Record connected electric drums but NOT concurrent sound from browser

My goal is to be able to record myself playing my electronic drum kit, while listening to web drum tutorials without capturing sound from the web. When I listen to YouTube and drum along, my recording is also picking up the sound from YouTube. All of this is done while I have headphones on… it isn’t ambient noise because I connect the drum module directly to my laptop.

Details: I have an Alesis drum kit and I have it connected to my laptop via 1/8 Inch TRS Stereo to Dual 1/4 inch TS Mono Y-Splitter Cable 3.5mm Aux Cord. I have my laptop connected to my drum kit via Bluetooth. I have a corded set of headphones connected to the drum kit through the 3.5 headphone Jack on the drum module. When I hit ‘record’ in Audacity and have a tutorial playing in YouTube/Songsterr, Audacity rightly picks up the drumming but it also picks up the sound from the web browser.

Is there a way that 1) allows me to record my connected drumming while 2) listening to chrome but 3) not recording the music from chrome? I’ve been toggling lots of different combinations for sound input and sound output. It seems like I can play the music from Chrome, but then I can’t hear myself drumming. Or I can listen to my drumming but not hear the sound from Chrome.

Thank you! Trying to get into music and recording. It running into some speed bump.

1 Like

Play the headphone feed from your phone.

Koz

If I plug my headphones into my phone, then I don’t hear the audio output from the electric drums. It does record it properly to the laptop, but I can’t hear what I’m drumming, if that makes sense.Is that what you’re recommending? Thanks.

Download the backing track and play it as an Audacity overdubbing session.

I’m looking for that section in the manual.

Koz

That can take a lot of setup. You can try the half-headphone desperation technique.

Play your phone to the room and only wear one ear of the headphones playing your live performance.

Koz

Your connections are confusing me, but you should be able to select the laptop microphone input, or Bluetooth (wherever the sound is coming in), as your Recording Device, you should only be recording that ONE input. (Don’t select anything that says “loopback”).

And make super sure there’s no other software running.

Post back whenyou get something to work OK. Describe how you did it.

Koz

Ok - I think I have a solution (well, about 80% of the solution). I have the drum connected to the laptop and the it is recognized as “Microsoft Sound Mapper - Input”. I then have my headphones connected to the laptop as well (not to the e-drum kit). When I go to youtube and hit play then I hit record in Audacity, nothing gets recorded (hooray!). I can play the drums and listen to youtube without it also recording the video itself. I learned that I needed to select “Enable Audible Input Monitoring” so that I could actually hear myself playing the drums. The only issue now is that when I hit ‘Play’ on Youtube to watch/listen the drum tab, hit “Record” on Audacity, and start playing along… the issue is that there is a serious latency issue with hearing Youtube and playing along. My drum hits come in well behind. I know how to adjust latency (did this on day 1), but I’m not sure there’s a way to adjust it so that when I play live and listen live, it all comes together.

There’s two latencies. You can adjust the Audacity latency so your overdubbing performance comes out perfectly in time with your backing track playback.

Then there’s the machine latency which is the time it takes for sound to make it into the computer, go to Audacity, turn around, and come back out. That one is fixed. You’re stuck with that delay.

That’s why when you’re live singing to a backing track (for example) you plug your headphones into your microphone, preamp, or interface—not the computer.

I know you’re going to say how to you hear the backing track? Most preamps, interfaces, and even microphones can act as playback devices. Select in Audacity. Your theatrical mix is actually coming from the preamp.

So that leaves you with one of the other solutions. Post back when you get one you hate least.

Koz

Is there a headphone connection on your drum set? Does your drum set show up as a playback device in Audacity? If all that is true, then that’s the way out. You make the drum set produce the headphone mix.

You probably need to turn off the Audacity Audio Input Monitoring. If you leave it running, you may get two copies of the live performance.

Koz

I GOT IT!!! Ok, the final step was to have my headphones connected to the laptop to be able to hear Youtube live but then also use a 2 female / 1 male splitter so that my headphones were also connected to the drum module. This setup allows me to hear Youtube live AND hear the drum module live without any latency issues. It records well and it works. The only issue at this point is that the music/sound coming from the laptop is only playing in my left ear on my headphones. A bit annoying but I can live with that. Thanks everyone!

Note that this final setup allowed me to avoid the latency issues from Audio Input Monitoring, which I switched off.