Do I need an interface?

I have sampled other software products and have an issue managing vocal latency without using an interface. My purpose for the product is to record solo vocals using soundtracks. Fairly simple production.

The latency occurs when I use monitor in my headphones to listen to my voice while recording. I understand the technical aspects from a layman’s perspective, the causes etc. The issue I have is managing the latency. I have not used used or purchased an interface product yet.

So I thought I would ask for suggestions before I try Audacity. With Windows 10, do I need an interface with Audacity to manage vocal latency heard through headphones while recording?

Thank you!


do I need an interface with Audacity to manage vocal latency

Yes, or a microphone that can give you local wired headphone connections.

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Wireless headphones are a nightmare for this job. It has to be wired.

The other requirement is that whatever you buy has to be able to act as a player so Audacity can send playback, rhythm, or backing tracks to you.

There’s two latencies. You’re talking about listening to your live voice. Audacity can’t do that because of the fixed pathways to get your voice into Audacity, turned around, and sent back out. All take time.

But there’s another one. The latency setting in Audacity Recording Preferences sets the matchup between your backing track playback and the new live voice recording. If you set that right, your new live voice track will match the backing track perfectly with no timing errors.

Another variation on this is the type of overdubbing. If you don’t need to hear yourself, you can do simple overdubbing without any of this stuff. Simple microphone and headphones to hear the backing track. You may be able to pull that off with wireless headphones. I haven’t tried that. If you do, remember wireless headphones are network devices, not sound.


Thank you, given this, I think my most effective method is to upgrade my mic to one with real time headphone monitoring. As long as I can hear both the track and vocals I should be solid.

Thank you for your time!