If you’ve ever found yourself really wanting to podcast but found that your inability to afford a mixer and more advanced audio equipment hinders your dreams… don’t worry. There are some great freeware solutions for OS X that will allow you to do some advanced sound routing without having to buy a single extra component.
The first solution allows you to take everything you’re hearing and throw it on an artificial input while allowing you to keep hearing it. The program is called Soundflower and once installed you’ll see two additional inputs on your system. It comes with a 2 channel input and a 16 channel input for those times when you really need an advanced solution. This program allows your system to pass audio to other applications so you can record things like Skype, games, Teamspeak, Ventrilo and others without having to use a single extra hardware component.
Now you might be wondering how recording what you hear comes in handy when you yourself want to add to the sound with your microphone. The solution here is LineIn which creates a smooth soft playthrough of your input ports. This works very well with USB microphones including headsets and USB condenser mics as well as your more traditional analog microphones.
With these two tools at your disposal, you should be able to record advanced audio without adding any hardware to your arsenal. The sound passed through these applications is very clear and the programs run using very minimal system resources. I use a Mac mini for mostly all of my recordings both video and audio and these programs haven’t failed to come through for me yet even when I upgraded to Snow Leopard.