Make external speakers and internal speakers work together?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gogreen1, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. gogreen1 macrumors regular

    gogreen1

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    #1
    Working on a new iMac. I use M-Audio AV-40 monitors, which attach easily by plugging them into the iMac’s audio out port. But plugging in the speakers shuts off the internal speakers. Is there a setting to keep both on, so that if I turn the speakers off while they’re plugged in, I can still hear the sound from the internal speakers? Would a 3.5mm stereo mini female to USB 3 or USB-C allow both the internal and external speakers to work together or separately? What's the best way to get internal and external speakers working together?
     
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    #2
    You can create a multi-output device in the Mac's "Audio MIDI Setup" app. You'll have to try it to see if the results are what you want.
     
  3. gogreen1 thread starter macrumors regular

    gogreen1

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    #3
    Thanks, BrianBaughn. I didn't see how to do that readily in Audio MIDI Setup, but I'll keep looking.
     
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    #4
    The "+" on the bottom left.
     
  5. gogreen1, Jan 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018

    gogreen1 thread starter macrumors regular

    gogreen1

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    #5
    In either the aggregate device or the multi-output device, only the built-in output appears. How do I get my iMac to "see" my external speakers?

    I'm guessing that the iMac will list the speakers only if they're connected via USB 3 or USB-C. Am I correct?
     
  6. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    #6
    After checking, it seems that it's either/or when dealing with the built-in speakers or anything connected to the output jack. You're definitely correct that if you have a USB audio device you could play the Mac's speakers and that device simultaneously. Works with Bluetooth, also.
     
  7. J.Gallardo macrumors regular

    J.Gallardo

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    #7
    I tried to do same as you... and I couldn't (time ago... I haven't tried again 'cause I understood how it works & inherent limitations).
    But:
    - You can choose easily "output device" pressing ALT & clicking on speaker icon in menu-bar. In the menu that appears, you can change to "internal speakers" when you turn-off external ones.
    - Also, perhaps you would like to keep "system sounds" coming out from internal speakers in every situation (when I'm listening to music I don't like "pings" etc. on my external speakers). This is set in Preferences, Sound.
     
  8. gogreen1, Jan 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018

    gogreen1 thread starter macrumors regular

    gogreen1

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    #8
    Thanks, J.Gallardo. So you're saying that even if I connect the speakers via USB, I still won't be able to do what I want?
     
  9. J.Gallardo, Jan 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018

    J.Gallardo macrumors regular

    J.Gallardo

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    #9
    I'm using now an usb output (through a DragonflyRed DAC) in my new iMac. I tried what you say looong time ago with my last Mac and a simple Griffin iMic usb sound out. I could't. I think I came to understand that I couldn't aggregate usb+internals in MIDI Utility (I was trying to make ALL speakers to sound at the same time). I haven't tried again (and MIDI Utility is not well documented, in my opinion...I find a PITA to fiddle with it).
    The other day, answering a guy in a thread who wanted "to play two movies at once & have sound-out through different speakers set" (!) made me investigate... and I could easily play a movie in QT with default sound out (usb) AND a movie in VLC with sound coming out from internal speakers! (VLC has its own sound-out option).
    I'll do some research later (out with family!) and I'll tell you.
    Sound fascinates me ;)
     
  10. h9826790 macrumors G5

    h9826790

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    #10
    You may try SoundFlower. This software allow you to use multiple output simultaneously, and control their volume via the native keyboard shortkey.

    However, this is a very old software now, development stopped, so no update for few years already. May not work with the new MacOS.
     
  11. gogreen1 thread starter macrumors regular

    gogreen1

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    #11
    Thanks, h9826790, for the Soundflower idea.

    Thanks, J.Gallardo. My plan is to plug the speakers into a USB port by way of this:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XP5R44...wL&pd_rd_r=K0KF8Z7AKTMD9ZE3X838&pd_rd_w=t6sYq. Then I hope to use audio midi setup to create a multi output device, allowing me to hear sound through both the internal and external speakers.
     
