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Making music on the Mac is easier than it ever has been with many open source apps which allow you to multitrack. They layer up tracks of samples and virtual instruments and turn them into MP3s ready for listening or uploading to iTunes.
But can just anyone on any computer do this? It depends on how elaborate the music is. Music takes memory, and this goes doubly when the instruments you use eat memory like samplers.
In this article we look at what you need to make your music flow and not stop or judder because your machine is fast but just not fast enough.I/O, I/O, It’s Off to Work You Go
Most computers are fast today, and the new Macs are the fastest the Mac has ever been. That goes without saying, but what also goes unsaid often is that in order to function perfectly, professional apps need a lot of system resources.
This means although you can buy a new Mac Mini and make some kind of music on it, you might find that when you start trying to layer up 24 voices to make a choir that everything comes down to a crashing halt.
Even with a top-of-the-line iMac or Mac Pro, you would be hard-pressed to have seamless playback of that many tracks simultaneously one-hundred percent of the time.
So how is it that professional musicians make amazing and complicated music on computers if it can’t be done? The answer is that it can be done, but you need a bit of hardware – a special sound card and I/O box to take the load off the CPU. Latency is the problem, and this fixes it.First Find Your Box
I/O boxes range in price from cheap to expensive, depending on your level. If you are a beginner you can use M-Audio audio interfaces and some of the low-end Edirol boxes by Roland. Higher-end boxes are made by AKAI and Protools. (The name of the AKAI box is a joke. by the way. It’s called EIE I/O. Old McDonald clearly had an audio interface as well as a farm.)
The sky is the limit when buying an audio box, and the rule is as usual with pro kit; get the best one you can afford. A good thing to bear in mind is that whatever you need, good secondhand ones are always available on eBay. A good cheap secondhand box which is quite common is the Edirol UA-25. Although a little noisy, some say it’s good for hobbyists although perhaps not as good for professional sound work.ASIO
Usually these I/O boxes use a type of hardwired ASIO protocol and some nice sound card hardware to take the sound processing load off the CPU and let it get on with running your digital audio workstation (DAW) software, such as Audacity or Reaper.
ASIO (or Audio Stream Input Output) is a protocol for the fast driving of sound cards designed by German music software company Steinberg to provide high fidelity and “low latency.” In normal human language that means it makes them sound good, and it drastically reduces the processing time of sounds so they play without a noticeable delay.
Most I/O boxes additionally provide useful music business inputs not usually available on computers like dual function XLR plugs which are also ¼” phono jacks, both common on high-end microphones.
They often also feature MIDI out ports to control actual hardware synthesisers synchronized with the virtual instruments.
PC users can use ASIO4All to reduce latency on non-ASIO peripherals, but Mac users can rely on the Core audio driver to take care of any low-end (software-based) music production processing.Fitting an I/O Box
Usually I/O boxes are USB devices. Back in the day they were also Firewire-based, but as USB has gotten so much faster, Firewire has fallen out of style and is no longer used.
Most of the time, you can just plug the I/O box into the USB, and it will be detected by the DAW software so you can select it for output. Sometimes you may need to install a driver for the box and reboot. Either way, installation is usually trouble-free and quick.
Most DAWs have a Preferences setting to direct the audio from the software to a specific device. This means you can set the system audio to the speakers and set the audio from the DAW to go through your I/O box and into headphones.
In our example, the old Roland Edirol UA-25 I/O box needs no drivers to work with Yosemite. Just plug and play. If you want to make the system sound come out through the box, open your System Preferences and choose Sound.
Select the UA-25 on both the input and output tabs.
Similarly with applications like Audacity, choose the UA-25 from the input output drop-down menus to the right of the toolbar.Sounds like Perfection
But by and large, having an I/O box dealing with your sound makes everything a LOT smoother and more professional. With an I/O box installed you can load more tracks, have more sample data sloshing around and run many more tracks stacked up at once than you could before.
