Audacity timing issues

The questions and comments about Audacity continie to roll in. Thanks to Jean for this question about a common problem…

Hi kenny
Why is it each time I record my voice it comes in late and other times comes in too fast.
How can I fix it?

Hi Jean

This “delay” is known as latency and is caused by your computer soundcard.

This is a common problem on cheaper and/or older soundcards. Usually the standard soundcards that are supplied with new PC’s are just cheap cards to keep the price of the systems down when you buy them.

Basically, what’s happening is that the soundcard you have installed on your computer is not powerful enough to handle the music AND the recording of your voice at the same time.

As the soundcard flirts between trying to do two jobs at once (which it isn’t good enough to handle), it devotes it’s processing power haphazzerdly to each job, causing glitches and timing errors.

The best solution is to buy a newer and better soundcard but if you don’t want to go to that expense there is also a workaround for the latency problem (albeit a bit of a fiddly workaround!