How to Record Audio From Your Computer Using Quicktime.

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The way they are now, Apple computers will not let you record your computer audio with any of their built in programs. Most programs that will let you record system audio can be pretty expensive. This is a problem for most people that need a cheap way to record system audio for whatever reason, such as screen recordings, or legally recording uncopyrighted audio. Fortunately, there is a way around this problem.

In this tutorial I will show you an ABSOLUTELY FREE way to record the system audio from your computer (not microphone) using Quicktime and a free program called Soundflower. This is useful for screen recordings that you need to capture your computer's audio with, or legally recording uncopyrighted audio. So let's take a look...

(I'm not as familiar with WIndows computers, but I believe there is another program called "Jack" that should do pretty much the same thing. But I'm not 100% sure.)

Step 1: System Preferences

The first thing you should do is open System Preferences, and go to Sound. Click on Input. You should see something like "Internal Microphone" and "Line-in". Now click on output. It should say something like "Internal Speakers" and maybe "Headphones" or something. And in the "Input"  part. The input specifies where you want the computer to receive audio from when you do some sort of audio recording. The output specifies where you want your computer to play the audio through, or how you want to hear it.

If you notice, there's nothing in the input about receiving the computer audio, and nothing in the output about outputting the computer audio. But don't worry, we can fix that.

Step 2: Soundflower

The way we fix this problem of having no way to send the computer audio to Quicktime is with a free program called Soundflower. Soundflower is a Mac extension that allows programs to pass audio to other applications. It acts as an audio device, which allows programs to send or receive audio from it without any other support.

It can be downloaded from here. 

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/14067/soundflower

Download and install this program by opening the .dmg file and following the on-screen instructions. 

(If for some reason the download doesn't work, try downloading a different version, such as the beta version)

Step 3:

Once Soundflower is successfully installed, visit the Sound tab in your System Preferences again. Click on "Output." There should now be two more options there, "Soundflower (2ch)," and, "Soundflower (64ch)." This is the extension that you just installed. It shows up as an audio device to just to make everything even easier. 

Make sure your in the "Output" section, and click on "Soundflower (2ch)." Now your computer is outputting all of it's audio through the Soundflower (2ch) extension. (The only downside is that you will not be able to hear audio through your speakers as long as this is selected.)

Now open Quicktime Player and click on File>New Screen Recording. Click the little arrow on the side of the Quicktime window. Under the microphone section, click on "Soundflower (2ch)."

If you would rather record ONLY audio and not the screen, click File>New Audio Recording, and do the same thing.

Now click the record button and record your computer's audio!

When you're done and you want to hear audio through your speakers again, go back to System Preferences>Sound>Output, and click on "Internal Speakers." Your audio will now play through your internal speakers again.

Have fun with this!

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61 Discussions

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monkm

3 years ago on Step 3

"The only downside is that you will not be able to hear audio through your speakers as long as this is selected" That is a MAJOR downside.

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AnthonyC30monkm

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

Use the soundflowerbed app, create a multi-output device that uses both your speakers and soundflower 2ch. Then, set soundflower 2ch and it will actually use both.

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DanR183AnthonyC30

Reply 1 year ago

Would you paste a link here for where I can download soundflowerbed? I was not able to find where to download it, and so still just have sound flower, (and so of course I can not hear the audio while the video on my screen is being recorded.) Thanks.

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cammi_

12 months ago

Hey! So, I did all of this, Soundflower downloaded just fine, no problem to record... BUT, after coming back to normal internal speakers and try to listen to the recording, the beginning is just fine but after a few seconds it goes crazy, starts echoing and some weird other stuff... Can you tell me what's wrong and how to fix it?

1 reply
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nomad888cammi_

Reply 3 months ago

I also had this problem and finally got rid of the echo chamber effect after trying various things. I think simply having the output sound at ZERO on the Quicktime Screen Recording was the key.

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cammi_

12 months ago

Hey! So, I did all of this, Soundflower downloaded just fine, no problem to record... BUT, after coming back to normal internal speakers and try to listen to the recording, the beginning is just fine but after a few seconds it goes crazy, starts echoing and some weird other stuff... Can you tell me what's wrong and how to fix it?

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TanzilaMehwish

1 year ago

Great tutorial !!!! I recorded sound on my mac by using guidance from "How to record audio on mac? " They tell different ways to record sound on mac

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FancyS

3 years ago

STUPID SOUNDFLOWER DOESN"T WORK SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!

7 replies
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MichaelR187FancyS

Reply 3 years ago

https://github.com/mattingalls/Soundflower/releases/tag/2.0b2

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ChrisM590MichaelR187

Reply 1 year ago

Great link, short concise and works perfectly, thanks very much

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RandyrandyhikfMichaelR187

Reply 2 years ago

Works like a charm. Spent 2h trying to make a mac record its own sound. It should be a very simple thing. Anyway, now I can record the audio I'm after. Thank you for that

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goclukee

Reply 1 year ago

vote +1

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AndrewB451

2 years ago

how can i record my computer's audio and output to a speaker at the same time?

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zcs2010x

2 years ago

It doesn't work for me. I downloaded Soundflower but when I record the audio nothing happens. It is just a blank recording. Please Help

1 reply
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WyattK3zcs2010x

Reply 2 years ago

At first I thought he said "set your output to Internal Microphone and your input to Soundflower2ch whatever." I had that problem too, tried setting my output to Soundflower2ch and it worked. Apparently you can't listen to what you're recording while you're recording it. :/