SoundFlower, Aggregate devices, Multiple Output, SnagIt!: Cannot record microphone and system audio.

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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I am trying to record with SnagIt.

My goal is to use SoundFlower, and SnagIt, to get software audio output and microphone input both into my recordings. Right now I'm using microphone input only, which means I'm picking up software through the microphone. It ... "works", but really could be better quality.

I found this little guide: http://techsmith.custhelp.com/app/ans...

It describes the method of using SoundFlower, and Audio MIDI Setup, to accomplish this.

So, using this as a hint, looking over the instructions for both Camtasia and SnagIt, reading the help/docs for Audio MIDI, I came up with the following:

Goal: Have speakers play software output, but not microphone input.
Have recording from software output AND microphone input.

System: 10.7.3

Setup:
1. Using Audio Midi Setup, create a multi output device. Contains Built-in output and SoundFlower. No drift correction boxes checked. Intent: Output to this device will be both played on speaker and recorded.
2. Using Audio Midi Setup, create an Aggregate device. Contains Built-in Microphone and SoundFlower. No drift correction boxes checked. Intent: Will capture both microphone and soundflower (whose job is to take output from one program and present it as input to the next -- in this case, contains anything sent to the multi-output device) -- giving me everything I want to record.
3. Set default system output to the multi output device.
4. Set default system input to the aggregate device.
5. Open system preferences. Sound. Input. "Test test test". Verify that I see the blue bar move as I speak. Wait for the system to play something. See the bar move.
6. Verify that I can hear stuff being played on my speakers.
7. Open Minecraft for recording. Quick test -- it makes noise.
8. Open SnagIt. Select the minecraft window. Make sure that the aggregate device is selected for recording.
9. Before recording, speak "test test test", and see the bar move. Get the system to play noise over the speaker, and see the bar move.
10. Hit record.

Now SnagIt is suddenly only recording the game output, and not the microphone.

I can test with both SnagIt in "Idle, waiting", and with System preferences. Both indicate that my microphone is being read.
But come actual recording, the microphone is lost.

Help?

Clock source: "Default" does not exist. I have Clock Source set to SoundFlower for both audio devices. I cannot alter the order of the subdevices -- SoundFlower is listed first for both of them.
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keybounce

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  • unhappy, upset, disappointed.

Posted 7 years ago

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keybounce

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Alright, I tried updating soundflower.

Same issue with 1.5.2 and 1.6.2.
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keybounce

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So I did find out how to reverse the order of the items in the aggregate device. And it did not help -- it gave me the microphone INSTEAD of system sound.

As far as I can tell, getting 4 inputs (2 from soundflower, and 2 from the microphone) does not mix them into 2 channels. It leaves them as 4 channels, and you need a 4 channel to 2 channel mixer program somewhere in the system to make it work.

Nothing I've seen does that.

Soundflowerbed lets me route channels if they are all in a single device -- so if I put everything into a single aggregate it works -- except that it does no joining.

And soundflower seems to operate under "multiple outputs are my input; a single set of outputs are my output" for sound output, and what I'm looking for is something that generates a single set of sound inputs from multiple sets of inputs, as an input device -- which doesn't exist.

Nor can I find any program that will copy an input source (microphone) to an output source (soundflower), yet that seems like ... basic? Simple? "cat /dev/mic1 > /dev/speak1"?

Is there any way to record both microphone AND system audio, without using Camtasia?
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Emu Mantoid

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I found a solution to this problem.

In the audio devices create an aggregate device which contains the microphone and the "Soundflower (2ch)." It will have 4 inputs and two outputs.

Set your system output to "Soundflower (2ch)" and the system input to the new aggregate audio channel you just created.

Open up audacity and set the output to "Soundflower (2ch)" and the input to your aggregate channel. Now, this is very important, set the little two next to your two channel device to 4. Now Audacity will record 4 channels, two of your mic and two of the system audio.

Works like a charm. Enjoy.
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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Hi Diego,

Audacity is an open source application for recording and editing audio. Here is a link for more info: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/downl...

Hope this helps.
-Josh
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Diego Opalka

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thanks
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RichardGard

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This did not work. Instructions were super clear though, thanks. Unless I must do something more with Audacity then merely setting up the mixer as you described. I am trying to record to Snagit with input from a music teaching app and my external mic. I can do it if I use the MacBook speakers and the internal mic but the sound quality is poor and I seek to teach musicians (who enjoy food audio).

Thanks for any further ideas
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RichardGard

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Autocorrect changed good to food. How did it know I was hungry?
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lookingForHelp

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wow... It took my four tries to finally see what was wrong...  

