I have been using Audacity for home recording for the better part of 5 years now. Originals, backtracking for gigs, you name it. Up until recently, latency has been a “set it and forget it.” I’d come back days later to put more tracks on a song and never had to mess with it.
Now it seems that, even if I set latency before starting a new song, by the 2nd or third track it’s out of wack again. The slide tool works well to correct it but that creates a lot of extra work.
it occurs with NO other apps/programs open on my 2021 Dell Windows 10 machine, it occurs with multiple tabs on browsers open. I can’t figure out a pattern. But the problem does seem to correlate to the version 3 update.
My gear has not changed…
Behringer Uphoria UMC404HD plugged into a hi-speed USB port in the back of the desktop.
I record one track at a time (I don’t have multiple musicians playing at once. It’s just me piecing tracks together one at a time - so I don’t believe I’m overwhelming the PC, though it’s got plenty of RAM if I were to do multiple tracks at once.
It might be worth checking if your Behringer will work with the “host” set to “WASAPI” in the Device Toolbar. (Make a note of your current settings first so that you can revert if it doesn’t work).
WASAPI “should” provide lower, and more consistent latency than the other options.
OK, WASAPI didn’t work. Just spent a ton of time “slide-tooling” each track I laid down on a project I’m working on. Man this is a pain. On my old Windows 7 machine and a 2.x.x version this was just NOT an issue. Guess I’m the only one?
There is one very serious caution about going back. None of your Audacity 3 work is going to open in 2. You need to have the work as independent sound files or File > Export your Audacity 3 stuff as stereo or mono WAV files.
As Koz wrote, Audacity 2.4.2 is available from Fosshub, but note Koz’s warnings about project compatibility. If you have important work made in Audacity 3.x, export each track as a WAV file so that you can import them into Audacity 2.x if necessary.
I think there is an equal or greater chance that the issue is caused by some other change to the system - possibly a Windows update. I say that based on my testing on my machine (a bit different as I use Linux).
On my machine, I’m seeing latency to be a bit erratic (+/- 3ms) when using the default sound system, but it is exactly the same with Audacity 2.3.3. If I use Jack Audio System instead of the default PulseAudio (these are “host” options on Linux), both Audacity 2.3.3, 3.1.2, and 3.1.3 alpha give rock steady latency that is sample accurate.
If the problem happens on your machine with an older version of Audacity, then we know that we need to look elsewhere for a solution.
If the problem goes away with an older version of Audacity, then we can alert the Audacity developers to the issue, and you can use the older version until the issue is resolved.
The change from Audacity 2.4.2 to Audacity 3.0.0 was a big change - this was the first major change to the Audacity Project format in its entire 20+ year history, so it was not surprising that there were some teething issues.
Since then, the dev team have wanted to introduce some new features, notably a new way of looping playback (retiring the old “Timeline Quick Play” looping), and “Clip Handles” (retiring the old Time Shift Tool). Unfortunately these changes have also had teething issues. As a result, stabilizing the new Audacity 3.x has been slower than I had hoped, but the last few versions have seen a lot of those issues improved or resolved.
There are now a lot of people using Audacity 3.1.2, and in my opinion this is the best 3.x version so far. For most users, 3.1.2 is usable and reliable, though there are still some issue that affect certain users - particularly people that are working on large complex projects. More bug fixes, performance improvements and usability improvements are in the pipeline, so hopefully those users that are holding back will be able to upgrade soon, even if not quite now.
If you are in the middle of any important projects, I would definitely recommend staying on the same version until you have finished those projects (same applies to any app). Otherwise, it may be good time to try out the latest version, or the next version (which is likely to be available soon). Note that Audacity 2.4.2 cannot open projects created in Audacity 3.x, so I’d recommend testing the latest 3.x thoroughly before committing to the change. Older versions of Audacity are available from: https://www.fosshub.com/Audacity-old.html
Thanks everyone. I guess I’ll hold out hope that there will eventually be a version that fixes this issue. I’ll ck out the group that’s moving back to 2.x.x to see if they too experienced the same issues as I have.
So, I figured out how to control this issue. I can have NOTHING else open in the computer and, once set, latency is no longer an issue. This is very odd b/c it’s a firly owerful machine - new, windows 10, 12gig RAM, intel i5 processor.
So, If I have a browser open, even if it’s not doing anything (like running video or audio/music), the latency gets completely screwed up. If I close the browser, delete the track and do another take, it’s fine (sometimes I slide it to sync it up). NEVER had to do that with Windows 7 machine on older versions of Audacity. Not a big deal and I can work with it.