Digital noise recording to Mac Pro
June 15, 2008 7:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to record audio on my Mac Pro from a hardware source using the digital Line In on the Mac, but am only getting "digital noise" as the recording.

I'm trying to record audio from a hardware source (in this case, an Xbox 360) by hooking up the Xbox's digital Audio Out to the Mac Pro's digital Line In via optical cable.

However, when I set the Mac's Input to Digital In and record, only noise is recorded (it's a loud, fast-tempo clicking sound, like a baseball card flapping in a bicycle spoke.)

I've tried recording with a few different apps, including Audacity, Garageband, and Audio Hijack Pro, all with the same result.

The strange thing is that Audio Hijack's preview (and a shareware app like LineIn's) passthrough "preview" of the input is fine. I can hear the audio source from the Xbox 360 playing through the Mac, but the recording is still just digital noise, with no sign of the actual audio intended to be recorded.

Is there some reason this shouldn't work? Do I need to use specific frequency settings for the recording? Is there some sort of "protection" in OS X (or 360) in place to prevent this sort of recording? Or is it a bug in the Mac Pro and/or OS X?
posted by wubbie to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
It says on the apple site that the MacPro has an analog in and out. Try that.

It's possible that the "digital out" on the xbox is actually analog and the preview within the Mac is listening to it like that.

I should know more about this but I forget so wait for some more advice. However, without an analog to digital converter the Mac won't be hearing the signal properly if you're trying to record with the digital in.

If still stumped, ask on
posted by fantasticninety at 7:36 PM on June 15, 2008

Response by poster: Actually, I think I found the fundamental problem: the Xbox is outputting a 5.1 digital audio signal, and I think it was confusing the audio in on the Mac. If I set the Xbox to out a Digital Stereo signal, it seems to record fine on the Mac.
posted by wubbie at 7:42 PM on June 15, 2008

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