Low latency driver

Akai tech support recommended using ASIO4ALL to solve a latency problem, but that driver isn’t supported by Audacity, so they told me to “contact Audacity and ask which low latency driver they would recommend for their software.” Please advise.

For a Windows solution, you want to stay with ASIO. To use Audacity with ASIO, you need to compile your own private copy. It is not easy, but you can start here: Conan problem compiling for windows - #11 by stevelee.

Other packages ship with ASIO right out of the box. I would try Cakewalk.

Do you have a Mac computer ?

IMO - The BEST SOLUTION is to use a hardware setup that allows zero-latency direct-hardware monitoring so the monitoring path doesn’t go through the computer and then latency (delay )doesn’t matter.

There are audio interfaces with this feature, or some USB microphones (like the Blue Yeti) have a headphone jack for “direct” monitoring, or you can use a mixer, etc.

Drivers are usually either supplied by the hardware manufacturer or they come with your operating system. (Most “little USB audio devices” are “class compliant” so they are plug-and-play with the drivers supplied with Windows, MacOC, and Linux.)

You can set the buffer length/latency under preferences, but I kinda’ think there are more buffers hidden in the operating system or drivers. And, there’s an input-recording buffer and an output-playback buffer and when you’re monitoring the audio goes-through both but I don’t think the Audacity setting controls them both…

It is correct that Audacity doesn’t support ASIO (unless you compile Audacity yourself you can include it). ASIO4ALL adapts hardware that doesn’t come with true ASIO drivers (like regular soundcards) so the hardware works with an ASIO application, but it doesn’t work the other way around.

ASIO was designed for low latency but sometimes Windows drivers are just as good and USUALLY THE REAL PROBLEM is “other stuff” interrupting the audio stream (your operating system is always multitasking and interrupting even if you are only running one application). The buffers allow the audio to flow in-and-out smoothly, but buffers are also delays.

So, although with ASIO you can make a small buffer (for low latency), if the buffer is too small you get buffer overflow when recording and buffer underflow when playing-back, and that makes glitches in the audio.

Thanks for the advice. I looked at the instructions for compiling an ASIO-compliant version of Audacity, and it’s way too complicated. I’m sure a programmer could do it easily, but I know nothing about this stuff, so I doubt I could pull it off. Does anyone provide or sell the altered version of Audacity with ASIO ready to go?
Regarding Cakewalk, I never heard of it. What is it?
I have a Windows 10 64-bit computer.

Basically what I’m trying to do is play an Akai EWI into my computer using a USB connection and record it using Audacity. I need to be able to hear what I’m playing without a delay (low latency) and hear the previously recorded track(s) at the same time. Akai tech support advised me to use ASIO4ALL to reduce the buffer size to 516, which they said would solve the latency problem, but since Audacity doesn’t support ASIO4ALL, that doesn’t help. If I listen to the EWI with direct monitoring, then I can’t hear the track(s) Audacity is playing. So how do I eliminate the delay and hear both the EWI as I’m playing it and the recorded track(s) I’m trying to overdub?

No. It is a violation of the open source license agreements under which Audacity is distributed.

A digital audio workstation. See: BandLab - Make Music Online

There are other DAW’s that support ASIO. In fact, most do. Audacity does not.

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