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Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dpaanlka, Mar 20, 2008.
Is it possible to set my Mac Pro to send sound to multiple outputs simultaneously? If so, how?
Don't think it's possible.
A somewhat workable work around
One way of doing this is using two separate programs to run two different instances of the media you are playing. For example I wanted to listen to a .m3u file streaming from the internet with my USB headphones, while my wife listened to the same drama with headphones. As far as I could tell our 13'' MacBook Pro (spring 2011) did not have any way of using both audio outputs at the same time. After finding no real answer anywhere, I came up with this workaround (will not work for video though, reasons will be obvious)
So, I opened the .m3u file with VLC and chose the headphones as an output from the two listed. Then I opened a copy of that .m3u file in itunes and now my wife was hearing two streams at once, but out of sync. Then I went to system preferences and switched the audio output to the USB and then I was listening to the same stream on itunes through the USB headphones, and my wife was able to listen to the stream through the headphone jack with VLC, and my son stayed asleep.
This will not work for a movie, because one person is going to have the movie start before the other and you can only watch one video feed at a time (unless for some reason you want to see them side by side) and so the soundtrack would be off like a badly dubbed foreign film for one person, or worse if you were trying to use the other output as a monitor for recording purposes.
Hope this helps somebody. It would have been easier just to have the ability to have the sound run to multiple outputs from one source. Oh well.
You would have to use something like Soundflower, an audio software mixer where you can have multiple inputs/outputs.
You need Audio Routing as well
It's not too diffrent from a Windows PC. For a Mac you need both audio routing software, SoundFlower like Linuxcooldude notes, as well as the physical ability to output the channels. I have a love for Echo Audio's sound cards. It doesn't matter if the external multiport sound card you get is USB or Firewire or I bet in the near future Thunderbolt (at least via some ridiculous dongle). Not all soundcards are created equal.
What do you need to do and what software are you using? Reason, Live, Multitrack, ProTools, something else? A number of programs that have audio routing built in (and do it well) use Soundflower in the background. Others do a beautiful job of showing where audio is going in an intuitive way.
Some programs deal with audio in a lame way (pun not intended), so that regardless of how you try to rout you audio, the program is only able to send it to one output device + the system audio.
Depending on what you want to do, you might need some very specific software and hardware. There might be a more efficient or better way to do what you want to do, and others might be able to help you with that once you
Cycling 74's SoundFlower is freeware.
Echo Audio's Soundcards Small company. Low floor noise. Great build quality and drivers. When I was doing multi-track some time ago their rig was the least problematic for me.
Send what to what outputs? Give me an example of what you'd like to do...
Try doing this with the Audio MIDI setup