soundflower kernel extension (SOLVED)

I am aware audacity can use soundflower for recording purposes. But does the installation of audacity install also the soundflower kernel extension automatically? Or is audacity otherwise dependent on this soundflower kernel extension to work? I just noticed I have a soundflower kernel extension installed but not the soundflower app itself. thanks

No. Audacity does not use an “installer” and does not put anything on your hard drive that you do not explicitly copy there from the DMG.
– Bill

The DMG (and the zip) do of course create application support files in ~/Library/Application Support/audacity/ but as Bill says this does not install any other applications.


Thanks, Bill & Gale. So just to confirm. If I removed the soundflower kernel extension (com.Cycling74.driver.Soundflower), my audacity app should NOT be impacted in any way?


Just to add, like many people apparently who have upgraded to mavericks, I am also trying to solve mysterious performance issues. Luckily for me my audacity is still working after moving mavericks. however I’ve been recommended to remove soundflower kernel extension (I don’t actually have the app, just the extension). I just want to make sure I’m not going to screw up my audacity which I use daily. thanks

Soundflower provides a system recording device with which you can capture audio playing on the computer. Many people find it useful. Do you see it as an input device in Device Toolbar in Audacity?

If you had installed Soundflower then there should be a Soundflower folder in /Applications that contains an uninstall script. You would double-click the uninstall script to uninstall Soundflower properly. I would be inclined to install Soundflower then uninstall it using the script to be sure I had got rid of it.

What are the performance issues? Some people say reinstalling Mavericks helps when you have installed it over previous Mac OS X. What I see is frequent but brief beach balls when I do just about anything, but Mountain Lion (over which I installed Mavericks) never did that .


I never installed it myself and I’m trying to figure out which app is using it. I don’t have the app in the apps folder but it shows up in my kernel extensions.

my mac sometimes refuses to wake up and can only be rebooted by holding the power button

I assume this is your topic so I would take the advice there and put it down to a Mavericks bug.

In spite of what is said in that topic, please be assured that Audacity does not install Soundflower or “modify OS X’s native audio functions” (I posted there to correct that).


There is something odd with Soundflower 1.6.6b, Mavericks and Audacity.

The symptoms I am getting are.

With Audacity 2.0.2 all is ok.
With Audacity 2.0.5 and playback via Soundflower the output stutters.
Changing the playback to direct to Line Out all is OK again.
I hadn’t tried Audacity 2.0.5 prior to upgrading to Mavericks so can’t comment on that.

I am aware that Soundflower is no longer supported, but this is the only situation i have observed that gives me any problems.

This is on an Early 2008 Mac Pro and playing independently recorded 44.1K and 48K 16 bit WAV files.

Playback to Soundflower should be inaudible. Soundflower output is meant for routing to a recording application.

What are you trying to do?


Yes - you are correct, and I was not saying that the configuration was necessary, just convenient, and it should (and used to) work. I don’t use Audacity as a recorder, only as an editor. For convenience I tend to set all applications that allow it to take input from Soundflower and send output to Soundflower and then use Soundflowerbed to route the final output to a real output device. That way I only have one switch to operate. Were I to use Audacity as a recorder then it would feedback unless I was careful. (Unfortunately Soundflowerbed does not work too well any more so I may have to change my technique anyway.)

To clarify - it should be perfectly acceptable for Audacity in playback mode to send to Soundflower to be picked up by some other application such as a recorder. I have done this sometimes where an alternative recorder offers desirable features. I have written a little about it here

To exonerate Audacity or not, Audacity > Quit Audacity in 2.0.5, then download and run Audacity 2.0.2.

If 2.0.2 does not have the playback stutter, then please try Audacity 2.0.3 and Audacity 2.0.4 and tell us in which version the playback stutter first appears. Be sure to quit Audacity before running another Audacity version.

As a specific, please say exactly what is the real output device that you are sending Soundflower output to with step by step to set it up. Please also say what recording application you are trying to send Audacity playback to.



Thanks for pursuing this Gale.

2.0.2 doesn’t stutter (as stated in the original post).

I have downloaded 2.0.3 which is also ok.
I have downloaded 2.0.4 which stutters so it looks like the problem came in version 2.0.4.

2.0.4 and 2.0.5 do not stutter if the output is directed in Audacity using the speaker drop down menu to Built-in Line Out. Only if directed to Soundflower (2ch).

The real output device in both cases is Built-in Line out, in the latter case via Soundflowerbed - p.s. I was wrong in an earlier post to say that Soundflowerbed didn’t work any more, I was thinking of something else).

The other recorder application is not relevant here as it is not running when the problem shows up (but for information it is usually Wave Corrector running on WIndows XP under VMware Fusion - but presumably it could be anything).

OK I can reproduce this in 2.0.4 and later on my Mac Mini running Mavericks, playing a tone in Audacity, playback device in Device Toolbar is Soundflower 2ch, Soundflowerbed set to built-in output.

If I go Audacity > Preferences, choose “Recording” on the left then reduce “Audio to buffer” to 50ms, playback is OK. Changing the Soundflowerbed buffer setting made no difference. Does that solve it for you?


Yes - that’s great. Fixes it a treat. Thanks very much.

p.s. I have remembered what the Soundflowerbed problem was now. The version shipped with Soundflower doesn’t survive a system sleep. There is a modified fork here which addresses this issue.

Thanks for that. As that mod is on GitHub and has good feedback I have added a link to it on the Audacity Manual page about recording computer playback on Mac.