Audio Output options won't work

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by limagre, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. limagre macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Maine
    #1
    Hi. I'm a newbie here with a very confusing problem.

    I'm hooking up my stereo to my iMac (running OS X Panther, of course) and it just isn't working well. I realized that I wasn't getting sound out of my internal or external speakers when it was hooked up because my sound preference wasn't set to Built-in Audio. So I changed it and ran to the store to get a missing cable. When I returned, my computer was mysteriously off, and no one else has been around. When I rebooted, my sound preferences were changed again. So I tried to get it to change back to Built-in Audio, but it refuses to say anything but "internal speakers" if my external aren't plugged in or "headphones" if my external are plugged in. My external are plugged in where they always are, where they were earlier when it did allow me to select built-in audio. I have gone to Audio MIDI Setup and the defaults for both input and output are built-in audio.

    When I hook up my stereo to be the speakers, the sound works fine, regardless of what the output setting says. When I hook up my stereo to play to the iMac, I get no volume.

    Sound is reaching the iMac though. If I go into iMovie and record after hitting play on my tape deck, sound will record and sound great on playback. It will even export fine. That's no way to record though because I can't really hear how much I'm recording or the volume.

    I've tried rebooting, switching all the input options to see if it'll change the output options, tried all the headphone jacks in case the sound really was being exported there. I ran utilities off the install disk too, in case there was some damage to the hard drive. Nothing.

    I am at a complete loss. "Help" didn't really do anything. It just tells me to select the device, but I have no options to select from!

    If this is a horrible FAQ, I'm sorry, but I did take the time to search on this forum and several other sites for answers.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks!

    limagre
     
  2. alset macrumors 65816

    alset

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    #2
    I'm confused.... It seems as if you had your stereo output sound to your Mac (into iMovie, I guess?) and sound output from your Mac to the stereo. Can you clarify what your goals are and what cables/adapters you are using to interconnect the two? Once I get my head around your setup I'll have some tips on setup.

    Dan
     
  3. limagre thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Maine
    #3
    I did have stereo set up to both send and receive, but not at the same time. I set my stereo up as the external speakers for the iMac just to test that there was nothing wrong with the wires or connections or the equipment. Then I just reversed it, putting one end of the cable in output of my stereo (headphones) and the other into the input of the iMac (microphone). At this point, ideally, I would be able to go into sound preferences and select "mic" for input and "default audio in" or "external speakers" for output, so I could hear through the computer what I was sending from my stereo. But alas, it is not doing what it should and I can't hear the input unless I record it and play it back.

    For cables I'm using a mini phone jack y- cable with two rca male ends to female connectors to another y-cable with two rca male ends/mini phone jack. The connection does work because the sound is getting to the iMac, but I just actually can't _hear_ it. The input bar in iMovie flutters like crazy when my stereo is on.

    My goals are to find out what I need to do to have audio when I input correctly into the iMac and how to keep this from happening again. I'm assuming that it's set up correctly because I don't know how else it would be and because, like I said, it IS getting there, but I can't hear it. Strange.

    I also find it strange that the settings just up and vanished without any changes made to the system. Well, something changed, but I can't figure out what. I didn't shut down, I didn't put it to sleep, I didn't lose power.

    Sorry if I'm babbling. I've been working on this off and on for about 12 hours and my brain is pretty fried.
     
  4. mox358 macrumors 6502

    mox358

    Joined:
    May 22, 2002
    Location:
    Indiana
    #4
    are you trying to record sound from your stereo into your mac, or use your stereo speakers as an output for your mac's sounds?

    i'm a little confused also... the way you described seems like you're sending your stereo into your mac and then trying to send the stereo's sound back to the stereo's speakers?

    am i missing something or am i just totally confused?
     
  5. sahnert macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #5
    make sure that the "play through" box is checked in audio MIDI setup. I'm running jaguar, but I assume this utility is still the same.
     
  6. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #6
    Re: Audio Output options won't work

    Recent iMac? This is normal. The stuff that appears in the Sound prefs depends on what you have plugged in at the moment.

    If you have anything plugged into the port with a headphone icon, it will display "Headphones" whether or not you have the Pro speakers plugged into the miniature speaker port.

    If you don't have anything plugged into either port, it will display "Internal speakers."

    If you have the Pro speakers plugged in and nothing in the headphone jack, it will display "External speakers."

    Note that the miniature external speaker port is special, it's not make to work as an ordinary line or speaker out. There's a little dongle built into the Pro speaker cable that communicates with the Mac. If you want to use that port with other speakers, you could use an adapter like this one. (That's for if you want the Mac to power the speakers; it's not what you want for hooking up to an external amplifier.)

    For audio in (if your iMac has that port), there is apparently no way to get hardware passthrough. Some recording programs will let you use a "soft" passthrough, which works enough to check for levels but there's a slight delay.
     
  7. sahnert macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #7
    Re: Re: Audio Output options won't work

    Is audio MIDI setup different in panther? In Jag I have a playthrough button on the input (left) side. Also Spark ME does have a realtime passthrough. I got it as a free download, but I've heard that is not the case anymore. You can check versiontracker.
     
  8. Ambie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Location:
    US
    #8
    I also could not find Built-in Audio in my Sound Prefs under new Panther (only Internal Speakers), whereas I did see that option (Built-in Audio) while I was in Jaguar

    :confused:
     
  9. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #9
    Re: Re: Re: Audio Output options won't work

    Yeah, the MIDI setup is pretty much the same in Panther.

    I'll have to play with Spark ME at some point, thanks for the pointer.
     
  10. limagre thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Maine
    #10
    I'm sorry for any confusion my posts created in how I had things set up. I am trying to send sound to my iMac from my stereo to record. (I did have it set up so I could hear my Mac through my stereo, but that was just to test the wires and the connectors. I tested and tried everything to make sure I wasn't doing anything incorrectly.)

    The strangest part is that my audio output settings _did_ say "built in audio" at one point. Then it mysteriously disappeared and won't come back.

    Maybe the Mac fairy will come back and fix it...
     
  11. limagre thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Maine
    #11
    Well, I have given up on actually hearing my input. I figured I'd say thanks for those who helped and to share my advice for anyone who is trying to digitize their cassettes.

    Since I couldn't actually hear what was recording, I watched the input levels. When they'd taper off, I knew that the song was over and I'd stop recording. This did lead to some frustration when the song fades out, but comes back in.

    So my advice is to use the mac to your advantage: go to iTunes, search for the song you're converting, see how long it runs, and keep an eye out on the counter, rather than just sitting there watching the levels. It made it a lot easier to know I had 2:14 to run and do something else, instead of just trying to remember, or more pathetically, singing aloud to try to keep track. Apparently my memory isn't too good because the results weren't accurate.

    Anyway, it's still a pain and frustrating, but worthwhile because the quality came out very good on my new-old songs.

    One last suggestion: if you're digitizing and your songs are being imported into iTunes in the larger memory formats (WAV, AIFF, etc), you have the option to convert the songs in iTunes into AAC (under Advanced) and that will take up less memory. If you do that, don't forget to clear out the original, cause otherwise it defeats the purpose.

    Thanks again for the advice and good luck to anyone else who tries to digitize.
     

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