sound output routing - Ableton Live, Isadora, Soundflower, MOTU Traveler Mk3

  • HI I am collaborating on a project with sound and Isadora which I have not done before - the set up on Mac (on same machine) Ableton Live, Isadora and MOTU traveler. We are having problem with the sound output in Isadora scene - what actor to use. Q: all audio to come out of Live and into Isadora then out to the MOTU interface. Therefore have the following routing: 

    Ableton to Soundflower

    Soundflower to Isadora

    Isadora to Traveler MOTU - and then speakers - the speakers part is what we are having problems with.

    We can get different channels of Ableton Live into Isadora via Soundflower. However we cannot get any output form Isadora, even when not using the traveller, and just using the MacBrook built in sound output. 

    The sound oupout set up in Isadora shows the built in routing. even the audio/midi set up has the MOTU selected. 

    Actors used: sound level watcher ++ ; midi and for example shapes to projector. 

  • Tech Staff


    Just tried sending the sound form Ableton to Soundflower and then get the Soundflower stream from Isadora and send it to the built in speakers. The system settings are set to built in speakers.

  • @LucieDance

    Another way is to make an "aggregate device" in "sound and midi settings", adding soundflower to Motu output.

    In Ableton, you choose this device, choosing the channel corresponding to Motu or soundflower, same in Isadora.

    But I doesn't really understand why you need the sound in Isadora? To use a sound watcher or frequency watcher?

    I just gave a workshop in Isadora Werkstatt concerning that…

    I hope I help you but I need more information on what exactly you are trying to do…


  • @Michel Thank you very much for the info. We used sound level watcher and we can see the incoming audio changing the level but there is nothing coming out of the audio device output actor. We also tried the sound input into device output with built in mic- and that is working. Everytime when we change to soundflower that is when we are expriencing no sound output.

  • @jhoepffner  Thanks for the reply.

    The idea is to send 8 separate streams of sound from Ableton to Isadora, as for each to control different visual elements. So in a way you are right, we don't need sound to reach the speakers OUT of Isadora, but from Ableton, as all audio processing takes place in Ableton, and all visual processing in Isadora.

    We'll try the aggregate device and report back. In the meantime, any other help would be greatly appreciated.

  • @LucieDance

    Its just what I showed in Berlin, With aggregate output and choosing soundflower 64 placed after the MOTU, you can use the main output in Ableton to MOTU and auxiliaries to different soundflower channel. You can have different input in Isadora with the sound level watcher ++, but not the frequency watcher or the new frequency band watcher where all the channels are mixed for analysis. For reliability, I prefer to use an ADAT loop with the traveler, avoiding soundflower who is not very stable.

    But in this kind of situation, I prefer to do the analysis in Max/Msp (or Max for Live) and send the result of analysis to Isadora via OSC, so more precise!


  • Tech Staff


    yes soundflower is not very stable anymore, I bought sound syphon but did not use it extensively yet.

    Best Michel

  • @jhoepffner  thank you once again for your reply. Yes sorry missed your presentation at Werkstatt maybe can join you next year... I ve tried the Aggregate device. It seems to work, however after setting the aggregate device, Isadora sees only the first two channels. Any idea how to enable more? Also just to clarify by auxiliaries, do you mean those in Ableton, or within the aggregate? Thank you in advance.

  • @LucieDance

    Concerning Isadora seeing only the first channels of aggregate device, its not the case for me, but all the channel are mixed together. I clearly see in "input settings" the green bars for any channel in the device.

    When I say auxiliaries, is inside Ableton, where I use send and return to send the same sound to soundCard via master and Isadora via return.

    I am at the moment building a Max for Live plugin, able to analyse any channel in live on 31 frequencies and send the analysis directly via OSC. I think a first version can be ready this week. At the moment it works perfectly but I have to streamline the question of OSC address for each channel. I think it's the best way to do the analysis. As I said during the workshop, if you can send the midi information to Isadora, you have an even more precise information.

    I hope I am clear,


  • @jhoepffner  Thank you for the info. We will keep exploring the set up we have achieved for now at least with the two channels and see where this takes us . If you develop the Max patch and happy to share would be interested in seeing it how it works. Thanks again. Lucie