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The new 'SWB Audio Capture' driver

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Early 2020 we released a new application audio capture driver, called "SWB Audio Capture".  I know. It's an amazingly original name :)

This entirely replaces the older "iShowU Audio Capture" driver.  

Why did we do this?

A couple of reasons. 

  1. Apple are deprecating the older 'kext' based approach. At some point "iShowU Audio Capture" is going to stop working. We would rather have sorted out a solution for that before it happens.
  2. There were some long standing bugs that we never quite ironed out of the older driver. Notably: crackling audio for some users.
  3. The new driver architecture gives us options for the future, such as per-app volume levels and perhaps per-app recording while still being able to hear/preview all apps.  That later feature doesn't exist yet; but it gives you an idea that there's more available and more options than we had with the older kext based method.

What does it mean for me?

At the moment the real impact is a one (1!) minute disruption to your workflow as you install the new driver.

Our expectation is an overall better experience, by far. The new 'SWB Audio Capture' driver:

  1. Is faster (less latency, better video/audio sync, better GaragaBand/Logic usage)
  2. Is easier to work with internally. We can add features more easily. That means less time to get new stuff/features working.
  3. Has more audio Hz options (up to 192Khz at the moment)
  4. Is vastly superior with regard to "install experience".  Click a button. Enter your password. You are done. No more installer package + 'allow'ing the kext in system preferences + reboots. All that is gone (and good riddance).

Zero Risk Upgrade

The new driver is chosen by the apps, if it is installed. Thus you can keep both installed if you're worried about something failing (pretty unlikely from our testing so far). The old 'kext' driver can happily co-exist with the new one, it just isn't used.  If you uninstall the new driver, the apps will simply revert to using the older driver. So there's zero risk in upgrading.

We don't envisage any problems with the upgrade, but we do always like to make a way out in case something unforseen happens - hence the ability to uninstall and fallback to that older kext driver.  We honestly don't see this being something people will do. It's there purely "in case".

When we have gathered sufficient feedback to prove there are no problems; we'll update the apps to also intentionally uninstall the old one.  Then the kext will be no more!!!.

 

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Ryan Grams

    Am I missing something? Not seeing where I can download this. Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Neil Clayton

    It's packaged inside the iShowU apps (instant / studio2). It's not a separate driver anymore. There's no separate download, as it's intended to work with those two apps.

  • Avatar
    Neil Clayton

    The primary motivation was to remove the KEXT as KEXT's for this kind of usage have been deprecated by Apple for some time. A side-effect of that is that the new driver can be bundled with the app, which makes much more sense for our existing products.

  • Avatar
    Asif Tasleem

    Few folks like me were using it without iShow product and it works awesome with Apple Midi app. Any chance of getting it back as free standalone driver?

    Edited by Asif Tasleem
  • Avatar
    Neil Clayton

    At this stage I'm not sure. SWB Is a small company, and one of the pain points with the previous driver is that I got a lot of support requests about it. It's possible to do (in fact its pretty easy), but I have made no progress on it.

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Pool

    I'm trying this with an iShowU Instant trial. So far I can't record the application audio without the output being simultaneously duplicated to the built-in speaker, even when a headphone is plugged in. I need the headphone to be the monitor, not the speaker. Have I missed the info on how to do this?

    Well, on further experimentation I was able to make the multi-output device include the built-in audio, which was treated as the headphone when plugged in. Then I made the multi-output device the output for iShowU Instant. This wasn't intuitive, though.

    Edited by Jonathan Pool
  • Avatar
    Joost van der Hoeven

    I can't get IShowU Instant to record my microphone (via Scarlett One) and Premiere Pro discrete in PCM. Mixdown t Apple Lossles or AAC works fine. But PCM only records Premiere Pro and no Microphone. I'm on 10.14.6. I've bought the Advance add-on and installed the SWB Audio Capture. Help please...

  • Avatar
    Kevin Lee

    Neil, I'm here for only 'SWB Audio Capture' (was looking for iShowU Audio Capture) but happy to pay for it.
    I just have one question. If I buy iShowU Instant, can I install only SWB Audio Capture without installing iShowU Instant?

  • Avatar
    Neil Clayton

    Kevin: you *can*, but the audio playthrough won't work, as that is baked into the iShowU apps themselves. I'm pondering if I write a paid-for variant of this.

  • Avatar
    Ryan Grams

    I will buy it! I use the old one daily and would love to support SWB by purchasing the “new version” that is yet to be.

  • Avatar
    Brandon Murphy

    I'm in the same boat as Asif and Kevin. I really like the simple and effective stand alone driver. It adds exactly the capability to Apple midi I was looking for. If you build it's heir I will buy it.

  • Avatar
    Neil Clayton

    Thinking about what is needed from your perspective: a way to have playthrough. That might be an invisible app (with menu bar), or perhaps some app that doesn't need to run all the time. Any ideas on what you'd like to see would be appreciated/will help my thinking!

  • Avatar
    aaron

    just installed ishowu studio... works like a dream. love it! also would love if the driver was sold separately. thanks for the great work!

  • Avatar
    Lucas Mattos

    OMG, just leave the link to download it!

  • Avatar
    Neil Clayton

    there IS no link. It's part of the iShowU series of apps now.

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