How to Record Audio in Mac

How to Record Audio in Mac?

You would like to record broadcasts of an online radio on yours Mac but you don’t know how to do it? Are you looking for an Apple-branded application for your computer that can make high-quality audio recordings, even better if at no cost? Would you like to create voice memos with macOS, similar to the ones you can get on the iPhone, but you don’t know which app to turn to? Don’t worry, I really think I can help you. You ask me how? Simple: with this guide of mine on how to record audio Mac.

In fact, below you will find a list of applications – many of which are already pre-installed on macOS – thanks to which it is possible to record Mac audio from any type of source. This means that you will be able to record audio from your computer’s microphone, from external input devices (microphones, webcams, etc.) and that you will also be able to “capture” the sound reproduced by any software running on macOS. Great, right?

In any case, the procedure to be followed is within everyone’s reach. All you have to do is take a few minutes of free time, choose the application that you think would best suit you and use it following the instructions you find right below. As for the quality of the files obtained, well, that will be up to you to decide based on the type of software you will use and the output parameters you decide to use for your recordings. Happy reading and have fun!

How to Record Mac Audio from Microphone

Do you want to make simple audio recordings using the microphone integrated or connected to your Mac? So why don’t you turn to one of the two resources listed below? They are very simple to use and capable of guaranteeing good results. Seeing is believing!

Voice Memos

MacOS Voice Memos
How to Record Mac Audio ©aranzulla

The first solution that I recommend you to try for record Mac audio from the microphone is Voice memos, the application present “standard” on macOS (from macOS Mojave up), thanks to which it is possible to make voice recordings in a very simple way, synchronizing them with iCloud, so as to have them also available on other Apple devices.

To use it, open the application from Launchpad, from the bar Dock, from the folder Applications or search for it through Spotlight. Once started, choose whether or not to activate the use of the location and the synchronization of your voice memos on iCloud and start recording the audio by clicking on the red dot at the bottom left.

If necessary, stop the registration by clicking on the button depicting the two red fingers and, when you want to start it again, click on the button Resume; to stop it definitively, instead, click on the button end and that’s it: the recording will be saved in the format M4A and it will be visible in the sidebar on the left of the Voice Memos window.

To listen to a recording again, click on it, press the button Play located at the bottom right and, if you want to edit it, click on the wording Edit (top right) and use the available functions to cut it, improve it, etc. To share it with other users, instead, click on the icon square with arrow pointing up (top right) and select your preferred sharing mode; to delete it, instead, click on the icon dustbin and then on the button OK present in the box that appeared on the screen.

QuickTime Player

How to Record Mac Audio ©aranzulla

If you want to make simple audio recordings, without special effects, filters and whatnot, you can also use QuickTime Player which is capable of capturing audio from the Mac’s microphone and, more generally, from any audio input device connected to the computer.

To start an audio recording with QuickTime Player, launch the application by clicking on its icon attached to the folder Applications or by selecting it from Launchpad, from Spotlight or by recalling it using Siri, right click on its icon in the tray Dock and select the item New audio recording from the menu that opens.

At this point, click on white arrow located next to the record button, select the device from which to record audio (eg. Internal microphone) and presses on REC to start audio recording.

When the operation is completed, click on the button Stop, go to the menu File attached at the top left of the menu bar, click on Export and then select the option Audio only. Then indicate the folder in which to save your recording (in M4A).


How to Record Mac Audio ©aranzulla

If you need more control over the quality of your recordings, you can contact Audacity, an excellent free and open source audio editor, which includes a wide range of controls, filters and special effects. It allows, among other things, to make audio recordings, manipulate them at a later time, edit existing audio files by acting on the quality of the audio, its speed and its volume, it allows you to create mixes between two or more songs, create podcasts , apply equalization and distortion effects and much more.

Not being pre-installed (unlike the apps mentioned in previous chapters, Audacity goes downloaded from her download page and installed. After starting it, select the audio source to be used for recording from the drop-down menu located next to the icon microphone and presses the button REC to start recording. Once the operation is complete, go to the menu File, click on Export audio, choose the file format in which to export the recording (from the drop-down menu Format) And that’s it.

