Remix Your Retro Sounds

Capture audio from your favorite game, and tap your inner DJ, musician, or just be that guy with the annoying ringtone.

As simple as the sounds are, audio has always been a critical component of retro gaming. If you’ve played MAME without the necessary samples [Hack #28] , you knew something was missing. To make the experience perfect, the sound needs to be there.

If you ever wanted to bottle up the arcade experience and take it with you, audio is your opportunity. With some clever software that “hijacks” the output of your sound card, you can turn the audio from any game into an MP3 file. Then, what you do with it is limited by your imagination, and probably the court decision du jour about music sampling.

Capturing Retro Audio

One of the problems with capturing the audio from your games is that the sound is coming out of your audio hardware, not into it. The way around this is to pick up a piece of software that takes the sound as it goes to your speakers and makes a parallel recording of it in an audio file.

On the Mac, the top choice is Rogue Ameoba’s Audio Hijack (, a $16 shareware application that’s simple to use. On the PC, I suggest Total Recorder (, which is $12. Both Audio Hijack and Total Recorder have evaluation versions available so you can try before you buy.

With Audio Hijack, you need to drag the application you want to record to the Audio Hijack main window. Click the Hijack button ...

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