Hello I have a question that I hope is in the right place because it involves several different subjects and I thought this forum was the best for this since it is close to singing along with an MP3 track. I have been studying Japanese pronunciation and was wondering if I could use ear monitors to help me with this. Right now when I study I have a Japanese vocal exercise recording I shadow which is just reading along a few seconds behind this track. I use the mic on my headset with the volume turned all the way up and the audio track turned way down so I do not blast my ears. I was hoping I could use ear monitors instead and that I would be able to hear myself more clearly and improve on my pronunciation more since it is kind of hard to hear myself with the headset. I use a regular Windows 10 PC with just an MP3 player and headset I would like to do this without spending money on expensive audio equipment. I do not have access to any kind of mic by itself but mine are all connected to headphones. So basically I am asking if I could find out how to use ear monitors or headphones with a Windows 10 PC that would work while I follow along to MP3 tracks of spoken Japanese vocal exercises. Thanks have a great day.

  • 4
    This seems to be an XY Problem - you seem to have already decided the solution to your issue is "ear monitors" [whatever they are] & are asking about those. You should really take a step back and ask us about what you are trying to achieve, not about what you already think you need to do to achieve it.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 20 '20 at 8:45

I believe your question is whether you can use headphones and a computer to monitor your pronunciation—that is, have your voice played back to you in real time so you can hear how you "really" sound as opposed to how you sound in your head. The answer is naturally yes, and many singers do use this approach when recording, sometimes putting the headphones over only one ear to avoid the cloistered feeling of hearing nothing but digital sound.

As for how, you will want to turn on the monitoring setting in your audio program. In Audacity, which is free, you can find instructions for how to do that here.

As for how well it will work, the answer will depend on the quality of your headphones, microphone, and (to a lesser extent) your computer's soundcard. For language purposes, you will probably find simple earbuds and the PC's built-in microphone (or the microphone on your headphone cord, if there is one) sufficient. If you want to start recording guitar, the first upgrade I would make is to buy a small audio interface like the Focusrite Scarlett Solo, which will allow you to plug your guitar directly into the computer.

  • Latency is going to be the biggest issue with any solution that doesn't involve external hardware.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 20 '20 at 8:46
  • For one track of audio, latency shouldn't be a major issue on a modern PC, especially for language purposes. For music, keeping time is important, which is one reason I suggested an audio interface as the first upgrade.
    – Max
    Apr 20 '20 at 8:53
  • So basically I am able to do what I asked to about with my headset in audacity but with a slight delay, is there anyway to get rid of this delay? Apr 21 '20 at 2:21
  • That delay is called latency, and it's what @Tetsujin is talking about. An audio interface will help with that.
    – Max
    Apr 21 '20 at 4:00

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