Recording Skype calls on GarageBand with LineIn and SoundFlower (Mac)

9/4/2005

I’ve been going audio-crazy over the past few day. Will write more about that later..

Ok.. In the spirit of sharing solutions with other Mac users out there, here is how I managed to record a Skype call on GarageBand using the apps LineIn and Soundflower:

I just kept messing around with the settings and then it worked perfectly using the settings below.

GarageBand: Audio output: Built in Audio Audio Input: Soundflower (2ch)

Skype: Audio output: Soundflower (2ch) Audio input: Soundflower (2ch)

System Preferences/Sound: Output: Built-in Audio Input: Audio line in (I am using a Mic)

LineIn Application: Input from: Built-in Audio: Line In (ie the Mic) Output to SoundFlower (2ch)

Dont forget to click the ‘Pass Thru’ Button in LineIn.

I was amazed that it worked!

73 Comments

  1. Jaclyn says:

    I tried this and it recorded everything fine, but I can’t hear the incoming sound (the other end of the call). Garage Band can hear it, since it’s recording, but I can’t hear it until I play it back on Garage Band. Is there something I’m missing?

  2. Humeid says:

    You need to switch on sound monitoring in the Garageband track you’re using to record (i think).

    By the way, I am now using Audio Hijack Pro 2.5 which comes with a plugin called Application Mixer which enables easy recording of any application (and mixing that with the mic’s input).

    The cool thing about Garageband is that it’s free of course.

  3. Jaclyn says:

    Brilliant. That fixes it, except now I can hear my own self repeated back to me in the headphones, like an echo. Is there any way to get rid of that? And/or is it better with Audio Hijack? Thanks SO MUCH for sharing!

  4. Humeid says:

    Yeah this is a problem of so-called latency. To reduce the echo problem (you will not get rid of it completely) go to GarageBand preference and under Audio/Midi, select ‘Minimum delay when playing instruments live (small buffer size)’.

    I used Audio Hijack Pro to record a Skype call and there is a degree of latency too (depending on how many filters are used to process the audio).

    In my case, I am using an external audio interface (M-Audio MobilePre). This has a headphone jack that reproduces the input into my professional mic without latency). The problem of course is that when recording skype, I also need to her the other person. If I set the computer’s audio output to the external interface and have the recording monitoring on, then I will hear myself twice too (the first time is the zero latency monitoring and the second is what GB is recording).

    I am sure that there are ways to get around the latency problem, but for now I am sticking to the ‘small buffer’ to at least reduce it.

  5. damian says:

    where’s the PC version?

  6. Jeff says:

    Hey there all, I’d like to record a skype call using logic express 7. I have skype , soundflower, line in, AND logic all installed. I also have a motu 828 audio interface I have my Pro mic hooked to. Can anyone tell me how to do this? Good, Now can you tell me before tomorrow is up so I can keep my interview on Monday?

  7. Jeff says:

    is there a way to do this so the person you call isn’t hearing an echo? I’ve tried this with vonage and skype and can’t make it all work.

    thanks

  8. Humeid says:

    Jeff,

    I hope you managed to get the all the stuff working.

    I stopped using soundflower and linein a long while ago. I can’t really remember how exactly this worked. But you’ll have to experiment with how you’re channeling the sound.

    This echo thing is weird. Why is the other person hearing an echo? There only is an echo when the audio coming from the person you’re calling gets fed back to the audio input. This is what happens when you use skype without a headphone.

    Maybe you are somehow channeling the incoming audio to the output again.

    I used skype in conjunction with Audio Hijack Pro 2.5, which comes with the Application Mixer filter built in, which allows you to mix in any application you want easily.

    My guest on the interview did not hear an echo.

    Good luck.

    Ahmad

  9. BIll says:

    It works great except person I call hears an echo…. any ideas?

  10. BIll says:

    I am using a Tascam US-122 and here is my configuration. My caller does get an echo on his/her end. Any ideas?

    Sound Studio:
    Audio output: Tascam US-122
    Audio Input: Soundflower (2ch)

    Skype:
    Audio output: Soundflower (2ch)
    Audio input: Soundflower (2ch)

    System Preferences/Sound:
    Output: Tascam US-122
    Input: Tascam US-122

    LineIn Application:
    Input from: Tascam US-122
    Output to SoundFlower (2ch)

  11. Daniel says:

    I did everything you said in the first post, THANK YOU FOR THE INFO, looked all over and this was the fastest and easiest free way to record a call on skype.

