Troubleshooting in the Studio: Creating an Aggregate Device

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Frustration solved! As I have been getting my recording space ready, I wanted to get more channel inputs for recording. While you can record a drum kit with 8 channels, having the option for 16 instead really opens up the possibilities. I not only have the option of using more drums, but I can also experiment with multiple microphones and sounds (inside and outside of the kick drum, room mics, etc.). 

Let me talk you through how I got here. I made some “young purchases” not really knowing what I needed (don’t be like me; ask someone who knows before you spend your money). As I set up my space, I saw that I had these two 8-channel interfaces, so I figured there must be a way that I can use them both. There are were two options that turned up in my search: 

 • ADAT inputs

• Aggregate devices

For the purpose of this post, I’ll walk you through setting up an aggregate device, specifically on a MacBook or iMac. I found this method to be more simple and quicker to set up. 

 Setting up your aggregate device:

1. Connect both of your interfaces to your computer.  

2. Go to Finder > Application > Utilities

3. A screen will appear showing all of your devices (in my example, Built-In Input/Output, Sapphire Pro 40, Scarlett 18i20)

4. At the bottom left of your screen, hit the plus sign (+) and select “Create Aggregate Device”.

5.  In this screen, click the interface you want to use in the order you want them to register in your DAW. (If you choose them in the wrong order, you can adjust them. Tip: your first device should be the one you plan on using as the clock source.)

6.  Be sure to name your device! This will help you quickly locate it when organizing your work flow.

7. Next, head on over to your DAW go to File > Preferences > Audio. In the “Input Device” drop down, select your aggregate device.

8. You are ready to record!

I hope this has helped you to solve your troubleshooting issue. If you happen to hit a roadblock, check out this video to retrace your steps and get back into your flow!