A significant chunk of my day involves audio recording and editing, specifically from a variety of sound sources. So, I tend to look for audio utilities which can both enhance the effort, and save time and clicks. Audio on the Mac is as mature a technology can be, yet Mac users have surprisingly few options that haven’t been around for a decade or so.
For example, click on the sound icon in the Mac’s Menubar and what do you get? A simple slider control to turn the sound volume up or down. At the other end of the scale is AudioMate, a unique Mac app which opens up far more options and control over audio with little effort.
One click gets you this pop down window from the Menubar.
Those options are a far cry from Apple’s single click audio volume slider bar.
AudioMate provides one-click options to adjust the audio source sample rate, change standard audio Input and Output sources, and even change the clock source.
The Menubar displays the current audio device’s sample rate, the clock source, and the master volume (graphical, dB, or percent). There are also options for system notifications; for example, whenever the system Volume is changed, or sample rate is changed, or when audio is muted.
To justify the few dollars you’ll spend on AudioMate you get all of that and more with a click to the Menu.
For whatever reason, Apple tends to hide features in OS X. For example, hold down the Option key while you click the sound icon in the Menubar. Instead of the sound volume slider bar you get these options instead.
There’s not really much value from the extra Option key click. However, if you open up the Mac’s Applications > Utilities folder and double-click on Audio Midi Setup Controls you’ll get something that looks familiar.
OS X’s built-in Audio MIDI Setup Controls are not quite as user friendly as AudioMate, but provide many of the same control options, and a few more, including an option to combine multiple audio sources into a single control.