    I use garageband and set the real instrument voice track with no effects to stereo and was getting some “tink,tink,tink” noises and serious feedback popping up unexpectedly, but that cleared up by setting the track to MONO.

    Thanks for the help, happy podcasting.

  12. Josh says:

    This worked for me, but only after switching two settings…

    SKYPE-Audio Input-Built In Audio Line In
    GARAGEBAND-Minimize delay when playing instruments live while recording, gets rid of delay

  13. [...] Bislang habe ich nur ein wenig mit Soundflower herumprobiert. Das Programm installiert eine Art Universal-Audio-Device, in das ich Audio-Output von Programmen einspeisen kann. Auf diese Weise ist es zum Beispiel möglich, den Ton aus dem eigenen Mikro und aus Skype zusammen zu führen und in Garage Band einzuspielen. Notwendig war dazu auch noch das Utility LineIn. (Eine kurze Anleitung zum Aufnehmen von Skype in Garageband.) [...]

  14. [...] GarageBand – Workaround: uses 2 other apps, LineIn (Universal – free) and Soundflower (Universal – free). If you don’t want to spend extra on a dedicated app, try this. [...]

  15. [...] Recording Skype calls on GarageBand with LineIn and SoundFlower (Mac) (tags: audio podcasting howto) About linksMy links -check them out! [...]

  16. ich erfahre die gleiche sache mit dem skype programm. meine anrufer hören ein echo an ihrem telefon, selbst wenn ich kopfhörer an habe. dieses ist sehr merkwürdig. dieses ist skype heraus und innen. ich hoffe, daß sie das problem bald regeln. ich lasse es auf einer FreeBSD-5.3-RELEASE Maschine laufen.

    jede mögliche hilfe würde groß geschätzt!

    Herzlichst,
    Kevin

  17. Kroc Camen says:

    This worked for me, but I had to put Skype input as internal microphone. The only downside to this setup is that I can hear myself in my headphones, but the other person doesn’t, and nor does the recording. This is because LineIn routes the mic to SoundFlower, and GarageBand plays back SoundFlower as it’s recording, which includes my voice. It’s a shame that there is no easier and more complete way of recording podcasts for free.

  18. Dan says:

    The Soundflower/LineIn records fine, but the echo that occurs on the other person’s end is almost too much to deal with.

    I went over to Audio Hijack Pro (free download version) and everything works fine.

    Put the MP3 that Audio Hijack Pro creates into Garageband and edit.

  19. [...] Click to Listen in MP3 format In today’s show we discuss: Sneaky Change in Vista License Pre-Order your Nintendo Wii today! AMD Quad Core Barcelona Processors Recording Skype Calls in Garageband Single Core and Dual Core Processor Comparison 5 Ways Apple will change TV [...]

  20. Isaac Wilcox says:

    I’m new to Skype and have been playing with this setup, and I’ve found a way to get a completely echo-free recording of a call with just the free tools. It’s documented on my site, but this blog entry gets lots more hits, so I thought I’d post a link here to help folk who find this page. The instructions are here:
    http://www.iwilcox.me.uk/zakwiki/index.php/Recording_Skype_calls_on_a_Mac_the_pikey_way

    Hope this helps some fellow pikeys!

  21. Jason says:

    Is there any way to record on different tracks in GarageBand?

  22. Murphy says:

    Fantastic! thanks!

  23. [...] Thanks to the folks at Rogue Amoeba for the detailed explanation about how to get it all to work. It took all of 10 minutes to get it working. [...]

  24. Sieda84 says:

    Work fine but there is THE BUT. The Skype is on both channels. So I can’t separate it from L or R channel.

  25. Billy says:

    I got everything configured except GarageBand can’t hear me. Any ideas?

  26. TimothyP says:

    Hi,

    I can record skype calls with GarageBand now,
    and I can hear myself as well so it’s working really great.

    The only problem is, my voice and that of my correspondent are
    recorded to the same track, while if you do this with iChat, both
    voices are recorded to a different track.

