Recording electronic drums latency

Audacity 2.1.2, Windows 8.1 notebook, Roland TK-1KV drum kit, when connect USB (MIDI) output to computer, sets up as a TK(1) device in device manager, but Audacity doesn’t recognize as an input (microphone) device, can’t record my V-Drums via USB directly to Audacity. When connect the headphone out on the drum module to the mic input of the notebook…records the signal appropriately, however, there is so much latency, I can’t listen to the live recording session via the headphone out of the notebook. Have changed some of the latency settings via edit/preferences, but never could get drum pad hits to be without delay of some kind.

If I connect headphone to the output of drum module, then, of course, there is no latency, however, then I can’t hear the backing (.mp3) track loaded as track 1 in Audacity to be able to accompany it and record a drum track on track 2.

Have recorded multiple guitar/vocal tracks with no problem via USB connected POD Line 6 HD500X, headphones connected to the POD, Audacity on desktop computer, perfectly with no lag or delay.

Apparently, others have been successful doing this, need some assistance.

Audacity does not recognise MIDI input.

Yes you should be monitoring in the Drum Kit.

Assuming you can’t set the USB Drum Kit as Audacity playback device, then I suppose you could run a cable from audio output of the computer to the MIX IN jack of the drum kit (as the TD-1KV Owner’s Manual says).


Thanks for the quick response…I completely understand the MIDI/USB vs the Headphone output difference. I have connected via USB through Reaper and Addictive Drums 2 to setup MIDI sounds external to Audacity for recording, however, that has opened a slew of issues not relative to this forum. If I connect the drum module via headphone out to sound card input on notebook, open Audacity, I do get a response when striking drum pads, but the latency is unacceptable, have tried to alter the latency preferences somewhat, but to no good result. If I then complete the “loop” by also connecting the headphone out of the notebook to the Mix In connection of drum module, I get echoing and multiple sound effects, not a single clean sound.

Bottom line, all I want to do is open Audacity, import a backing track in MP3 format, connect the Roland TD-1KV kit to the notebook, play the drums and add in an accompanying drum track to that MP3 track, and monitor all while I am recording, in real time, with as little latency as possible. Am I going to need an external device in this loop to meld everything together?

If I could at least reduce the latency substantially enough from the drum kit to the computer via the straight forward audio connection, I guess I could listen to the backing track on external speakers, listen to the drum kit via it’s headphone connection, and sync both tracks in Audacity once recorded. I know this is done all the time…what am I missing?

Thanks, again

The only way you will monitor your drums in real time is in the headphones out of the drum kit.

I can’t see in your reply that you have connected audio out of the computer to the MIX IN jack of the drum kit. I don’t see why that would not work but if it doesn’t I suggest you ask on a forum such as that has familiarity with the equipment.


When you connect headphone out of the vdrum module, into the mic in port on the notebook, Audacity records the drums with a certain amount of latency…if you then come out of the headphone port on the notebook and back into the input port on the vdrum module, splitting the headphone port on the vdrum between the notebook connection and a set of headphones, …you get a reverb echo effect that makes everything difficult to hear while recording.

I have tried connecting to headphone out port of notebook to the input port of the drum module, split the headphone output of the drum module…one side going to the mic input of the notebook, the other for headphones to monitor, that way get some sort of feedback echoing loop, not good.

Have resolved somewhat by connecting headphone output to guitar input of my Line6 HD500x POD, then connecting USB out of HD500x to notebook…same way I successfully recorded other instruments and vocals previously, setup Audacity mic/spkrs as the digital Line 6 devices and now working. Still some latency when monitoring, but not overwhelming. Have to adjust Time sequence of the drum track to the accompanying audio track, but the syncing is not too difficult.

Does Audacity record the backing track? If it does, you may not be able to control that. However if the only problem is hearing echoes when recording, make sure you have turned off Transport > Software Playthrough in Audacity.

You can try doing a Latency Test to determine the exact time-shift correction that will make the overdubbed track synchronise with the backing track.

Thanks for letting us know how you got on.


I guess I could listen to the backing track on external speakers, listen to the drum kit via it’s headphone connection, and sync both tracks in Audacity once recorded. I know this is done all the time…what am I missing?

That’s best! Gale says you have Mix-In. Most higher-end audio interfaces have a similar zero-latency hardware-monitoring feature so you can monitor yourself directly (with no delay through the computer) while the computer plays the backing track.

Most higher-end interfaces also come with ASIO drivers which can be used with ASIO software for low latency.

And, sometimes your system can be tweaked for low latency with regular Windows Drivers. But, I’m not an expert on that… I think there’s a sort-of a checklist for all of the things you need to do…