Latency test - Audio recording is distorted


I am trying to set up the latency and I realized that the recorded file has the audio distorted. See images attached.
Does anyone have any ideas of why this could be happening?

My setup is the following:
Audacity 2.3.1
Windows WASAPI
Recording device - Laptop Speaker (loopback)
Playback device - Laptop Speaker

Windows 10

Auda Lat Test Distortion zoom.png
Auda Lat Test Distortion.png

You never said the word “Overdubbing” in that post. Are you?

The other reason you see the question marks over my head is the technical setup doesn’t make sense. Are you singing? Playing an electronic instrument? What is the performance goal?

Any time you involve the analog system, speakers, headphones, microphone, there is the risk of distortion creeping in. Horsing a thin piece of metal back and forth is never going to perfectly follow the delicate vibrations in air of your voice.

In my overdubbing example…

…the recorded track is significantly distorted compared to the reference or backing track. The goal is to line up the leading edges of the two waves…

…not perfect musical accuracy.

It’s possible your setup is distorted over and above the expected inaccuracies. That brings us back to a setup that doesn’t make sense.


Sorry for not being clear Koz, here a better explanation of what I am doing.

At the moment I am testing the recording environment with the loopback function in audacity. Hope this clarifies the setup that I am using.
I am using the latency test to veryfy the performance of this recording and see how the recording will be affected.

1st, I bring the distortion problem as most of the latency test posts where diplaying sound files with no or minimal distortion, so I wanted to see if there was a posibility of improving it.

May ask you if the “pulses/clicks/sounds” that you are using for the latency test keep the same distance as in the original audio file? Because I am also encountering a time shift between each pulse.

  • In the original audio file the pulses are reproduced every 0.5s
  • In the recorded audio file the time distance between the pulses varies, between 0.4 - 0.6s


At the moment I am testing the recording environment with the loopback function in audacity. Hope this clarifies the setup that I am using.

Not at all. I’m looking for a sentence without slippery words in it. “I want to sing a song with internet accompaniment” or “I want to overdub with myself playing guitar and singing.”

By my count you have no fewer than three different technical problems. You made no mention of turning off the Windows sound processing, setting latency via loopback is not valid and your data management is damaged causing sampling problems.

Right at the top of the overdubbing tutorial is the instruction to make a simple recording. Sing into the microphone and make a recording. Full stop. If you can’t do that perfectly well, the rest of the setup and chasing latency problems will drive you crazy and probably not succeed.