Microphone speed issue

Hello, I’m having an issue with the recording speed on Audacity. I generated a rhythm track to do a latency test, and I found that when I performed the test, the microphone would record slightly faster than the playback of the rhythm track, so it sounds as if the recorded track is being played faster. I’d say after about 16 beats the microphone track would overtake the rhythm track, even without any latency correction. I’ve tried all the solutions I can think of, including making sure the project rate matches the rate of the microphone and headphones in Windows Sound settings. I’m using a Lenovo IdeaPad, admittedly not the best in the world, and my microphone and earphones are both cheap, but I’m wondering whether this is an issue I can fix by getting more expensive recording equipment, or if I need a more powerful computer for it.

So you are on the right track here. I have no reason to believe that throwing money at it would change anything.

It is possible that one of your devices is not responding to your settings. I would try 44100 all around and if that doesn’t work, then 44800 all around. Also, make sure you are setting both Recording and Playback tabs in Sound Settings - but it looks as if you are…

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Sample rate problems (44.1kHz vs 48kHz, etc.) are rare but they sometimes happen. That’s approximately a 10% error so you’ll be off by about 6 seconds after one minute. It also creates a corresponding pitch-shift (if you are recording at one sample-rate/speed and playing back at a different sample-rate/speed). You might not notice the pitch shift with a “rhythm track” but you’d notice if a guitar and voice track are mis-matched.

Or, the clock that generates the sample rate can be off… Are you using the same hardware for recording and playback? i.e. If you are using a USB microphone or a USB interface for recording and the built-in soundcard for playback they have separate clocks and they may not match.

Or, if you get dropouts during recording, the little missing bits can make a shorter-smaller that plays-back faster.

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A sync error after 16 beats is a pretty serious error. Record or pay attention to a fixed duration, say ten seconds, and then do the math.

Most people go into production like this with the assumption that they’re the only users on their machine. Do you use Skype, Zoom, Meetings, or any other communications or chat program? They all take over your machine. Never leave one of them running in the background. It’s best to shut them down and then restart the machine before an important recording.


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Hi DVDdoug, thanks for your reply. How would I know what clock the hardware I’m using has? I assume I’m using the soundcard for playback as I’m using 3.5mm jack headphones, but I’m using a USB mic

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