HELP: Recording stereo input audio on MacOS Big Sur, MacbookPro 16,1 (or MacPro Cylinder)

I have a Macbook16,1 (and a MacPro Cylinder) that I want to use for recording stereo input audio. The System Preferences on either system do not provide a USB input option. I’ve tried many approaches, no luck.

One task is to convert some of my cassette tapes and vinyl into high quality audio files. It seems silly to me to have to purchase yet another piece of hardware to facilitate this, but I will as a last resort.

Apple makes a dongle that converts mini-rca to USB-C, though I’m not entirely sure that will be enough. It sounds like I may need a driver.

I’ve toiled over this for a while and finally got discouraged. But I’m hoping folks here with more experience may have a solution I can work with.


Do you have a link to that adapter? I don’t know what a “mini-rca” is.

In order to input audio to a Mac through USB you must have an external audio-to-USB adapter.

– Bill

Here is a link to the adapter I mentioned

That adapter is not for microphones:

The USB-C to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter lets you connect devices that use a standard 3.5 mm audio plug — like headphones or speakers — to your USB-C devices.

A lot of us use the inexpensive Behringer audio-to-USB adapters (UCA202, UCA222 and UFO-202).

– Bill

Thanks for clarifying. I ordered the UA202 from Amazon and will give it a try – you can’t beat the price, seems like many folks like it.

Does it have its own driver or does MacOS see it as an input device?


I assume that you mean the “UCA-202”. I got one years ago and it’s still going strong.
It is a class compliant USB audio device, so no special drivers are required on Mac, Windows or Linux. Just plug it in.

One important limitation of the UCA-202 is that there is no input level control, it’s just “line level” input and output. In most cases that works fine for connecting to hi-fi equipment, CD players, cassette players, hi-fi amplifiers, powered speakers and such like, but you can’t directly connect a low signal level device such as a microphone.