M audio Fast Track with Audacity or other interface?

I haven’t used either of those…

One feature to look for is zero-latency hardware monitoring. If you have to monitor yourself through the computer while performing there is latency (delay) and although the latency can often be brought down to an acceptable (or unnoticeable) level, it’s easier if you can avoid the issue altogether.

Otherwise the main thing is to get enough inputs if you are going to record multitrack.* And, if you are going to record the guitar direct you’ll want a guitar/instrument input. (The keyboard can use a line-input or instrument input, but the guitar needs a high-impedance input.)

There shouldn’t be a big difference in sound quality with any of these semi-professional interfaces. The main difference would be preamp noise (and different manufacturer’s may measure/specify differently so it’s hard to compare).

A USB-powered interface can sometimes pick-up noise from the 5V USB power so it’s probably better to get one with its own power supply.

And, you can also consider if you want “high resolution” capability. 24bit/96kHz is the “studio standard”, but 16/44.1 is good enough for human hearing.


  • Audacity isn’t the best program for multitrack recording/mixing.

This means that on Windows, most multi-channel devices won’t record more than two channels at a time into Audacity. This is because Audacity does not ship with support for the ASIO protocol which more or less guarantees multi-channel recording on Windows. You can compile Audacity from source code to give it ASIO support, as long as you don’t give that build to anyone else. It is a licensing restriction.

I think we can say M-Audio interfaces will not record multiple channels into Audacity on later than Windows XP. You can record two channels then overdub another two channels.

Some Tascam interfaces do record multiple channels into Audacity, if you choose Windows WASAPI host in Device Toolbar.


Well i finally managed to purchase and install Steiberg UR-22 MK2 and run it with Audacity 2.1.1 version on my PC which carries Windows 10 PRO as OS. The problem i have noticed are the following:

  1. If i leave the speakers connected to my PC and listen while recording the guitar, i can hear a short delay between the notes coming out of the speaker and not from the headphones. the headphones sound is okay. Simple and with no reverb added. HOW DO I FIX THIS???

  2. After i record and starting playback i can hear some static like cracking sound coming out of the pc speakers if i max the volume. I have no speakers connected as monitors to the Steinberg UR-22 MK2 interface. Is this normal? My pc speakers are cheap they did not cost more than 10 dollars. Could this be the problem? Should i get something more profesional. It happens when recording both my Yamaha electroacoustic guitar and my Gibson ES335.

Please do not shout in UPPER CASE. Try monitoring in the headphones jack of the UR22, set the playback device in Audacity’s Device Toolbar to UR22, and turn off Transport > Software Playthrough at the top of Audacity.

That might be something to do with it, if the crackles are in different places each time. Does it sound OK played in headphones?

Or did you record too loud? If you see red vertical lines when you enable View > Show Clipping in Audacity. you did record too loud.

And if not too loud but the crackles are in the same place each time, even in headphones, then you have a recording problem. This is often a sample rate mismatch. See FAQ:Recording - Troubleshooting - Audacity Manual (the main part to interest you is two paragraphs down).


Using Windows 10 Pro and 2.1.2 audacity versión with a Brand new Steinberg UR-22 MK2 interface

My precise queries are the following:

  1. My Steinberg UR-22 MK2 interface came with CUBASE LE 9 software which really needs to be explored and studied before start recording. Hence, i decided to use audacity. How come once i plug the guitar in ch 2 and hi z of the interface and start recording, i can hear my guitar on the headphones fine but small delays in the notes played coming out of the PC speakers. Is this normal? How do i get rid of this delay from the PC SPeakers? What is the cause and how can it be fixed as it sounds in the headphones? Once i finished recording. I playback and there is no delay.

  2. Once having recorded the guitar, i can hear some crackle on the playback as if the speaker cone was broken. My speakers are new.

I really like audacity and find it simple to use and would like to be able to record and playback pefectly with no hassles.

Please, refer to my previous answer. I asked you questions there about the reasons for and the occurrence of the crackle, but you did not respond. Is the crackle due to recording too loud, and is the crackle you hear in the speakers in the same place every time you play the recording?

In pariicular, monitor in headphones attached to the UR-22. Do not monitor in your computer speakers. If the notes you hear in the computer speakers are a delayed repeat of what you are recording, then as I said, turn off Transport > Software Playthrough in Audacity and set the playback device in Audacity’s Device Toolbar to the UR-22. Have you done that yet?

Or are the notes you hear in the computer speakers a backing track that is playing in Audacity? If so, do not monitor in the computer speakers. Set the Audacity playback device to the UR-22. There is a control on the UR-22 to adjust the proportion of audio coming from the UR-22 input and the proportion coming from the DAW (in this case, Audacity).



  1. the crackle is not due to recording too loud. I even bought new speakers and the crackle is still there. both with acoustic and electric guitar.

  2. i thought i could monitor on both: the headphones on my Steinberg UF-22 mk2 interface and the pc speakers at the same time. With your advice i know now it is not possible. I have not yet bought any speakers to connect to the interface.

Additional questions:

  1. Is this software easier to use than CUBASE LE 9 which is the software that came with the UF-22 Mk2 interface? I really like it straight forward.

