Recorded Audacity tracks are off sync



Question:

I use audacity and i’m trying to record…heres my procedure:

1) i import my instrumental
2) I record via microphone
3) I play back

When i play it back, my recording is always off beat to the instrumental..I know for a fact its not me…I also put my headphones on real low so that the mic cant pick it up..i clean my RAM(and i got enough) so that my pc wouldnt lag the slightest bit but something happens that causes my recordings to be delayed.

Answer:

If your recorded Audacity tracks aren’t in sync, and are delayed by the same amount over the entire course of your recording, I have a few suggestions:

- In Preferences -> Audio I/O, select “Play other tracks while recording new one“. I assume this is what you’re doing when you say you playback through the headphones. If you’re not doing this already, this will greatly improve track sync.

- Verify the Sample Rates are the same for what you’re recording.

- Use the Generate menu and the “Silence” tool to insert blank space in front of the “shorter” audio segment. This will push it forward in your timing to get rid of the lag. Using fractions of a second will allow you to fine-tune this very closely to match up your two tracks so they sync with each other.

Hopefully some combination of these fixes will get your Audacity tracks to sync properly.

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24 Comments

  1. Red:

    I was having the same problem. I even would record two separate but identical click tracks with my instrumental and vocals individually. Separately they were exactly on beat with the click track. When played back together they were slightly off-beat. This experiment proved that it was not my poor timing that was the problem. I still can’t figure it out so I just do what the other comment suggests and place a miniscule amount of silence before one track. A little annoying, yes, but not life-threatening.

  2. David:

    always offf

  3. Zark:

    Does anyone else have a real answer to this problem?
    I have the same issue, it’s clearly due to the fact that Audacity is weak, that the ASIO driver is wrong, or that some setting on either the sound set-up on the PC or within Audacity itself is messed up.
    Adding silence to “bump” the track into sync is ridiculous.
    Somebody must know how to actually correct this problem?

  4. christine:

    I have the same problem, but it can’t be improved by adding “silence” in the front. The problem is that the two tracks seem to be on different speeds. I record one while listening to the other (originally a click track), but the end result is that the vocal track, although it starts together with the guitar or piano, eventually ends up a WHOLE beat or two AHEAD of the instrumental.

    It is ridiculous.

  5. Nado_Rankx:

    im having the same problem, as soon as i start playing back it is always a second or two sloer than the riddim

  6. DuckyBrown:

    Same issue here. Ive been reaserching this on the web and it must be that audacity is just weak. If anyone comes up with a real solution to this problem, PLEASE post it.

  7. DuckyBrown:

    actually…..after I generated the silence and went to sample rate and made it the high quality insted of fast, that actually did help a lot. Try it.

  8. DuckyBrown:

    never mind….im about to download another audio editing program.

  9. Anonymous:

    hi ducky brown, i got the same problem. what program did u download instead of audy. let me know pleaseeee im so bored of not being able to amke my music!

  10. Anonymous:

    try changing your sample rate to 48000 hz. worked for me.

  11. angeli_kpop:

    Yay! Thanks for posting this up! Mine was off sync bcuz the sample rates weren’t the same!~ ^^!

  12. 9 o clock shadow band:

    Exact instructions to fix : Edit -> prefrences –> Quality tab, change default sample rate to 48000 (may work with other rates, but 48000 works fine for me ) , change real time sample rate converter to high quality sinc…make sure the high quality sample converter is also on high quality sinc.. Click ok and exit out of audicity, open it back up , record and make sure its recording at 48000, and you should be good, check out my recording from audicity on my bands site. Http://www.myspace.com/9oclockshadowLubbock

  13. tf:

    audacity for some reason is always in sync during the beginning of a song, but then 5 minutes in the instrument track i recorded will be up to a measure behind, i think it is because audacity automatically tries to compensate for lag, and so changes the tempo (time but not pitch) of a track, so i always have to extend it with that effect,
    its a pain to do but it may help some people

  14. ernesto:

    9 o clock shadow band: your solution is perfect. I was having the same problem as the above, so I:
    -switched to the latest version (1.3.7 as of now)
    -did the changes specified by 9 o clock shadow band
    and it worked like a charm, no more worries with synchronization.

  15. Twisted Product:

    go to youtube and type in audacity problems, a guy gives a tutorial on how to do it

  16. Fullabaloney:

    If you adjust the latency correction it might solve the problem. I adjusted it to about -125 milliseconds and that seemed to do the trick.

    Edit > Preferences > Audio I/O. It’s near the bottom.

  17. Wagapm:

    well, my recording slowly speeds up.
    so… say i sing a 5 minute song perfectly in time to backing, when i play it back, my voice will be gradually getting ahead of the backing until it’s like 10 seconds ahead or more and sounds terrible. it’s weird and i can’t find a solution :s

  18. jemimah:

    9 o clock shadow band got it right. Thanks a bunch man

  19. jamaicandjnado:

    i have the same problem but this is with audacity version 1.3 beta.
    i had the older version and had none of these problems.
    so i recommend you all go back to that version but download and install the VST enabler as some of u might be using vst plugins that wont work directly in the program.

  20. Anonymous:

    the click tracks that generate in audacity are actually what is causing your recordings to be off, because the click track generator is slightly off from an actual metronome. if you make a click track in audacity, try to play a metronome to the click track and see if it lines up. most likely it wont, and i dont know why no one at sound forge hasnt figured this out yet.

  21. karmasuture:

    Thanks all. 9 o clock shadow band: that seems to do the trick.

  22. Androw:

    Go to http://audacity.sourceforge.net and download the new beta there. Fixes this problem + lots of other improvements (like moving chunks of audio within tracks without having to insert silence, makes editing much more easy and percise).

  23. Chris:

    9 o clock shadow band – thanks a lot! It worked – I thought I would have to find and learn another audio editor!

  24. David Steinlage:

    I have one extra tip to add for re-syncing audio.

    Sometimes you might be stuck in a situation where you have recording where the first half of the track is in sync but is out of sync later at certain parts. You can select long notes in their performance to do a slight tempo stretch. Select just a sliver that doesn’t have much distinguishing about it and go to Effects>Change Tempo. This will preserve the tone of the audio but time stretch it, which will push the following audio further out in time, re-syncing it. It’s easiest to experiment with this to find the right percentage of change you want to apply to the clip to get the rest of your track to sound in place.

    An annoying part about doing this is any envelopes you have applied to this sliver of audio will be reset to 100%, but that’s an easy fix.