unable to increase Audacity input level with MIDI aggregate device

I regularly use an “aggregate device” added via the MIDI setup app (as described at this link: https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/54675/how-can-i-send-my-computers-audio-to-multiple-outputs) so that I can record directly audio from websites and hear what I’m recording at the same time. It works great except the sound recorded with Audacity is always recorded at a very low input level and I never could see how to increase that. Usually this is not a problem because I simply use Effect–>Amplify to fix it later.

However, lately I’ve run into websites where the volume is much lower – so low that when I amplify later I get distortion. Because of this I want to be able to increase the input level somehow. However, even with everything I can place at 100% input level (in the sound settings, in Audacity, in MIDI), I cannot get the input level to increase. This audio is easy to hear through my speakers, although it’s a little quite, because I can just turn up the volume.

To quantify this problem, this website has a test file (https://www.audiocheck.net/audiotests_dynamiccheck.php) which outputs at Full Scale, 6dB below Full Scale, 12dB below Full Scale, and 24dB below Full Scale. For my setup I experience most websites record in Audacity at 12dB below, but the problematic ones are at 24dB below Full Scale.

So my question is:
How can I increase the input level while recording in Audacity with my aggregate device?
I’ve seen similar threads about this but no solutions have helped and they generally are old posts.

I’m using Audacity 2.3.2 on a early 2015 Macbook Pro with OS 10.14.5


My older machines all use SoundFlower which re-routes YouTube sound to Audacity Record. That’s obsolete and I understand this is the current software.


If I had to guess at it, I would say Aggregate Device is following one of your Mac volume controls. Speaker Volume? That’s one of the problems of messing with multiple sound pathways on one computer.

This used to be a very serious problem on Windows machines. “How come I need to keep my speaker volume way up to get a good recording?”


Problem Solved!

Thanks for the guidance.

Getting Soundflower off my system was difficult, btw.