Latency, Latency, Latency! [SOLVED]

I’m trying to record a multi-track song. Right now, I’m just doing a simple 4/4 drum beat on one track (as a test), then a matching bass on a different track, then a matching keyboard on a third track. By the time I get to the third track, the latency is terrible. I’ve set the latency time to 0 (was 120ms). I’m used to ProTools, which has no latency issues, but that won’t install on my new machine. There just has to be a simple fix for this. Can anyone help me?



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There’s a whole thing about tuning out Recording Latency. It’s not hit or miss. For example, on a live microphone, I use a close feedback technique.

Send the alignment track into the headphones and then directly into the microphone. Inspect the timing error and adjust it out. You may have to do this multiple times to get it so close to zero it doesn’t matter.

A note that on a general purpose computer, it’s rough to hit zero and even if you do, it will not stay there.

We wrote a whole thing about overdubbing and how to set up for it.

If you’re not using a microphone, there’s a way to use a physical loop-back cable to get the same effect.


Please note that there is another latency — computer latency. That’s the one that screws up you listening to yourself live. That delay is not easy at all to get rid of.

Pro Tools uses ASIO or equivalent sound drivers and isn’t affected by a lot of these problems. Audacity does not directly support ASIO.


Thanks for the reply. Does that mean that I need to perform the physical loop back (I understand it to be a plug in the input and output jacks of my USB device) for each track I do? The computer is brand new with 8 gig of RAM, so it should be fast enough to keep up with any “listening” latency. Or, do I have to adjust each track as well? The longer the recording goes, the more the latency affects it, so it is not just a matter of moving the track a few milliseconds. Is this how other people fix it?



What is that? (make / model)
Does it have a headphone socket? Is that where your headphones are plugged in for listening to other tracks while you record?

We can’t see what you’re doing and we have to build your system in our imaginations in order to fix it, so the more detailed information, part numbers, descriptions the better.

Pictures are good, too, as are links to the people selling your equipment or manufacturer’s information.


Does that mean that I need to perform the physical loop back… for each track I do? The computer is brand new with 8 gig of RAM, so it should be fast enough to keep up with any “listening” latency.

Once you set it the Recording Latency it should stay set for anything you’re likely to do. Our problem comes with people trying to obsessively make the numbers hit absolute total unquestioned perfection and stay there. Most computers won’t do that and its not required in almost all cases.

Computer Latency is a little more evil. That’s the time it takes for the computer to digitize your voice, process it, reverse it and turn it back into analog sound. It’s a fixed delay and it doesn’t mater how fast the computer is.

If you read the Overdubbing Tutorial, you know we reviewed three hardware devices which allow you to listen to the hardware instead of the computer. They provide Perfect Overdubbing — no computer latency. A theatrically perfect copy of the show will appear in your headphones.


Thanks for the help. Using the Time Shift tool, I was able to make the tracks align. It had seemed to me that the tracks were gradually off, but everything aligned OK after shifting. Now if I can get rid of that pesky distortion on some of the notes :>) Another forum topic; another time.

I used to have a lag problem too. I fixed it by buying a Yamaha sound card without lag.
0 latency.