I am new to using Audacity so please if you answer this talk to me like I’m 4. When I plug my guitar or mic into my computer the sound is registered and comes out of the speakers a milisecond after the sound goes in. this obviously makes it impossible to monitor while recording because the sound you hear is delayed. Is this a function of adjust Audacity or the computer. In either case how do I get the sound to in “real” time as I’m inputting it into the computer. My version of Audacity is about a year or so old. I’ve had it on the computer for a while but am only now starting to use it. My computer is an HP Pavilion DV-7 Entertainment PC.

I bet you mean a lot more than a millisecond. A millisecond delay would not be noticeable.

Go to the Transport menu and de-select the “Software Playthrough” option.

This may mean that you cannot monitor the recording, in which case, what sort of microphone/sound card are you using?

If you are plugging into an internal sound card you will need to set the Windows sound card settings to enable playthrough of the input signal. If your sound card drivers do not support playthrough then you have the option of either a playthrough delay (using software playthrough) or no playthrough (software playthrough off).

If you are using an external USB/Firewire sound card, plug your headphones into the external sound card and monitor from there.

I am new to Audacity and have the 2.0 version on my HP DV-7 Entertainment PC with Windows Vista.
When I plug in a guitar or mic into the computer the sound is delayed. That is, it appears in the UV meter and can be heard out of the speakers, external or the ones in the computer, a milisecond AFTER the note is struck. What is causing this and how do I fix it?

That’s computer or sound channel latency. You don’t cure it other than use expensive or difficult software that has ASIO sound drivers or other software like that. It’s one of the things that prevents normal computers from becoming Digital Audio Workstations.

If you’re goal is overdubbing or multi-track, there are options: Listen to the sound device, not the computer…

… use the folded hand method if you’re singing…

…or compile (reprogram) Audacity with ASIO support…

…or stop using Audacity. Most money-based software includes ASIO or other software that helps this problem.

On some Windows machines there are adjustments that can be made to short-circuit the normal sound card sound pathways, but that’s not universal. Some computers will not do that.'s_on-board_sound_card

This is a piece we wrote on overdubbing/multitrack. Even if you’re not overdubbing, a lot of this is valuable stuff, even for straight recording.


Identical topics merged

How do I make changes to the internal soundcard on the computer to allow for monitoring while recording and eliminating the delay?

Koz… I like your suggestion of downloading the AISO support software. But the directions are at least for me in techno speak. Can you provide simple instructions for downloading it and making sure it will work. Talk to me like I’m 4.

Adding ASIO support to Audacity involves compiling Audacity from the source code. That means you need to be an experienced computer programmer.

You’d be better off with an external guitar/mic interface that provides “low latency” monitoring.

– Bill

I am using a Line 6 HD500 to record my guitar. I’m using a USB cable and I have the software playthrough option turned on. I’m going to turn that off to prevent the delay. I didn’t know that would cause that. My question is: When I turn that off, will the parts sync up then?

When I was recording, I could hear my guitar, but it was delayed. When I went to play the track back, my recorded guitar part was delayed as well. Will turning off that setting make those parts sync up when I play?