Posted By Paul Kafasis on January 11th, 2016
It’s not often that we get to release a brand-new product here at Rogue Amoeba, so today is a special day. We’re very pleased to introduce our newest application:
Loopback gives you incredible control over how audio is routed between applications and devices on your Mac. With just a few clicks, you can easily pass audio directly from one application to another. Loopback’s virtual audio devices make it trivial to arrange complex audio setups that were difficult or even impossible before. It’s like having a high-end studio mixing board right inside your computer, with no physical wires required!
Loopback: What Is It Good For?
Absolutely all your audio routing needs! Here are just a few examples of what Loopback can help you do.
Play Audio to All Podcast Guests
Take audio from your physical microphone and combine it with audio sources like iTunes or QuickTime Player. Presto! Your guests on Skype will hear your voice, as well your sound effects and musical add-ons.
Combine Multiple Hardware Devices
Audio apps like GarageBand, Logic, and Ableton Live only allow you to record from a single audio device at a time. Thankfully, these apps can record from nearly infinite channels. With Loopback, you can combine multiple physical input devices into a single virtual device with many channels, for easy recording in any application.
Create Top-Notch Screencasts
Screen recording tools like QuickTime Player tend to allow you to include either audio from a microphone or all the audio from your system. Neither of these options tends to be ideal. With Loopback, you can record audio from both the microphone and the application being filmed, so you get just the audio you need.
So how does Loopback do all this, and more? The secret to Loopback’s power lies in its ability to create ”virtual audio devices”. These are system-level audio devices which can be used in real-time by other audio applications on your Mac. These virtual devices appear throughout your system exactly the way a physical device like a microphone would.
However, virtual audio devices are far more powerful than a mere microphone. They can merge the sound from applications (like iTunes or Skype) and inputs (like microphones and physical mixers), bundling it all up into a single source. You can then select your virtual audio device in any audio processing application to get your audio exactly where it’s needed.
A Virtual Audio Device Created in Loopback
Above, we’ve made a simple virtual audio device called “Mic & iTunes”, which merges the sound from a physical USB microphone with music from iTunes. If we set this as our input in a VoIP application like Skype or FaceTime, the person on the other end will hear the audio spoken into the mic, as well as songs played in iTunes. Nice!
Those who’ve previously used the open-source tool “Soundflower” will be familiar with the idea of passing audio directly from one application to another. Without any additional configuration, virtual audio devices made with Loopback will work in a similar mode. We call these “pass-thru devices”. A pass-thru device doesn’t gather any audio on its own, but it will appear as both an audio input and an audio output throughout the system.
Because pass-thru devices appear in all audio selectors throughout Mac OS X, you can use them to pipe audio directly between applications. Sending applications play their audio into a pass-thru device by configuring it as their audio output. On the other end, receiving applications pull audio out of the pass-thru device by selecting it as their audio input. Loopback provides a system for passing audio directly between applications and modernizes the necessary infrastructure to transport it reliably.
Try It Now
Loopback offers incredible power and control over how audio is handled on your Mac, and it’s sure to be useful in hundreds of different ways. The best way to experience it is to try it out yourself. Loopback 1.0 is available for immediate download. You can visit the Loopback page for more details or just download the free trial immediately. Loopback works on Mac OS X 10.9 and higher, and it’s fully functional in its trial mode, so you can explore all that it offers.
Once you’re ready to purchase the full version of Loopback, just visit our online store.
More to Come, Of Course
As you’d expect with a brand-new product, this is just the beginning. We’re extremely grateful to our top-notch beta testers, who helped us improve Loopback immensely. Now, we’ll be listening for even more feedback. Get in touch to let us know how you use Loopback or what you’d like to see in the future!