Sound delay

I recently set up a new computer (Chillblast) operating on Windows 7, my last Audacity worked wonderful but now there is a time delay, no not a Latency issue, if I plug my microphone or guitar into the computer I strike a note/chord or sing a note it is delayed (half second) in real time through the speakers and onto the recording - impossible to record when your sound is behind your real time playing. please help.

not a Latency issue,

It is a latency issue. Computers have two. Overdubbing latency is where the new track is carefully adjusted to overlay the old one and computer machine latency where the sound you put in comes back out “one computer late.” It’s that last one that makes overdubbing a real problem. That one is not adjustable.'s_on-board_sound_card


no not a Latency issue


Latency refers to a short period of delay (usually measured in milliseconds) between when an audio signal enters and when it emerges from a system. Potential contributors to latency in an audio system include analog-to-digital conversion, buffering, digital signal processing, transmission time, digital-to-analog conversion and the speed of sound in air.

There is ALWAYS SOME recording latency and SOME playback latency when you have a multitasking operating system.* Sometimes the latency can be minimized to a point where it’s not a problem.

Professional Solution: Monitor yourself directly (not through the computer). Many USB audio interfaces have headphone (and line) outputs for zero-latencymonitoring. Some allow you to mix a backing track from the computer into the headphone mix. (When the tracks are later “permanently” mixed in post-production, latency can be automatically or manually compensated-for, so the tracks line-up.)

If effects such as guitar amplifier simulation are added in software, the guitar player won’t hear what the final recording sounds like, but the notes will be correct so this usually doesn’t present a problem. If a singer wants some “confidence reverb” in their headphones, this requires a hardware reverb unit.

Simi-professional Solution: Use hardware and software that supports low-latency ASIO drivers. (The standard downloaded version of Audacity doesn’t support ASIO.)

If you have an ASIO application but your hardware doesn’t support ASIO, you can get low-latency ASIO4ALL drivers that allow an ASIO application to work with regular Windows drivers/hardware. (The results may not be as good as true ASIO drivers.)

Amateur Solution: Minimize buffer size to minimum latency. Minimize background tasks and try to configure your system so that you don’t get “glitches” with small buffers. Usually, you can get acceptable results. But with some hardware, you may not be able to make the buffers small enough, or you may not get acceptable quality with smaller buffers.


  • The CPU is always jumping-around between tasks, even if it’s just doing things like reading the keyboard & mouse, updating the display, updating the clock, reading/writing the hard disc, etc. Meanwhile, the audio data needs to flow in-and-out at a nice smooth-even pace. That requires a “holding tank” (buffer), and buffer is a delay.

We produced an Overdubbing tutorial where I tested three different hardware methods of “Perfect Overdubbing,” Overdubbing where you can listen to yourself and get a good recording.

All three of them use separate hardware to get around computer latency, such as this microphone.

Some older machines used to be able to send your live voice right back out to your headphones very quickly without going through the computer. Most soundcards won’t do that any more.