Now, this is very important, set the little two next to your two channel device to 4. Now Audacity will record 4 channels, two of your mic and two of the system audio.
I didn't see that last sentence until I was about to give up... Thanks for helping out, Emu Mantoid

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Connor McHarney

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Is there any way to make that same method work with Quick Time Player? I'm trying to record me and a friend in an online game. I got Audacity to record system audio plus the internal mic, and even set it up so I could still hear the system audio, but Quick Time screen recordings won't take 4 channels.

I also wonder why the system output comes out as Mono and not Stereo.

(using OS 10.7.2)
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keybounce

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I (finally) got very good results in 10.7.4/5 with quicktime player recording screen and system audio, and mumble in my case recording voice chat. I have actually done all-in-one, with skype open to the volume preferences to adjust volume, and QTP recording myself, system audio, and video.

Soundflower, a multi-output device (that part was 10.7 specific), and line-in to copy -- I didn't know at that time that soundflowerbed could copy for me.

Sadly, while 10.6.8 works better than 10.7 in several respects, the video recording frameworks in 10.7 are significantly superior to 10.6 -- 10.6's Quicktime can only record a full screen, and the newest SnagIt, with improved features needs 10.7.5. So it looks like I'll be going back to 10.7.5, and dealing with "Mission Control" instead of spaces, and that app store in charge of my downloads from Apple, and the XCode that isn't a real program but an "app", and the loss of Property List Editor (hmm, maybe I should copy it first?), and ...

(Sorry, rambling. )

NB: You can get stereo system output! I have done it; Minecraft outputs directional audio, and Mumble even supports directional voice chat. I wound up using iMovie to merge all the sound tracks (one per voice from Mumble) with the screen recording. For some reason, mumble's audio has a tendency to drift one screen frame every 40 seconds. iMovie was invaluable in fixing that -- I could display 40 seconds per line, and insert a one frame audio gap every line rather quickly. Annoying, yes, but doable.

Now, it's been four months since I last did this, but I'll be doing it again real soon now :-).

10.7.2? Is there a reason for not updating?
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RichardGard

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I have the same problem as keybounce. He mentioned Camtasia.

If I now buy Camtasia - will it record my microphone and the system audio without also installing Soundflower and Audacity? I would like to use it for my music classes. Will it actually do what the videos and tutorials and screenshots promise?

I am afraid to buy more from Techmoth after getting Snagit and learning that I can only make great videos if I also buy Camtasia.
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RichardGard

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PS I have been through all the steps as outlined in the Twchsmith support link that Keybounce listed.

I have Soundlfower and flowerbed running, but Snagit can either hear my microphone or hear my computer, but not both simultaneously.

Thanks for any suggestions or fixes.
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keybounce

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I can confirm that the current version of Camtasia (241 / 242) can record microphone and system audio, all very nicely. Even with skype running and three other people talking, and skype modifying volume level. Even with Minecraft running, and repeated pause/resumes with no errors or sync issues. (Even with the motherboard graphics instead of the AMD video card.)

With that said, there can be a sync issue on the system audio and video -- but it is a constant drift when it happens, and seems to be around 3-5 frames. It can be fixed with a simple "separate audio and video" and a minor drag of the audio.

Additionally, the three tracks that camtasia record might have slightly different end times; that's a quick trim at the end.

That's the worst I've seen so far.

A "advanced export" to give a good quality output, and it drops from 10-15K bps recording down to 3.5k to 4k-ish, and space is saved, with sufficient quality for editing. There is a small color cast in some colors (blue/purple; reds/oranges; not horrible), but it's acceptable, and better than iMovie's corrected color cast.

===

I still have a use for SnagIt. As a "background" recorder. If I'm not expecting anything of interest to happen, letting SnagIt record video, while Camtasia records audio, and not doing any pause/resume results in a very low bitrate recording -- about 1700 K for the video plus camtasia's audio -- that is still usable if something of interest happens. Granted, 15 fps mono is not great, but having something to work with is better than missing it completely. (This is why I have camtasia record audio -- it gets the system audio in stereo). At about 1.1 GB per hour, instead of 10 GB per hour, it is actually useful. NB: 2.2.0 has never lost a recording for me; 2.1.5 did several times.

===

All of those numbers are for a 480p (854x480) program.

If you have SnagIt, and Sound Flower, see if "LineIn" will fix the last bit of the puzzle. It is supposed to be able to copy audio from one source to another -- so it can copy microphone to sound flower. If it does, you might be able to have SnagIt record sound flower and get what you want.

This setup did work for me at one point -- but it was not perfect (some of the audio steams would get lost.)
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RichardGard

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thanks, key bounce. i will play with Line In.... maybe SnagIt can then hear that as well as SoundFlower from my audio app.

the sync problem you experienced might not be an issue for me since I need only short videos, not much chance to get out of sync.

I don't need a huge video editor, nor do I want to learn how to use it. I want to make simple 3-6 minute how-to videos for music students using learning and practice app.

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