I CANNOT GET RID OF THE DELAY BETWEEN TRACKS! IT IS DRIVING ME CRAZY. I Unchecked Software Playthrough in preferences… I Dont have the computer running into my mixer. I simply plug my mixer into the computer… Select a stereo track… lay a track… and then when I try to do the next track… it comes in off time and I can’t record anymore. I did 2 tracks but it was very difficult and it gets worse when trying to do a 3rd and 4th track. It is just way too much off time. Even my mixer sounds a little delayed going into audacity and I DONT HAVE ANY DELAY CHOSEN. Can Someone PLEASE HELP ME???

We will need to start with some details.
What equipment are you using?
How is it all connected together?
What exactly are you doing?

(as much detail as possible will help)

You’re going to have to fill in some of the holes.

I simply plug my mixer into the computer

Windows does not have a “simply” anything. Exactly how did you do that and with which mixer?

There are two delays. One affects the match between tracks one and all the others. That’s called Recording Latency and it’s settable in Audacity. We wrote how to do that.


The other one is the delay or echo between the time you sing and the time your live voice comes back out of the computer. You’re stuck with that one.

It pays very well to go down the steps we wrote about. If you leave any settings out you can get exactly the problems you have.


Wow, thanks yaw’ll. I have been messin around and figured a way to get around it, but still would like to know if I can prevent the delay. First let me say, I have an alesis multi-mix 16 chan mxr. and a HP computer with beats audio sound card. I plug the main out lines from mxr, into a adaptor cable that takes it from 2 rca’s to a stereo mini. This is then plugged into the line in, on back of my computer. There is some delay from the boards signal of me singing, to the time I hear it out in the headphones from the computer.

But I can use the click track Cranked up [ouch], to lay the track in time for the first track. Thats, when I notice that it is delayed already in real time from the click track. Then…
Same thing happens between the first track layed and the 2nd track layed, as the 2nd track ends up twice as slow. And this was so hard to try and sing harmony to. Virtually impossible with off time and off notes in my ears. I did mess with a latency setting somewhere, thinking set it to zero, but then, I couldn’t make out a thing at zero.

I will look at the link to try and learn about that setting to see if I can help matters. But at least I was very happy to learn that, even with singing slightly delayed; I can pull off multi-tracking and then, when the tracks are way off. I start with the 2nd track repair of timing by… just clicking on the shift tool and taking that set of arrows down to the delayed track and then, grabbing that track and sliding it to the left [ahead just a tad in time] and resetting it to match the original! Wow… This really is a tool! Thank God!

But, I do so want to be able to hear in real time! As, when I sing, it is a little tough and a distraction trying to do it with that delay that occurs getting from the mxr to the sound I hear back from the computer. I again thank you and hope this helps someone. It was so bad. MAybe your suggestions can still help with the initial delay, but it looks like I may be stuck with that? Anyway. Thanks again! Stephano

Thanks Steve… I just answered Kosikowski with much detail [it’s right above your reply]. That’s what I’m doing. Thank You for your comment and concern. I am gonna get back to reading the manual till hearing from either of you. I thank you guys much!

The desperation method is to sing all the parts to one track. Then it’s a simple matter to shift everything the same amount to line up the performances since there is only offset, not each track offset by a different amount.

Or duplicate the master track, slide that into alignment and then throw the original away.

You could also record a master timing track and sing the master track again and then track two and then track three – always listening to the timing track. Tracks two through whatever will be lined up and then throw away the master track.

But that problem is so taken care of by Audacity Latency settings. Highly recommended.


We obsessively produced three hardware methods of making theatrically perfect overdubs. Not only do you hear all the old tracks in alignment and create new ones also in perfect alignment, but you hear your live voice in perfect sync to everything.

That does take special hardware, but it is possible to perform that way.

No, you can’t listen to the computer.


Oh Boy… Now I’m in trouble. I am barely following you… doing all on one track and then shifting that?? How do I do all on one? Anyway, I was able to lay 4 tracks and then shift each one to match the click track. And then, after aligning them, I go to listen to it all after mixing a little and, without changing anything [except unpluggning my headphones] I press play and get this error saying Error while opening sound device… check output device settings and project sample rate?

Man… Dont know what just happened, but only had a couple tracks left and might have to scrap and even re-download to fix this problem. It’s stuck! I’m bumbed! And, I’m new at all this and always had a stand alone recorder system - not computer. But this is much better. Just dont know what to do now cuz it wont respond.
But I am thankful for your help. I really feel kinda stupid here, cuz I never used computer software and dont quite understand all you said. Thanks again!

Perhaps you just need to save your work as a project (File > Save Project) then restart the computer then restart Audacity. Your saved project will be at File > Recent Files.

Check if you may be running too many other programs or not have enough RAM. See:
http://audacityteam.org/download/windows#sysreq .


But I am thankful for your help. I really feel kinda stupid here, cuz I never used computer software and dont quite understand all you said. Thanks again!

Keep with it. We’re not going anywhere.

Once you get the swing of editing inside the computer, the older ways of tape overdubbing will seem like historical artifacts.

“Do you remember when we had to use Dolby because of all the tape noise???”