A little help syncing tracks please

Fixing delay and track speed

I’m having the following problem. The 2nd track always starts with a delay of 1-5 seconds. The 3rd even later, and so on. I can move the tracks around to start where they’re supposed to, in sync with the previous tracks, but later tracks are always just a little bit slower than older tracks, and it doesn’t take very long before its out of sync again. To record a simple 2 track song, one guitar and one voice, i have to lay down between 30 and 40 tracks by chopping track 2 up into little pieces and shifting them around just to keep it all in sync with track one. Is there anything I can do about this?

are you using effects?

could be the “compensate plugin latency” option in preferences.

If you’re not using effects, have you tried in the options to check/uncheck “use system timer for” that’ll either use your computer’s clock or your soundcard’s clock.

What soundcard do you have? Are you using more than one card?

Tried all that as you suggested. None of it made any difference. I’m only using one soundcard. I thought it might be the microphone, but I’ve tried 3 different ones with no change.

Try togging “keep devices open” and “read from tracks while muted” (whatever they are really called).

What is your sound card?

Kinda of hard to give an informative answer without knowing more about the system. IE prossesor speed Ext.
It does sound like a lag problem to me, and being used to using slower coputers there are a couple of different ways to combat it–but I digress without knowing more about the system.–some point would be mute.
I know there’s a place you can set the programs priority to highest on your computer at least with Windows98.
Another thing you might want to try if it’s a slower computer is making the playback mono during recording this might free up some CPU’s.
I don’t know if you using the metronone inside Ntrack or creating a click track but this also helps keep things in timing.
If it’s always a 1.5 second delay that sounds like a snap too setting thing-- don’t know too much about that but stick around and someone will chime in soon enough. If you lucky learjeff will grace you with his presence–very knowlegebable guy!

Sorry couldn’t be of more help…


Here’s another temporary solution until you find out what the problem is.
If you find the Bpm of the song (us the metronone in ntrack)
You can start a song project, playing the guitar and singing but only recording the guitar. --record the whole first guitar track witht the click track.
Now save that file. And open a new one. Play the same song along witht the metronone click again, this time only recording the vocal–it’s best to just leave the guitar unplugged and keep the gain low on the vocal mic to avoid any bleed over. --record the whole vocal track in one fatal swoop. Now mixdown this new track and call it something you can recognize in the crowd—lots of tracks in there!
Now return to the original gitar track song file you saved on the first take. Import the new vocal track you just mixed down.
Both tracks should be in perfect timing to the Bpm you set, and should since up easy enough if the starting point wasn’t the same. Since you were only recording one track at a time there shouldn’t be any lag problems unless your on a pre-PI processor.

Hope this keeps you goin’ till you figure it all out…
keep shinin’

Yeah, we’ve got to know what your computer is…I have the same issues (I think) with my laptop, but again, knowing what you have will help a LOT.


I got this thing used and haven’t done much to it, so I don’t really know what all’s in it. I’m afraid I’m not very hardware oriented. Best I can do is give you the following:
AMD Athlon™ XP1600+
512 MB RAM
32bit Virtual Memory
59 gigs free space to work with
Don’t know the name of the soundcard. Best I can do is:
CMI8738/C3DX PCI Audio Device
Running Win98SE

Hope that helps. If not I’ll take this thing apart and see what I can find out.


I’m gonna guess latency problem. There are guys here and at audiominds.com that will know what to do…If I try to explain it will take ya a month to get it right! :p
Hang in there!


Not real knowlegable on the Athlon series of prossesors. Not sure if it’s a newer one comparable with a P3 or better or if it’s an older pre-PentiumI model.
If you suspect it’s a newer one closer to a P3 or better I’d say you have more serious issues if it’s not keeping up, possible a virus or other conflicting sound orientated software.
If you suspect it’s an older Athlon comparable to a PI or P2 than it’s not that unsusual for there to be lag as the number of tracks increase. In that case i would do my second suggetstion in the above post. You can also take the bit’s you record and combine then into one track, than delete all the other empty tracks that will be left below, this should leave you with your original first track and one one more track with all the new combined parts your trying to do. Basically keep the number of tracks low, if it’s a older prosessor. Again try raising Ntracks priority level to highest, inside the preference box. And make shure you have the minimal amount of other programs running ( Hold Ctrl, ALt. press Delete) this will show you all the programs running and you can end any unessicary programs from there. This should help free up Cpu’s as well. I wouldn’t take the computer apart just yet, too easy to damge things (especially soundcards due to static electricity) Just find the manufacture’s website ( Usually IBM/ Asus/ ect. and find out the processor information from there.
good luck…