Latency Not Constant

Why does my latency change slightly every time I try to record a track. It makes the latency correction option obsolete because I never have the same delay! It usually varies by 80 samples or so.

Most likely due to inaccuracy in the sound card clock signal.
If you are using a standard built-in sound card, the manufacturing costs are usually just a few cents and the quality is about what you would expect at that price.

It could be the rest of the computer, too. Recording Latency takes into account the round trip with the hard drives and all the interface electronics. If your system is just hanging on or has always been slow, those numbers can vary quite a bit.

On larger, faster machines, Recording Latency comes in with fairly repeatable, tight numbers, but it does change overdub after overdub. I wondered about this to someone who has done music engineering for decades. He said show me the orchestra where everybody starts within a few milliseconds.

Here’s something to try. Do several overdubs to a backing track without changing anything and see if they wander all over. If they’re all off by the exact same amount, then there’s something wrong we may be able to fix.


That’s a good point.
80 samples is less than 0.002 seconds, or about 30 times smaller than would be recognised (by careful listening) as “very slightly off” timing.

Hey guys. Thanks for all the responses. I have a pretty good computer I built myself. Has a i7 2600 cpu, solid state hard drive, 16gb ram, Nvidia GTX570 SuperClocked, and a Xonar Essence STX sound card. The sound card sure wasn’t cheap, but I could understand it’s made specifically for headphones, not for recording. I thought it may be a bug or something with the software but it happens in all other recording programs I own too. I will just have to live with it I guess.