Direct audio capture seems to be broken? M1/Big Sur

Hey all! Recently switched from Windows to macOS. On Windows I was able to capture system audio with DirectSound as my input device. This was useful for ripping audio from a video lecture and many other use cases. Trying to do this on my new Mac mini (Apple Silicon - M1, macOS Big Sur) it appears something is broken. Choosing “Core Audio” as the input device, I get… well, nothing. Trying to figure out what’s going on here - do I need to download a driver or anything? Is this a known issue on Apple silicon?

Apple has not allowed capture of “system audio” since forever.

This page is not the most up-to-date but it should give you a starting point.

– Bill

My Old, Old, Old machines used SoundFlower as a sound device. My just old (but current to me) machine uses iShowU.

Apple has not allowed capture of “system audio” since forever.

What he said. Macs don’t have built-in sound pathways for recording streaming audio.

The desperation method is sending sound out to a good quality stereo interface, and then bringing it back in.

Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 7.31.43 PM.png
Are you horrified yet?


There is a workaround for recording internal/system sound in Audacity on Mac Big Sur:

Download the ‘Apowersoft Audio Device’ (offered in the Apple Store) and in the ‘Apowersoft Audio Recorder’ in the tab ‘Recording Settings’ select ‘AP Extended Audio Driver’ as system sound and ‘MMAudio Device’ as microphone.

In Audacity select ‘Apowersoft_AudioDevice’ in the recording device.

The important thing is:
Before recording in Audacity you have to open the app ‘Apowersoft Audio Recorder’, otherwise it won’t work.

“Apowersoft Audio Device” does not appear to be in the Apple Store.

“Apowersoft Audio Recorder” is there, but it seems to be rather old, gets terrible reviews and mostly one star ratings (on a scale of 1 to 5). Many reviews found elsewhere on the internet complain that “it’s a nightmare to uninstall”.
Looking at their website it appears to be a discontinued product. I doubt that we can recommend this product.

While I’m glad to hear that your experience with this product was good, given the reviews that I’ve read, I’m not inclined to install it to test.