, pretty much. Again, explained above.

Okay.



desmond wrote:Of course it can - don't *guess* based on nothing more than sound engineering inexperience! :)

I looked - the setting you want is Preferences -> Recording -> Software Playthrough of Input, or Transport -> Transport Options -> Software Playthrough On/Off (it's the same setting). When checked, Audacity should send the recordings to it's output while recording.

When I choose "Software Playthrough" it froze up Audacity, and I had to do a "Force Quit"?!

I tried again and checked "Software Playthrough". Then I opened up a new project, started recording with Loopback's "Mute audio sources" checked.

When I hit "Record", I could no longer hear the audio as before. So it appears that option in Audacity doesn't do what you expected.

In addition, when that option was checked, if I spoke into my headset as music played, I got feedback like before you helped me properly set things up.

Looks like that is not a path I want to go down...

If I am recording from Firefox and my USB headset, if there any problem having "Mute audio sources" UNCHECKED so that I can monitor my recording as it happens?

That doesn't seem to cause any issues, although you recommend leaving it checked.


desmond wrote:If you were expecting their support to do this with you, then no wonder you were disappointed - no software support would do this, it's *wayy* beyond software support remit to help you plan and config complex needs across multiple applications and requirements and teach you how to use it. It's like buying a car, then phoning up the dealer expecting them to teach you how to drive!!

You weren't in the email exchanges.

I gave an enormous amount of bakground details, and asked very specific questions, and the responses I got implied that the person either didn't know the answers or didn't care.

And, yes, I do expect companies to create documentation that your grandmother could read and understand the first time. (It all comes down to pride in work...)

Guess we can agree to disagree on this point. ;)


desmond wrote:Look forward to the first podcast... :thumbup:

If I ever make it there in one piece?! (And if I don't piss off my new audio mentor!!) :(

Sincerely,


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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby desmond » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:46 am

audio_jungle wrote:You said you weren't sure how Loopback was programmed.

Just in regards to that one behaviour, before Loopback is "in use", but it makes no difference exactly what's going on and is therefore inconsequential to anything, I just mentioned it for completeness.

audio_jungle wrote:It appears that when you create a virtual Loopback device, define an audio source in Loopback and then another application defines the virtual Loopback device as its "input" and then that application (e.g. Audacity) starts pulling data, then it appears as if Loopback stops routing audio to macOS and your hardware and starts routing it to the application using the virtual Loopback device.

Yes, as I explained above. This is Loopback "in use" as referenced in the manual.

audio_jungle wrote:(In the above scenario, it is also possible that when the virtual Loopback device is not in use, that audio from applications like Firefox is just following its normal path and going directly to macOS and your hardware.)

Yes. Like I say, when not in use, it doesn't matter whether Loopback is doing anything or not, all regular apps are just being output to the system as normal - whether Loopback is doing that or not makes no practical difference.

audio_jungle wrote:However, my suspicion, is that once a virtual Loopback device is created with sources, that it reaches up and starts grabbing audio from the applications in its "audio sources" but lets that audio pass-through to macOS and the hardware until some other application starts requesting/pulling audio, and then Loopback flips an internal switch and the audio flows directly to the application (e.g. Audacity).

Yes, that may be exactly how it's programmed. Or not - like I say, it's an implementation detail that makes no practical difference. It's the "in use" bit where the behaviour is important.

audio_jungle wrote:When I choose "Software Playthrough" it froze up Audacity, and I had to do a "Force Quit"?!

Difficult to help with Audacity, as I think it's terrible software anyway ;)
It doesn't freeze Audacity here.

audio_jungle wrote:When I hit "Record", I could no longer hear the audio as before. So it appears that option in Audacity doesn't do what you expected.

I'll have a look later. I read the docs, it should do what it promises to do, it's the whole point of that feature, and is a standard feature on all DAWs. :headbang:

audio_jungle wrote:In addition, when that option was checked, if I spoke into my headset as music played, I got feedback like before you helped me properly set things up.

If you're getting feedback, this only happen when something from an output is fed back into it's input. Given a correctly configured Loopback system, this is not happening via Loopback, which suggests that maybe your headset is very poor, and audio from the headset headphones is coming back into the headset mic. The only real solution, short of turning the volume down, is to use something else, a better headset, or a proper mic and headphones.

audio_jungle wrote:If I am recording from Firefox and my USB headset, if there any problem having "Mute audio sources" UNCHECKED so that I can monitor my recording as it happens?

This is fine. As stated above, how you choose to monitor is up to you. If you don't wish to use (or can't use) Audacity to monitor, then use Loopback in that manner. I thought I had made that point fairly clear. All I said was to be sure not to do *both* at the same time.

audio_jungle wrote:That doesn't seem to cause any issues, although you recommend leaving it checked.

