help! i've got latency issues!



i have been recording my own stuff, using audacity, for a couple years now, generally with great ease and yielding impressive results. after recently getting our computer cleaned of some viruses and the operating system reinstalled, i've been having problems with latency.
i'm not talking about individual tracks being out of sync with other tracks; it's that when i play something on guitar, there is a frustrating delay before i hear it through the speakers.
i've gotten a lot of advice involving upgrading certain things (sound card...) the thing is, it was fine, no perceptible delay, for months before this, which leads me to believe it's a simple matter of a setting that has changed.
when it happened in the past, i was able to fix it by changing the computer settings from "best appearance" to "best performance", but that setting is currently in effect, and the delay is back.
i'm using a dell dimension 2400 (75gb drive), and recently added a 1 gb ram card to it's 256 k in hopes of fixing the latency. it sure sped up the rest of the system, but did almost nothing for the latency.
i am considering a new sound card, as the ones that come with the computer are apparently crap, but i doubt that will help the delay issue.
i've been hearing people talk of success with using asio drivers to address latency, but the audacity tutorial states that these drivers are incompatible with audacity.
so, i'm basically at a loss and have tried adjusting every setting i can think of, to no avail... any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2005
Look for "buffer size" settings in Audacity: the smaller the buffer the lower the latency... I don't know audacity very well so I can't tell you where to look.


Apr 19, 2006
Are you talking about the Software Playthrough facility? Which version of Audacity are you using? Have you got a version of Audacity that is linked for ASIO drivers (the standard version is not)? What audio interface do you have? Does it have its own proprietary drivers?

One explanation would be that you were previously using low-latency drivers, but since re-installing the OS you are now defaulted to the standard (high latency) Windows sound drivers.

For the different but related problem of correcting latency in Audacity during tracking, [=""]this[/] YouTube clip may help you and others.