Seems like a big latency - is it?

I’m running Audacity 3.4.2 in a MacBook Air M1.
When I set up the Latency, it is -426mS with a 100mS Buffer.
I also have an old Samsung RV511 running Audacity 3.1.3 under Windows 7.
The latency there is only -85mS with a 100mS Buffer.
So is this Latency for the MacBook normal - at 5x the Windows number?

Yes, that’s a “big latency”.

50ms of latency/delay is clearly audible (when monitoring in real time). (1) I think it should ideally be less than 15ms “round trip”.

I don’t know why it doesn’t match the setting… I’ve wondered about that too and I’ve suspected that there are other “hidden buffers”…

There ARE recording AND playback/monitoring buffers and I assume the Audacity setting is for recording, but maybe it’s both. If it’s adjusting both, the total latency would be double.

That’s even weirder!

Orf course, it doesn’t matter if you are not monitoring yourself with a delay while performing.

There are audio interfaces with zero-latency direct-hardware monitoring, where the monitoring doesn’t go through the computer. Some “podcast mics” have a headphone jack with the same feature. Or, you can use a USB mixer which can double as an audio interface.

IMO - Hardware monitoring is the best solution.

(1) Latency doesn’t matter except for monitoring. A few (or several) milliseconds doesn’t matter with a recoding that was made several years ago, or a few minutes ago. A bigger buffer is generally better because it can help to avoid dropouts & glitches.

Thanks Doug
Setting -426mS on he MacBook and -85mS seems to work OK, and dubbing in extra tracks seems to be OK with the limited testing I have done. After adjustments the residual latency is around 2mS.
I set the latency as per Audacity’s instruction using a click track and a mic pushed up against the headphones.
It does not change much whether I use a mic and headphones straight in, or via a USB interface.
I also use VideoPad on the MacBook and I measured the latency there and it was only 30mS.

To make it clear, the 426mS and 85mS are before adding latency correction in Audio settings.

Latency correction is for automatically realigning with a backing track. It doesn’t do anything in real-time… You can’t go backwards in time. :wink:

Yes Doug, I realise that.
I guess I should have entitled the post “Seems like a big latency correction
Here is an explanation I wrote sometime ago to explain latency correction to some colleagues.

When dubbing or adding a new to and existing track, the computer has to extract the digital information from the file and convert that to an audio signal to feed out to the headphones. This takes a little time lets say “x”mS.
The user listens to the audio, usually on headphones, plays or sings along and records his track. He does his best to ensure that he is in time with wheat he hears.
The sound is fed into the computer which converts it to a digital information and puts it in the file as another track. This also takes time – “y”mS
So when the computer adds the new track to the recording it compensates for it’s own processing time by placing the new track “x+y”mS before the old track.
“x+y” is the latency correction.
When the tracks are now played back they will sound as if they were recorded together.

I was just surprised that the latency correction on the MacBook was so much bigger than the one on Windows. Although I must admit I can’t see how the latency correction can be less than the buffer length.
I suspect that the figure is defined differently on each system and wondered what other MacBook users had found.

This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.