Multitrack recording with headphones

For my guitar recordings with Audacity I use a I-Rig HD2 audio interface and my good old Boss GT3 guitar effectsprocessor.
I want to listen to the previously recorded tracks and the new track when I am recording a new track and I want to use headphones (so I do not disturb my neighbours). If i use the speaker/headphones output on the laptop I only hear the previously recorded tracks during recording. Is it possible to hear the live sound together with the already recorded tracks in my headphone during recording? Hope you can help me.

As you found, simple overdubbing is totally possible by listening to the backing tracks and playing along. But Perfect Overdubbing, where you hear yourself as well as the backing track in perfect theatrical mix is only available with an interface set up for it.

Audacity instructions use three different interfaces as illustration, a mic preamp, a stereo interface, and a microphone that has the interface built in.

Since then, I found the Behringer UM2 can do it, too, and there are several USB sound mixers that can handle it.

The trick is to do the sound mixing outside the computer. You can’t use the computer built-in soundcard because of delays and echoes. Sometimes you can build a custom version of Audacity to get around this, but that’s not guaranteed and you have to know how to compile a computer program. This is perfectly legal in Audacity because it’s open source, but you probably shouldn’t try to sell it if you do get one to work.

In the case of the UM2, you press Direct Monitor on the front and it will listen to sound going both directions at once, backing track plus live performance. Some sound mixers let you custom mix the headphone feed.


Thank you for your answer. Is it possible to use my I-Rig HD2 as the audio interface for recording and connect a USB Audio Adapter in another USB-port to hear the previously recorded track(s) along with the live sound that I want to record?? Does that work??

It won’t work like that.

However, if you have a USB audio device that supports mixing of the live analog input at the same time as playing from the computer via USB, then you could connect the “Amplifier output” from the iRig into the USB audio device, and your headphones in the USB audio device. If you don’t use the effects in the iRig, then you could bypass that altogether and plug your guitar / GT3 directly into the USB audio interface. I think all of the “Behringer U-Phoria” interfaces can do this (and they are quite inexpensive).

I can’t tell from the instructions. It seems the FX/thru switch will select one of the two modes you need to run at the same time.

Here. You can try these. Play the guitar and the raw sound has to go to your headphones and Audacity at the same time. Record a little bit.

Without touching the iRig settings, stop Audacity and play the track you just recorded to your headphones.

That’s in separate pieces, but you will be doing all of those at the same time when you’re overdubbing. It says in the tutorial all the individual pieces have to work one at a time before you try overdubbing. Plain Record and Plain Playback.


The Behringer UM2 will accept a guitar and/or microphone and it does support overdubbing.

That’s the little black thing on the left with all the pieces I need to sing harmony to myself.


Thank you for your help!! I really appreciate it .