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Recording Vocals with zero latency, impossible?

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I'm driving myself nuts here.

I'm recording voiceovers. I have a physical hardware setup which is great (big and heavy), but I'm trying to integrate everything into my HP Spectre Tablet and UX2 so if I have to take it on the road, no problem!

So standalone Podfarm is great, I can throw a noise gate and compressor on there and when I speak, it comes back through the headphones on the UX2 (wet) with zero latency, and sounds great.

But attempting to record it inside the computer has been a nightmare.  I've had to check out new daws and learn how to load Podfarm as a plugin, and it always has too much latency. I've tried Reaper and adjusting the settings to be the lowest latency. It's still too slow and sounds horrible in the headphones to the point where I can't tell the quality of the recording.

It seems the only practical and reliable way of recording my vocals will be to just use a headphone splitter and record into an audio recorder like a Sony PCM-d50/ ZoomH1n.

This seems like a shame since there should be a way to capture the sound that's inside the computer, but it always seems to conflict with the soundcard to record "what you hear" using audacity. It introduces clicks and static.

I've heard of a technique where you can have a track in Reaper that's a "monitor" track and the record track is muted. But, this doesn't help because even when just monitoring the input when Reaper is running, it has the latency issue.

I really really wish podfarm had a simple record button in it's standalone iteration. Has anyone had latency issues when recording vocals or figured this out?


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Latency is a function of your hardware - the computer set up (a tablet would definitely be suspect, as they typically do not have a very fast processor compared to a computer).  Reaper shows the latency up the top right corner when you are running it, what do you see for the #s?  With my buffer settings at 256 on my brand new set up (computer with SSD and 3.1GHz processor speed), latency is 11msec, which is not bad, but if the track monitor is on AND the direct monitor, I can notice it.  Do you really need to monitor with compression, etc on?

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Thanks for the responses.


fflbrgst, I shouldn't have called it a tablet, because I wouldn't attempt to use a tablet for this.  It's more of a workstation laptop with a detachable keyboard, touchscreen, i7 processor, very powerful. I remember seeing the latency on the upper right and it wasn't bad at all, for recording music, it would be great.


Yes, in this case, I do like to hear what the voice is sounding like wet, to hear the compression and noise gate is important. This is only the case with voiceovers, not music.


Triryche, is that even possible? Can you monitor PF standalone while you're running a VST version in Reaper and silently capturing it? If that's possible, it sounds like a pain to set up but I'd be willing to try.


I ended up just being happy with recording with a headphone splitter. Although, I think I will try to get a used M-Audio Microtrack II as that records SPDIF-In.  So this would be in essence the same quality as recording in a daw, except I could monitor it in standlone PF.  Had anyone ever attempted to record SPDIF from the UX2? If I try it I'll post my results. I'm not sure if the settings are compatible to have everything match when capturing.

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On 2/28/2020 at 10:16 PM, digdug2600 said:

Triryche, is that even possible? Can you monitor PF standalone while you're running a VST version in Reaper and silently capturing it? If that's possible, it sounds like a pain to set up but I'd be willing to try.


Very easy to setup. There UX2 has 4 sends available to Reaper (you may need to enable all of them in Reaper). In the PF standalone mixer view you can choose what what to send on the 4 sends.  

For guitar I typically arm two stereo tracks to record. L/R wet on one (to serve as a reference to the tone I was going for) and L/R dry on the other. I then add pulg-ins to the dry track post processing. Just for clarification, I am not processing any VST's on the tracks that I am recording while recording.

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