Greetings, My Audacity version is 2.0.6. I am new to Audacity and have been searching for a program I don’t need a two year degree to understand how to use. Audacity seems to have potential. In reading some of the Tutorials it was suggested I buy a mixer in order to enable multi-track recordings. My local music store suggested the PreSonus Audiobox USB instead. I recorded a test vocal and guitar using the two inputs which sounded fine. I would like to add some harmony vocals, but all the talk about latency has me not knowing how to proceed. So I haven’t. Guidance would appreciated.
I am new to Audacity and have been searching for a program I don’t need a two year degree to understand how to use.
There’s always some learning involved… You’ve got to learn:
- How to use your software
- How to use your hardware
Or, you be the musician and get someone else to be the recording engineer.
but all the talk about latency has me not knowing how to proceed.
Your Presonus has zero-latency hardware monitoring. That means you can monitor yourself through the interface without the “live” sound going through the computer. Check your Presonus user manual for instructions.
If you monitor yourself through the computer, there is always latency (delay), which is due recording & playback buffers that are required with a multitasking operating system. Sometimes you can get the delay down low enough to where it’s not noticeable, but if the latency in your headphones is too long it’s difficult to play an instrument or sing. Direct hardware monitoring is the best solution.
The latency in your backing track is NOT a problem… The backing track may have been recording last week… That’s a week of “latency” and a few more milliseconds doesn’t matter. You may have to re-align the new & old tracks after recording if they are a few milliseconds out of sync, but that’s no big deal.
it was suggested I buy a mixer in order to enable multi-track recordings.
Usually not… Mixers mix analog in real-time… Mixers are normally used live with one mic & mixer input on the vocal, one mixer input on the guitar, one mixer input for the bass, sometimes many mics & many mixer inputs on the drums, etc. You can record from a mixer, but since the mixing is done in real-time, you don’t get a multi-track recording so for example, you can’t adjust the vocals after recording or re-record the vocals separately later.
If your mixer has USB in addition to analog outputs, most USB mixers give a 2-channel mix into the computer. So conceptually, it’s no different from plugging your mixer into your soundcard. (I believe there are some higher-end Presonus USB mixers that allow multi-track recording They also integrate with Presonus’ software so you can use the mixers controls with post-production digital mixing.)
If you want to record multi-track, you use a multi-channel interface and record multiple inputs to multiple separate tracks. The mixing is done digitally in post production.