2 Questions

please forgive my obvious stupidity…I have tried reading through the manual but either I’m dopey or missing something. I’m not sure. Thankful for any help as a new user…

  1. How can I ensure certain effects are only applied to individual tracks? Every time I think ive got this sorted it goes and adds whatever effect I choose to every track. its driving me insane!

  2. I’m using a USB Roland Multi effects unit plugged into my laptop. Despite hours of trying I am unable to get it to play through the headphones I connect to my laptop to monitor levels etc. I can listen BACK to what ive recorded after ive recorded it through my headphone but I seem totally unable to get a ‘live’ feed to monitor what I’m playing. I have tried all the usual fixes on my sound settings on the laptop. it just wont happen.

thanks in advance.

How can I ensure certain effects are only applied to individual tracks?

Select the track by clicking just above MUTE. Select more than one by Shift-Clicking. Effects will follow your selection, but some effects and services have wacky defaults if you select nothing. That can seem like magic.

it just wont happen.

And you may not want it to. Audacity Playthrough, while it can be (normally) selected to do this, will play to your headphones “one computer late.” The amount of time the computer takes to accept the sound, turn it around, and play it out again can be significant. As a general rule, you can’t play music using this as a “stage monitor.” It will always be a fractional beat off. Usually enough to make you nuts.

I assume you’re in Audacity 2.1.0 or 2.1.1. Right-click the recording (top) meters > Start Monitoring. Play something. The meters should jump in time to your performance. So the recording side of Audacity is working.

Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Recording: Playthrough (select) > OK.

Make sure the meters are still in monitor. They probably dropped out when you changed settings. Play something. Both meters should jump.

You should be hearing it now, too.

How far did you get?


Thanks so much for your answer. Sorted the effects issue! So simple I must’ve been doing something repeatedly silly.

As far as the other issue goes I’m tempted to take your advice and leave it. I’ve discovered to day that I can hear what I play ‘live’ by leaving my effects units also plugged into an amp. This means I can hear what I’m playing and it also records it with seemingly no delay. It would sound as if it’s best to stick to this method then? As I say I can see the playback monitor levels buzzing away fine and can listen back to recordings via the headphones but I simply couldn’t get a live feed. What about when I’m multi tracking various guitar parts though? I’m going to need to hear what I’ve already laid down as I play over the top .Hmmmm!.

Cheers though!.

I must’ve been doing something repeatedly silly.

That never happens to me.

The Overdubbing tutorial has examples of three different hardware devices that allow “Perfect Overdubbing.” You listen to the devices instead of the computer and they manage the headphone show such that there is no delay (“zero latency” in advertising-speak) and you hear the performance theatrically perfectly, complete with the live performance.


Since I wrote the original document, the makers have caught on that this is a desirable condition and many more devices (microphones, mixers, amplifiers) do this now.