A common question we receive is how can I use my favorite DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software to record JackTrip virtual studio sessions. I’m going to show you how to do this using the most popular and free DAW – Audacity – with some help from my favorite audio routing software: Loopback.
This recipe will enable you to participate in a live studio session with other people, record any audio into your DAW, and playback audio from your DAW into your studio. The concepts here should also apply to other popular DAWs (Ableton, Logic and Pro Tools, etc.), as well as other routing apps like Jack.
The thing you are going to need is what is known as a “virtual audio interface.” This works similar to a real audio interface (like an AudioBox, Focusrite, or Apollo) but it’s all virtualized in software. Although it’s possible to do what we want using a single virtual interface with four channels (a good homework exercise!), I’m going to use two interfaces with two channels each to help illustrate the concept:
- Virtual to JackTrip - we will use this as a “sink” for all audio that we want to send to other people in the JackTrip virtual studio
- Virtual from JackTrip - we will use this as a “source” for everyone else’s audio coming to us from the JackTrip virtual studio
Here is what Virtual from JackTrip looks like in my Loopback app:
This is a simple virtual interface that just takes all audio it receives on the two source channels and copies it to the two output channels. I’m also hooking it into my AudioBox Go so that I can hear everything in my headphones.
Here is what Virtual to JackTrip looks like:
This is basically identical except that I’m also taking the two channels from my real interface (AudioBox Go) and feeding them into the two output channels on the virtual interface. The only tricky thing I’m doing here is copying channel 1 to both output channels. Since I’m only going to be using a microphone, this allows everyone else to hear me in the “center” instead of “panned left.” Depending on your setup, you may want to connect up the channel 2’s instead.
Next, let’s take a look at the audio configuration for JackTrip:
I’m basically telling JackTrip to use Virtual to JackTrip for the audio I’m sending to my virtual studio, and Virtual from JackTrip for the audio I’m receiving from the virtual studio.
Finally, here is my audio setup for Audacity:
I’m basically telling Audacity to record the audio that comes from my virtual studio, and to playback audio to my virtual studio. Make sure that you do not enable local monitoring in Audacity; otherwise, you’ll be echoing everything that you are recording back to the other studio participants!
You may also want to make sure that your JackTrip monitor volume is set to zero, since you are already monitoring everything via the virtual interfaces. It should look like this when you are connected:
There are many variations of this that should work fine. As with any audio routing, just always be very careful to avoid feeding the audio from a source (like JackTrip) back into itself – this will cause dreadful feedback!