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Cactus Music

Loopback- A feature I didn't think I'd use.

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One of the features of my new Motu M4 is a Loopback feature. It seems to be a new trend with interfaces. I guess a common complaint was it being hard to copy audio directly from the internet. Probably copywrite law issues. 

I've been mucking about with screen capture with OBS and I would always have to use WASAPI shared to get OBS to record Cakewalks output. I noticed the Loopback channels as options in OBS and sure enough this works. So I can stay in ASIO mode for screen capture recording as well as using the interface to adjust the balance. 

And then today I found a second use which is what I think most people were after. A friend posted a song on Reverbnation but he is a paranoid so didn't allow downloads.  I wanted the song file so I could analyze it with things like span and Youlean.  Ha- just set an audio track in any DAW or wave editor to the Loopback channel and record in real time. 

Anyhow just thought I'd share as many people are always shopping for new interfaces and this just might be a feature worth having. 

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On 3/20/2021 at 2:21 PM, Cactus Music said:

One of the features of my new Motu M4 is a Loopback feature. It seems to be a new trend with interfaces. I guess a common complaint was it being hard to copy audio directly from the internet. Probably copywrite law issues. 

I've been mucking about with screen capture with OBS and I would always have to use WASAPI shared to get OBS to record Cakewalks output. I noticed the Loopback channels as options in OBS and sure enough this works. So I can stay in ASIO mode for screen capture recording as well as using the interface to adjust the balance. 

And then today I found a second use which is what I think most people were after. A friend posted a song on Reverbnation but he is a paranoid so didn't allow downloads.  I wanted the song file so I could analyze it with things like span and Youlean.  Ha- just set an audio track in any DAW or wave editor to the Loopback channel and record in real time. 

Anyhow just thought I'd share as many people are always shopping for new interfaces and this just might be a feature worth having. 

Sounds awesome.. audio routing is currently biting me inn the ***** at the moment. I recently ordered a 8i6 which has loopback and I am hoping it works as well as you describe. I am just very confused bc focusrite makes it sound like the sole purpose of the loopback feature on their website is to bring application audio to a DAW. That is great but they do not mention how or if a loopback input can be created containing daw audio to bring into another app.

As you know, simply using desktop audio in obs will capture all windows audio, but not ASIO driver audio from your daw. I cannot for the life of me understand how a loopback feature bypasses this without creating a feedback loop within the interface. My brain.. it hurts..

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Posted (edited)

I recently purchased a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen and I love using the Loopback feature to record songs from Youtube as reference tracks. It's a great feature to have. I previously had a Roland Octa-Capture and it didn't have this feature, but I loved that Audio Interface.  I don't like the fact that the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen doesn't show playback meters, 😠 it only show recording meters.

Focusrite Loopback setup

Edited by jesse g

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Most mixer-interfaces have a 1/8" jack or RCAs for a tape/CD player. I connect them to the default onboard computer audio thru the headphone jack so everything is playable/recordable thru the mixer. This keeps my ASIO strictly for DAW use.

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15 hours ago, sjoens said:

Most mixer-interfaces have a 1/8" jack or RCAs for a tape/CD player. I connect them to the default onboard computer audio thru the headphone jack so everything is playable/recordable thru the mixer. This keeps my ASIO strictly for DAW use.

That does work, but you have extra DAC-ADC conversion stages that the loopback method does not have. It's certainly better than nothing, but you do get some degradation using that 1/8" audio jack.

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True, but I'm not using it to record studio quality commercial grade output.

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Hmm. I guess I need to investigate this further. The Saffire Pro 40 has a loopback feature, but I've ignored it. If it makes it easier to capture audio from Windows, I'm in. I do this all the time to capture dialog samples.

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57 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

Hmm. I guess I need to investigate this further. The Saffire Pro 40 has a loopback feature, but I've ignored it. If it makes it easier to capture audio from Windows, I'm in. I do this all the time to capture dialog samples.

Once in a while (decade or so) people "discover" new features of the (same) interfaces 😉

http://forum.cakewalk.com/Track-Loopback-Focusrite-Saffire-MixControl-m3122377.aspx

But under Windows, RME "loopback" is by far more flexible then other solutions I have observed. Any mix (including for digital outputs) can be declared "loopback", after that corresponding "input" get loopback signal . So several separate mixes can be "looped back" even with Babyface.
F.e. communication (f.e. ZOOM) + screen recording (f.e. OBS) can get desired separate mixes (from DAW(s) and other programs outputs , hardware inputs), apart from mixes for headphones and monitors. In that example, you probably want record everything, send some mix including your mic to the peer while having some different mix (at least without full own mic) in headphones/monitors. "Simple" looback hit its limit in such cases...

 

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LOL @azslow3, I saw the OP and was thinking I had written about this a while ago (8 years! ugh). Be careful with the routing you use for loopbacks and know how your interface works so that you do not inadvertently create a positive feedback loop! For some cases, you need to mute the armed track... just be careful with using it and know your interface.

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