Audio Hijack 3
A classic act makes a comeback
Orange meters provide reassuring confirmation that the audio is actually being recorded
$49 standalone, $25 upgrade (approx £33.50/£17) Developer Rogue Amoeba Software, rogueamoeba.com
Requires OS X 10.9 or higher
Thanks to the software gurus at Rogue Amoeba, fears that your Mac might not actually be recording that important interview or musical session are now a thing of the past.
Once a clunky app, Audio Hijack has been completely rebuilt in version 3 to make it stupidly easy to record every sound your Mac makes, or only those from specific applications and devices. This core functionality existed in previous versions, but often with some degree of mystery as to what the final recording would sound like after fiddling with various menus and settings.
That’s no longer the case: gone are those archaic controls, replaced by templates used to set up recording sessions for common scenarios, such as voice chats, podcasting, digitizing old vinyl LPs piled up in the wardrobe, or simply ramping up the volume on Macs with tiny speakers (there’s also the option to start completely from scratch).
Most of the 10 included templates work without modification, but can be further customised using icons from a sidebar on the right-hand side of the session window. Once placed on the audio grid, these ‘blocks’ control the flow of audio through the application.
The library is made up of Sources (what do you want to record?), Outputs (where should the sound end up?), Meters (for in-line visual feedback), and Built-In or Audio Unit Effects that offer aural enhancements such as EQ, denoise, or the very cool option to ‘duck’ one audio signal under another. Each block can save presets with favourite settings, and sessions can be endlessly customised and reused at a later date.
Once configured, a click on the record button starts or stops the process, with orange meters providing reassuring confirmation that the audio is actually being recorded as it moves through the active links between blocks – the digital equivalent of checking the tape is moving.
About the only thing missing is a one-click shortcut to edit audio files in other applications such as the developer’s own Fission; instead, you have to click a magnifying glass icon under Recordings to reveal the file in the Finder, then open it manually. Fortunately, this is a minor inconvenience in an otherwise outstanding audio recording powerhouse.
Easy enough for novices yet powerful enough for pros, Audio Hijack 3 takes the anxiety out of recording sound from your Mac, making it drag-and-drop simple in the process. J.R. Bookwalter
A newly rebuilt app that offers a simple take on the audio recording process – whatever the source may be.
Each block placed on the audio grid has its own options, saved as presets.
Audio Hijack 3 provides important visual feedback that recording is actually occurring.
No audio editor integration
No auto-stop if recording silence