Complete newbie with recording myself with an audio interface but I’m trying to record myself and the slight latency is really throwing me off when I’m hearing through my headphones? Right now, it’s set up Guitar → interface → USB. I have the headphones connected to the interface. It’s a really slight delay but it def affects my playing so much so that I’d rather not do it this way. Is there a way to reduce latency?
If not, I’m waiting on another cable so that I can go Guitar → Amp → interface with my headphones in the amp. I’m assuming that will go better since I’m hearing through the amp which never has that latency?
Hi Alexis let’s start with what interface you are using? Second question in preferences what driver you use, is it ASIO? I don’t have any latency that way on my Scarlett.
I’m using a Scarlett as well. I’m using Audacity as my DAW, and I let Windows install the driver when I plugged in it via USB so I’m not sure what driver it’s using.
It’s not the driver Windows installed is a problem, it’s how your Audacity reads your interface. I use Reaper but I am sure it is to be set up similar on Audacity so in preferences you need to find driver as ASIO not a direct sound or anything else.
Try checking this out perhaps it will help pick a correct optiom: Devices Preferences - Audacity Manual
Most audio interfaces, the Scarlett’s included, have a way to do “direct monitoring”. That is the monitoring audio comes directly from the interface rather than via the computer. If you set that then you shouldn’t get any latency.
But you also will have a very “raw” guitar sound with no amp, speaker or fx tones. This might be fine for you for a lot of purposes, especially if you are planning to play around with the sound after you have recorded it. But it won’t generally sound great whilst you are monitoring.
However, if you are trying to use PC-based amp modelling (for instance, using DAW plugins), then you can’t do this: it has to go via the PC, so it effectively looks like this:
Guitar → Interface → USB → Audio drivers → Amp modelling → Audio drivers → USB → Interface → Headphones
Each of the stages between the interface and the the PC, and back again, will add latency. You can minimise that latency by making sure the audio drivers are optimised (using ASIO drivers on Windows, for instance), but you cannot eliminate it entirely.
It is often possible to reduce latency in this case so it is acceptable. One of the big ones, as @adi_mrok suggests, is to make sure you are using the best driver. On Windows that is an ASIO driver.
But if you can connect your guitar amp into the recording chain then, as long as the line output of the amp is decent, that should be able to either use direct monitoring or just listen to the guitar amp directly.
@alexisduprey I just did a quick search and, from what I can tell, you have a Boss Katana 50 amp.
In that case, you are probable better off connecting the Katana directly into the PC, and not using the audio interface at all. You can monitor on headphones or just via the amp speaker.
You will need the Katana drivers correctly installed for this.
Note that the Katana will present 4 channels which you can connect to your DAW. The first 2 channels are the stereo output including all of the pre-amp tones and effects (aka “wet”). The second pair are “dry” in that they are a raw signal with no effects (just like you would get from plugging the guitar directly into your AI). When I record I tend to create two stereo tracks (one “wet” and one for “dry”) and record both at the same time, which gives me options if I want to tweak the audio later.
If you use Boss Tone Studio, there’s also a bunch of settings you can configure on the USB to tweak the way the audio sounds when recording direct like this.
I did not know I could do this! Is there any benefit to using an audio interface over connecting the katana straight into the PC?
Depending on the interface, it may allow you to have more than 1 input (ie: guitar and voice) going into your computer. If you are just recording guitar you can go direct from amp to computer.
What @Rider2040 said!
It does depend on the amp. Some amps don’t have a USB out or, if they do, it’s not that good. Having said that, those amps often don’t have a good line out either, so plugging them into an AI probably won’t improve things.
The Katana, in my experience, has a very good USB output, and I’m not alone in the view.
For instance, the YouTube channel The Studio Rats do a lot of videos and livestreams on the Katana, and Paul has said he uses the USB output for this. Here’s an example of the sort of quality you can get:
To record the Katana this way, you need a USB cable. This will be one of the full-sized “printer-style” USB cables. If you have a cable for using Boss Tone Studio, it’s the same cable.
I will note that it is possible to record from two separate USB audio devices (e.g. the Katana and an AI) at the same time if you want to record guitar and vocals together. However, it can be tricky to do this on some Operating Systems.
As I understand it (and I’m not an expert on Windows) the ASIO drivers tend to limit you to one device at a time by default. On the Mac, they have made it easier to combine multiple interfaces at the same time.
I use Linux and, like Windows, the default setup on applications that use ALSA (the Linux equivalent to ASIO) is to only allow one device at a time. As with Windows, there’s a number of ways around it (Jackd and Pipewire being the main ones) but it takes a bit of additional setup.
There are good reasons for only supporting one device at a time (primarily around sample rate sync), but these are mostly unimportant for home recording purposes.
An interesting point, using the USB direct. Not that I am planning to change my set up but I assume the same would work with my Mustang III ? I only noticed it appears in recording devices, the other day when I was checking some settings ! With ASIO and Reaper my combined latency is around 15 ms (roughly 7 each way) and that’s never caused issues.
I’m just starting out recording using a K50 mk2 and a 2i2 and this discussion is helpful.
While it’s not as easy as using a looper, I use the K50 USB connection to work around the lack of an FX Loop in the K50. E.g. I record an electric backing track, send it back to the amp and play along with it with whatever effects I want. This works fine. I think I can do a similar thing where I record an acoustic track with the 2i2 and send it to the amp to play along with an electric. In these cases, I’m either playing through the amp speaker or through headphones connected to the amp.
I’ve just started recording an acoustic using the 2i2 and a mic. I’m using Ableton Live, the ASIO driver and headphones plugged into the 2i2. I’ve not experienced an issue with latency so far, but I’m still learning and experimenting with the DAW rather than focusing on the music.
Just to note that latency really only is a problem for monitoring what you play (e.g. using headphones). For an acoustic guitar, you are (presumably) listening to the guitar in the room, rather than listening to what the DAW is recording on headphones. In that case, latency will not be a consideration.
It should work and it may be trying out just so you have another tool in your kit.
That’s pretty good. Are you monitoring via Reaper, or are you monitoring direct? If you are using the Mustang for your tones and not using (for example) guitar amp plugins on Reaper then you are probably direct monitoring and if, in this case, you aren’t direct monitoring you probably should be.
If you are direct monitoring, latency is pretty irrelevant.
Everything has latency. Even amps. With or without direct monitoring, if using a decent modern PC latency can be low enough to be unnoticeable. You just need to set a low enough buffer size and make sure you use ASIO. It will be in your DAW settings.
The speed of sound in air is around 0.9 milliseconds per foot. So if you have 15ms of round trip latency, that’s approximately the same as standing 16-17 feet away from your amp.
Of course, latency is additive, so if you have 15ms of latency in your system and you are also standing 16-17 feet away from your amp, then you will have approx. 30ms total latency.
I have no latency “issues” recording direct through my AI or from my amp – on a mac with Garageband. I fought long and hard, tooth and nail to get a reasonable level of latency with a WinPC and a number of DAWs. I wasn’t able to make it happen to my liking. Mac + Garageband and never looked back – and can’t be talked into making things work on a PC.
It’s the same with iPad and GarageBand, either straight in from my Amp or through iTrack studio - nothing noticeable.
I would love to use garage band but I haven’t had a mac in a long time. However, plugging the Boss Katana directly into my PC solves this problem. I know I’ll have more trouble when and if I want to record vocals and guitar but for now so far so good.
You can use GarageBand on iPad or iPhone but seeing the tracks is a bit more difficult on phone but it still works.