How to use Discord with XLR on a Mac

by Goldie on April 12, 2024

in audio,Multi-Media

Audient ID22 interface and AT50 headphones on a table

The other day I hopped on to Discord to do some voice acing. I set the audio to my XLR mic, it looked like it was working, hopped into the chat and…yeah. Digitally noise with spurts of audio. Not exactly useful and not even vaguely better than just using the laptop mic.

I did end up using the laptop mic for that session but I was determined to get the XLR to work.

Turns out XLR mics on a Mac on Discord are not fully supported. But with some guides and some tinkering I got it work.

I happen to have the Rogue Amoeba app Loopback that lets you do fancy things with your various audio inputs and outputs. I use to patch my DAW into Zoom/ Skype etc. BUT it also turned out to be the solution to this problem.

  1. Install Loopback
  2. Open Loopback and click the + next to the “New Virtual Device”
    • Under Sources click the +
    • Select your audio device (aka your interface)
    • It should be showing as “on” in the toggle at the top (if not toggle it to on)
    • Select “Pass-Thru” input and click the “Delete button” at the bottom of the loopback screen.
    • Make sure the virtual device you created also is toggled on.
    • Feel free to rename it but by default it will be named “Loopback Audio”
  3. In Discord go to User Settings (gear icon below the channel/username listing to the right of your name.
  4. Scroll down and select “Voice and Video”
  5. Under “Input Device” scroll down and select your virtual device (aka “Loopback Audio” from above)
  6. Hit “Esc”
  7. Voila it should work!

When you want to use your XLR mic with Discord you do need to start loopback but it should result in normal sounding audio.

A couple of additional points:

  • You can use other apps for this. The FocusRite article that led me to the right solution used: iShowU Audio Capture. And they mentioned an app called Blackhole.
  • If you only have one input on your Audio Interface all your audio will be in one channel (Left in my case). You may want to click on the left channel and drag it to “Channel 2 (R)” on the output so your audio will play on the left and right headphone.

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