There is so much to say about theuse of Audacity and that is why I strongly encourage you to take a look at my guide on the subject – I am sure it will help you.

How to Record Mac Screen Audio

How to Record Mac Audio ©aranzulla

You are interested in understanding what to do in order to record the audio played by your Mac? If the answer is affirmative then you can appeal to one of the ad hoc tools that you find indicated in the following lines. Even in this case, these are quite simple solutions to use even for those who do not consider themselves exactly a great expert in IT and new technologies.

Before proceeding, however, I must show you how to perform a preliminary operation, which consists in activating a virtual audio driver which will make sure that the internal sounds of the Mac are turned into an input device, to be combined with the internal speaker, so that the recording program can capture them.

To be able to do this you need to use some third-party software, since macOS does not allow you to do this natively. One of the best is BlackHole, which is free, open source, and relatively simple to use. As of this writing, its compatibility with macOS 12 Monterey it doesn’t seem to be perfect, but the developers are working on the problem.

That said, to get this program, start the Terminal macOS (then do it by searching for it via Spotlight or by going to the folder Other of the Launchpad), write the command /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL" and come on Enter on the keyboard. When asked to do so, then, enter the Mac password and press the button again Enter.

Then write the command in the Terminal brew install --cask blackhole-16ch, press the button Enter; write the Mac password and press the “usual” button once again Enter.

Now, call the application Midi Audio Configuration, recalling it from Launchpad or through Spotlight, click on the button (+) at the bottom left, select the item Create device with multiple outputs from the opened menu and uncheck all the boxes in the new screen that opened. Then check the box next to the item Mac speakers (or, in any case, the speaker in use), then repeat the same operation with the box next to the wording BlackHole 16ch and finally check the box Drift correction, in correspondence with the item BlackHole 16ch.

Finally, right-click on the entry for the Device with multiple outputs you just created, select the item Use this device for audio output from the opened menu and repeat the operation also with the wording Play alerts and sound effects through this device. Finally, right click on the wording for BlackHole and then on the option Use this device for audio input in the opened menu.

How to record Mac screen with internal audio
How to Record Mac Audio ©aranzulla

If all went well, when you use your recording software, you will be able to record the internal audio of the Mac by selecting the device BlackHole (16 ch) as the incoming audio source.

If you want further information on the operation just described or are looking for alternatives to BlackHole, I refer you to my guide on how to record Mac screen with internal audio.


How to record Mac screen with internal audio
How to Record Mac Audio ©aranzulla

If you have a Mac equipped with macOS 10.14 Mojave or a later version, you can take advantage of Snapshot Screen, an application from Apple that allows not only to do screen captures, but also video recording of the same.

To call up a screenshot, press the keys at the same time cmd + shift + 5 on the keyboard and, to capture the entire screen, click on the icon rectangle with the dot; to capture only a portion of the screen, instead, click on the icon dashed rectangle with circle.

Next, open the menu Options Screen Snapshot, select the input source you previously created (ex. BlackHole 16 ch) and then click on the button Register, to start recording, and then on the button Stop, to stop it. Simple, right?


How to record Mac screen with internal audio
How to Record Mac Audio ©aranzulla

Another great program dedicated to screen capture is OBS, also known as Open Broadcaster Software: it is an extremely versatile application full of interesting features, useful for those who need to use more advanced tools than those present on the Snapshot screen utility (such as the ability to add video from the webcam).

The program goes downloaded from his website and then copied to the folder Applications and started on the Mac. Then you have to configure it for audio capture from the Mac, going in the audio settings and setting the auxiliary microphone audio with the audio source you intend to use (in the case of our example BlackHole 16 ch).

Once you have everything ready, click on the button (+) in the box Sourcesat the bottom and select the item Capture the screen to capture the entire desktop or that Capture the window to capture the video stream of a given window only. Then repeat the operation by selecting the item Capture incoming audio, check the box Add an existing one, click on the item Microphone / device auxiliary, click the button OK and, as soon as you are ready to do it, start recording.

For further information on the general functioning of OBS and the Mac screen audio recording with OBS, I refer you to the insights that I linked to you: I already know that they will be useful to you.

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How to Record Mac Audio?

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