Why do I hear latency when using the Direct Monitoring feature on my interface?

Applies to: Scarlett & Saffire range

With Direct Monitor engaged (Scarlett Solo, Scarlett 2i2, Scarlett 2i4),  “Zero Latency Tracking” preset selected within Scarlett MixControl (other Scarlett interfaces) or within Saffire MixControl (Saffire interfaces), the signals connected directly to the interface should pass through directly to monitors or headphones without noticeable latency.

Typically, your recording software also has the ability to monitor the signal as it comes through. If direct monitoring is being used, software monitoring within your DAW should be disabled to avoid hearing the signal twice – once from the direct monitoring and again from the output from the recording software.  This is because you hear the direct sound (before it is passed to the computer) and then you hear the same audio that has been processed by the computer afterwards.

Muting the track you are recording into prevents this, as you will only hear the recording source directly.

For more information on latency issues with interfaces, click here.

If you are hearing the direct signal but are getting another signal with latency without your recording software opened, there could be a setting that needs to be disabled within the Sound Properties of the computer (this applies to Windows only).

To get to the Sound Properties, go to Windows > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound. This will open the Sound Properties where the device would be selected as the default device for Playback and Recording.

Under the Recording tab, select the interface and click Properties.

Sound Properties Window 

When the Line In Properties window opens, select the Listen tab. From here, make sure the “Listen to this device” option is not selected. If this option is selected, it will allow the direct signal to pass through the Windows driver and could result in latency on the output of the Scarlett and Saffire interface.

Line In Properties


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