There are very few Mac audio recorders that I’ve not owned or tried through the years. You name it. From Pro Tools to Logic Pro X, from Audacity to Amadeus Pro, from Twisted Wave to Sound Studio and everything in between, I’ve waded through and used them all.
Except for one. Audio Hijack.
Audio Hijack has been popular for years among audio fanatics, especially those who create Podcasts and need a way to mix audio sources on the Mac’s screen. I come from the ancient broadcast world of tape and razor blades (for editing tape) so Audio Hijack’s somewhat convoluted interface and source mixing was never my style.
Enter Audio Hijack 3, a new version of what promises to be the best Audio Hijack ever, and the first one ever with an instantly usable, minimum learning curve user interface, and the first major update in many years. Audio Hijack 3 thinks different. To start, choose a Session Template.
The choices are significant because Audio Hijack lets you connect audio sources to outputs in a different way than typical Mac audio apps which usually are limited to a single source input and output. Audio Hijack has no such limitation.
In fact, if there’s an app on your Mac that can play audio, the source can be routed through Audio Hijack to be recorded, sweetened, or mixed with other sources. In real time. Even the Mac’s System Audio.
That means you can record web streams, increase the volume with a hefty boost, do VoIP recording from Skype, Google Talk and FaceTime, and even pull audio from DVDs, movies, or anything else that plays audio on a Mac.
It’s this mixing and matching and re-routing of audio sources within the Mac that sets Audio Hijack apart from other audio recorders, and the new user interface makes it a pleasure.
If that’s not enough to pique your interest, there’s more. Recordings can be previewed with a click. Templates are a good way to get started but they’re tweak able and re-usable. There’s also a built-in Time Shift effect which lets you pause, delay and even rewind live audio.
Audio Hijack handles all the major audio file formats from AIFF, WAV, MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, and even FLAC. Podcasters will love the built-in ducking effect that drops background audio when a voice comes on. There’s also a scheduler, perfect for capturing timed audio recordings.
To put it bluntly I’ve not used Audio Hijack much in the past because the interface was unwieldy and the mixing of sources and outputs was more trouble than it was worth. Audio Hijack 3 changes that. It’s still not an interface that most audio folks will find familiar, but it’s easier to master; almost fun to use. And the recording and playback options are second to none.