Recording - Delays/Timing Issues

I’ve been recording with Audacity for at least a year or two now and I haven’t had too many problems, but lately I’ve had trouble with recording things. Often when I record one track of something and then record another track over it, they’ll not only be misaligned from the start, but further in they’ll move further and further out of sync. I’m recording using a Creative Soundblaster Audigy 2.

Here’s a sample of what’s been happening that I just made. I recorded my metronome by plugging it into the line-in spot, then plugged the cable into the headphone jack to record it again as it played back. The first track is in the right channel, the second track is in the left channel. Even after only 15 seconds or so you can tell that they’re shifting.

Does anyone have any idea what might be causing this or what I can do to go about fixing it? Are there more specifics that I need to give? Thanks in advance, this has really been frustrating me.

I’ve seen this issue several times, but I haven’t yet heard a solid explanation of what causes it. It seems to be a discrepancy between the playback and the recording clocks on the sound card, but I can’t think of a good reason to use two different clocks on one card (then again, I’ve never designed a low-end sound card circuit like the Audigy).

In any case, everyone who’s reported back after changing their sound card has said that the problem went away.

Something to try…

Most of the more recent Creative cards run at a native sample rate of 48 kHz - If they are made to use any other sample rate, they convert it to 48 kHz for internal processing, then back again (except for the Audigy 2 Platinum which can also run at 96 kHz).

To avoid having your card do these conversions, set everything to 48 kHz and see if that improves it.