    The good thing is that my voice is not recorded locally.
    So only the other end is being recorded.
    I would like to add another track now which records my voice
    which is the input of the USB headset. But I can’t seem to select it for
    the track as it alsways suggests Soundflower and you can’t seem to load
    two drivers at the same time.

  27. Robert H says:

    Hi all,

    After travelling in Dubai (UAE) and in China, I found a software that unblock Skype and censored contents in some countries.

    I know Skype is blocked or there is censor in the following countries : Belize, China, Columbia, Cuba, Jordan, UAE …

    After searching internet, I found a way to make calls and to access censored content in those countries using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

    How does it works ?

    A VPN encrypte the data you send on internet to a US IP adress (tunnel). This way your Internet Services Provider can’t detect you are using Skype or another VoIP software ! It allow you access to censored content and geographical locked contents (i.e: listening radio on pandora.com , watching TV streams for US residents, …).

    There is a lot of VPN softwares, the first I tried was VPNaccounts. I didn’t like it because it took a lot of time for activation, it was expensive and helpdesk support was very slow.

    A friend of mine who lives in Belize told me about another VPN software called Witopia personnalVPN.

    Now I am using Witopia personnalVPN. It is easier to use (you just have to launch the software before launching Skype), faster and cheaper than all other VPN softwares I tried.

    It costs 39.99$ and works perfectly.

    You can download it from the editor’s website :

    http://www.witopia.personnalvpn.helpnote.net/

    Works on Windows and Mac.

    I hope this post will help people who are in those countries and reducing censorship !

    -

  28. [...] GarageBand с использованием LineIn и Soundflower. Здесь объясняется, как это сделать (англ.) [...]

  29. [...] GarageBand с использованием LineIn и Soundflower. Здесь объясняется, как это сделать (англ.) [...]

  30. [...] After setting this up on my computer over the weekend I figured I’d post a guided walkthrough for anyone looking to do the same. If you don’t need the pictures or someone to hold your hand through the entire process then just go here. My setup was an iMac running OS X Leopard 10.5.5 Build 9F33. [...]

  31. Hi,

    I use Soundflower in the 16 channel (16ch) version. This has the advantage that I don’t get echo effects on my own voice. I have wired LineIn to channel 3 of Soundflower and Skype to channels 1 and 2. I have told SoundFlower to send only channels 1 and 2 to the builtin output so that I do not hear myself (channel 3) on the headphones. I have used Soundflowerbed for this.

    I have configured GarageBand to record two separate tracks from Sounflower: channel 1 in Mono and channel 3 in Mono. This allows me to edit my own track and the track for my Skype partner, separately.

    Looks like the perfect setup.

    Cheers
    Matthias

  32. Nancy Harkrider says:

    I’m a novice Mac user and want to use Skype on the Mac to do MP3 recordings as interview with callers who don’t always have Skype installed.

    Is that possible?

  33. Lenare says:

    Nancy – you use skype’s paid service for calling a standart telephone network number and record the interview from your skype conversation.

    It’s much simplier for PC…

    I use free program, skypecallrecorder from http://voipcallrecording.com/ whitch autorecords my conversation to mp3.

  34. [...] Recording Skype calls on GarageBand with LineIn and SoundFlower (Mac) – 360east | design, media, technology. [...]

  35. [...] Then I found a great article, Recording Skype calls on GarageBand with LineIn and SoundFlower (Mac). It showed me that there is a way to record Skype on Mac using only free software. But it got me only 90% of the way. I was able to record both Skype and my audio, but I did not hear Skype audio. Asking a question and not being able to hear the answer is usually a problem in an interview. In the end, I found the solution in article’s comments, but it took me a while (and some luck) to figure out how to fix the problem. [...]

  36. Scott says:

    I have tried all of the settings you mentioned in your first post at top of page but I am unable to make this work at all. I can hear the phone ring and the person answer the call but there is nothing being recorded in garageband and no one on the other phone can hear me talking. What other parameters need to be checked at this point.

  37. [...] GarageBand – Workaround: uses 2 other apps, LineIn (Universal – free) and Soundflower (Universal – free). If you don’t want to spend extra on a dedicated app, try this. [...]

