Have you ever needed to record the audio from an application on your computer like a music player or game? It's harder than it looks! You need some way of routing that audio from the output of your machine back into the input of your recording device.
So do you record your computer audio in such a way? There are a couple of options, some harder than others:
- Run a physical cable from your machine to your interface
- Use 3rd party software
- Use loopback in CONNECT 6
The first two options can be dicey. No one wants to connect more cables, and third party software can be complicated to set up. CONNECT 6 features a dedicated loopback channel to make it easy to integrate all kinds of audio into your podcast, streaming, or music production process, so you don't have to deal with additional connections or configuration.
So how does it work? In the next sections, we’ll explain what audio loopback is. You'll also learn how to set it up with CONNECT 6 (spoiler alert, it’s easy), as well as some common use cases to get you started.
What is audio loopback?
“Loopback” is a term used to describe the routing of the internal audio from your computer applications back into the inputs of your interface.
Loopback is like a cable from your computer’s audio output going back into your recording device, except it is handled digitally without the need of physical cables.
This lets you record audio from computer applications and control that audio separately from your other input sources.
When to use loopback
There are a lot of cases where you’d want to record your computer audio. Here are just a few interesting examples, and you may think of more!
Record a podcast with a remote guest
If you have a remote guest calling into your podcast via an app like Zoom or Teams, you can route that audio via the loopback channel in CONNECT 6. You’ll be able to easily record your guest on a separate channel in your DAW. For more ways to record podcasts, see this blog. We also have a video covering this topic -> Click to watch here
Add live sound effects to your podcast
If you want to spice up your podcast with sound effects or funny clips, loopback is the perfect tool for you. For example, you might want to fire off a one-shot sound effect. And you might want to take them from:
- Streaming platforms like Spotify etc.
- An existing recording on your computer
Go to your audio recording software, create a track, and set your loopback as an audio input. For CONNECT 6, the loopback channel shows as input 7/8.
If you now play back the sound, you’ll be able to record it on the prepared track. All recorded sounds can then be used whenever you need them.
Make a reaction video
If you’re making a screen recording of any kind, whether it’s for a reaction video or an on-screen tutorial, you may find the video's sound is very loud. With loopback you'll have separate control over your computer and microphone audio, so you can change levels of your computer's background audio and your voice can be heard more clearly.
You can follow the same steps as above to set this up, by assigning your DAW track to input 7/8 for computer audio.
Record your game audio
Streaming or recording game audio can be tricky because these applications are often very loud and dynamic, which can overwhelm your voice. It gets more complex when livestreaming, since your voice must be loud enough to be heard by your audience, who also would like to hear the audio from the game.
The loopback feature alleviates this problem by capturing game and microphone audio separately. You can create separate monitor mixes for yourself and your audience if you are streaming live.
Record reference tracks into your DAW
A reference track is a piece of recorded audio that’s used by a mixing or mastering engineer to compare to a project they are working on. But it can often be difficult to locate a high-quality audio file of a specific reference track you may be looking for. Using Loopback, you can easily record a reference track directly into your session from your audio player or streaming app. Be aware this is for your personal use only!
How to set up loopback in CONNECT 6
Loopback can be managed in CONTROL CENTER. You can find the Loopback channel next to the Hardware Outputs section, highlighted in the screenshot below:
You can select a source for Loopback from among the outputs available, but typically you can set it to Out 1 / 2 (which is typically the default for your computer system audio).
Rather than a traditional output, Loopback works as a digital channel within CONNECT 6. It’s also a selectable input that shows up in your DAW on stereo input 7 / 8.
That’s all you need to do to set up Loopback for the use cases we listed above. Now any audio playing from an app on your computer will into your DAW on the channel set to Input 7 / 8.
With all the routing flexibility available in CONNECT 6, it’s easy to overlook loopback. But once you master it, you may start finding all sorts of excuses to use it.
We hope this article was helpful in learning about Loopback—let us know on social media about your own experiences with this handy feature!