Recording audio from Logic
Recording audio being played by Logic, at the same time as your voice from a microphone can be a bit of a challenge in Logic. Ideally we'd like to be able to tell Logic to output it's audio (your audio tracks, in your project) to the Soundflower 2ch device and then use a separate device (a USB headset mic, for example) to record audio.
If you don't know what Soundflower is - you might want to read this link first.
But, since Logic doesn't let us use two devices (one for input and the other for output) we have to come up with another solution.
Option 1:Don't record your microphone using Logic itself
You can record both the sound from Logic and a separate microphone by setting up your system as follows:
- Enable the Microphone and Computer recording
- Open the Advanced Panel and navigate to the QuickTime tab. Check that the device / USB headset is selected that you want to record from. You should see the level meter bounce when you speak into the microphone.
- Change your Audio Preferences in Logic so that the project is using the Soundflower 2ch device.
What will this do?
Logic will play it's audio to the Soundflower. iShowU will pick this up, and play it to the Speakers. iShowU will also record your microphone as you speak, and so when you make a recording both the sound from Logic and also the microphone will be present in the final recording.
Option 2: Using an Aggregate Device
Important Note: This doesn't work for all devices.
For example, it does NOT work for my Logitech USB headset
Use two different devices in Logic and group them together into a "super device" (known as an Aggregate Device).
In this way you can tell Logic to use the aggregate, and it'll end up using/having access to both devices at the same time.
Here's how you do it:
- Open up the Audio MIDI Setup application, and go to the Aggregate Device Editor.
- Then create a new aggregate device, and give it a name.
- Add the two devices that you want to use
I've been careful to select the Edirol that has the INPUT, since this is whree my mic is coming from.
That's it! Your setup should look similar to the above. Two devices enabled, having some number of inputs and some number of outputs. Press Done to save your Aggregate Device. You can now quit the Audio MIDI setup application.
Now, when you look at your audio devices within System Preferences (or within Logic), you'll see this new device in both the Output and Input lists.
Here's a view of my new audio configuration:
New Audio Configuration
There it is on the output. And it's on the Input tab as well.
Testing this new setup:
It's worth checking that this setup is going to do what we want (remember the note at the top where I said this doesn't work for all devices?) The end goal is that when you speak in the microphone, audio comes into the "device" - and when we play audio to the "device" it ends up going to the Soundflower 2ch as well. That way, we can use both at once, which is what we want.
First, the microphone:
- Open up GarageBand or Logic (I only have the former here) and make sure the new device is the selected audio device. Create a new "Real Instrument" Audio track (Shift-Cmd-N). In GarageBand at least, those are the blue tracks.
- Enable the track for recording:
- Select the Channel to use for recording. In this case, because Soundflower was first in the list of the Aggregate devices, I know that my Edirol (which has just two channels) will be channels 3 and 4.
- Speak into the microphone. You should see the level meter moving! And here, since my XLR microphone is plugged into the first of the two Edirol channels, it appears only on channel 3. That's OK. That's what we want to see.
For Logic, you should change the Audio Properties so that Logic is using this device. One of the channels (3 in this example) will then be the microphone channel.
More work required here. I'm not sure if it matters if you can record audio with Logic, or if just iShowU can see it. If the later, then why bother with aggregates at all? If you don't want to record the mic with Logic - there's no point. If you DO want this, then yes, testing that this aggregate works in Logic is a good idea.
Second, Playback to the Device
- For this test I'm using GarageBand as well. This is because (like Logic) it lets me setup a specific device to be the OUTPUT. That's what we're aiming for in Logic as well. We want Logic to output it's audio to this device, so that it goes to the Soundflower2 ch.
- Important!At this point, you must have iShowU loaded, and you must have the "record computer audio" option also enabled. If you don't, you'll not hear any audio from Logic.
- Play the GB project. You should hear the audio and also see the level meters moving within iShowU: