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Recording Delay Windows 7
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
128 posts
Pinky, hoping you can answer this one, I solved it years ago and now I can't remember what I did!

So there's a slight delay when recording vocals/line in on Windows 7. Many suggest that it's simply the "Listen to this device" option, but it's not.

From memory it's not a driver problem either, nor does installing ASIO4ALL help.

Sound Blaster X-Fi
Windows 7
Cool Edit Pro 2

Anyone resolved this? Teh Googles do nah-thing!
07:58pm 18/03/12 Permalink
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07:58pm 18/03/12 Permalink
Pinky
Melbourne, Victoria
12876 posts
Hey mate. Saw your PM and thought I'd just reply in here.

Look into ASIO drivers for your mic/sound card.

I don't think ASIO4ALL are true ASIO drivers.

The aim with ASIO drivers is simply to reduce that input lag.

Also, what Mic are you using? Is it a USB mic? They basically have their own soundcard in the hardware, and the clock can be different to your soundcard that you are playing the beat out of (through headphones presumably, while you sing). That can also be a nuisance issue - so best just to use a normal 'analog in' type mic, or run the whole lot through a USB mixer for example so that output/input go through the same 'soundcard')

Another suggestion, update ASIO4ALL worth a shot too: http://www.asio4all.com/

Another consideration is if you are using USB headphones. Same issue with clock. Might pay to use analog ear buds from your MP3 player just for the purpose of laying down vocals, if that's you're only choice.
05:25pm 19/03/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
129 posts
Hey, thanks for the response! Figured you'd know what you're talking about based on a previous thread.

The mic is an AT2020, phantom powered mic, using headphones and mic all through the sound card.

I tried using the web cam mic and it had the same problem though, so I'm sure it's something to do with Windows 7. Really wish I could remember what I did to fix it last time ... will get back to you once I figure it out.

09:37pm 19/03/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
19556 posts
lay down beats
play beats in headphones while recording vocals
tweak vocals to beats in a non linear editor?
10:35pm 19/03/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
130 posts
Really not a desirable solution, Whoop, thanks all the same though!

It should just function as it was previously.
10:48pm 19/03/12 Permalink
Mantorok
Brisbane, Queensland
6420 posts
Grab the trial version of Mixcraft 5, select the WaveRT driver and enable exclusive mode. Should be able to achieve 3ms latency even with s***** on-board audio.
10:52pm 19/03/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
131 posts
Well, I've spent about 15 hours over 3 days working on this problem, still no fix.

Time to install XP again. Great upgrade to your OS, Microsoft! *fp*
11:07pm 20/03/12 Permalink
Pinky
Melbourne, Victoria
12892 posts
Nah, don't do that.

Explain your hardward setup. Just analog mic plugged into 'mic in' and headphones plugged into the headphones (green or orange) plug?
12:42am 21/03/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
132 posts
AT2020 microphone plugged into Mic Amp plugged into Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio.

Headphones plugged into same sound card.

Also tested webcam mic (usb), it also records with latency (same problem).

I tried on board ... there's a feature in Realtek for no latency, but that sounds a bit off time too, no where near as bad (only records one channel, not so good).

Really wish I could remember what I did in the last installation. I checked one of my old tracks, it was recorded in 2010 so it was definitely in Windows 7, and it's perfectly on time. I recall having the problem to begin with, and then fixing it, just not how I fixed it.

After going through about 9 pages of Google, reading countless forum posts, I am losing hope!
12:59am 21/03/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
133 posts
About to install XP on another partition and just use it for recording.

Any last suggestions before I do it, Pinky?
07:00pm 21/03/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
19566 posts
Where do the fat beats come from? Generated on the computer, or input from an external device to the line in port?
07:12pm 21/03/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
134 posts
They're wav files entered into Cool Edit, no external sources.
09:45pm 21/03/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
19567 posts
You've not really said much about what you HAVE tried, are there no settings at all within cool edit pro that allow you to adjust delays? Like in virtualdub there's an audio delay option, is there nothing similar for cool edit for mic input delay?

I found this, which suggests there might be click

out of curiosity, if you turn on the ability to hear what your mic hears (in windows), when you tap the mic, is there a delay between what it hears and when you hear it in your headphones? I just tried with my mic and when I tap the end of it, it seems to play pretty much immediately without delay, unlike others who seem to have a delay between when they tap it and when they hear the sound (I too googled your issue). Also when I speak into it I can hear myself without any delay.
01:44am 22/03/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
135 posts
I've tried several audio recording programs now, all have the same fault, which suggests it is not the programs but something else.

I've tested USB mics as well as the one through the jacks, all have the delay.

I've gone through over 8 or 9 pages of Google results, a lot being forums, many pages of suggestions, none have been successful.

I've reinstalled the audio drivers over 5 times now, several different versions.

And I have no doubt that as soon as I get time to install XP, it'll work just fine in XP, while continuing to fail in Win 7.

Give Google a try with this problem, you'll see all the suggestions I've had to go through and just how common this problem has been over the past 5 years.

Thanks for the suggestions all the same, but this is beating a dead horse I think!
02:20am 22/03/12 Permalink
no you hang up
Brisbane, Queensland
1972 posts
whats running the phantom power?
08:53am 22/03/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
136 posts
A little mic amp.
10:29am 22/03/12 Permalink
Pinky
Melbourne, Victoria
12909 posts
I'm out of ideas.

Just FYI I have a cheapie USB condenser mic and last night I recorded an awful cover, then sang over the top of said awful cover (making it twice as awful) in Windows 7. No delay (despite playing out through the soundcard and recording on the USB mic soundcard). I used Audacity, not that it should really matter.
11:35am 22/03/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
138 posts
Hmm maybe it's the Windows installation. I'll reinstall Win 7 along with XP and Kubuntu, see what happens.

Will report back here in a couple of days to let you know how it went! Thanks again for the ideas.
04:11pm 22/03/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
19573 posts
07:19pm 22/03/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
139 posts
Ah, of course, it's Valve Software's fault. Thanks, Whoop!
07:52pm 22/03/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
148 posts
Update: Installed Windows 7 on another hard drive and now the delay appears to be gone. Could it be that the first HDD was having issues and causing the hiccup in the audio?

Now there's another problem ... as the track goes on, it goes more and more off time. Haven't researched that one yet, might be software!
06:09pm 01/04/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
19634 posts
sounds like a dedicated hardware mixer and recorder would be a good idea if you're serious about whatever it is.
06:15pm 01/04/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
149 posts
Yeah considering it ... it's a hobby, but it's a fun one, worth the spend at some point.
06:46pm 01/04/12 Permalink
Pinky
Melbourne, Victoria
13002 posts
Now there's another problem ... as the track goes on, it goes more and more off time. Haven't researched that one yet, might be software!

That's classic symptoms of two different hardware pieces (clock sync).

I.e., if you are playing out through say your soundcard and recording say through a USB mic. You are playing out and recording through one piece of hardware?
07:30pm 01/04/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
19641 posts
his post under yours (3rd post in the thread) suggests yes.
The mic is an AT2020, phantom powered mic, using headphones and mic all through the sound card.
07:40pm 01/04/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
150 posts
Yeah both through the one sound card.
07:48pm 01/04/12 Permalink
Pinky
Melbourne, Victoria
13003 posts
Yep, very strange. No idea what's going on there. It's strange enough that a reformat fixed your original problem.
09:26pm 01/04/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
151 posts
Well it's installed on a different HDD now, so the other HDD is more than likely on its way out, or has some mild but annoying issues.
11:01pm 01/04/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
152 posts
I've just run some more tests, some interesting results:

1. There's a 0.05 second delay between using wireless USB headphones and headphones plugged into the sound card (the wireless USB headphones get the signal faster than the sound card)
2. The Sennheiser Wireless RS170 headphones add 0.118 delay on top of what the Wireless USB headphones can get
3. Even using the USB headphones there's still a 0.04 second delay, most likely from the sound card's ability to record
4. There's a 0.01 delay on the wireless headset mic as opposed to using the sound card mic, which means it's 0.05 out of sync rather than just the 0.04

That's in Windows 7, will have to repeat the tests in Windows XP a bit later.

So far it appears mainly the equipment's fault, the biggest delay was coming from the Sennheiser RS 170 headphones (my previous wireless headset had no such issue), with the other delay coming from the sound card. In theory if I bought a new sound card and didn't use these Sennheiser wireless headphones, I might be able to eliminate most, if not all of the delay.
02:12pm 02/04/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
153 posts
Ok same results in XP, but this time there's no extra 0.04 second delay that I can see or hear. That's probably because Windows 7 isn't too compatible with the Sound Blaster X-Fi (from what I've read). So, as far as I can tell for the moment, that's the answer.

In short:

A combination of wireless headphones and sound card issues in Windows 7 was causing a noticeable delay while recording.

Solution:

1. Buy a Windows 7 compatible sound card and some wired headphones

Or

2. Buy USB headphones and just record in Windows XP
02:55pm 02/04/12 Permalink
Pinky
Melbourne, Victoria
13006 posts
3. Buy a USB mixer. Even a cheap one like Peavey PV6 or something. It's essentially an external soundcard. One bonus with that option is you get a mic pre-amp included. Depending on the mixer you might get reverb/delay and some other basic effects too.
04:59pm 02/04/12 Permalink
Zakson
Gold Coast, Queensland
154 posts
That sounds like a good idea, I might actually do that instead.

So Peavey PV6 ... decent enough for recording vocals for tracks or should I look at other mixers/brands?
06:04pm 02/04/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
19668 posts
Ok here's something strange, I just tidied up my desk and so plugged the mic into the rear mic port and now I have a delay between when I talk and when I hear it in my headphones. If I plugged it into the front port on the case, there is no delay. Do you have a 2nd audio port you can try zakson?
07:22pm 06/04/12 Permalink
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07:22pm 06/04/12 Permalink
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