Latency and Monitoring Questions




I am attempting to record some low budget demos (for myself and friends), and have a few questions regarding latency and monitoring. I am planning on buying the EMU 0404 USB audio interface and some Shure SM57's to connect to a laptop.

I will be multi-tracking layer by layer, and I want to hear my previous layers while I overdub the next. How would I go about doing this? I just have earphones, and I can't afford to spend any additional money on real studio monitors. I do have a 1/8" to 1/4" stereo jack adapter (so I could potentially connect directly to the interface' headphone output, right?), but when I used this on my electronic keyboard, the sound only came out of one side. Also, the EMU comes with a (1/8") unbalanced mini jack. Would this be compatible with consumer grade earphones?

The EMU is advertised as having zero-latency for direct monitoring, but if I were to monitor through the computer, I assume there would be some (minimal?) latency. Could I overdub, monitoring through the computer, and just align the separate tracks after if they were off centered because of the latency? Or would the latency be spread out throughout the track, making it impossible to center? I'm still a little unclear on how latency actually works.



Well-Known Member
Dec 11, 2007
Scotland, UK
"Or would the latency be spread out throughout the track, making it impossible to center?"

It's only using MME and cheapo soundcards that you get such problems. I speak from too much experience.

Also the software, if configured properly, should account for this and automatically align things.