Just reposting this question from Reddit trying to help this dude out

I recently downloaded a program called Hear (http://hear.en.softonic.com/mac). It boosts many things like bass and ambiance in the output of your mac and makes everything sound nicer. Well I installed it and now Ableton no longer makes sound. It says that the audio engine is off and to turn it on in the preferences. After messing with every possible setting it still will not work. Every other sound on my computer plays fine and yes I have tried to uninstall hear but nothing works. Please someone help, I love Ableton and would hate to not be able to use it. Thank you in advance

So this is how I responded

since you're on mac check to make sure your audio drivers are up to date. do this by clicking the mac symbol in the upper left hand corner and pick the update option, cant remember what exactly it says (may be different depending on version) but it should be one of the first. after it searches for updates click more detail because it may have updates that you don't want, or not have any driver updates at all. if your driver is up to date try checking your settings in your midi settings. This actually is probably the case as the Hear program, from what you have described, sounds like it has acted as a go between your normal the sound input (any sound the computer would make) and the output (your internal or external speakers). You can find this by going to your applications folder. Applications/Utilities/Audio Midi Setup

from there check to make sure you have your output set to whatever you want the audio to play from. Default is your internal speakers but it sounds like Hear screwed with it. Depending on what version of mac you have it will either be displayed as a selectable option in a drop down or you will just have to doubleclick on the desired output on the left.

If you have tried this and it still doesn't work then open up ableton and go open up the preferences. Go into the audio tab. From here make sure your Driver Type is set to CoreAudio, since I believe this is the only type of Mac built in soundcard. Then make sure Built-In Output is selected as the audio output device, or if you are using a midi-interface, select whatever interface it is you own.

oh wait. after trying all those steps to no avail, click on the Output Config button and select all options available to start off. If you know how this works you can set it to output how you want, but I'd try them all just to check.

Anything I left out that he can try? Or does anyone know anything about this Hear program?

  • only other thing I can think of would be to search and remove any left over files Hear would have since I'm not sure how he uninstalled the program and since its a little tricky to remove all traces of less developed programs on macs
    – Travis Dtfsu Crum
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 16:23

2 Answers 2


This happened to me and I fixed ableton by deleting the plugin Hear left behind (i believe it's simply called Hear) under Macintosh HD/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins.


As written, the question is bordering on too open-ended, but I'll give the most authoritative answer I can given the circumstances.

To output sound, Ableton Live on OSX generally requires:

  • Some kind of Core Audio compatible audio interface be chosen as the Audio Output Device in Audio Preferences:

Audio Preferences pane

  • That at least one output (preferably at least two, for stereo) be selected under "Output Config" in the same menu:

Output Config menu

  • That the audio engine be enabled. This is done by default when you select an interface.

This is all that is generally required. You have suggested all of the major things that are usually wrong in this scenario, so I don't think you've missed anything. Live will deliver the master output audio to the driver for the selected output interface. If this isn't working out, then the problem is most likely outside of Live. If I had to guess, I'd say Hear has done something with the driver, possibly inserting itself and attempting to modify the output stream before it goes out to hardware, and it has some bugs. The Hear website's recent changes list includes "Fixed incompatibilities with certain applications such as GarageBand." so I'd say this is likely.

I'm speculating here since I've never used Hear, but if this is indeed the case, the solution is to either reconfigure or fix Hear, or eliminate it entirely. The user has apparently attempted to uninstall it, but the problem has persisted. This may be down to just figuring out how to cleanly uninstall an OSX driver or program, which is a kind of question better handled at Apple.Stackexchange than here.

Finally, since this is a production site and so it's assumed that this software is being used for production, I imagine it's probably not that good of an idea to use a "bass and ambiance" booster, as that will color the sound you're designing and give you an inaccurate idea of what your recording actually sounds like.

  • sooo you didn't add anything that I didn't already bring up. The pictures were a nice touch since I didn't want to take the time out to get screenshots for him. He said he already uninstalled Hear but it still isn't working. Maybe Hear has some stuff left over that an uninstall doesn't remove? This is also why I told him to check the Audio Midi Setup too.
    – Travis Dtfsu Crum
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 20:09
  • I also mentioned to him that it wasn't a good idea to use a program that effects his sound since it would only sound that way on his computer alone and no one elses
    – Travis Dtfsu Crum
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 20:10
  • also forgot to mention that this was from an Ableton music production thread specifically. Not just a random reddit post.
    – Travis Dtfsu Crum
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 20:12
  • @TravisDtfsuCrum Your question was pretty open-ended: "Anything I left out that he can try?" My answer was as specific as I could make it given that: "Here are the things you generally have to do to get it working under normal circumstances." So yes, you've covered all the major bases. I've edited the question to hopefully make this clearer.
    – Warrior Bob
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 21:48
  • ah I got you. The guy figured it out by the way. Even though he uninstalled the app, it installed a plugin in his audio folder that was still effecting things.
    – Travis Dtfsu Crum
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 12:57

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