  38. [...] If you have GarageBand, there’s another workaround you could give a shot. No limitations this time. You’ll also need the free LineIn and Soundflower applications. Read the set-up instructions here. [...]

  39. [...] If you have GarageBand, there’s another workaround you could give a shot. No limitations this time. You’ll also need the free LineIn and Soundflower applications. Read the set-up instructions here. [...]

  40. [...] Instrucciones para grabar conversaciones de Skype con Garageband [...]

  41. Bruce says:

    I have a question, line in application of what? Skype? The Mac? Garage Band? That’s the only part I didn’t understand.

  42. [...] The only free option that I could find for the Mac involved  my voice being fed back through my headphones with a 1/2 second delay. This option used two free applications: SoundFlower and LineIn. The recording was just fine, but I found that the feedback of my own voice too disturbing to concentrate. I attempted the methods described to reduce this feedback but with no success. Consequently, I decided to play around with this option a little further as, assuming I could get rid of the feedback, it would be viable. [...]

  43. [...] La primera opción es que uno de los participantes grabe la conversación en su computador. Hay distintos programas, que van desde los gartuitos hasta los pagos, que te permiten capturar una fuente de audio en tu computador y grabarla en un archivo de audio. Entre las gratuitas destaca Pamela (para PC), muy usada por los podcasters. En la Mac, personalmente uso Audio Hijack, que vale el monto de su licencia completamente. Tambien hay una manera gratuita de lograr esto en las Macs. [...]

  44. [...] Recording Skype calls on GarageBand with LineIn and SoundFlower (Mac) – 360east | design, media, technology (tags: Skype podcast garageband audio recording podcasting mac howto) [...]

  45. [...] Thanks to Ahmad Humeid’s blog post which was the inspiration for this screencast. [...]

  46. [...] The recipe called Recording a Skype Call Using GarageBand, SoundFlower, and LineIn outlines the setup. This procedure was inspired by a post by Ahmad Humeid’s. Go to the recipe page to see the programs and links to get the software, as well as the screencast showing how to set the preferences for each program. Below we’ll quickly outline the settings. [...]

  47. Thanks!

    I’ve been looking for a way to split the Desk Mix from the Skype calls for a while as the levels for both are never the same. This looks like it will work great.

  48. Mojo Mom says:

    Hi all, I am glad to see this discussion but I am SO FRUSTRATED because I used Audio Hijack for years recording Skype calls just fine on my Mac, no problem. But now I upgraded to Audio Hijack Pro 2 and it does not work for me. I hear my own voice echoing in the headset and it’s impossible to talk that way.

    Equally frustrating, last week I did something that caused it to work…but today after quitting and restarting, it’s back to that same problem of the echo. I literally cannot record my podcast until I fix this so it’s really a bummer.

    Any ideas? I’ll see if I can go back to my old system…..

  49. Mojo Mom says:

    Hi again, I found a different solution. I decided to stop trying to kluge Audio Hijack Pro 2. For twenty bucks I bought “Ecamm Network” Call Recorder for Skype software for Mac. I chose it because it integrates right into Skype and can even automatically record calls. Used it for today’s podcast and it was a lot easier and better than Audio Hijack Pro 2. You can also separate out the two channels for each caller which is potentially useful. So I feel this software is really worth it. You can try it for 7 days for free: http://ecamm.com/mac/callrecorder/
    (This is a true unsolicited testimony from a long time podcaster. The technology to record calls has really improved since 2005.)

  50. Ann says:

    Your post got me started on the process, but one problem with the setup you described is that you will hear your own voice echoed. This is because the microphone input goes through LineIn into Soundflower, where it is merged with the input coming from Skype/SIP client before being sent to GarageBand.

    A solution to this was described by Matthias Bohlen here: http://www.360east.com/?p=133#comment-513046
    I found that this solved the echo issue for me. Here’s a description of the solution (I use a built-in microphone):

    1. Xmeeting (or Skype, but instructions are for Xmeeting):
    -> Preferences/Audio
    Audio Output Device: Soundflower (16ch) [this should pick channels 1 and 2 by default]
    Audio Input Device: Built-in Microphone

    2. LineIn
    Input from: Built-in Microphone
    Output to: Soundflower
    -> Advanced
    Output Device Settings/Left: 3
    Output Device Settings/Right: 4
    Note: Click ‘Pass Thru’ before using

    3. Soundflowerbed
    16ch: Built-in output
    [By default, Soundflower (16ch)/Channel 1 should be set to Built-In Output [1]. Channel 2 should be set to Built-In Output [2], while channels 3 and 4 should be set to None.]