  2. Which speakers, headphones and microphone would you recommend to use with this interface?

I am now monitoring the recording and playback on the headphones, i disabled as you mentioned turning off software playthrough option. I also noticed the distorted sound was coming from the pc speakers and not the headphones.

And is the crackle in the same place every time you play the recording, or in different places? If you answered that question, we would know whether it is a playback problem or a recording problem.

Where are these speakers connected? To a 1/8 inch headphones port on the computer? Or are they USB speakers?

Why would you want to do that? You can’t do it without a delay because the sound has to travel through the computer, routed by Audacity, from where it comes into the computer (the USB port) through to where it goes out (your speakers). With two different devices (the UR-22 and the device you have your speakers connected to) it is impossible to prevent the delay.

Only you can decide what software to use. Cubase will probably take much longer to learn than Audacity. But your problems are not faults with Audacity.

What microphone are you using now? Most pros would I assume want to use a powered condenser mic. But I don’t do this type of recording.

I am guessing there is no problem with your headphones and probably not with your speakers, but you can’t expect to listen in Hi-Fi with computer speakers because they don’t convey the full frequency range of human hearing.


From 1st Track duplicates on 2nd track after recording 2nd track

Please tell us what Audio Host and Playback and Recording devices you have selected in Audacity’s Device Toolbar.

If you have not read the UR-22 manual yet, here it is: http://download.steinberg.net/downloads_hardware/UR22/UR22_documentation/UR22_OperationManual_en.pdf. I am guessing you may not be able to overdub with UR-22. It does not seem to have any control to send only the input back to the computer for recording.

You “could” when overdubbing set the Audacity playback device to your speakers with one earpiece of the headphones off your ear so you can hear the speakers. But this may mean that the guitar recording won’t synchronise with the original track in Audacity due to different clock speeds for the computer sound device and the UR-22. And of course you could not record a mic this way because it would hear the speakers.

The “phaser” issue may be the same issue as the crackly sound, if the crackles are in the same place each time when you play the recording. To solve that you probably need to match sample rates everywhere. I gave you a link for that before, but here it is again: FAQ:Recording - Troubleshooting - Audacity Manual. Also did you install the Yamaha Steinberg USB driver? I don’t know whether you should or not because it is an ASIO driver. If it has a fallback for WDM that Audacity as shipped can use, it is probably a good idea to install it.


Well i am monitoring everything through the headphones as if i monitor through the PC speakers which are connected the USB port at the rear of my PC and to 1/8 input at the rear to the soundcard, the playback sounds distorted. If this is the case and i still want to monitor through speakers, should i buy a set of speaker that are plugged through 1/4 cables at the rear of the Steingberg UF-22 interface? Still trying to guess why does the sound distorts through the PC Speakers and not through the headphones which are connected at the input of this interface.

Yes I would monitor with headphones or one set of speakers connected to an interface.

But as I said, I don’t think you will be able to overdub with that UR-22 without re-recording the backing track, unless you do listen to the backing track in computer speakers, with those speakers as the Audacity playback device. And that will only work with a guitar not a microphone and the recording may drift away from the backing track.

If you need to overdub and are happy with recording no more than two channels you can try one of these recommended hardware setups: Tutorial - Recording Multi-track Overdubs - Audacity Manual.


Thanks! What speakers are recomendable as Monitor and which may be plugged at the rear of the Steingberg UR-22 Interface? THese ones:



From the product manual for UR-22:

[LINE OUTPUT 2/R 1/L] jack

For connection to monitor speakers (powered speakers). This jack can be connected to both XLR-type and phone-type (balanced/unbalanced) plugs.

So yes those speakers appear suitable for connection to UR-22.


Let me see if i explain myself better:

  1. I have the Steingberg UR22 interface connected to my PC (Windows 10) via usb port and have connected a Yamaha Electroacoustic guitar at the front of the interface.

  2. Have already recorded the rhytm track of “IF I FELL” by the Beatles.

  3. Everything is set in the audacity menú as follows: Recording device Steingberg UR22, Playback device Steingber UR22, Mono.

  4. When starting to record the second track i can visualize that the first track is being recorded on this track plus what i am playing in the guitar. If i set the computer speakers as playback device this does not happen.

Could there be a setting that i should disable in order to avoid the first track to be recorded on the second track and just simply record what i play on the second track??? My internal soundcard is a MSI card.

This is the third time I have answered this. The UR-22 is not suitable for separate-track-overdubbing as far as I can see, because it has no control to send only your guitar back to Audacity.

If you believe it has that ability please contact Steinberg support or the Steinberg Forum and let us know how they told you to do it.


I just solved this issue by disabling loopback on the steingberg menú. Thanks!

The other issue i want to solve is to avoid hearing my clean electric guitar distorted while i monitor and/or record in my headphones! Any clues ?

Please tell us more. Which issue did you solve - re-recording the backing track into the new recording? Can you say where the Steinberg menu is? The manual for the UR-22 mentions the “Yamaha Steinberg USB Driver” application but according to the manual it has no “loopback” choice. It may help other UR-22 users if you can explain for us.

Turn the volume down on the headphones and on the PHONES knob on the UR-22?


The manual could be wrong. It does have the no playback loopback option. It is in the steinberg hardware control panel.

OK, many thanks for letting us know.