  12. J.Gallardo macrumors regular

    J.Gallardo

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    #12
    Captura de pantalla 2018-01-29 a las 15.04.23.png
    Yes.
    Now hearing internal+external at same time! (I'm sorry the snap is in Spanish... But I suppose you can find the way to do it. Ask if you need it). That usb sound-out interface you mention should work.:)
     
  13. gogreen1 thread starter macrumors regular

    gogreen1

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    #13
    Thanks. That's good to hear. I'll give this a try in a few days and see what happens. Based on what I've read and seen, my plan should work. Fingers crossed.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #14
    "Then I hope to use audio midi setup to create a multi output device, allowing me to hear sound through both the internal and external speakers."

    A good set of external speakers will ALWAYS sound better than the internal speakers.

    If I had a good set of external speakers to use (I always listen through headphones), THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO is -disable- the internal speakers!
     
  15. J.Gallardo macrumors regular

    J.Gallardo

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    #15
    :) Well... you don't need to disable internal speakers! As explained, system does it for you when pluggin' external speakers in the ordinary way. You are sharp to recommend what is default behavior! It was the thread starting point.
    We were talking about other way to do things.
    Have you heard good external speakers & internal at same time? I have; it's nice.
     
  16. gogreen1 thread starter macrumors regular

    gogreen1

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    #16
    Is there a way to enable internal speakers with external speakers plugged in to the iMac's audio out port? Before I go out and buy a USB adapter, I need to confirm that this cannot be done.
     
  17. h9826790, Jan 29, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018

    h9826790 macrumors G5

    h9826790

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    #17
    Sometimes it's not about the quality of the sound, but how interesting the effect is.

    I used to have 7 speakers around. 1 internal (Mac Pro), 2 on the monitor (Apple Cinema Display), 2 external via line out, 3 external via digital out. I've tried use them all at the same time (by sound flower), the effect is really funny. Super surround and hard to distinguish where is the sound coming from :D
     
  18. Fishrrman, Jan 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018

    Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #18
    "Is there a way to enable internal speakers with external speakers plugged in to the iMac's audio out port?"

    I believe the answer is no.

    The Mac's audio-out port has some kind of hardware switch in it.
    When you plug into it, it DISABLES the internal speakers.
    I don't believe there is any way to "over-ride" this using software.
    It's been like this since the Mac -had- an audio-out port.
    I could be wrong.
     
  19. gogreen1 thread starter macrumors regular

    gogreen1

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    #19
    I wonder if there's a hack one could apply via terminal to stop the override.
     
  20. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    #20
    I second the poster that said check out SoundFlower. It’s been years since I’ve used it but it’s full of neat things you can change regarding sound.
     
  21. gogreen1 thread starter macrumors regular

    gogreen1

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  22. gogreen1 thread starter macrumors regular

    gogreen1

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    #22
    Update: I successfully created a multi-output device so that my iMac internal speakers work at the same time as my external monitors. The setup works perfectly for my needs. However, to adjust the volume, when I'm working with the multi-output device, the F10 and F11 volume controls don't work. I've been adjusting the volume by switching off the multi-output device and using the internal speakers, which lets me use F10 and F11 to adjust the volume. Then I go back to the multi-output device.

    What am I missing here? How can I more easily adjust the volume of the multi-output device? I'm guessing I'm unaware of a setting or keyboard shortcut here because of my newness to Mac.
     
  23. h9826790 macrumors G5

    h9826790

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    #23
    The native macOS volume control cannot do that. Your system is actually normal. You didn't miss anything. That's why I suggested Sound Flower, you can use keyboard short key to control Sound Flower output's volume, and Sound Flower can use multi output at the same time. Eventually, you are using the keyboard short key to control all output's volume at the same time indirectly.
     
  24. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    #24
    Whether or not a USB audio device can have its volume level controlled by the system's volume control (and vice-versa have its volume knob move the system volume) depends on the device. My M-Audio device doesn't.
     
  25. gogreen1 thread starter macrumors regular

    gogreen1

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24 January 28, 2018