Recommended because I would be monitoring through my DAW/recorder, but as this seems to be giving you problems, so do it the other way. It's fine, as already said, do it whichever way makes sense for you. Now you have an understanding of what these features do, you can make informed decisions about how to use them. :thumbup:

audio_jungle wrote:And, yes, I do expect companies to create documentation that your grandmother could read and understand the first time. (It all comes down to pride in work...)

I'm not doubting your experience, I just have a hard time associating some of your comments with Rogue Ameoba, who are one of the high end of Mac software utility/app developers who do work really hard and really care, and have been making excellent software for many years, and who I've had some relationship with for a long time.

Their documentation is also really accessible and nicely written, compared to the vast majority of software. There is a four step Quick Start, and a full manual, which is really nicely written, and *should* give you everything you need to make Loopback work, but is not a general tutorial on everything audio and people can often have complex system requirements which require some system design and troubleshooting that is well outside the scope of a tutorial/ reference manual. Obviously it's not working for you for some reason, but everyone is different, and it's hard to please everyone 100%.

Damn, my tea's one cold *again*... :beamup:
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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:13 am

:clap: :thumbup: Absolutely epic support going on there Desmond. This is what makes the SOS forums such a special place. :D

H
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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby desmond » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:13 pm

Thanks Hugh! :thumbup:

audio_jungle wrote:So it appears that option in Audacity doesn't do what you expected.

I just tried here, and that option does *exactly* what I expected.

I sent an audio source with no other monitoring to Audacity. With Software Playthrough off, Audacity does no input monitoring - ie, it doesn't send it's input (what it's recording) to it's output - result: good recording, but no monitoring of the audio while recording.

I then turned Software Playthrough on, and hit record again, and now, Audacity sends it's recording input to it's output, meaning I could hear what I was recording from Audacity's output.

Also: if you click the input monitor where it says "Click to start monitoring", it will respect the Software Playthrough status even when not in record mode - ie, with Audacity stopped, if you "click to start monitoring", with Software Playthrough off, you'll see meters for the Input but hear nothing, and when Software Playthrough is on, and you click to start monitoring", you'll se meters for both input and output and you'll hear Audacity monitoring the input at it's output.

Here's a visual example:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xy58quik1e2ydy9/monitoring.mp4?dl=0

I have Quicktime hijacked to the Loopback bus. You can see when I play Quicktime, we get audio on the Loopback bus as shown in the top line of Audio Hijack.

In Audacity, with playthrough off, when we click input monitoring, and play in audio from the Loopback device, we see input levels, but we get no output (the output of Audacity is in the bottom line of Audio Hijack).

When I turn on playthrough, now when we click input monitoring, we see both input *and* output levels in Audacity, and you can see Audacity is now outputting audio.
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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby audio_jungle » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:06 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote::clap: :thumbup: Absolutely epic support going on there Desmond. This is what makes the SOS forums such a special place. :D

H

Yes, I am very indebted to Desmond for all of his patience and willingness to share his expertise.

Thank you for helping a newbie has an outside shot at succeeding in this new realm!! :smirk:
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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby audio_jungle » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:38 am

desmond wrote:Thanks Hugh! :thumbup:

audio_jungle wrote:So it appears that option in Audacity doesn't do what you expected.

I just tried here, and that option does *exactly* what I expected.

But it doesn't work for me... ;-)

Image

Image


I am running Audacity v2.2.2 and macOS Sierra...

Sincerely,


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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby desmond » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:33 am

audio_jungle wrote:But it doesn't work for me... ;-)

The *feature* is working fine in Audacity, it's the overall behaviour of all the other components that aren't doing what you want yet. You have to break down and isolate things to troubleshoot.

You've already said that if you don't monitor in Audacity, and monitor via Loopback, everything works as you need. So why not stop there? - it's working how you like.

We can go on to troubleshoot this alternative way of using the system (monitoring through Audacity) but if you already have a config that is working, it's just a waste of time.

In this monitoring via Audacity case, the problem seems to be that really you always want to monitor back to your headset, which is a combined mic+headphones device, and one that you have *already captured* in Loopback - so you're outputting back to a device already captured by Loopback.

So, it seems wise to just monitor via Loopback, in the way you already have working.
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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby desmond » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:38 pm

So I tried again to more closely simulate your config there and observe the behaviour:-

- Loopback, hijacking both Quicktime Player (playing audio), *and* my audio interface (which you can both record from/input and monitor from/output) as simulating your USB headset (which is your audio interface really.) Headphones connected to that. Mute sources On in Loopback as I'm monitoring through Audacity.

- System output set to my audio interface too.

