Latency Problems with MME and Focusrite


Nothing I do is helping the the 0.5 second delay on everything I am monitoring. Is there any way around this? Setting new latency and buffering numbers within Audacity do nothing. It is the same with my trial version of Ableton. I just don’t know how to tell my computer to sort this out: is there something I can set within the actual PC’s settings? Really, these values should be set automatically: I have used Logic X on a 2012 Macbook Pro for 3 years, AND monitored live recordings through Audacity, and never had a problem with latency in either programme. I don’t know why my PC is so difficult to use. I also use the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 on my Mac and have never had a problem. :imp:

Your help would be greatly appreciated!

You are intended to use the Zero Latency Monitoring Point on your external sound device. That’s the only convenient way to listen to yourself perform with no delay or echo in Audacity.

If you don’t use Audacity, it’s possible that other sound programs use ASIO or other tricks to make the computer sound system provide “Near-Zero” latency. So that’s why that worked. It’s possible for you personally to compile (create) the Audacity program so that it has ASIO support, but Audacity is not supplied like that.

All other conditions supply you your own voice or music “one computer late.” You are listening to the time it takes the sound to go into the computer, turn around and come back out again. There is no adjustment for that. That’s what the “length” of your computer sounds like.

The latency adjustment in Preferences > Recording adjusts the other latency. That’s overdubbing latency. You adjust that so when you overlay or overdub your voice on top of a rhythm, backing or click track, it lays into the song exactly correctly, not too early nor too late.

Adjustments can’t make the machine pathway shorter. I’m very surprised you got your Macs to exhibit zero latency. None of mine can do that. You really are plugging your headphones into the side or back of a Mac? That’s surprising.


Hello, Koz.

Thanks for your fast reply.

I get “near-zero” latency on my Macbook Pro, yes. When I am monitoring an instrument that I am recording, there is no audible delay: I have never experienced having a delay, which is why I am so surprised there is one on my Acer PC.

So, looks like I install ASIO and that should solve the problem? I suppose other software comes with this automatically…

I do a bunch of things: like plug guitar/electronics directly into my Focusrite (or my Avid 002) and monitor through speakers, or I plug in a mic, and then sometimes I use the headphone socket.


Unfortunately it’s not that easy.
Due to licensing restrictions Audacity cannot legally be distributed with ASIO support. If you need ASIO support in Audacity, you have to build it yourself from the source code.

The way to get zero latency monitoring (not just “near zero” but “actual” zero latency) is to turn OFF “Software Playthrough” in Audacity’s Transport menu, turn ON “Overdub” in the same menu, and plug your headphones into the Focusrite.