Phil South has been writing about tech subjects for over 30 years. Starting out with Your Sinclair magazine in the 80s, and then MacUser and Computer Shopper. He’s designed user interfaces for groundbreaking music software, been the technical editor on film making and visual effects books for Elsevier, and helped create the MTE YouTube Channel. He lives and works in South Wales, UK.
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You're reading How To Make Music On Your Mac With Minimal Latency
This tutorial will show you how to locate where songs, videos, and Apple Music files from the Music app are saved on your Mac.
The different files status in the Music app
If you don’t have an Apple Music subscription, please jump to the next heading. However, if you have an Apple Music subscription, it’s useful to know the status of each song in your music library. In most cases, you’ll see one of the following statuses for every song under the Cloud Status heading:
You have purchased this song from the iTunes Store, or it’s a U2 song that Apple offered for free.
These are songs you have added to your library using your active Apple Music subscription. The day your subscription ends and you don’t renew, these songs will disappear from your music library.
These are songs that you had on your Mac. They could be ones you ripped from CDs, downloaded from the internet, or imported from elsewhere.
Now, when you have an Apple Music subscription (or an iTunes Match subscription – included for free in your Apple Music subscription as well as sold separately if you don’t subscribe to Apple Music), all eligible local songs (that you got from anywhere) are uploaded to iCloud music library and made available on all your Apple devices like your iPhone, iPad, other Macs, Android phone, etc.
However, when a local song from your library is also available in Apple Music’s catalog of 100 million songs, then that local file isn’t unnecessarily uploaded to iCloud; instead, Apple Music just takes your local songs’ name, matches them with that same song already available in Apple Music, and makes them available on all your devices in excellent quality.
The original version of these songs will stay on your Mac even after you cancel your Apple Music subscription.
These are matched songs that you removed from your Apple Music library using your iPhone or iPad, but since they are locally saved on Mac with the actual files, they show up in the Mac’s Music app. You may not find them in the Music app on your iPhone or iPad.
These are local songs that still haven’t been uploaded to iCloud Library (or matched), and thus aren’t available for streaming on your other devices.
These local songs can’t be matched or uploaded to Apple Music. This is because they are music videos, songs with a bit rate of less than 96 kbps, a file larger than 200 MB, or a playtime longer than two hours.
A second copy of the same local or purchased music.
See the location of purchased and local songs on your Mac
Using this method, you can see the folder location of Purchased, Matched, Removed, Waiting, Ineligible, and Duplicate songs.
1) Open the Music app and find the desired song.
See the folder location of downloaded Apple Music songs on Mac
2) From here, get inside the Music folder.
Note: Downloaded Apple Music are DRM-protected, and you can’t play them in any other Mac app except Music and QuickTime.
Related: How to restore DRM-laden Apple Music matched songs to DRM-free
See the Music media folder location on Mac
3) Now, you can manually go to this location to see your Music app media files.
Check out next:
If you share a computer with children in your home, your kids could end up seeing or listening to something they shouldn’t. To help, Apple offers restrictions in Music and TV apps to prevent inappropriate content from popping up, so parents can better protect kids from explicit content.
Before you begin: You can create a separate standard user account for your child on your Mac. This way, their files and everything else will stay separate. However, even if you let them use your Mac with your admin account, you can still set up restrictions, but doing so, explicit music & videos will be restricted for you as well (unless you go back to settings every time you’re using your Mac and turn these restrictions off).Set up restrictions in the Music and TV app on Mac
1) Open System Settings and select Screen Time.
3) Enable Content & Privacy.
Movies and TV Shows: Choose ratings from the drop-down boxes. The rating here may be different as per the country you’re in. After this, only content of the chosen rating or below will be shown in the Apple TV app and the iTunes Store.
Allow Explicit Music, Podcasts, and News: Turn it off to restrict adult songs, podcasts, and news from playing in Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and the Apple News apps.
Note that these restrictions will only work in the above-mentioned Apple apps.
Next, you can turn on the switch for Use Screen Time Passcode from the first page of the Screen Time settings. When you try to set up the passcode with your admin account, it will ask you to create a standard account. You can choose ‘Allow this user to administer this computer‘ and hit Continue to set the Screen Time passcode.
