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How to setup your M-Audio sound card as the system default playback device - Mac
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This guide will provide a basic overview of how to set your M-Audio sound card (aka audio interface) as the system default output device on Mac OS X.  This will enable all audio on the computer*, including system sounds, media players, and Internet streaming audio to playback through your M-Audio interface.

* Some application's have their own audio configuration options which ignore the Windows default setting.  This process varies from one application to another, but is usually done through a "Preferences," "Setup," or "Options" menu.  Please refer to the documentation for your software to learn how to do this

Setting the Mac system default output device

  1. Click the Apple Menu in the top left corner of the screen
  2. Click System Preferences
  3. Click Sound in the "Hardware" section
  4. Click to select the Output tab
  5. Click to select your M-Audio device

Note that it is normal to see the message "The selected device has no output controls."  M-Audio devices bypass the Core Audio kernel mixer; and depending on which M-Audio device you have, output level may be controlled from the M-Audio control panel, the device it self, or the software you are using.


For devices with multiple output pairs, there are different ways to set the default output to something other than outputs 1/2.  To send signal to a different output, check the signal routing and output options in your software.  If your device has a DSP monitor mixer, you can turn up software returns 1/2 on the corresponding output tab (e.g. 7/8) to route signal to a different output pair.  Review to your device's documentation for more information on routing audio with the control panel mixer.

It is also possible to edit the speaker configuration for your device in Apple's Audio MIDI Setup:

  1. Go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities
  2. Double-click to Open Audio MIDI Setup
  3. Click to select your M-Audio device in the Audio Devices Window
  4. Click the "Configure Speakers" button
  5. Click the drop down menus to select different outputs for the main left and right speakers
  6. Click Apply