Headphone Latency

I am experiencing headphone latency that I cannot seem to correct even though I have done exactly what your tutorials have said. I’ve used the click track and line the latency up perfectly but when I listen through my headphones while I’m voice recording there is still latency. I’ve tried adjusting the numbers, but no matter what I do, the latency through my headphones doesn’t budge. I’m using a Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd generation) interphase, Rode NT1-A Cardioid microphone and Sony headphones with Audacity v. 2.4.2.

Press “Direct Monitor” button on your interface and you can monitor directly without the monitoring-path going through the computer. You should still able to optionally monitor a backing track from the computer. (Of course, plug your headphones into the interface.)

…There always some latency through the computer. It’s related to buffers which are required due to the multitasking operating system.

What he said.

The Audacity Latency adjustment is to line up the backing track with the fresh recording. If you get that one wrong, every time you make a fresh recording, it will lay down before or after the backing track. You can fix that later with the Time Shift Tool, but that’s a pain and you shouldn’t have to do that.

Adjusting recording latency is pretty simple. Make a click or rhythm track, set up for overdubbing and jam your headphones against your microphone. Measure the difference between the old and new track and that combined with your old latency is your new latency correction.

This is before recording latency correction. The upper track is the click track and then bottom track is recording of the click track.

After corrections.


We did have one energetic dance with a poster who plugged his microphone and computer together, got fresh coffee, and started making perfect overdubs. The factory latency setting happened to work out exactly right for him.

Of course, the instant he got a new computer everything went to pieces.

“How come my old computer didn’t do this? Audacity must be broken!”