Or, as mentioned, a better approach is to create a separate user account for your child on your Mac and set up Screen Time with restrictions on that.On older versions of macOS
If you’re on an earlier version of macOS, the Music, iTunes, and the TV app have dedicated options to restrict explicit content. Here’s how to enable them.Music:
Choose the Restrictions tab.
Start at the top of the Restrictions tab selecting those items you want to Disable.
Under Restrict, mark the boxes for restricted items. For Movies and TV shows, you can choose ratings from the drop-down boxes.TV:
Choose the Restrictions tab.
At the top of the Restrictions tab, select Purchasing or Subscribing and/or Shared Libraries if you want to Disable those items.
The Ratings for box should default to your country or region, but if not, you can change it.
Under Restrict, Movies, and TV shows have drop-down boxes for you to pick the ratings you want.Crossover between Music and TV
You may have noticed that a few items for Restrictions appear in both apps. These include Shared Libraries under Disable and Movies and TV under Restrict.
If you disable Shared Libraries in the Restrictions for one app, it will apply to the other.
If you restrict and set ratings for Movies and TV in one app, it will apply to the other.
This is convenient for those situations where you only want to limit those items.
In addition, once you set up restrictions in these apps, you’ll notice only movies and TV shows that apply to your settings will display in the TV app when you open it.
Whether you’ve recently switched from a Windows machine or want to start listening to your Spotify playlists on your Mac instead of your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch, you can install Spotify on a Mac for online and offline listening.
There are a few different ways you can use to listen to podcasts or play your favorite tracks from the Spotify music library. In this quick tutorial, we’ll show you all of the different methods to use Spotify on a macOS device.
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How to Use Spotify Web Player on Your Mac
The easiest way to use Spotify on your MacBook is to use the Spotify Web Player. This option is perfect if you don’t like installing new apps on your computer or don’t have enough storage space for them. After you log in to your Spotify account, you can use Spotify Web as you would use a regular app, i.e., use all of the features of the Spotify app from the browser.
The only downside of this method is that you need an internet connection to use Spotify. If you only use Wi-Fi to listen to Spotify, this method is for you.
Spotify Web Player is available for both free users and those with Spotify Premium accounts. Here’s how to use Spotify Web on your Mac computer:
Open a web browser on your Mac.
In your browser, go to chúng tôi to open Spotify.
Once you’re logged in, you can use Spotify Web Player to play high-quality music from Spotify playlists.
How to Install Spotify Progressive Web App on macOS
If you use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge on a Mac, you can use the option to install websites as apps. This method allows you to install the Spotify Web Player on your computer as a Progressive Web App or PWA. Note that with this app, you’re still limited to online usage only.
To install the Spotify PWA on your Mac, follow the steps below.
Open Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browser on your computer.
Go to chúng tôi
In the pop-up window, select
How to Download and Install Spotify App on Mac
For those of you who need offline playback and the ability to download Spotify music, the best way to use Spotify is to install the Spotify desktop app on your Mac.
If you tried looking for the Spotify app on the Mac App Store and failed, don’t worry. The app is free and available to download from the official Spotify website for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS devices.
Here’s how to download and install the Spotify desktop app on your Mac.
Open the official Spotify website in a web browser and select
, or head to chúng tôi
. This will download the
on your Mac.
Open the extracted
file. In the pop-up window, select
Wait for the installer to download and install the app on your Mac.
How to Get the Most Out of Spotify
Now that you know how to use Spotify on your Mac, make sure to learn special Spotify tips and tricks to get the most out of it. Including how to adjust audio quality or how to stop Spotify from opening on Mac startup.
Not a fan of Spotify? Try one of the alternative music streaming services, like YouTube Music, Apple Music, Amazon Music, SoundCloud, and others.
Cleaning the keyboard and using special oils should lessen the noise from the keyboard. However, we have also listed other solutions to make the keyboard quieter.
You can use a lubricant or oils to reduce the noise level from the switches. However, you cannot use any lubricant on your keyboard switch. These oils reduce friction on the switches and help reduce the overall noise from the Keyboard. Make sure to use special greasing agents labeled safe to use for the keyboard.
