How we record the G+ Hangout audio for the +Lean Into Art Cast

November 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

How we record the G+ Hangout audio for the +Lean Into Art Cast

This screencast from Chris Prillo's website ( walks you through how to use Audio Hijack Pro and Soundflower to take live Skype calls during screencasts, but the setup is exactly how we re-route audio for the Lean Into Art Cast to get a single take show in both audio and video formats.

We record the show on Apple iMacs, so this may not work for those of you running Windows or Linux, sadly.

What you need:

– Audio Hijack Pro (not free):
– Soundflower (free):
– A Google+ Hangout (free)
– A decent USB mic will give you much better sound quality, but your computer's internal mic will work if you're on a budget. If you do intend on getting a USB mic, +Rob Stenzinger uses the Blue Yeti mic for the Lean Into Art Show:
(I use a Shure SM58, an Alesis 4 channel mixer, a tube preamp and a Berhringer compressor/peak limiter in case you're wondering)

Here I'll go into the specifics of the setup, but it may be a good idea to watch the video and get a visual idea of what I'm talking about before proceeding.

Step 1:
I set up new recording sources in Audio Hijack for each sound input I intend to use on the show. You can do this by clicking the "+" symbol in the far bottom left of the Audio Hijack pane, and select the source from the "input" tab that appears in the center of the pane. You can choose an audio input device like a microphone, or an application like iTunes, Skype, Safari, and so on.

I set up recording sources for the following:
– My microphone
– Whatever program I intend to use to play audio clips. This can be iTunes or Quicktime, but I use a program called Soundbaord from Ambrosia Software (not free)
– The Google Talk plugin. This is the audio that is produced by the Google+ Hangout, including the audio of any participants.

Note: There is a tab named "Recording" in every recording source you set up in Audio Hijack Pro. Under this tab is an option to change the digital audio format to which you will record (MP3, AAC, AIFF). You only need to decide on an audio format for the Google Talk recording input, since this is the source you will record for final output.

Step 2
As was shown in the video, I now go to the "Effects" tab in the main Audio Hijack Pro pane for both my microphone and audio clip recording sources. Under each of them I'm going to insert a new effect:

4x Effect>Auxiliary Device Output

When the Auxiliary Device Output options popup appears, I select "Soundflower (2ch)" as the Device. I leave the Source option set to "Default"

Then I hit the "Hijack" button in the upper left for both recording sources.

What does this do?
I've just told Audio Hijack Pro to re-route my microphone and Soundboard audio to Soundflower (2ch). I'm now going to push that combined audio into the G+ Hangout.

Step 3
I launch the G+ Hangout, and under "settings" I change my audio input device to "Soundflower (2ch)". Now my microphone and Soundboard are both being routed into a single audio input for the G+ Hangout. All participants can now hear when I hit the intro music or stingers during the show.

Step 4
Now I concern myself with the Google Talk plugin recording source. I hit the "Hijack" button for that one, and when I watch the recording levels in the top center of Audio Hijack Pro, I can see that all Hangout audio is being captured.

When we're ready to start the show I hit "Record" on the Google Talk plugin recording source, and Audio Hijack Pro begins recording any audio from the Hangout. I can then launch the show's intro music from my Soundboard, and step in to kick off the talk as soon as the music fades out.

Note: We also just recently started using the Hangout Toolbox app for G+ Hangouts (, which also gives us the option to create lower thirds and custom overlays for the intro music. It also has a really neat combined chat client that lets you combine comments from YouTube, G+, and Twitter into one stream so you can keep track and respond right from the Hangouts pane. Very nice.

Hope this helps get more of you using Hangouts for podcasting! Let me know if you have any questions or have even more elegant setups to share.

#hangoutsonair   #podcasting  

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