My Mac is home to far more applications than I need and home to more than a few that I don’t use. Every now and then I run into an application that is so perfect for a specific function that I just tell those who made need it to get it.
Among those of that calibre that grace my Mac today are the likes of Firefox, 1Password, Spark, SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner, BBEdit, PCalc, Little Snitch, SpamSieve, News Explorer, and more. Here’s another one to add to the list.
Click & Play
The app that caught my eye– wait check that; caught my ear– is Farrago from Rogue Amoeba, developers with a number of premium audio management and recording applications I use on my Mac. What Farrago does is provide a Mac app window which you can fill with audio sounds– each with their own controls for volume, fade in and out, looping, and more. Click the sound icon and the sound plays. Instantly.
If you’ve never done a radio show or a podcast or needed musical accompaniment while you record, or managed a theater sound session, then you’re not likely to use Farrago. If you’ve ever done any of those things then you’ll understand the value instantly. I have wanted such a Mac application for years. Now I have one.
Official marketing speak:
Farrago provides the best way to quickly play sound bites, audio effects, and music clips on your Mac. Podcasters can use Farrago to include musical accompaniment and sound effects during recording sessions, while theater techs can run the audio for live shows.
You create the sounds, control the sounds by group, and even rearrange the sound bites anywhere on the screen. Click one and the right side column displays the sound bites details. The secret to usability is the interface. Sound bites are tiles on a grid which means you control the whole flow of what gets used and when. Sound Sets are groups of sound bites. View a group with a click to Grid or List mode.
There are controls for master volume and individual clip volume. Each bite can be color coded. Each bite can have notes. Farrago also copies all the sounds you use so they’re easily managed. The app reminds me of audio cart machines and cartridges from radio stations in the last century, but far more expansive, far more comprehensive, with better quality and easier management of sound bites.
For podcasting, live radio, theater or audio recording sessions, this is a very cool way to add specific sound bits on the fly.
Caveats? Yes, but only one. To get sound from Farrago into whatever you’re recording via a microphone on your Mac– for example, into Skype– you’ll need Rogue Amoeba’s Loopback utility, or, depending upon your setup, their popular Audio Hijack app. The former is simpler to use but more expensive, while the latter is much less expensive but more capable. Go figure, right? Either way, you can try all the apps first.