    4. GarageBand
    -> Preferences/AudioMIDI
    Audio Input: SoundFlower (16ch)
    Audio Output: Built-In Output
    -> Track/new track/real instrument
    Input: Channels 1 & 2
    -> Track/new track/real instrument
    Input: Channels 3 & 4
    Note: Make press the black circle for each channel so that it is red. This will enable you to record both channels with the large red record button.

    5. System settings (unchanged)
    Input: Internal microphone
    Output: Built-in Output

    When you save the GarageBand recording, you will get two .aif files, one for each channel. I merged these by going to Share/Send Song to iTunes, then opening iTunes and giving the track an identifiable artist name, then going to the directory where the track is stored (by default it is in ~/Music/artistname). There will then be a single .aif file. If you don’t mind a .m4a file, you can skip the iTunes step and use Share/Export Song to disk.

    There may be an easier way to merge the tracks, but I’m describing this for the benefit of someone like me, who never used GarageBand before.

  51. Ann says:

    Addendum to my last note–with Skype it doesn’t seem to work properly. Make the following changes for Skype:

    1. Skype
    -> Preferences/Audio
    Audio output: Soundflower (16ch)
    Audio input: Built-in Microphone
    Ringing: Soundflower (16ch)

    3. Soundflower
    Change ’16ch’ to ‘None’ instead of ‘Built-in output’ as described above.

    4. GarageBand
    For the first track (the one using channels 1 & 2) change Monitor to ‘On’

    With these minor changes the setup works with Skype as well.

    Here is the configuration which was tested in this post and the previous one:
    OS X 10.4.11
    LineIn 2.0.3
    Soundflower 1.4
    iTunes 8.2.1 (6)
    GarageBand 3.0.4 (104.7)
    XMeeting 0.3.4a
    Skype 2.6.0.151

    There is a newer version of Soundflower available but it didn’t work with this version of OS X. Older versions of Soundflower are easily found at code.google.com (just search for the desired version).

  52. [...] I used this set of instructions to record my Skype conversation with my mother. [...]

  53. [...] iLife ‘09 – GarageBand It’s a great application to use for creating your own music or the almighty podcast. ($79.99) Using LineIn (Free) and Soundflower (Also Free) and a little workaround you can get GarageBand to record skype. [...]

  54. [...] How to record Skype using Garageband via 360east.com. [...]

  55. Ray Ortega says:

    [...] How to record Skype using Garageband via 360east.com. [...]

  56. [...] In de afgelopen weken heb ik voor 3VOOR12/Amsterdam diverse interviews afgenomen via Skype. Aangezien mijn geheugen bijwijlen correspondeert met die van een goudvis, ben ik op zoek gegaan naar een manier om met mijn MacBook Pro deze zogeheten SkypeOut-gesprek op te nemen. Na zeven dagen monter gebruik te hebben gemaakt van de demo van Call Recorder, kwam mijn studentikoze karigheid weer naar boven en ging ik op zoek naar een gratis oplossing. Deze vond ik op een verwarde Arabische site, waar werd gewezen op de programma’s LineIn en SoundFlower. Door middel van deze programma’s ben je uiteindelijk instaat om je eigen stem – die via een microfoon of ander opnameapparaat binnenkomt – en de stem die via Skype binnenkomt gezamenlijk op te nemen in Garageband. Het lijkt in eerste instantie wat omslachtig, maar het werkt als een dolle en is kosteloos. Voor de geïnteresseerden de instellingen: [...]

  57. tom says:

    These work for me(different to above)

    1. Skype
    -> Preferences/Audio
    Audio output: Soundflower (16ch)
    Audio input: Built-in Microphone
    Ringing: Soundflower (16ch)

    2. LineIn
    Input from: Built-in Microphone
    Output to: Soundflower 16ch
    -> Advanced
    Input Device Settings/Left: Default
    Input Device Settings/Right: Default
    Output Device Settings/Left: 3
    Output Device Settings/Right: 4
    Note: Click ‘Pass Thru’ before using

    3. Soundflowerbed
    16ch: Built-in output
    [By default, Soundflower (16ch)/Channel 1 should be set to Built-In Output [1]. Channel 2 should be set to Built-In Output [2], while channels 3 and 4 should be set to None.]

