Second track is in slow motion (and a lower pitch)

Audacity 2.3.2
Windows 10 64bit
Pretty strong PC (4.8ghz cpu and 16gb ram, ssd, etc)

I am new to Audacity so have only just installed it and started playing around with it. The first track I recorded is perfect. But the second track was in slow motion (like slowing down audio and it also goes lower pitch) and it also had many drop outs warnings and a warning said the software is sharing CPU with other programs etc. So I tweaked some settings and now it will record the second track without any warnings. But it is still slow motion.

Setting it to 48k and 32bit float and moving the data location to my big disk got rid of the drop out warnings. I also tried changing the buffer size. The warnings are gone but the slow motion audio remains.

I am using a condenser mic through a Line6 UX1 interface. All the gear worked on my previous software but I would like to try Audacity instead. My previous software took a lot of setting up first too. I had the same sorts of problems, audio would drop out until I played around with various settings and buffers. If the buffer was too small the recording would stutter and stop itself. If the buffer was too high the tracks didn’t sync. It took a lot of work to make it work right. I hoped Audacity might be a bit easier but I must still have to do something to get past this.

A couple of questions -

How slow is it? i.e. Is it half speed? Or, if you record for exactly 1 minute, how long does it take to play it back?

Are you recording and playing-back on the Line-6, or are you playing-back on your regular soundcard?

If the buffer was too high the tracks didn’t sync.

There is a Latency Compensation setting on the same screen where you set the buffer length. Latency is ONLY a problem if you’re monitoring yourself with headphones while recording and the delay makes it difficult to perform. For you, that’s not a problem because your interface has zero-latency hardware-monitoring where the monitoring doesn’t go through the computer, but you can still monitor the backing-track from the computer.

Thanks for the reply and just noticed a strange sort of solution. If I use my normal PC speakers in the “Playback Device”, everything works perfectly! Even recording two new tracks are fine. But if I set the playback device to use the monitor headphones from my interface, the second track will go slow-mo when recording.

But I can set the playback device to my normal speakers, record the 2 tracks perfectly, then change playback device to my monitor headphones and the playback is fine. It just seems like having the monitor headphones set as playback device will ruin the recordings of the second track.

Any idea why that may be? At least I can record now! Although I would love to not have to keep changing headphones.

If I use my normal PC speakers in the “Playback Device”, everything works perfectly!

The OPPOSITE of what I expected! So, I don’t know what’s happening.

…No clock/oscillator is perfect but sometimes the sample rate clock in a regular-consumer soundcard can be off by enough to cause pitch & tempo problems if you record and play-back on different devices. It’s usually a small-enough error that most listeners won’t notice but musicians have trouble playing in-tune and the problem builds-up worse if you compensate by playing/singing in-tune with the backing track at the wrong pitch. You also won’t notice THAT particular problem if you record and play-back on the same device because although the clock is wrong, it’s the same for both recording and playback. But, you may notice if you play back on a different soundcard/interface later.

Thanks for the info! I have a soundcard called an Asus Xonar D2 which is pretty crappy and is basically not even supported anymore. Maybe that causes problems.

But I guess I can settle for just using my normal headphones for recording and playback and just switch to the monitor headphones for when I am going to spend some time mixing.

I’m in a similar position to the OP:

I’m using a Line6 Pod HD500X via USB interface with 64 bit version of Windows 10.
Audacity version 2.3.3.
Decent PC 3.9GHz, 16GB RAM, SSD

I have the same problem i.e. the first track records fine, subsequent tracks are at a lower pitch than recorded and have additional clicking sounds.

From reading this and other similar posts I’ve checked the following:
Project Rate 48000Hz (as default sample rate in preferences too)
32 bit float default sample format

I changed the “playback device” to “Digital Output (Realtek(R) Audio)” and could record but obviously couldn’t hear the 1st track through the headphones plugged into my Pod HD500X.
Changing the playback device back to “Speakers (Line6 POD HD500X)” I could hear both tracks recorded correctly.

I would appreciate any more advice on how to diagnose this as a sound card problem and if so how to resolve or what other sound card to buy?

I didn’t quite understand the OP’s solution. If I use the Digital Output playback device how can I hear myself and the original track - even if through different earphones?