Diff between monitoring & recording latency?

Hi, Mac OS 10.12.6, Audacity 2.4.2
In helping a friend long distance use Audacity for the first time I’m experimenting on my computer first looking at the latency issues for overdubbing. I found the instructions for solving the problem.

My question is, if you eliminate the recording latency does the monitoring latency also get corrected? The recording latency is not that big an issue with me since I can easily move the newly recorded single track in post-production.

But if you solve the recording legacy does that inherently solve the monitoring latency? It might be hard to record against a track where one’s playing echos back to you even a split second later. If you turn off monitoring, that solves that problem but then you can’t hear yourself playing in the headphones.

This page and subsequent linked pages in the tutorial talk in detail about overdubbing.

The short answer is that there is nothing you can do about monitoring latency when listening to your source via Audacity and your computer. You must listen to the source audio before it goes into your computer.

– Bill

You must listen to the source audio before it goes into your computer.

What he said.

You’re listening to your voice “one computer late.” That’s the time it takes your voice to get digitized, plow though the computer, bounce off Audacity, and come back out.

Yes, there is a software way to get around that. ASIO can generate custom sound pathways to make most of those errors go away, but ASIO is Pay-to-Play and unsupported in Audacity.

Audacity can make the recording latency vanish, by, for example, playing the backing track to you ahead of time so that everything comes out perfect at the end. That’s the Audacity Latency adjustment. They can also lay down the fresh track offset. I forget which one it actually uses.


There’s a difference between Simple Overdubbing and Perfect Overdubbing. In simple overdubbing, you hear the backing track only, sing to it, and that’s it. Full Stop. The first time you hear the mix is when you play the composite/mix back later.

Perfect Overdubbing is when the system presents a perfect theatrical mix of live voice and backing track in your headphones. That’s the one that needs a fancy microphone, mixer, interface, or USB adapter; and special setups and adjustments.

In helping a friend long distance use Audacity

We are warned against playing “Telephone.” "When I told them what you told me to tell them, they said to tell you this. What should I tell them?