Overdubbing Question

I have looked through many of the posts that sound similar to this, but I don’t think I am asking the same question.

I have recorded my backing tracks and want to add a vocal track. I have the “play other tracks while recording new one” selected, and using headphones, I can listen to the backing tracks while I sing along and record a new track, but I can’t hear what I am singing in the headphones. All I hear is the part “inside my head” so to speak which is not a good way to monitor your own singing. If I was to run the playback into the mixer and out to speakers I could hear both my vocal channel and the playback, but then would re-record the playback in my microphone, wouldn’t I??? What am I missing?

Thanks, Mike

It’s not a bad way as long as you keep the headphone volume down to a reasonable level. A lot of singers have only one side of their headphones over one ear, so that they can hear “acoustically” with the other ear.

If you are using a USB microphone, then you are stuck with what you’ve got.

If you are using a conventional microphone, then it depends on your set-up.

If you are using a mixing desk (mixing console) then monitor from the desk.

If you have a microphone directly plugged into the sound card then use the Windows Mixer or the sound cards control panel (look for a loudspeaker icon near the clock) to enable playback of the microphone input.

Do not select “software playthrough” in Audacity as you will hear the input with a long delay (half a second or so) before the sound comes out.

One of those may work. I have not been able to find a way to turn the mic on using the sound card control panel and also hear the playback. (Windows Vista - Realtek sound card).

The problem with hearing “in your head” or sticking your finger in your ear ala The Bee Gees, is you tend to get a flat pitch reference that way. Not to mention low volume.

The grown-ups use a small sound mixer. You might be able to send “Mix Out” or some such to the speakers/headphones. The Windows Sound Control Panels are a thing of wonderment.

That will give you perfect live performance characteristics, but a vocal track that you must slide around to get it back in rhythm. Some part of the performance will always be “one computer” late.

Unless you’re not trying to use one computer for all the tasks…see: sound mixer.


Thanks for that - I too found that the delay on software playthrough was both off-putting and unhelpful. I decided to do it without monitoring, but next time I will try your suggestions