Nebulous wrote:The delay, if I understand correctly, will probably cause trouble in trying to sync up the recorded piano with live voice. It sounds like a showstopper. If the recorded piano will be ahead of or behind the vocals I hear as I'm singing, I'm afraid it will become confusing to sing at the right time.
Am I understanding correctly? Will my voice sound like an echo? Again, because I need to physically move the computer and keyboards around (they are in different rooms and this won't be a small task), I just want to understand what I might be up against.
Maybe there is better open source software for this particular task? Or maybe it's not as bad as I interpreted it?
There are two different types of delay. I was referring to playthrough delay, which only occurs if you want to listen to what you are recording while you record it (which is usually advantageous). With software playthrough you will hear your voice through the headphones after you hear your voice acoustically (if you do hear that - with enclosed noise cancelling headphones or very loud playback, you may not). Either way, you will sing to the piano note exactly in sync but you will hear your voice in the headphones after the piano note. If the delay is long enough, it does get very difficult. "Listen to this device" may or may not be just about acceptable. If you can unmute the mic on the playback side of the sound device, it probably will be acceptable. You have to go into Windows and look.
No echo will be recorded as long as you record from the mic and don't record computer playback.
The other delay is recording delay - your voice will be laid down after the beat because of the time taken for your voice to travel through the sound device. Audacity will compensate for this by pushing the recorded track backwards by 130 milliseconds, but if that isn't the correct compensation to sync the tracks you can use Time Shift Tool (F5) to drag the recorded track to the correct place. In Audacity Beta you can set an automated correction that adjusts for whatever your recording latency actually is - see http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Latency_Test
Other software will only be "better" if it supports ASIO low latency sound device drivers which should bring playthrough latency down to acceptable limits. Audacity as shipped does not include ASIO support. The ASIO drivers will either be provided by your sound device or (most likely if you use the computer sound device) you will need free third-party ASIO drivers. Other software may be "better" if it has an accurate and automatic way of adjusting for recording latency, rather than the adjustment/configuration needed with Audacity.
Of course if you are prepared to spend money then you can buy a USB microphone (or USB interface for the mic) which includes a headphones jack. Plugging your headphones in there will give you no noticeable playthrough latency.