Playback delay while recording?

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Playback delay while recording?

Permanent link to this post Posted by mrngbear » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:07 pm

Greetings, I am trying to play my guitar though Audacity (while listening to the live playback at the same time, so I can play with Jam Tracks) the playback has a delay from the live (even if I just speak into a microphone, the playback is delayed), how can I get the live playback in sync without delay?
I am using the microphone input (of the computer, Windows XP) for both the guitar and when speaking through a mic.
Thanks for any help! TK
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Re: Playback delay while recording?

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:43 am

Let's see. Windows ...

Edit > Preferences > Audio I/O > Stuff On The Bottom.

Sometimes the difference between Hardware Playthrough and Software Playthrough will help.

It will never go to zero. Digital systems' curse is latency. Everything's always a little late no matter what you do.

Create a rhythm track and stack your live performances one on top of the other, but only listen to the one rhythm track. Then select all the live tracks and using the Time Shift tool push them all back into sync. They should be off the same amount.

If you play each fresh track while you're recording the next one, you will get progressively further and further off sync and it will be something of a nightmare to fix. You can also play a fresh instrument, stop and push it back into sync, play the next one, etc.

This is where Audacity Projects shine. They're talent is to stack multi-track productions and keep lists of what they're doing. You can't export a multi-track show to a sound file. You can export two tracks at a time and make multiple stereoWAV files, that works.

If you get to the point where you're days into a multi-instrument, multi-track production, you might want to export several WAV files--one for every two tracks. Audacity Projects are brittle and you might come in one day and the Project will not open. Think of all the new, cool words you'll say if Audacity doesn't wake up and you don't have a backup of some sort.

Oh, yes it does happen. Search the forum for "can't open my AUP file."

Koz
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Re: Playback delay while recording?

Permanent link to this post Posted by mrngbear » Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:02 am

Koz,
thanks for all the info bro! I will try to use what I understood as I progress, however the delay is approximately; 1/2 second, "crazy". I am new to playing lead guitar and brand new to Audacity and I'm using Audacity for practice only, I am not recording yet.

I'm playing pre-recorded jam tracks in "Windows Media Player" (will be making my own jam tracks in the future, but I am addicted to learning lead at the current time) When I try to just play along with the jam tracks (with "my lead" part playing through Audacity so I get both sounds from the same source, ie. my computer) the 1/2 second delay screws with me too much to have any value.

In my "preferences" of the Audacity that I downloaded ; I only have "Software Playthrough" and if I de-select it I cannot hear myself at all? Not sure I understand what you meant about "Hardware Playthrough".

Thanks in advance...if you take the time to reply to this message...if not, no worries bro. I appreciate all you've done for this novice already.
Rock On, TK
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Re: Playback delay while recording?

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:30 pm

mrngbear wrote:I'm playing pre-recorded jam tracks in "Windows Media Player" ... When I try to just play along with the jam tracks (with "my lead" part playing through Audacity so I get both sounds from the same source, ie. my computer) the 1/2 second delay screws with me too much to have any value.


Instead of that, Import the file into Audacity, in "Preferences > Audio I/O" select "play other tracks while recording new one" and do not select (unselect) "software playthrough".
When you record, you will be recording onto a new track.

Open your "Windows Mixer" or "Sound Card Control Panel" (look for a loudspeaker icon near the Desktop clock).
Set the "Record Input" to "Microphone". In the playback options, enable the Microphone playback (use headphones and not speakers or you will get feedback).
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Re: Playback delay while recording?

Permanent link to this post Posted by Ameera » Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:28 pm

I have the same problem. I am using audacity to add hooks to music samples sent to me. Is there a way to fix this? the delay is very minimal but it makes the vocals sound off pitch. I try to edit and shift the vocals but I can never get it in the right spot. im new to all this. I just need to understand why is there a delay? is it because i'm using a normal laptop? appreciate if someone can explain this to me. Thanks :)
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Re: Playback delay while recording?

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:07 pm

If the delay is in the region of 0.5 seconds, then it due to "software playthrough" as described earlier.

If the delay is a much smaller fraction of a second, then this is probably due to "latency". Audacity will automatically apply latency correction, but in Audacity 1.2 this is a fixed amount. In Audacity 1.3 the latency correction can be manually adjusted (search the forum for details - there's a couple of full write-ups somewhere).

If the delay is not constant, but gradually drifts over time, then it is likely to be due to the sound card. If this is the case, try changing the project rate to a different value (44.1kHz or 48kHz) and you may find that one project rate works better than the other.
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Re: Playback delay while recording?

Permanent link to this post Posted by phill3550 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:09 pm

How to I cure the lag when I record track 2 when listening to track 1 I recorded previously? I am using a music keyboard connected from its output plug to the Line In on my computer. the lag is not good when I record the second track while listening to track 1. Any ideas using v1.3.7
- phill3550

I have now solved this problem!
In EDIT>Preferences Audio In?OUT, change "latency correction". Change the value to -145. The value works on my computer after trying a wide range of values from +200 to -200. Also other setting I used were
Audio Buffer box default of 100.
Software Playthrough OFF
Over dub checked ON
Channels MONO (don't need stereo with a music keyboard)
Playback Device MME:Microfoft Sound Mapper Output
Recording Device MME:Microfoft Sound Mapper Input
I use Windows XP
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Re: Playback delay while recording?

Permanent link to this post Posted by taylormartin » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:30 pm

The above suggestion does not do anything as far as a solution is concerned. By disabling the software playthrough, you can't hear anything. That was what the post was asking, not even for recording. Think of this situation, using audacity output through a stereo with delay on a track instead of using a delay pedal and guitar amp. This is something I do all the time using Audacity on the Mac, as well as Garageband. Also, in order to create a good recording, it is important to be able to monitor what you are recording. The whole point is to hear what you are recording as you record it, as well as the other tracks. I have a Dell m1530 that was quite pricey, but the soundcard seems to be extremely useless. There is a major delay like the original post described. I have not tried using my MobilePre with it yet, I hope that works.
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Re: Playback delay while recording?

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:01 pm

taylormartin wrote:By disabling the software playthrough, you can't hear anything.

That depends on your hardware.
If you use the same device for recording and playback, then it should be possible to set it to playback while recording using hardware playthrough (providing the hardware and drivers support this, which most modern sound cards do).

taylormartin wrote:I have a Dell m1530 that was quite pricey, but the soundcard seems to be extremely useless.

This is commonly the case with modern PCs. To get good sound quality (recording and playback) it is usually necessary to upgrade the sound card - this seems to be one area where almost all PC manufacturers cut corners to keep the price competitive.
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Re: Playback delay while recording?

Permanent link to this post Posted by bjohn13 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:13 pm

Hello,

I know this topic is a couple of years old, but I registered for this forum just to pop in and say that the solution offered by Steve worked for me, and I was having the same problems as everyone else.

Basically, what you want to do is disable the microphone in Audacity and rely on your CPU to process your voice as it goes to the speakers. Audacity will still process your voice as it goes to the file being created.

It's really ingenious, and I'm kind of ashamed that I didn't think of it.

To see if you are on the right track, try talking through your microphone without Audacity running. If you can't hear your voice through the speakers, then you'll need to go to your control panel and enable that setting.

Thank you, Steve. Now I'll actually be able to hear myself sing, which tends to create much better music.
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