    5. System settings: sound
    Input: Internal microphone
    Output: Soundflower 16ch

    4. GarageBand
    -> Preferences/AudioMIDI
    Audio Input: SoundFlower (16ch)
    Audio Output: Built-In Output
    -> Track/new track/real instrument
    Input: Channels 1 & 2
    Monitor: off
    -> Track/new track/real instrument
    Input: Channels 3 & 4
    Monitor: off
    Note: Make press the black circle for each channel so that it is red. This will enable you to record both channels with the large red record button.

    Share/Export Song to disk.

    Leave a message here if this works for you….

  58. Mitchell says:

    What about record Skype,i prefer use IMCapture for Skype.It’s prog for record audio and video calls.I like this simple prog.

  59. Cosmo says:

    Tom, I followed your instructions, but am not able to hear Skype through my USB headset. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  60. [...] I wanted to be able to put it into GarageBand and not drop a dime. After a good deal of tinkering and Googling, I figured it out. As far as I know, there are similar instructions online but they didn’t work for me. [...]

  61. Patrick says:

    Thanks for posting this. A friend of a friend died recently and my friend wanted a recording of her friend’s voicemail message to remember her by. I used your setup to make her an MP3 of the message. She appreciated it and so do I!

  62. poonchy says:

    yes, i prefere the 16 channel method. it worked better and no double voices and that.

    champ.

  63. Svetlana says:

    Tom (who posted on Feb 5, 2010)
    I tried your settings and they come closest to what seems to work, but still missing a couple of things.
    First, where do you change Soundflowerbed settings? When I launch it, it doesn’t come up as an interface. Seems to run behind the scenes somewhere.
    Second, I can’t hear the output in my headphones (this is probably a result of me not finding where to change Soundflowerbed settings)
    This setup is complicated but if it works, it’ll be brilliant.

    Also, any idea if this will work for gtalk conversations?
    Ultimately, that’s what I would like to record. And not sure yet how Chrome will interface with this setup discussed here.
    Cheers for any advice.

  64. Svetlana says:

    another google search and I found a flower on my monitor! And got the headphones to work. Brilliant!
    now need to figure this out for gtalk.

  65. Matt Layden says:

    Hello, so I FINALLY got it to work after much frustration and I did use the help that was here.

    To get it to work this is what I currently have set up.

    LINE IN: Input: Headset
    Output: Soundflower (16ch)
    click on pass thru

    Skype: Input: Headset
    Output: Soundflower (16ch)
    Ringing: Soundflower (16ch)

    Soundflower: Soundflower (2ch) : Headset
    Soundflower (16ch): Headset

    System: Input: Headset
    Output: Built In Output

    Garageband: Input: Soundflower (16ch)
    Output: Headset

    make new tracks for each person and set their input source:

    track 1: 1/2 stereo
    track 2: 3/4 stereo.

    Get PODCASTING.

  66. [...] slightly.  I’d like to give credit to the post that got me most of the way through which was this one from 2005.  Sadly the author gave up on making this work.  I’d also like to give a lot of [...]

  67. AJ says:

    I want to set up a Podcast where I can alter my voice so that Garageband records my altered voice AND the person on the other end, who I am also recording, also hears only my altered voice.
    Suggestions?

  68. AJ says:

    I should add that I want to record the person on the other end with an unaltered voice.
    Thanks!

  69. Beri Hull says:

    I set this up once and got it to work but have tried to set it up again and it is not working. When I try to record a skype test call I cannot hear anything (ringing, skype message or my voice). What is the problem?

  70. lolly says:

    there is a nice tool for recording skype calls ( mac) http://www.imcapture.com/IMCapture_for_Skype/, i always use it! try)

  71. SimonL says:

    What if I use no MIC other than the MAC’s inbuilt one ?
    Does this equate with poor result ? Or worst ?

  72. Carlos David says:

    Thank you very much this was pretty usefull!!

    Carlos D from Mexico

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