Delay in Monitor Sound While Recording


I’m on Version 3.1 on Windows 11. While recording, I would like to hear myself on the headphones. After clicking Software Playthrough, I can hear myself but in a really big delay, like 10 seconds or so. Is there a way to fix this? I tried changing things but for some reason couldn’t manage to find the setting for it.

Thank you

Have you rebooted?

Also, where did you get Audacity from? I would suggest downloading it from here: Audacity ® | Downloads

If the reboot doesn’t help, download again and re-install.

Rebooted the computer? Yes. I got Auficity from the official site…

So the next step would be to download it again and reinstall, this time resetting all parameters.

this time resetting all parameters.

Traditional Audacity would save preferences and settings to make upgrading much easier. It was a terrific idea and it works most of the time, but if you have trouble in your preferences the trouble would follow you through multiple installs and versions. It was digital plague. With earlier versions, there was a series of files you could delete and make that problem vanish.

In 3.1.3, the current stable version, there is a setting during install which will cause Audacity to “really” start over.

Is there a way to fix this?

There may be a way to fix the super long delay, but you still can’t listen to the computer during live recording. It takes time for your sound to get into Audacity, turn around, and come back out, so there will almost always be an echo or slight delay. The only sure way to make that echo go to zero is get your headphone sound from the microphone, interface, or mixer.

Screen Shot 2022-05-04 at 07.26.51.png

It’s not entirely obvious from the photo, but the headphones are plugged into the little back interface to the left, not the computer.


Purists will insist that you can recompile the Audacity program to include ASIO and make the delay go almost to zero through software. Have you ever written a computer program? I haven’t either. It’s not for the easily frightened.



Did we ever figure out where ten seconds of sound is going? One of my favorite diagnostic tricks fails here.

Start with a perfect, normal install of Audacity 3.1.3. Now do something to force ten to thirteen seconds of playthrough sound delay.


No idea. One might think Windows got confused somewhere and a reboot would fix it. Not so in this case. However, according to a previous poster:

I went back to generic trouble shooting and reinstalled Audacity. The problem is gone.

So that is the best I’ve got right now.

I agree with you - I don’t how I could make this happen if I tried. :wink:


Two notes. Please!!! post back if you solve it or change it. Either one is super helpful. This is a magic problem and has managed to stump everybody so far.

Do a test for us. Preferences > Tracks > [X] Auto Scroll.

If you record something wider than one screen, Audacity should keep shuffling the blue waves off the left and display the current sound—constantly updating. If you don’t do that, the blue waves just shuffle off the right and vanish. They exist, but not visible until later.

The goal is to make a recording and see if the blue waves follow you. They should. The blue waves should build themselves a tiny fraction of a second after your performance. If the waves wait ten seconds, we know the sound is getting into Audacity late. If the waves are snappy and on time, we know that the problem is in Audacity Playback.

Super handy to know that.

One quick question. Do you use Skype, Zoom, Meetings, or other chat program?