- Audacity, set to record from Loopback (3 channels, 1 stereo, 1 mono, manual channel config in Loopback), and output back to my audio interface. Playthrough On.

- Begin playback from Quicktime. The audio is passed to the system, and I hear it from my headphones via the audio interface.

- Hit record in Audacity. There is a brief audio interruption (maybe 1/10th second) as Loopback enables itself. It mutes the audio being sent from Quicktime to the system (as Mute sources is On), and instead passes it through to Loopback, and hence to Audacity, where it's being recorded.

- Audacity has playthrough on, so is monitoring it's incoming audio and sending it back to it's own output, which is set to go to my audio interface. I hear it fine via Audacity. I'm recording three tracks, the first two the stereo audio, the third the mono input from the audio interface (ie your mic). All recorded fine.

So there is no inherent problem in playing back to a device already hijacked in Audacity, as inputs and outputs are treated separately (which makes sense.) I just wanted to confirm that and rule it out as a possible problem.

Everything about this config is working fine, and should be for you too as it's essentially the same thing, unless you are doing something incorrect or have some settings affecting the behaviour that hasn't been mentioned, or the drivers of your headset mic thing are causing problems or something. Unfortunately I can't sit in front of your computer and see what you are doing, so it's impossible to guess.

*In any case*, you have got to a set up that works for you, as far as I can see, by not monitoring from Audacity and intead using Loopback's monitoring, so as I say, stick to what works... :thumbup:

Things I have learnt from this exercise:

- Loopback is really great, and streamlines some otherwise complicated workflows. If/When I need it I'll get it for sure

- Audio Hijack is still great and covers much of the use case of Loopback for my needs. It's much simpler to use in this case as you can see the visual connections, see audio flowing along them, and has inbuilt recorder functionality so one app does the routing, hijacking, and recording, rather than passing things around between the system and other applications. The only thing Loopback can do that AH can't is pass audio to other applications (but I can do that with Soundflower if required.).

This is the exact same config as above, all done in one app:

Image

Mic being recorded to one mono aiff file, stereo audio being recorded to a separate one. We could also record a third mix file of both, if required, in realtime. And avoids the need to use Audacity. ;)

- I still feel the same way about Audacity as I did when I started. :headbang:
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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby audio_jungle » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:18 am

desmond wrote:
audio_jungle wrote:But it doesn't work for me... ;-)

The *feature* is working fine in Audacity, it's the overall behaviour of all the other components that aren't doing what you want yet. You have to break down and isolate things to troubleshoot.

You've already said that if you don't monitor in Audacity, and monitor via Loopback, everything works as you need. So why not stop there? - it's working how you like.

That is fine with me.

SInce you said you were able to get it working, I was just trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.

But I have bigger audio problems to tackle right now, so I can certainly "monitor" using Loopback.


desmond wrote:We can go on to troubleshoot this alternative way of using the system (monitoring through Audacity) but if you already have a config that is working, it's just a waste of time.

For now, yes it probably is.


desmond wrote:In this monitoring via Audacity case, the problem seems to be that really you always want to monitor back to your headset, which is a combined mic+headphones device, and one that you have *already captured* in Loopback - so you're outputting back to a device already captured by Loopback.

So, it seems wise to just monitor via Loopback, in the way you already have working.

Good point.

Thanks,


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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby audio_jungle » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:27 am

desmond wrote:So I tried again to more closely simulate your config there and observe the behaviour:-

Since your dedication and persistence with sound (and patience with me) impress me, I will try and mimic what you describe below maybe this weekend.

BTW, I hope to pick up a boom arm for my pro gear on Friday, and see if I can set up a semi-pro studio this weekend or when I get to it.


desmond wrote:Everything about this config is working fine, and should be for you too as it's essentially the same thing, unless you are doing something incorrect or have some settings affecting the behaviour that hasn't been mentioned, or the drivers of your headset mic thing are causing problems or something. Unfortunately I can't sit in front of your computer and see what you are doing, so it's impossible to guess.

I'll keep tinkering and try to mimic what you can do so easily.


desmond wrote:*In any case*, you have got to a set up that works for you, as far as I can see, by not monitoring from Audacity and intead using Loopback's monitoring, so as I say, stick to what works... :thumbup:

I agree.


desmond wrote:Things I have learnt from this exercise:

- Loopback is really great, and streamlines some otherwise complicated workflows. If/When I need it I'll get it for sure

- Audio Hijack is still great and covers much of the use case of Loopback for my needs. It's much simpler to use in this case as you can see the visual connections, see audio flowing along them, and has inbuilt recorder functionality so one app does the routing, hijacking, and recording, rather than passing things around between the system and other applications. The only thing Loopback can do that AH can't is pass audio to other applications (but I can do that with Soundflower if required.).

