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Latency (Sound)

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Answerprancer | 18:15 Sat 01st Oct 2016 | Computers
7 Answers
AAAAAGH!!!! (Let's get that out of the way first)

I'm trying to get back into recording and am having a 'mare with my bloody computer.
When I try to monitor sound there is a delay. For example, I strum the guitar and it comes out with about 200ms pre-delay, which is enough to render it useless in a recording situation. I've read and tried lots of tips and 'solutions' and have installed Asio4All (which opens when I start Adobe Audition) but when it opens, the monitoring switches off altogether. I've checked (as advised) that there is nothing else running in the background that might be trying to play sounds and I've disabled Windows alert sounds.

The "soundcard" is ...well non-existent, it's on board.

Would the proper solution be to install decent stand alone soundcard?
(eg. one of those ones that is front mounted and has MIDI/XLR and jack sockets)?

OS etc:
Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) Service pack 1
AMD Athlon 2x4 640 processor 3GHz

TIA for any magic answers :-)



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Some discussion here:

Given that the questioner in that thread reported no latency problems in Audacity but much the same experience as you're having with Adobe Audition, perhaps it might be worth trying some alternative software to see whether the problem persists?
Question Author
Thanks Chris, will give those a go but I suspect a decent sound card might be the way to go. I just tracked back and discovered I'd already had a similar issue in 2011 and thought the same then ...oops!
I don't know anything about Adobe Audition, except that you are unlikely to find it in any "Top 10 DAWs List" on musician forum/web sites.

Audacity is a useful tool to have for odd audio-related jobs or podcast recording, but could hardly be described as a DAW.

A decent Audio interface will include some form of direct monitoring, which will reduce latency (in some cases, it's described as zero-latency monitoring). The important thing is that the signal goes directly from the input to the monitor output of the interface (via a built-in mixer that mixes it with the output of any existing tracks), rather than going to the computer, being processed and mixed by the DAW and then returned to the output.

Personally, I use Reaper as my DAW. The home use and professional versions are identical (they just trust you to pay for the professional licence if using it commercially).

Having said that, most Audio interfaces come with a bundled "lite" version of one or more well-known DAW packages.

Another advantage of using a dedicated interface is that you get proper connectors with correct impedance matching for mics (XLR) and instruments (Jacks). Many also include switchable phantom power on the Mic inputs so that you can use a condenser mic.

Focus right are a very popular brand, and they make interfaces for both home and professional studios.

The Focusright Scarlett Solo (their cheapest model) comes with Mic and Line/Instrument inputs, phantom power, and direct monitoring. It is bundled with Pro-Tools First ( a "beginners" version of Pro-Tools, which is probably the most well-known professional software used in recording studios), and Ableton Live Lite).

This is the Scarlett Solo (scroll down for a video which directly addresses questions of latency)

It's about 95 quid from Thomann:

Question Author
Thanks for that TC, I laughed when I got to the last bit as I'd read it after some research led me to that exact interface. I wonder if it will work ok with USB 2, which unfortunately is what I have.
"I wonder if it will work ok with USB 2, which unfortunately is what I have."
Yes, it will definitely work with USB 2.
Question Author
Great, I've just ordered one ;-)
Question Author
...oh yes, Adobe Audition is what used to be called "Syntrillium Cool Edit Pro" which IMO was brilliant, mainly for post-production and multi tracking live stuff. The only other DAW I've ever been able to get into properly is Ableton. I know Pro Tools (and Logic) are pretty much industry standard, bu there is something about Ableton that I find more instantly accessible.

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