Streaming Applications, like Skype, Google Hangouts, OBS, etc, are not multi-channel applications like your DAW, such as Pro Tools or Logic. Thus they do not have the ability to receive from any input on your multi-channel audio interface. They will usually only accept Input 1, or Inputs 1/2, of any device.
This can be a particularly annoying setup issue you might encounter if you are trying to Live Stream, using any inputs other than Input 1 of your audio interface.
You can get around this limitation by using an intermediary software, like Rogue Amoeba's Loopback (formerly SoundFlower) which route audio between programs.
First, let's take a look at Apogee Control, the Element and Ensemble Thunderbolt's control software.
You can see here Audio is coming in on Input 3, which would not normally be able to be used by Skype. It is flowing through Mixer 1's Master Fader. You may note I do not have any signal at the Outputs of the Element on the upper right, as these are all set to Playback channels from a DAW. This is fine for my current needs.
Next, I will use Loopback, to connect the "Mixer 1" Output, this Master Meter shown in the red box, to the Loopback "Output" which is a virtual device.
You can see here I've connected Element Inputs 13/14, which are the Outputs of Mixer 1, to the Loopback Virtual Device, which our Streaming App will pick up from.
This tutorial uses Element 46, so on different models the channel number will be different.
If you aren't sure which numbers to use, check this article: What are the analog and digital in/out numbers in my recording software for Element & Ensemble Thunderbolt?
- Element 24: Mixer 1 goes to Inputs 11/12, FX Send goes to Inputs 13/14
- Element 46: Mixer 1 goes to Inputs 13/14, FX Send goes to Inputs 15/16
- Element 88: Mixer 1 goes to Inputs 17/18, FX Send goes to Inputs 19/20
- Ensemble Thunderbolt: FX Send goes to Inputs 31/32, Mixer 1 goes to Inputs 33/34
At this stage you should be able to see levels from your Inputs flow through each stage, and to the Virtual Device in Loopback software.
Next, just tell your streaming software, such as Skype, to pick up the Loopback Virtual Device.
As you see in the Skype "Microphone" Input Meter, audio has now passed all the way from my Element's Analog Input 3, to my Skype call.
This setup can be accomplished with a lot of different devices and programs, so please feel welcome to test these theories out in another App. Just follow the signal flow!
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