Recently upgraded my Windows OS - Latency issues.

Hi all,
My first post on this forum because, to be quite honest, I had no idea it existed before today!

Ok, so here’s the story.
I have been using Audacity since roughly November/December of 2011 with my computer running Windows Vista. I wasn’t using any kind of interface, external mixing desk, and so-on, just the pink input jack on the front of my tower. This was perfect for me, lining out of my guitar amp straight into the computer. I didn’t have to change any latency settings, it was just simple.

Flash forward to now - Vista has become unusable, slowing down to the point of being glacial. Audacity still worked perfectly, however. No latency when monitoring in real time or when recording. So, I have upgraded to Windows 8, which for the most part has been an excellent choice and has allowed me to retain my sanity. However, I have downloaded and installed the latest version of Audacity and, much to my chagrin, I have found that there is a real problem with the latency when monitoring in real time. I have followed the guide on the Audacity wiki to eliminate recording latency, but due to the nature of the music I’m trying to record, I really do need to be able to monitor myself.

Does anyone have any idea of why this problem may have occurred? Is this a problem commonly experienced with the newer Audacity builds of Windows 8? Would increasing my RAM help? I’m only running 1GB of RAM and the minimum recommendation is 2GB. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


There’s a series of interconnected problems.

The original problem was almost certainly your hard drive filling up or a bloated operating system, minimum hardware problems or a fragmented hard drive. Once Windows fails to find enough room to work, it falls face-first in the mud.

Then you upgraded the OS, I’m guessing without changing anything else, you pulled many of your older problems with you. If your machine doesn’t conform to the minimum hardware requirements, you will always be bumping along with your machine gasping for breath. Minimum requirements are not so your machine runs well. They’re so your machine runs at all.

As far as machine latency goes, that can depend on the drivers written for your soundcard. If your driver software is smart enough to manage sound inside the soundcard, then you can sing and listen in real time. If the driver is first-pass simple, get-it-out-the-door stuff, then the machine has to manage headphone monitoring and your headphones will always be “one computer late” compared to your voice.


lining out of my guitar amp straight into the computer.

Your moons and stars lined up. That usually doesn’t work for most people. The pink sensitive Mic-In on most soundcards will not accept a powerful signal from a guitar amplifier without distortion.

but due to the nature of the music I’m trying to record, I really do need to be able to monitor myself.

You can cure both problems for about $30 usd.

That’s a Behringer UCA202 and it will connect high-level Stereo signals to your computer USB port and manage real-time monitoring.

Overdubbing instructions.