In a different lifetime I was a studio musician and spent a lot of time with microphones and soundboards. As a result, I’m a bit of an audio nerd. The thing is, I remember how hard analog audio was to pull off. But today we live in the digital age and suddenly Audio gets much easier. This week I’m looking at Ambrosia Software’s latest application in its stable of audio tools, Wiretap Anywhere.
To put this application in layman’s terms, wind the clock back about 80 years and imagine one of those old telephone switchboard stations. You have a board on one side with incoming calls and the operator would then physically connect the plug into where you wanted the call to go. “Oh hi Eunice. You want to talk to Doc Jones about your lombago, let me patch you in.” Now imagine that same concept but much cooler on your Mac and instead of just patching one call, you can patch five calls into one line. That gives you a rough idea of Wiretap Anywhere. With it you can take any audio generated by your Mac and pipe it across to any destination. Do you want to share your latest GarageBand project with your pal in Walawala over iChat? Its simple. You just set a line from GarageBand to iChat and you are in business. If you are a podcaster and want to get a Skype call, your local microphone, and some funky iTunes background music into your audio application but leave your system alerts out of the recording, it is simply a matter of making the proper connections in Wiretap Anywhere.
Wiretap Anywhere turns all of your applications into audio inputs which you can then mix and combine and patch into any application on your Mac that accepts an audio signal. The concept is not really that complicated but, depending on your level of audio needs, extremely useful. You can put the individual source applications to their own channels or you can mix them to a combined stereo signal from within Wiretap Anywhere.
One use that I particularly enjoyed was routing my Midi keyboard, Logic, and iTunes into one feed for recording. Pulling this off “back in the day” would have have been possible without some very high end, and expensive, recording equipment.
In some ways it is like Soundflower. It is just easier to configure and more stable. The interface, presented through a preference pane, is obvious. I’ve been putting Wiretap Anywhere through its paces now for for several weeks. Processing and redirecting all of this audio did not seem to cause any latency problems for me. Ambrosia knows audio. For about 10 months now I’ve been recording my reviews on another Ambrosia product, Wiretap Studio.
Wiretap Anywhere is certainly not for everyone but is an excellent tool for for people who need this sort of granular control over their audio. A license will cost $129. If you are interested, there is a demo version available from Ambrosia Software’s website. Ambrosia also has some nice tutorial videos to give you a better idea of how to use the application.