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SoundFlower (Part.2)

Author MixCorner 23 September 2016, in - Audio - Dossier - Technique. | 39 visites pour cet article.

Some time ago, we’ve had a look at the software « Soundflower » and its basic functions. Today, we’ll see what can be done with this useful and very potent freeware that would merit to be a « must have « for everyone working in the fields of audio.

1- APPLY TREATMENT TO YOUR AUDIO INTERFACE’S OUTPUTS

This kind of process could be characterized as corrective. In the context of music and Home studio acoustics plays a prominent role. « Soundflower » will allow you to have a control and perform - at least at some degree - modifications on the audio signal within your « Mac » before it reaches your speakers.

In order to perform this process, an additional freeware « Hosting AU » is necessary. This freeware has been developed by Ju-x a Japanese dev, and I would recommend to visit his interesting website since there are other applications dedicated to music.
Even if it was designed to be a « micro DAW », today i’ll be using it as a crucial element of my audio chain.

The GUI could look simple but, all you need is there. Inputs, stereo outputs, tracks, inserts..

The audio signal treatment can be performed with a maximum of 6 plugins. In first instance, EQs of course, but also some plugins to get some polished audio signals such as Tape simulator. As its name is « Hosting AU » it is restricted to work with Audio Unit format plugins that you own inside your personal library but also with all native Logic Pro Plugins too.

HOW DOES IT WORK

The first step is to make a kind of « bypass » of your audio signal so that the after will enter first in Hosting AU before it goes out of your Mac. This action is made by the software « Soundflower ». For those of you who didn’t get the possibility to read the previous paper regarding « Soundflower », you’ll find here after a summarized reminder.

Open « System preferences / Sound tab / Output / Select « SoundFlower (2ch) ».

The « Audio » is now deviated from its original output and pass through the virtual channels of « SoundFlower ». At that stage, you can’t hear any sound anymore…which is normal. To get access again to the bypassed audio signal, you’ll need to go back into Hosting AU. Open the « Menu » located on the top of track D and then select « SoundFlower (2ch) ».

At that stage, the music or sound you can hear is provided by Hosting AU.

Now, you’re able to insert plugins in the 3 inserts of the channel strip as well as 3 insert plugins in the « Master » channel strip by clicking on the dots located on the left side of the mention : " No effect"

At that stage every signal you can hear has been passing through the inserted plugins and modified accordingly.

2- SEND AUDIO FROM A DAW TO ANOTHER ONE

Few times ago, I had to mix a session that was created in « Cubase Elements ». However this version of Cubase lacks the properties to export single tracks individually in order to be mixed within another DAW. Making an export track by track is possible but long and tedious.
SoundFlower will deal with this very easily and in a single step.

Up to now, we’ve used only the stereo channels of SoundFlower (which means 2 channels). However, SoundFlower is not restricted to 2 channels but is able to manage up to 64 channels.
Assigning « SoundFlower » directly to the outputs of Cubase Elements will make possible to export all tracks of the project (in real time) in a single step, tracks that will « travel » through « SoundFlower » from Cubase to the inputs of my DAW of choice.

In the example with Cubase, I was referring above, I’ve routed each track in single « SoundFlower » output after having selected 64 channels in the Cubase preferences instead of letting them going to the Master !

In the DAW that will have to manage the files ( in my case Logic Pro X), I make the opposite settings which means that « SoundFlower » now acts as an input device.

Then, by a simple step, I create as many tracks as necessary regarding the amount of tracks in the Cubase project.

The final step being to play the files in Cubase Elements simultaneously with a recording into Logic of all files in real time.

That’s it and that’s all for today. Would you feel the need to comment, lease don’t hesitate to ask questions, write comments or remarks.
See you soon and make good mixes.

MixCorner




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