Jack Moore

Email: jack(at)jmoore53.com
Project Updates

Check Check - Scarlet USB Interface with Audacity on macOS 10.15 Catalina

23 Dec 2019 » permissions, configuration, tts, laptop, music, podcast, troubleshooting

When trying to load Audacity with my scarlet usb interface, I ran into this weird issue on my Macbook where no input was coming through the audio interface. I initially thought this was an interface issue, but I could get the input from the device using Garageband so I knew it had something to do with the Audacity application. I have come to realize today it’s partially Apple’s fault as well as Audacity’s for not supporting 10.15 Catalina.

Privacy and permissions errors are the diet coke of errors.


The initial error looked like this:

  • Plug in Audio Interface to Mac (Mic on and plugged in as well)
  • Open Audacity
  • See interface in Audacity (the interface there and appears available)
  • Try to record any kind of audio
  • Nothing is recorded although words were said into microphone
  • Radio Silence - literally nothing from the interface indicating anything was recorded

The app would open and never request permissions to use the microphone and this was the error. The MIDI interface was setup on my computer to use the USB interface as audio-in, but the application didn’t have permissions to accept the input from the system. Privacy settings were blocking the application from using the microphone input, what a nightmare. Would have never figured this out had I not checked the forums.


The fix was easy for this: open the app from terminal, queue the microphone privacy prompt, allow, move forward.

I really want to get my Text-To-Speech system off the ground and Garageband projects are just a GD nightmare when it comes to size. Garageband is too big (storing these garageband projects and duplicate .wav files and all the overhead associated with managing these just feels like a hassle, hence the need for audacity and only managing the .wav files).

After about 3 serious google searches, checking the audacity forums, re-installing audacity, and checking the audacity forums again I was able to get my voice recording the way I wanted it to. The interface was finally working the way I had planned.

Finally the fix: 1) Launch Audacity from Terminal open /Applications/Audacity.app/Contents/MacOS/Audacity 2) “When you first try to record, you will be asked to grant access to the microphone.” - Some dude on forums (thank you…) 3) Zshrc Alias audacity to run as a shortcut 4) Configure MIDI whenever you want to record, and run audacity from terminal.

alias audacity="/usr/bin/open /Applications/Audacity.app/Contents/MacOS/Audacity"

I surmise this error is the same reason I was unable to use the microphone with other applications. I will have to test this theory on riot.im or something similiar.

  • https://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?t=103431
  • https://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?p=357189#p357189
  • https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/faq_recording_troubleshooting.html
  • https://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?t=106741
  • https://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?t=105586&f=47
  • https://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=107162
© Jack Moore