These oils can be used on both switches and stabilizers.
Having a hot-swappable keyboard will definitely make your job a lot easier. Since a hot-swappable keyboard will have a removable switch, you can remove it, disassemble and use the oil inside the switch.
If your keyboard switches are not hot-swappable, you may not be able to completely oil the switches. This will work, but it will not be as effective as disassembling the switch.
Follow the steps mentioned below to remove the switch for the keyboard with a hot-swappable switch.
Using the Keycap puller, remove the switch from the keyboard.
Once you open the switch casing, you will find four components, bottom housing, top housing, spring, and a stem. The bottom housing sits on the surface of the keyboard. Top housing sits on top of bottom housing. The spring goes inside the top and bottom housing. And finally, the stem sits on top of the spring.
Oil all these parts and reassemble them. You can also lubricate the stabilizers on the longer keys, such as the spacebar or shift key.
Disassembling the entire switch, lubricating them, and reassembling them just to make it a little quieter does seem like a lot of work. This is where an O-rings comes in.
The rubber O-ring sits inside the keycap, reducing any noise from the keycap when you press on it. This is a pretty simple solution. However, it does not lessen the sound from the actual switch. So you may not hear much of a difference.
Follow these steps to use the rubber O-rings.
Invert the keycap, place the rubber O-ring over the + sign, and press on it.
Repeat these steps for all the keys on your keyboard.
Another reason your keyboard sounds noisier is due to the hollow space inside the keyboard. The gaps between the keyboard’s circuit board and the keyboard case and the gap between the keys will reflect sound waves. This will result in the keyboard making more sound when you press a button.
However, you can fix this using keyboard foam. A keyboard foam stays between the keyboard backplate and the circuit board.
Below we have mentioned the steps briefly.
First, remove the keyboard backplate.
Cut the foam in a shape so it fits under the keyboard circuit board.
When you insert the foam, make sure you cut all the screw holes and USB port opening in the foam.
Insert the foam under the keyboard circuit board and reassemble.
Note: If you have trouble taking the keyboard apart, please refer to the internet to disassemble and reassemble your keyboard.
Keyboard switches also play a vital role when it comes to keyboard sound. A premium keyboard will have better key switches and higher quality components inside the switch. This makes the keyboard sound silent without compromising the mechanical feel of a mechanical keyboard.
If your keyboard switches make a lot of noise, you can replace them with a silent one. However, you can only replace keyboard switches if they are hot-swappable. Hot-swappable keys are removable and replaceable.
If the switches are soldered onto the board, please refer to other methods to make the keyboard quieter.
A desk mat or a large mouse pad under your keyboard will restrict the sound from traveling to the desk. Without a desk mat, the noise from the keyboard will sound a lot louder as the desk will absorb that noise and amplify it by a certain amount.
Although the sound difference might seem insignificant, it will reduce the keyboard sound when you use a desk mat or a large mouse pad.
Google Chrome is a popular web browser known for its fast performance, clean interface, and numerous built-in features. If you’re stuck using Safari, it might be time to consider installing Chrome on your Mac.
It’s not difficult to download and install Chrome on a Mac, but you may need to consider some things before (such as your system requirements) and afterward (such as any extra configuration). To get started, follow the steps below.
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New york, USA – july 26, 2023: Start google chrome application on computer macro close up view in pixel screen
System Requirements for Chrome on a Mac
Before downloading and installing Google Chrome on your Mac, ensure that your system meets the necessary requirements. This will ensure that the browser runs smoothly and efficiently on your device.
The main system requirement for Google Chrome on a Mac is that you’re running macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or later. High Sierra was released back in 2023, so a modern Mac should run Chrome.
If you’re unsure, check what macOS version you’re running first before you download Chrome. If you aren’t running High Sierra, you’ll need to update your Mac to a newer version.
Alternatively, you can try and download an older version of Chrome, but this isn’t recommended. Browser updates come with important security and bug fixes that could leave your Mac exposed to malware, so you should always try to run the latest version of Chrome on your Mac.
