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In addition to capturing audio from traditional applications, Loopback can capture audio from certain special sources, as well as hidden background processes which do not appear on your Mac like traditional applications. This includes system services, as well as the occasional command-line tool.
Loopback's Add Source menu makes it easy to choose several popular sources which would otherwise be very difficult to find. This is done through the Special Sources section of the menu, where you can choose:
Choosing the Background Sound special source will allow the capture of background audio played from options configured in the Accessibility options of the System Settings app, which is handled by the
Choosing the Finder special source will allow the capture of any audio played by Finder.app, as well as by the hidden
QuickLookUIService process (or the hidden
quicklookd process on MacOS 10.13 and lower), which plays audio when using the Mac's “Quick Look” functionality.
The Siri special source makes it possible to capture all the audio from the Siri experience, including its sound effects. When capturing this source, audio is merged from the system's
com.apple.speech.speechsynthesisd process which provides Siri's spoken word audio and the
assistantd hidden process which provides its sound effects.
The Sound Effects special source captures audio played to MacOS's
systemsoundserverd process. This process produces audio like alerts in the Messages app, or the Trash being emptied.
It’s worth noting that some applications on the Mac won’t properly play sound effects through this process, usually webapps that have a basic desktop app. If an application’s beeps and alerts aren’t picked up by the Sound Effects special source, try capturing the application itself instead.
The System AirPlay Receiver special source captures audio played directly to MacOS via AirPlay, using the system's AirPlay receiving capabilities. If you're streaming audio to your Mac via AirPlay, you can capture it in with the System AirPlay Receiver special source.
For more robust AirPlay receiving on your Mac, we recommend Airfoil Satellite.
On older versions of MacOS (MacOS 12 and lower), our apps offered a Text to Speech special source. As a result of change’s made by Apple, it was removed for MacOS 13 and up.
The Text to Speech special source captures audio played by the system's
com.apple.speech.speechsynthesisd process. This powerful process provides audio for several parts of MacOS, including the spoken dialog from Siri, the system's text reading (triggered by the Start Speaking command in the Speech menu), and the accessibility hints spoken by VoiceOver.
Note that the Text to Speech source does not include the sound effects created by Siri or VoiceOver. To capture those sound effects, the Siri or VoiceOver special source should be selected specifically.
On MacOS 13+, Apple has removed the
com.apple.speech.speechsynthesisd process. Spoken text now originates from the app itself.
The VoiceOver special source makes it possible to capture all the audio from the VoiceOver experience, including its sound effects. When capturing this source, audio is merged from the system's
com.apple.speech.speechsynthesisd process which provides VoiceOver's spoken accessibility hints and the
VoiceOver process which provides its sound effects.