No Playback Through Mixer Headphones

Hi everyone, I’m using Audacity to record some demos on pc running Windows XP Pro through a Yamaha MG166CX-USB.

Please excuse my ignorance with correct wording and terms, I’m no expert.

My problem is that I can hear my vocals through the mixer on the headphones and my vocals are being picked up and recorded by Audacity but I cannot get playback through the mixer from the pc using the USB connection with the headphone Bus making overdubbing while listening to the track and being able to hear my vocals at the same time through the headphones impossible.

What I’m having to do is connect headphones directly to the pc to listen to the track while I record vocals through the desk onto the track without being able to monitor my vocals at the same time.

Then I have to listen back through the pc before putting the headphones back into the mixer to adjust mic settings and levels.

Any help would be much appreciated

Thanks in advance


I know what the problem is. I wrote the original overdubbing tutorial and I reviewed three different hardware devices which would allow direct USB monitoring.

Could that be what that 2TR IN/USB in the far lower right does?

The phrase that pays is “low latency USB monitoring” or some words to that effect.

Not all mixers will do this.


Hi Koz, thanks for the reply

It’s been a while since doing any recording, it’s amazing what you forget.

Yes, the 2Tr in/USB does control it but it appears that I need to connect the pc to the mixer via the headphone jack to RCA cable to do it that way.

From the info on the mixer I’ve seen the wording makes it sound like the playback can be done using only the usb connection, maybe this isn’t the case.

I’ll try the cable this afternoon and see how I get on

I did try connecting a twin jack to headphone jack last night but could only get a very low volume coming thtough the monitor busses and couldn’t get the volume up, I even tried using a channel but couldn’t get anything through.

Thanks again for the advice Koz

the 2Tr in/USB does control it but it appears that I need to connect the pc to the mixer via the headphone jack to RCA cable to do it that way.

Give it a shot. You’ll need to tune the Audacity Recording Latency to make your live performance match up with older tracks.

The mixer is discontinued and the reviews I saw were not glowing. This may be one of the shortcomings.


Thanks again Koz

I’ve been happy with the desk overall forgigging purposes, this is the first real snag I’ve come up against.

I’ll give it a go. When you say adjust the recording latency, what does that mean?

Sorry for my ignorance


Two Latencies or Delays. Recording Latency is an Audacity adjustment (see that link) that makes sure when you sing to an existing song you both start at the same time when you play back the composite.

Machine Latency is much more serious. That’s the one where you sing live, but your voice in your headphones is late or with echo. That one is burned into the machine and very difficult to solve. That’s what your mixer is trying to resolve. That’s what the three hardware devices I reviewed do.

Solving that one gives you what I called “Perfect Overdubbing.” You hear in your headphones exactly what the audience or client is going to hear.


I thought it was something to do with delay on the overdubbed track, thanks for clearing that up

It’s covered in that tutorial. It’s pretty simple. You make a drum or click track, play it in Audacity, capture it and record it. Compare the two tracks and adjust the latency value (the amount they miss each) other in Preferences.


Brilliant, I’ll do that, thanks

Thanks for the advice Koz, I’ll put my findings up here in case anybody has a similar problem with this desk down the line.

I tried a few different configurations with a few different types of leads. The only one I can get to work is a double phono/RCA to headphone jack.

Now, it should work by connecting the RCA to the 2tr/USB Bus but it doesn’t. However when I put the cable into channel 13/14 and turn the volume up for phones/monitor it works perfectly, allowing me to listen to the tracks on pc while overdubbing vocals and I can mix both into the headphones without the track on 13/14 being recorded again. If I want to mix this channel in to the recording I just need to switch it on and turn up the gain (but for this application I don’t need that function).

So there you go, a bit of messing about and it doesn’t work as described in the manual or how you would expect it to but I got there in the end.

Also I didn’t have any latency issues, although this doesn’t mean that others won’t, recordings are coming through perfect, I did one track earlier and was made up with the results within 10 minutes of recording with a bit of compression and other effects I’m pretty happy with it.

Anyway, thanks again Koz, be lucky