Downloading Google Chrome on a Mac
Before you can install Chrome, you’ll need to download the installation file for it first. Before you begin, ensure that you have a stable internet connection and you’re able to access the internet using Safari or another web browser.
One word of warning however. You should always make sure that you download the latest version of Chrome and only download it from the official Google Chrome website. Only the installer from Google itself is one that you can trust—otherwise, you may end up downloading malware instead.
To download Chrome, follow these steps.
Open the official Google Chrome website in Safari or another web browser on your Mac.
You’ll see the option to download Google Chrome on the page—press the
Chrome will begin to download the
file. If it doesn’t, press the
download Chrome manually
Once it’s complete, run the installer file to begin the installation.
Installing Google Chrome on a Mac
To download and install Google Chrome on your Mac, follow these simple steps.
If you haven’t already, download the installation file from the Google Chrome website using the steps above.
A window containing the Chrome icon will appear—drag the Chrome icon into your
folder, which should also be visible in the same window.
At this point, you’ll have successfully installed Google Chrome on your Mac. Remember to update the browser regularly to enjoy its latest features and security enhancements.
Configuring Google Chrome
Once you’ve successfully downloaded and installed Google Chrome on your Mac, you can configure it according to your preferences.
This includes signing in with your Google account, adjusting various browser settings, and making Chrome the default browser on your Mac.
Sign in with your Google Account
Open Chrome and press the
next to the three-dot menu.
In the menu, select
Turn on sync
When prompted, enter the email address and password for your Google account and press
Once you sign in, your Chrome profile will begin to sync with your Google account. Any changes you make will save to your profile, allowing you to use it across different devices.
Adjust Chrome Browser Settings
You can also customize various elements of your Chrome browser. For instance, you can customize the browser’s appearance, configure privacy settings, choose an alternative search engine, and more. To do this, follow these steps.
Open Chrome and press the
icon in the top-right.
From the menu, select
Select one of the settings options on the left, which include
privacy and security
, and more.
In the menu, make any changes (as required) to your settings. Any changes you make will be applied immediately.
Make Chrome the Default Browser on Your Mac
If you want to use Google Chrome as your Mac’s default browser, you’ll need to configure macOS first so that any external links automatically open in Chrome.
To do this, press the
on the menu bar and select
on older macOS versions).
Desktop & Dock
(on Ventura or later) or
(on older macOS versions).
Default web browser
drop-down menu, choose
from the list.
Troubleshooting Google Chrome Installation Issues on macOS
You may face occasional issues while downloading or installing Google Chrome on your Mac. To help you, we’ve listed some common installation problems and their solutions to help you get Chrome up and running on your Mac.
Ensure your macOS version is compatible with Google Chrome
: First, make sure that your Mac’s operating system is compatible with the latest version of Google Chrome. At present, Chrome supports macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) and later versions. If your macOS doesn’t meet this requirement, consider updating your system.
Download the correct version for your Mac
: It might sound obvious, but make sure you’re downloading the appropriate version of Chrome for macOS. The website should auto-detect your device and provide a download link accordingly, but if it doesn’t, scroll to the bottom of the download page and select
, then choose the correct version from the pop-up.
Make sure you have permission to install
: Only system administrators have the permission to install new applications on macOS. If you can’t install, switch to a user account on your Mac that has the necessary permissions.
Perform a clean uninstall and reinstall
: If Chrome isn’t working correctly after installation, you can try uninstalling it completely and then reinstalling it. To do this, drag the Google Chrome icon from Applications to the Trash folder, then empty the Trash. After this, download and install Chrome again using the steps above.
Using Chrome on a Mac
Thanks to the steps above, you can ditch Safari and quickly install Google Chrome on your Mac. Once you’ve installed Chrome, make sure to check that Chrome is automatically updating to get the latest bug fixes. You can also clear your browser cache to reduce any potential slowdowns.
Can’t decide which new browser to go for? If you’re considering Edge over Chrome, for instance, try out the browser’s speed, integration with other services (such as Google or Microsoft), and the usability of the browser interface before you make a decision.
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