Rogue Amoeba's Audio Hijack Pro has been a longtime favorite of many who wish to capture sound routed through their Mac — whether from apps or audio input devices. Inventive and powerful though the app was, however, its interface could be challenging to the uninitiated. With the release of Audio Hijack 3, the company has taken a large stride forward in making the app both capable and easy to use.
If you were a person not accustomed to capturing audio you could be forgiven for launching previous versions of Audio Hijack and thinking "Now what do I do?" The app offered a lot of power under the hood, but the way forward wasn't always clear. This should no longer be a problem as Audio Hijack 3 includes a template chooser. Just create a new session and you can choose the kind of task you'd like to perform — pull audio from an application, record audio from a DVD, jack your Mac's audio beyond its normal limits, record from an input device such as a microphone or audio interface, create a podcast, digitize an LP, improve existing audio, capture your Mac's audio, record VOIP conversations, or grab audio from a web browser. Just select the task you'd like and click Choose.
When you do this, a session window appear, populated with the blocks necessary for the task you've chosen. In many cases you need do no more work than click the Record button that appears at the bottom left of the window and initiate any audio that you'd like to capture.
While this template chooser will be helpful in a lot of cases, there will be times that you'll prefer to create workflows of your own. That too is far easier than it once was.
It's about the workflow
If you've ever worked in an easy-does-it graphical programming environment (Lego Mindstorm or Automator, for example) you see the wisdom of Audio Hijack 3's session window environment. Along the right side of the main window are Sources, Outputs, and Built-in Effects libraries. (There are also headings for Audio Unit Effects and Meters, which are collapsed by default.) To the left, the work area. To configure a session you simply drag in the elements from the libraries to make up your workflow. Those that should be connected — an input to an output, for example — do so automatically.
Let's say that you want to record the audio coming from your Mac's built in mic. To do that you'd drag in the Input Device element, where it appears as a block in the work area. To complete the workflow you drag in a Recorder block from the Outputs area. A faint path will appear between the two blocks, indicating that they're connected. Now click the Record button at the bottom of the window to start your recording. The Record button turns red, an active meter appears to the right, and the path between blocks lights up and animates the signal moving from left to right. Recording audio from an app is just as easy. Drag in an Application block, choose the app you want to record from, and add a Recorder block.
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