Audio, Reviews

Capture everything with Rogue Amoeba Loopback 2

loopback 2

Rogue Amoeba just released a major upgrade of Loopback, the audio routing app used by many thousands of podcasters, sound pros and screencast creators. They all use Loopback to route sounds from any sort of source on a Mac to any sort of output – from physical inputs and outputs to audio generated and/or accepted by software apps.

The new Loopback app looks more modern but, more importantly, also more user-friendly. You now connect sources with channels and monitors. You can now also set a volume level on each of these, which is especially nice when you want to avoid sound spikes that could ruin your headphones or speakers.

But Loopback’s main attraction still lies in being able to connect any source with any output. As Loopback enables you to have as many interfaces inside its virtual audio sources as you want, it can even greatly enhance Rogue Amoeba’s other audio routing app, Audio Hijack. For example, the ability to create a combined audio source in Loopback in theory let me set up my new Apogee Element 24 and my Duet iOS/Mac as a single, 4-channel input.

That didn’t work out quite as expected because of the Maestro and Apogee Control software necessary to drive these interfaces, but other interfaces like an audio input on a CalDigit or OWC dock will work together with your Mac’s built-in input without glitches. You could also combine physical inputs with software inputs and outputs like Skype or WebMeeting.

With Loopback 2, however, you can yet go a step further. Imagine you want to use a text-to-speech session as an input source. You would need to have access to the process and that wasn’t possible with Loopback 1. It is with Loopback 2. It requires you to hold a modifier key when viewing the Running Sources menu, but if you recognise the processes that generate audio, you can use them to do all kinds of wonderful stuff, such as capturing the readout of a document.

You can even capture audio from Parallels Desktop using this menu!

Loopback 2 doesn’t only allow you to capture more than before, it also has a much more intuitive interface. When you create a source, you’ll see the output ports on the right side. When you then create a channel group – usually stereo, so channels 1 and 2 – you can draw connections between the output ports of the source and the input ports of the channels. Want to monitor the whole shebang? You create an audible output and the connections from the channels to the monitor’s input ports are automatically drawn.

Of course, there’s also the pass-through device that passes audio between apps and/or devices.

To wrap it up, if you use virtual audio interfaces for podcasting, screencasting or any other form of audio production where you need to combine software-based and physical inputs, you’ll need Loopback 2. It’s $120 for a new licence and $59 for an upgrade.

Since you’re here …

… I have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Visuals Producer than ever but there’s no advertising revenues coming my way and I have no budget for pretty much anything these days but the basics and a roof above my head. So you can see why I need to ask for your help.

Visuals Producer is editorially independent, meaning I set my own agenda and am not paid by the vendors of the products that I review, the articles that I write or the videos that I make. No one edits my content. No one steers my opinion. This is important because it enables me to give an objective view of a product, service or organisation. It’s what makes me different to so many others who are paid for writing or giving opinions in a video, at a time when factual, honest reporting is critical.

If everyone who reads my reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, my future would be much more secure. Support Visuals Producer with 5 Euros and, as a token of my gratitude, you’ll be able to immediately download a set of 50 sounds (with more to come) I carefully recorded with an industry standard microphone and an Apogee Duet iOS/Mac for use in videos and movies without having to worry about copyright or other legalities. Thank you.

Click on the image below to get the collection of 50 carefully recorded sounds of indoors activities and actions. Saved in 16-bit 48KHz AIFF format. If you need WAV files or a higher bitrate, send an email to editor [at] containing your receipt for the download and I’ll send you the same collection in 16-bit or 24-bit WAV or AIF or both.