Mixing Audio on a Mac for Guitar Lessons over FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, etc

When taking guitar lessons I was hoping to get a set up where I could use my macs built-in microphone for voice while sending my guitar sound directly (and not relying on the mic).

My Setup

I got this up and running quickly using a free trial of Sound Siphon.  However, when that expired I decided to find an alternative.  After a bunch of searching, I landed on using SoundFlower and LadioCast after reading this blog by Brian Funk.

SoundFlower acts as an audio source, and/or an audio destination.  Download here.



LadioCast is a virtual mixer. Install from the Mac App Store.



With this combination of software, I can set up GarageBand to output it's audio to the SoundFlower (64ch).  Then in LadioCast I can use this as an input and mix it with the internal microphone.  These can then be mapped to various outputs.  In my case, GarageBand is sent to my main output, my Audio Interface (and an FRFR speaker), plus to SoundFlower (2ch).

SoundFlower (2ch) is then used as the input source (mic) for Skype, FaceTime or most conferencing solutions.  Thus, the person on the other end of FaceTime (in my case) will hear the audio which is coming directly from GarageBand mixed with audio from my internal mic.  I suspect some audio from GarageBand will also come through on the mic.  This could be avoided with a headset instead of using speakers.

The microphone can be directed to just the SoundFlower output (to FaceTime) and thus avoid you hearing yourself talk.

In my case, I also use a headrush pedalboard that is also my Audio Interface.  Thus, instead of using GarageBand for my guitar audio, I can use Headrush directly in LadioCast as an input source.  I can still include GarageBand so I can send EZDrummer drums over the FaceTime call too.

Overview






Using GarageBand for Audio

You could use GarageBand (Reaper, Logic, etc) for your Guitar Audio.  In my case, I added it just for Drums.  This is simply using SoundFlower as the Audio Interface output.


Using SoundFlower for FaceTime

In FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, etc you just use SoundFlower (2ch) as the audio input/mic


Steps

  1. Install SoundFlower
  2. Install LadioCast
  3. Configure DAW to use SoundFlower (64Ch) as the output device
  4. Configure LadioCast to use Input 1 as Internal Microphone
  5. Configure LadioCast to use Input 2 as SoundFlower (64Ch)
  6. Configure LadioCast to use Main Output as you prefer, e.g. Audio Interface, internal speakers
  7. Configure LadioCast to use Aux1 Output as SoundFower (2Ch)
  8. Configure FaceTime (Skype, Zoom, etc) to use SoundFlower (2Ch) as the Microphone
  9. In LadioCast set the levels, for me the internal mic was fine and I lowered to Guitar a little
  10. Test with a friend to get the right levels and make sure it's working

Conclusion

This setup works really well for me.  I hope it works for you.


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