This is the exact same config as above, all done in one app:

The reason I haven't ran to Audio Hijack is I want to understand and master Loopback first.

But I am sure I will buy Audio Hijack soon enough and try to master it as well.


desmond wrote:- I still feel the same way about Audacity as I did when I started. :headbang:

And when the time is right, I will be back here in the SOS forums to learn about switching from Audacity to a true DAW, but one step at a time!

THANK YOU, Desmond, for all of your help so far!!! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

Sincerely,


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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby lojeda » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:42 am

Hi

I've just created an account to see if you guys can help me.

I've read the whole thread and nothing is working for me to capture sound from FireFox (Youtube) and record it on audacity while still listening it.

My settings are as follows

mac output: headphones/internal speakers

loopback: virtual device called "Firefox" with Firefox added as an audio source.
Both, mute audiosources and monitor audio through are unchecked

Audacity: Recording device: Firefox. Playback device: Built in output

I hit the record button and nothing but a flat line. I've made sure nothing was muted, still no luck.

This only happens with Firefox, I have another virtual device with Spotify, same settings and it works like a charm.

The only way it works (which I see it should not be used) is by setting my mac to output to the virtual device "Firefox" If I do this it starts receiving the audio but obviously I can't monitor it even after checking the box "monitor audio through" and select my headphones/speakers.

I'm kind of lost, I don't know any more if I'm missing something, I've tried a lot of combinations with no luck. Any help would be really appreciated.
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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby desmond » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:11 am

Is this with Loopback 1 or Loopback 2?

(Loopback has been updated since this thread, the new version has a much more visual flow diagram which should help people visualize the audio flow more easily...)

Edit: Just tried it here, Loopback 2, Audacity, latest Firefox, it works fine for me - set Firefox playing YouTube, created a Loopback device with Firefox as a source, and selected that Firefox loopback device as input into Audacity, turned input monitoring on in Audacity, and it gets audio levels without any problems...
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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby lojeda » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:44 am

Thanks for the quick replay Desmond.

Is this with Loopback 1 or Loopback 2?

Is Loopback 1 (am I screwed?)

I'm attaching some captures of my settings.

System:
Image

Loopback:
Image

Audacity interface:
Image

Audacity Prefs:
Image
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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby desmond » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:08 am

Does it work if you use Safari or Chrome?
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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby desmond » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:19 pm

lojeda wrote:Is Loopback 1 (am I screwed?)

I tried with Loopback 1, and it works here exactly as expected, no problems.

What versions of OSX, Firefox, Loopback and Audacity are you using?
Does Safari and Chrome get audio passed into Audacity as expected, just FF doesn't?
Does FF pass audio into some other audio application (not Audacity)?
Does the demo of Loopback 2 work for you, or behave the same?

Trying to rule out where the problem you are having is occurring.
Try all these, and let me know the specific answers to each...
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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:20 pm

Or use a Youtube to mp3 converter if it's just YouTube stuff you want? https://www.onlinevideoconverter.com/mp3-converter
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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby ef37a » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:41 pm

PheeEEuuw!

I have been recording anything that I can hear out of this 6/7yr old HP i3 laptop for years.

"Stereo Mix" and into Samplitude SE8 but I am pretty sure I have done it with Audacity and AA1.5. Mainly radios 3 and 4 but the odd YT grab as well.

I USED to be able to do it with a 2496 card (Mon Mix) in a desktop but post a trial of W10 and a revert back to W7, the old M-A control panel has gone and MMix with it. Still, the card comes up to TRS in a breakout box so I just patch across.

I understand this easy/pc solution has been removed in W10? Maybe OP should look for a cheap,sh HP with W7?

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Re: Loopback: Recording Radio Shows

Postby desmond » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:53 pm

As I have mentioned many times, including on this thread, the best, easiest, slickest no-hassle solution for recording audio from apps on the Mac is Audio Hijack.

Loopbacking to Audacity is using two different apps, where Audio Hijack has the hijacking and recording (and inserting plugins if you want) all built in.

Loopback is really designed for people with complex internal routing needs (like recording podcasts from multiple sources and apps to multiple individual and mixed recordings) and it's overkill for just recording an app. It's also a lot more expensive than Audio Hijack, simply because it's target audience is much more niche.

I recommend, and continue to recommend Audio Hijack on the Mac for app recording, or app audio processing, and it's way better than any other solution I've seen on any platform. No wiring, no creating virtual audio devices, no changing preferences to route things across virtual audio devices - just a simple preset for "Grab Firefox" -> "Record to WAV (etc)" and hit go... It's a beautiful application...

But I don't think lojeda was looking for alternative ways of doing this (or moving computer platform!), he was trying to troubleshoot why his system, that should be working, doesn't seem to be...
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