Why You Should Post Your Practical Advice Online

People who describe how they solved a problem make the Internet a better place

Clive Thompson
5 min readSep 26


A hand pointing at a laptop screen
Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

The other day, I was doing some audio-editing on my Mac using Logic Pro — but I kept getting maddening errors.

Sound would play for a few seconds, then stutter; then the whole software would grind to a halt. A popup error-box would say “The last selected audio interface is not available”. It looked like this …

Screenshot of a popup box in black, with white text reading: “The last selected audio interface is not available. The previously selected interface ‘Mac Studio Speakers’ will be used insteasd for this session.”

I had no idea what was going on. I’d been using Logic Pro for the last 13 years, and I’d never had this problem.

I tried the usual stuff: Rebooting my computer, checking for updates to Logic Pro, etc. Nothing worked.

So finally, after 15 minutes of bashing my head against the error message, I googled it.

I quickly found a couple of forums where some poor soul had the same problem, but nobody had responded. Then after sifting through a few more forums, bingo: I struck gold.

Over at the Logic Pro Help Forum, a member named “taffy” had posted the exact same problem I’d encountered — and another member screen-named “ravez” had answered it:

Launch Audio MIDI setup from your applications, add an aggregate device, in it check on your desired sound card first, then your interior speakers sound card.

Then set your aggregate device as your audio device in logic.

Now anytime your turn on or off your desired sound card, the aggregate device will always have a sound card available to fall back on, and this will avoid Logic complaining the previous sound card is not available.

That probably sounds like gibberish to you, but as a Logic Pro user I understood exactly what ravez was suggesting. So I did all the steps he suggested and …

… hey now: It fixed my problem!

Which brings me to the lesson at hand here.

Dear reader, if you’ve ever fixed some gnarly technical problem? Solved something plaguing you with a product, or a hobby…



Clive Thompson

I write 2X a week on tech, science, culture — and how those collide. Writer at NYT mag/Wired; author, “Coders”. @clive@saturation.social clive@clivethompson.net