Audio Ducking on a Mac

There’s a feature that is built into Windows called Audio Ducking, where sound from one application will drop the volume of the sound on other applications down. This allows you to be listening to music and be on voice chat at the same time without having to have the music turned all the way down.  I’ve hunted around and worked out the best and easiest way to do it on a Mac using a program called Audio Hijack 3.
This process works with pretty well any program, including Ventrillo, Discord, Teamspeak, Skype etc.

The program I’m using for this is called Audio Hijack 3, you can get this from Rogue Amobea Software.  There’s a free version of it available that will overlay noise on audio capture over 10minutes. Give it a shot, if you like it, buy it!
First up, download Audio Hijack 3 and put it in your Applications Folder. Open up your voice chat (in my case, I’m using Discord) and your music player (I’m using the Spotify App).
Open it up and you’ll be presented with a window allowing you to create a session. Hit New Session and choose “New Blank Session”
Here you’ll want to drag and drop the Application Source over, click on it and change the Source to your voice chat program.
Do the same for your music player, put it below the first one.
Next look under Advanced and grab the Ducking module over, you’ll see 2 little bars appear linking your two applications to the ducking module. Note that the application at the top is the one you want to hear, the one below is the one you want to quiet.
Finally, drag the Output Device module over.
Hit the Go button in the bottom left to start. If you’re playing music, you’ll see the links light up as sound goes through.
Click on the ducking module to adjust how loud someone has to talk on your voice chat to activate the ducking and by how much.
Extra Notes, you can chain together modules such as recorders etc. Here’s my setup:
The audio from Discord goes into the Recorder, before being boosted up by the AUPeakLimiter module (makes people who talk quietly a little louder, with limited success) before going into the ducking module.
I also sometimes listen to youtube music mixes, so I’ve got both Spotify and Firefox on there.
If you like this guide, leave me a comment!

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