In my audacity installation, I have latency sound to buffer 400 ms and latency correction -593. The correction value I have reached by doing loop-back on overdubs, and the overdubs seem to be working good on that setting. But the other value, could I gain something by playing around with that? I have a realtek sound circuit that sits on the motherboard. Not sure where I got the 400 ms from, either it came up automatically or else I picked it from the audio device info in the help menu.
In what way is it negative to have high latency in your system, as the general talk seem to agree on? Although I guess I do have high latency, I dont experience any problems when overdubbing with respect to the monitor playback sound, so why would a lower latency be good for me?
In Audacity “latency” is not much of an issue, provided that you have the “Latency Correction” set up.
You will see a lot of talk on the internet about the need for “low latency” but this is really only important if you are doing “real-time” production, which Audacity does not do,
A common example - if you are playing a keyboard using a software synthesizer that’s running on your computer, then you want the sound to come out immediately when you press a key (ideally this would be instant - zero latency, but in practice you want it to be close enough to not be a noticeable delay). This does not apply to Audacity because Audacity does not support software synthesizers. Audacity is not a “real-time” tool - it does everything (except the initial recording) as “post production”.
400 milliseconds for the sound buffer may be a bit large - I think the default is 100ms, but if 400ms works well then it’s fine to leave it at that. Higher buffer settings can be useful to help out inefficient sound cards - it basically puts data in a cue ready for the sound card so that it is instantly available.
The more important setting is the Latency correction, which allows Audacity to accurately line up new tracks after you record them. If you adjust the buffer setting you will need to go through the latency correction set-up again because the latency will change. Larger buffers crate more latency, but can help slow sound cards avoid “data starvation”.
The short answer is - if it’s working, you’ve won.