First of All: Sorry if this was at all suspenseful. By the time I had figured it out, I was too tired to retrace my steps, much less write them down coherently. That being said, it is pretty easy to set up.
***NOTE: This may not be as streamlined a setup as you want, it may not work for everyone. It requires a basic understanding of how to use a Mac. If I have made anything unclear (which is likely the case, mention it to me and I'll clarify. Other than that, go for it.***
Step 1 - Soundflower:
- Download and install Soundflower (from here). This also installs an application called Soundflowerbed. You don't need to run this application, it simply assists in setting inputs and outputs for Soundflower. (What soundflower does is allow you to pass output of application(s) or microphone(s) to input of other audio device(s)). If you have Snow Leopard you can change inputs and outputs by option-clicking the audio menu-bar item.
Step 2 - Set Up GarageBand:
- Open GarageBand. Open GarageBand preferences (GarageBand>Preferences or ⌘-,). Select
the Audio/MIDI tab and set the output to "Soundflower (2ch)." Set the input to the
microphone you normally use with Dictate.
- Add a real instrument track if there isn't one already. Make sure that the track doesn't have
any effects on it (Choosing Vocals>No Effects from the track info window is the easiest way
to verify this).
- The last two things to do in GarageBand are to record-enable the track and to make sure
that "Monitor:" is on. This is set in the track info sidebar. Verify this by talking into your
microphone, and the garageband track should display the audio levels as you speak.
Step 3 - Set Up Dictate:
- Open Dictate. Open the "Profiles..." window. Add a new profile and can call it whatever you
want. The important thing here is to set the "Microphone" to "Soundflower
(2ch)" - no, it's not a microphone, but garageband will make it into a mic for us.
- Proceed with microphone setup and Voice Training (I know, *sigh* what a burden, I actually
have to spend another 5 minutes creating a profile? - it's worth it).
- If you have problems here, it's likely because something's not quite configured right.
I can try to troubleshoot if you have questions as I'm relatively familiar with
GarageBand and Soundflower
Step 4 - Extension and Problems:
- That's right, you're done.
- But it's not all that useful if it's just your normal microphone going through garageband. So
how's transcription involved? Well first, try recording some dictation in GarageBand with
Dictate's "microphone" off or asleep. Now play the recording back with the "microphone"
back on. You probably won't hear it, but Dictate will and if it works anything like my
[low quality] microphone it'll be brilliantly accurate. Cool, but that's not very useful.Touché.
- Quit GarageBand. Option-Click the Audio icon in the menubar. Set the output to
"Soundflower (2ch)". This is the System Output. So ... everything you play, Dictate will listen.
Songs, podcasts, obviously not useful. But recordings copied to the computer? - Yes, please.
I recorded a voice memo on an iPod Touch with the iPhone headphones (even lower quality)
and it was still 100% accurate for the short clip.
- One glaring problem is that if the system out setting is soundflower, you can't hear anything. Two
solutions: Solution One is to reverse the input and output settings you had in GarageBand. Again make sure monitor is on and that the track is record-enabled. The problem here is that GarageBand has to berunning to hear anything. Something of a hassle. Solution Two: Launch soundflowerbed. Flower menubar icon appears. Click on it and right below the Soundflower (2ch) and the purple flower icon, you can choose what is basically a monitor of what soundflower is "hearing." Choose whatever output you want and now you can monitor what the computer is outputting again.
Enjoy Everyone! If you have any questions contact me I'd love to be able to help you work out any kinks in the setup.