Can not hear input from mixer

I have been using Audacity for several months, and have been very happy with the results. I had been recording through the mic input on my computer to master recordings from my old 4 track cassette. I wanted to start recording new music, but was having latency problems using the mix board on my 4 track (analog), so I bought a nice new digital Alesis multimix8 to run my instruments through. It’s a great little board and has some great effects. I plugged it into my computer through the USB port. I plugged my guitar in, but can not hear it in Audacity. It registers on the monitor, but I can’t hear it. Since it registered I tried recording, and it worked! It recorded and I could hear the guitar on the playback, but I can’t hear it while playing it. I’ve gone through all the manual suggestions and preferences, but nothing seems to help. It is also showing on my computer sound levels, the sound IS getting in, but I just can’t hear it. Can anyone help? I’d sure appreciate it. Thanks,

How are you trying to hear it? Through headphones plugged into the Alesis?
What settings are available in the device toolbar and which are selected?

Ok, I can hear the guitar now while either idle, or recording, but can not play along while a track is in playback. That is, I can’t play along with a previously recorded track to practice with it, I must be recording. Is this right?

I’m listening through headphones connected to my computer.

I am plugging my guitar into a mix board and plugging it into the computer via USB, and having a latency problem. No matter what I set the latency correction at, there is still a slight delay making it impossible to play along. I’ve got it ALMOST corrected, but it’s still there. Any suggestions? I looked at the manual, but did not really understand how to do the test with what I have. Thanks.

There’s two latencies. Recording latency is the one you can set in Audacity. That one controls how well your new tracks overlay the old tracks or guide tracks or click tracks.

You have machine latency which generally can’t be fixed. You are listening to how long it takes your voice to be digitized go into the computer and then come back out again. Your voice is one computer late.

If you led a pure life and always helped little old ladies across the street, your USB mixer will offer Low Latency Monitoring where you plug headphones into the mixer. The mixer will combine Audacity playback of the guide track with your live microphone or guitar in perfect, real time. Not all mixers will do that but it pays handsomely to use a mixer that does.

All three of the hardware solutions I reviewed for overdubbing allow headphone monitoring at the device, not the computer.

There is another variation where you use an analog mixer, but a special USB digitizer like the UCA-202. The UCA-202 has provision for zero latency headphone monitoring.


That’s the overdubbing tutorial. You can totally do overdubbing with what you have, you just can’t hear yourself while you do it.


Plug your headphones into the Alesis.
Set the Alesis (USB option) as the playback device in the device toolbar.
Ensure that you can hear playback through the headphones.
In the “Transport” menu, ensure that “Software Playthrough” is off (not selected) and “Overdub” in on (selected).

First, thank you for taking the time to try and help. I appreciate it.
I’ve done all you suggested. I am able to hear my first track, and my live guitar, in the headphones connected to my Alesis. When I try to record, I have a repeat, I assume it’s the live signal, and the latent recording. When I unclick “software play through” the recording will not move, the line on the track appears, but does not move, or it moves VERY slowly. I’ve experimented more with the latency correction, but have had no luck altering the sound what so ever. Is it possible to not monitor the recorded signal, but just hear the live instrument? Then I can edit the latency out later? Thank you.

Thank you for your time and advice.
I am now listening through the Alesis. All good. I hear the recorded track and my live guitar. When I try to record my guitar, I hear the guitar and what I assume is the latent signal making an odd doubled effect. When I turn “Software Playthrough” off , the recording will not play. The red line appears, but does not move, or it’s moving VERY slowly. Is there a way to not hear what I’m recording, but just my live instument? Then I can edit out the latency later.

  1. Ensure that “Overdub” is on (selected) and “Software Playthrough” is off (not selected).
  2. With at least one audio track in the project, press the “Play” button. Do you hear the audio playing?
  3. With at least one audio track in the project, press the “Record” button. Do you hear the audio playing?

You will always get a delay when using “Software Playthough” because of the time that it takes for the software to move the audio data.

It will get confusing having two topics about the same issue ( We much prefer that you don’t do that.

I merged the duplicate topics.


Sorry about duplicate posts. They started out as separate subjects but then over lapped. If I turn off software play through the program will not play at all. Thank you all for trying to help me, but I can’t seem to get around the latency thing. I bought a 24 track TASCAM. I think I’ll have better luck with that. Thanks again.