Soundflower, the excellent free utility from Cycling ’74 for routing inter-application audio on Mac OS X, is now Universal for Intel Macs. Cycling has also put up new suggestions for how to make it useful:

  1. Access your iTunes library via your cell phone, thanks to DittyBot. (Since this is Create Digital Music, just load up your set on iTunes, hit your gig, head for the bar, and bring new meaning to “phoning it in.”)
  2. Record Skype: Yep, this is the fastest way to record a Skype call on Mac.
  3. Inter-application audio: Aside from hooking up your favorite audio recorder to TextEdit’s voice-to-speech so you can pull off the now-cliched “robotic Mac voice”, a la Radiohead, you could actually use this for useful stuff, like routing sound between apps that don’t support ReWire.

Of course, this should sound familiar to anyone who knows the superb Linux-bred utility JACK, which offers this and much more. It’s worth checking out both; JACK has by far the deeper feature set, but if you need only quick-and-dirty routing, Soundflower could be the way to go. Truly die-hard Mac inter-app audio lovers might even use both, especially since they’re both free and now both run on Intel Macs.

Thanks to Nick Inhofe for this, a guy who’s cool enough to have interned at Skywalker and earned an IMDB page!

Previously: Mactel Watch: JACK for OS X now Universal; Free Inter-App Audio on Intel (and other) Macs

  • Rozling

    Scare your friends and family by throwing a ring modulator->delay on your voice mid-Skype. My mate's fave trick…

  • bliss

    This latest version of Soundflower does not work for me. The installer installs version 1.0.1 and it doesn't load on boot. Anybody else have these problems? Thanks!

  • ocp

    Not working properly on my MacBook Pro.

    Can't select it as audio in device in Ableton Live 5.2.1 and not able to use it as audio out with the NMG2 demo.

    In AudioMIDI Setup the sample rates are erratic for Soundflower.

    It was too good to be true : (

  • ocp

    Can't uninstall; no Uninstall_Soundflower.command : (

  • bliss

    Yeah, same problems here. Bummer.

  • Has anyone tried subscribing to the Soundflower mailing list? Someone may have a solution; I don't know — I'm not on it.

  • ocp

    I subscribed but no answers so far.

    If I get a helpful reply I'll post it here.

  • ocp

    The mailing list doesn't seem to work either.

    What's up with those guys?

  • No worries, I've forwarded concerns to some folks at C74 … some things may have just gotten out of sync. Once we get a fix, I'll be sure to post it.

  • this is such a bummer.

    now at least i know that i'm not going crazy. i spent hours on my MacBook trying to get a standalone Max patch routed into Live.

    I couldn't get Jack to work for me either!

  • Jack's installation is a little more complex, and there is an excellent and helpful Jack OS X mailing list. It's worth checking that out, and I do think they will make this easier over time.

    Soundflower looks like it just has an installer issue, and it apparently impacts both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

    But never think you're crazy. We're all in this together. 😉

  • Casper

    I can select it as output in GarageBand but it won't appear as input in Ableton Live 5.2.1… previous version (on my previous PowerPC Mac…) worked great….!

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  • Phil South

    Nope it doesn't come up as a device even though the installer completed.


    I've emailed the guys at Cycling 74 to see what's up.

  • Yeah, I had the same result.

    We should probably *pause* the email requests, because I think by posting this I've just unleashed a flood of bug complaints their way, and given the consistency, I expect there will be a single solution and/or updated installer.

  • bliss

    Soundflower 1.2 and Soundflowerbed are now updated and working properly. Cheers!

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  • Oh I'm so happy I found all of you. I've spent hours trying to figure out why Soundflower doesn't work on my MacBook Pro. I thought I was crazy. Plainly speaking, it doesn't work!!

  • Greg

    Anybody else having problems with Soundflower 1.2 at 96 kHz? I get "gritty" glitches about every 20 seconds. No problems at lower sample rates.

    Intel Mac Mini

    OS X 10.4.8


  • Okay, so I've downloaded the recent upgrade to soundflower for intel macs (I have the macbook pro). It worked for awhile, and now it just stopped. It's heaven when it does work. Is there anything else out there. Soundflower can't be the only game in town!!!

    My main problem is that soundflowerbed will not allow me to monitor. When I try to moniter I get a nasty hum. I checked all my settings again and again, but I'm still getting it.

  • dnw

    it(soundflowerbed) used work perfectly for me until 10.4.9

    now soundflower is installed (1.2.1) it functions in my apps, but soundflowerbed doesn't work.

    i can transport audio between devices. I just have to select soundflower as they main output for system in audio.midi preferences

  • alex

    I was having trouble with routing garageband into Ableton, too – try using 16 channels. Worked for me.

  • jimag

    does anyone know of a working version for macbook pro 2.4ghz? If not, an alternative program? thanks

  • err1

    nice prog. but I use SkypeCap

  • Davis

    For Record Skype Calls i perefer use [U]SkypeCap[/U].It's one of the best Skype recorders.And also you can control of your records,choose level of quality etc.I like it's programm so much.

  • bolk

    mmm…yeah…SkypeCap good prog…

  • Barry

    "but if you need only quick-and-dirty routing, Soundflower could be the way to go"

    have to agree , plus it's free and runs on a MAC. great stuff!

  • joe

    used to work for me fine, all of a sudden it stopped opening.. it wont load in the bar at the top of my mac.. im using OS X 10.5.8 and like i said, it used to work brilliantly. and now its stopped. ive tried uninstalling and re-installing a million times with all the different versions but it still doesnt work. oh, and it is just the soundflowerbed that wont open for me, the actual options to route audio in the sound setup work fine.. but i cant hear what im routing because i need the soundflowerbed for it!!! ARGH its so frustrating.

    any news on a fix?