impossible to play drums

hi guys i know this question has probably been asked a million times i have trolled through all previous posts and yet i cannot find a definitive answer what i need to know is when i am using the latest version of audacity and i am coming out of a mixer desk into my computer when the first track is laid down then i try and play my drums to it i can hear my drums coming back a fraction of a second later this is virtually impossible to play (my drums are the drums by roland electronic ones) is the barringer that is advertised can this solve the problem or is it impossible to solve this problem

kind regards steve

To cover bases, please answer the questions in the pink panel at the top of the page.

The name you meant was Behringer.

What is the make and model number of the mixer, and how does it connect to the computer?

The Roland is an electronic drum machine, correct? Model number? Is it connected to the mixer?

The only way to monitor is in the headphones of the mixer (if you need it) or the Roland (if it has headphones) or the Behringer if you buy one (it connects to the computer via USB and you can connect your drum machine to it and monitor the drums in it and set Audacity to play to it).



sorry the windows i am using is windows 7 on a laptop with 4 gig of memory and a Intel i5 processor are mixer desk is a diamond pro studio master 16/4/3 my drum kit is a Roland TD30 and Audacity 2.0.6

There is no problem in audacity recording it is the delayed sound coming back into the headphones that is throwing us massively unfortunately we are recording in a friends house so we can’t have external speakers because of the neighbours

I have tried going from the desk into the laptop back to the desk into the headset i have also tried going from the desk into the laptop and listening directly from the laptop the delay is a lot better but there still is a delay can this delay be eliminated and if so what hardware do i need to purchase
Thanks Steve.

There is no problem in audacity recording it is the delayed sound coming back into the headphones that is throwing us massively

Yes, we get it. It’s a common problem.

There’s ALWAYS a delay* when the sound goes through the computer. Actually, there are two delays. The sound is delayed going-in, and delayed again coming-out. There are ways to minimize the delays by minimizing your buffers or by using professional hardware & software that supports ASIO drivers. There are “tricks” to optimizing your computer for acceptable results with smaller buffers, but I’m not an expert on that and I can’t help you much. A “faster” computer also usually allows smaller buffers.

But the BEST solution is to AVOID monitoring yourself through your computer. If there is no backing-track, you should be able to simply plug your headphones into your mixer or into your drum controller. If there is a backing track, you may be able to route the backing track and drums into the mixer for monitoring, or use a separate mixer for monitoring, or there are audio interfaces with “zero latency monitoring”.


  • On a computer with a multitasking system, the operating system is always doing things in the background, even if you are only running one application. So when you record, the sound flows smoothly into the recording buffer (you can think of it as a holding-tank or a long pipe). Then when the operating system gets around to it, the buffer is read in a quick burst. If buffer is too small (and the delay too short) the operating system may not get back-around to reading the buffer in time. You get buffer overflow and a glitch in the recording. Drivers or applications running in the background don’t have to using a lot of CPU time, they just have to “hog” the CPU & databus for a few milliseconds too long, and the buffer overflows.

The monitor-playback buffer works the opposite way. The playback buffer is filled in a quick burst, and the audio flows-out smoothly. In this case, the danger is buffer underflow causing glitches in playback.

thanks DVDdoug for your reply but could you tell me what the zero tolerance interfaces for latency are available

The short answer is probably:
Turn off “Software Playthrough” in the Transport menu.

See the link I already posted, you will find a Behringer UCA device suggested there.

The delay should be worse if monitoring in the laptop, so Steve may well be correct (turn off Software Playthrough in Audacity and go back to monitoring in the mixer, assuming your drum machine is connected to it).