Music & Tech & Posts by José Luis Miralles

How to get AUDIO INPUT from your Ableton tracks in TouchDesigner

Do you use Ableton & Touchdesigner in the same computer in your performances?
Do you whant to get audio in from your abelton tracks in TouchDesigner?
TDAbleton doesn't solve all your problems?

Probably you have heard about TDAbleton for connecting Ableton with TouchDesigner, but if you need to get the raw audio input (to use a very detailed spectrum information), maybe you need something different.

With this tutorial you will learn to get the audio signal from any of your Ableton tracks inside TouchDesigner.


The point is to use in Ableton a real audio interface and a virtual one at the same time, in order to route the output signal from Ableton tracks to audio inputs in TouchDesigner.

You will need to route audio from one app to another, and the best in mac nowadays is BlackHole.

But, if you use Ableton, you will know ableton only can use one audio interface for the output; not two. But…

Do you know there is a way to combine multiple audio interfaces in a single aggregate device?

The Steps

  1. Download BlackHole from github.
  1. Close all audio apps and install it.
  2. Create an aggregate device in your mac.
  • From the Finder, choose Go > Utilities. Open the Audio MIDI Setup application.
  • Click the Add (+) button on the bottom-left corner in the Audio Devices window and chose Create Aggregate Device.
  • With the new Aggregate Device selected, enable the checkbox labeled “Use” on the left side of the Audio Devices window. Do this for each device you want to include in the Aggregate Device. The order in which you check the boxes determines the order of the inputs and outputs in applications like Ableton. For example, the first box you checked will be inputs one and two, the second box checked will be three and four, and so on.
  • Obviously include in the aggregate device your current audio interface and the new created Blackhole.
  1. Select this new aggregate device in ableton as your output interface.
  2. Create new tracks in ableton for each current track you want to send to TouchDesigner.
  3. In each new track, in “Audio From” select one of the desired tracks to send to TouchDesigner.
  4. In “Audio to” use the in channels of BlackHole. Input 1 of BlackHole is routed to output 1 in BlackHole.
  5. In Touchdesigner, use Audio Device In CHOP to recieve the audio signal.
  6. Now, in the Audio Device In CHOP select the name of the aggregated device as you device, and in the inputs, select the input you desire to get in TouchDesigner.

Yo’re done!

Now you have two audio interfaces running at the same time in Ableton. With the new dedicated tracks you are now sending the sound directly to TouchDesigner. You can even create dedicated effects in the new TouchDesigner tracks created in Ableton, in order to pulish the audio signal, or introduce creative effects without altering the sounding tracks in Ableton.


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