In anticipation of problems . . .

I am using Audacity 2.4.2 on Mac OS 10.14.6. My Mac is vintage 2015 so it’s geriatric and I am bracing for the inevitable fatal crash. I’ve been scanning the forum for issues with more current versions of Audacity and more current Mac OS (I have a vague idea that any Mac I buy will have a different chip) and I seem to see lots of problems but no overall installation guidance for newbies. In fact, the installation page in the manual refers to soundflower for redirection of desktop output, while I discarded that for iShowU Audio Capture back in the day. Did I miss a more up-to date Mac OS installation guide?

Related: I understand that Audacity has discarded the Silence Finder utility since 2.4.2. I believe there is a workaround via the installation of a special library, but why discard it in the first place? I record internet streaming (Yes, I know. Re-sampling from the output of the D/A converter, but it works very well.) and there are occasions when I encounter dropouts. My editing/splicing skills are getting pretty sharp, but in the meantime, Silence Finder and followup “edit labels” are invaluable tools for locating the dropouts.

Silence Finder has been replaced by the more versatile Label Sounds

Please see:


Silence Finder is still be available for anyone that wants it:

Silence Finder is a “Nyquist effect”. Scroll down this page for installation instructions:

Ok, thanks for the confirmations. But as to my original question, I looked again at the Audacity installation instructions:

Is it really this easy? Download, install, run? In particular, do we no longer have to route the Mac output from the soundcard TO Audacity?

“Installing” Audacity on macOS should be very easy - just follow the steps in the macOS section of

There’s many “post installation” steps that you “may” need to do. The instructions that you have linked to only cover “installation”.
Some post-installation steps that you may want or need to do, depending on your requirements and how your system is set up:

You may need to grant Audacity permission to access to your microphone if your system is set to deny access.
You may need to grant Audacity permission to access your hard drive if your system is set to deny access.
You may need to select the recording source and/or playback device if you don’t want to use the system default devices.
You may need to change some of Audacity’s preference settings if you don’t want to use the defaults.
You may need to plug in an external microphone if you want to record from a mic.

You can’t do any of these until after Audacity has been installed.
You may not need to do any of them.

Thanks again. Your installation instructions are laid out much differently from the layout when I first installed Audacity, and it’s an improvement. In general I will wait until I am facing an actual installation before taking any more of your time. But just one more question: I think any problems I do encounter will have to do with the setup for recording from the desktop, i.e. the loopback device. My installation with 2.4.2 uses IShowU Audio Capture, which was a replacement for the original Soundflower. Now I see that Soundflower is back. But, beyond that, you note Soundflower being incompatible with silicon-based Macs. So what is the alternative if your Mac is silicon-based?

Blackhole seems to be the current replacement for audio loopback on Mac. It now appears to be “donation-ware”. I have not tried it - your mileage may vary.

– Bill


And a clarification, perhaps, for Steve. My comment/question, “Is it really this easy?”, was meant as self-deprecatory – as in, am I making this way too complicated? I have a feeling it wasn’t taken that way. One way your installation instructions have changed, at least to my recollection, is that they are more obviously sequential. The installation part is specified clearly first, and it IS “that easy”. Previously, for Mac users, the need for the loopback device was discussed and the information for it was linked to in the installation notes.

Maybe I have it wrong. It’s been seven years. In any case, my use of Audacity is almost exclusively limited to recording from the desktop, so I tend to think of this loopback as part of the installation, as opposed to configuration. For me, it’s part of the code, third party or not. And for or a moment, I dared imagine that Audacity had implemented its own version, and that it was THAT easy!

But now it looks like Fortress Apple is becoming more impregnable. While Mac OS release notes keep assuring me that my computer is getting all the features of a telephone.