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March 7, 2008 11:03 AM   Subscribe

Help this tech-impaired rock star record face-melting multi-layered music on his computer!

I've got the basic equipment: my precious Pod X3 with guitar and vocal mic plugged in, a reasonably-mighty laptop (dual 2.0gHz and two gigs of RAM) running Audacity, and the came-with-the-Pod USB cable connecting it all. There's just one problem: massive, tears-inducing lag. Click track or not, everything I do gets recorded about a quarter- or half-second late, which makes any kind of tight layering downright impossible.

I'm brand new at this style of recording, and a hopeless computer user in general, so I bet I'm missing something painfully obvious here. Please be gentle, o hive mind, but help me unleash the rock!
posted by Schlimmbesserung to Technology (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Make sure you are using the correct driver for the Pod. It is hard to get into details without actually seeing your setup, but you want to be using the ASIO driver.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 11:14 AM on March 7, 2008

To better help the hive mind, can you give us a few more details:

Model of computer
Version of Audacity (number)

If you are using windows, which I assume, press CTRL-ALT-Delete and click on 'Task Manager' and click on the tabs on the new window. This will allow you to see if your program is hogging the processor (by percentage) or if the RAM is being used.

In the past, I have had problems with delays from USB devices because they were not connected to a USB 2.0 port on the computer. This may not be an issue for you, but it is something to look into.
posted by whitefrog at 11:19 AM on March 7, 2008

Response by poster: I have the "latest stable release" of Audacity, which is 1.2.6, and my laptop is an Acer Aspire running Vista. I'm definitely using a USB 2.0 port, and going directly into it from the POD (no hub). I'm pretty sure I'm using the ASIO driver.

I won't be home until later tonight, so I can't check the resource slurpage right now, but I've definitely been killing every unnecessary program (including the various "pretty" features on Vista) before trying to record.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 11:27 AM on March 7, 2008

Uncle Jimmy has it I think. Somewhere in the Audacity settings there'll be somewhere to set the audio driver. You want to choose the ASIO driver that came with the Pod.
posted by merocet at 11:34 AM on March 7, 2008

Latency is affected by your Buffer size. There might a setting for that either in your ASIO driver or your software.

But really, Audacity? You'll get far better results with any basic commercial software. Try Cubase, for example. I'd recommend Garageband (or Logic Express) for you, but it's too late for that as you already own a pc...

I have nothing against Audacity, I use it myself from time to time, but only for simple tasks such as stereo-editing or noise-filtering. I'd never try to record/mix/master anything on it. That doesn't mean it can't be done, but frankly you'll save yourself from a lot of trouble if you invest a couple of hundred bucks on a commercial software.
posted by hoskala at 11:52 AM on March 7, 2008

Best answer: Many times I've seen the ASIO driver installed, but the application (Audacity) is using a DirectX version (or using Windows Sound Mapper or the like). Specifying the ASIO version of the driver is the fix in this case. :)
posted by rhizome at 12:15 PM on March 7, 2008

You might want to take a look at something like Reaper as an upgrade to Audacity. It has a generous shareware license so you can check it out and make sure it works with your hardware without dropping any cash.
posted by mutagen at 2:59 PM on March 7, 2008

Best answer: I don't believe Audacity supports ASIO drivers. Stop using it and start using (free) Kristal Audio Engine.
posted by ludwig_van at 5:28 PM on March 7, 2008

Response by poster: Yup, you folks pegged it. Audacity doesn't seem to be compatible with that ASIO driver, and Kristal officially rocks my socks. Thanks, everybody.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 7:41 PM on March 7, 2008

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