Audio Levels

  • 174
  • Idea
  • Updated 3 weeks ago
  • Implemented
(This idea comes what we’ve heard here in this community as well as from other customer feedback methods we utilize. The feedback we gather here will help us gauge how well it fits our users’ needs. Please let us know what you think)

The Problem
Audio levels vary across devices and environments. When recording audio I want to know if levels are good or I want to correct it in editing.
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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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Posted 1 year ago

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MelGrubb

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A "boost level" would be nice too if I know that a certain mic always needs to be raised.
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jeremymorgan

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Definitely a good call, Right now I export my final audio and run it through a leveler, then attach it back to the video and re-render. 
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ajanczy

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This would be very helpful, since I don't have access to other tools (classic laptop lockdown) so I am doing it by ear!
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DrivenMavens

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Would also be nice to have an audio editor that can be tweaked more....rather than just have the noise removal.  
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Susan

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Definately a better audio adjusting system.  It would be nice to have the ability to see what the db level is for each video section.  Doing it manually has been difficult.  
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brutterba

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I'd like to see decible levels somewhere while recording
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ron

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I'd like the following audio enhancements already available on competing products:
1. real db levels and ability to set a -12db threshold
2. auto ducking which will reduce the music track (or another chosen track) when speaking on the primary track
3. auto pause removal.  When speaking while thinking there are pauses that add up to a lot of time.  I'd like to be able to set camtasia to auto-compress these out.  (with adjustable start and end pause times) 
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Petter Dessne

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Yes, both a leveler (combined compressor and limiter) would be nice, and an autoducker. Aactually the compressor/limiter can be substituted for a ducker; see the Waves' Vocal Rider or HoRNet's AutoGain Pro VST plugins. The upside of only doing a ducker would obviously be that it's one thing less to program, and I think a ducker is easier to code than a compressor. (Also, the sound won't get compressed, so it might sound better.)

However, these  things can also be done in a separate DAW or so, as someone said, in case this is too big an undertaking for now.
(Edited)
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Scott McNamara

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Please give us a hot-key for adding an audio edit point.  I'm constantly having to open the right-click menu to fix audio edit points.
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ccmark100

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I would like the Play Head Scrubber to play the sounds as you manually drag the scrubber across the timeline.    

I would like a filter to remove the breathing sound when recording an audio
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shawnbarnish

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I use the leveling feature a lot, usually in custom rather than selecting medium or high leveling.
But one thing I'd like is a more pro option to adjust the gain/compression (that's what the leveling does already) but with the ability to also adjust separate frequency ranges.

Most of the time I make due with the existing audio leveling features however when I need to notch out certain frequencies from a noisy recording (such as a speech recorded in a room via a cell phone) I have a lot better result using Adobe Premiere which has a three band compressor that allows me to amplify (or attenuate) three separate frequency ranges/slopes which gets rid off most noise while increasing the audio range at the same time.

It would be a cool feature in Camtasia. Camtasia is faster to encode and makes a good go-to editing software.
(Edited)
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bjerkan

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Audio quality is often what sets the video apart. Most folks viewing the video can't always put their finger on why a video leaves an impression of professional quality. It is usually the audio. I can get good enough sound quality as is. It just takes a bit of tweaking, which often ends up being a majority of my time in post production. If there were settings that could make it easier, I'd be able to make even more videos in the same amount of time. Audio presets? for audio clips like when narrating over an error, have the ability to have it be leveled, noise removed, to match the other clips. Now we can copy and paste effects, but to have a master preset that all tracks would be slave to, might work. Then if one clip needs to be tweaked to match the others manually it could then be relative to the latest setting. Maybe the ability to type in a percent of volume increase. Now the way to drag a line up is audio point to audio point. If we could just type in 133%. To match other audio tracks that may be enough. If you figure out how to make the audio "set and go" that would be awesome.
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Petter Dessne

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So many good thoughts in just one post! :) Whoever is reading this thread at TechSmith should read this post twice. :)

Perhaps some of us could have a discussion together with the devs on what we would like and (from a dev perspective) what's possible to accomplish with a reasonable effort. 
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Simeon Amburgey

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I think some basic metering is essential and one way to help adjust audio track levels is by using VOLUME ENVELOPES. Most Digital Audio Workstations use timeline envelopes to automate things such as VOLUME, PAN, GAIN, ETC.  I also thought I heard mentioned VST plugin support; that would open the door for a lot more audio flexibility in processing, editing, etc.
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Petter Dessne

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Not sure automating audio like drawing envelopes in a DAW would be the way to go in Camtasia. In a video, it's more that different clips have different settings and need to be "glued" together, and that some of them need to be notch-filtered as bjerkan said. I think automation would be both a bit too much to ask and also clutter the interface a bit (but I might be wrong of course).

That said, VST plugin support would be very cool. :) Not sure how fast that can be done, but I agree it would be a super cool feature!

Note that as I (almost) wrote above, one can always save the audio file, import it in a DAW, make adjustments, and re-add it in Camtasia on a separate track.
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Jess Wilkinson

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When recording audio stream sources please show level and give control - Including "enable recording system audio." I can't see what level or clipping for the system source that is placed on the timeline. This feels like a bug or major feature implementation miss for the existing Camtasia recorder APP. I can see the mic input that is selected, but no system levels. I understand not chaining the input back to the monitor to prevent feedback, but at least show signal exists and is not clipping!
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Jess Wilkinson

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Still having this system audio may or may not be recorded problem and when combined with the crash on record -> edit button press I get no backup recordings to recover from either. Sucks for live interview event capture.
(Edited)
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Jess Wilkinson

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Audio VST plugins using standard plugins would allow me to chain audio through Izotope audio tools for better audio quality control at the time of recording.

No, I never really liked the previous noise reduction tool in Camtasia (too many low bit artifacts introduced.) The result has been for me to perform a two pass post capture video workflow for me grr... Export audio, post process and re import and re-align audio sync to video.
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MelGrubb

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I think VST support would absolutely bring the biggest return on development time. There are thousands of plugins out there, both commercial and open source. It would mean a vast amount of choices suddenly become available all at once.
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Jess Wilkinson

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I agree with Ron's #1 above - use logarithmic db and reference -12db as base level as it appears the audio level bars look like linear VU and don't express a wide range of levels well for proper active level check setting. Please co not auto duck or process audio without the ability to set the preference default to off. Auto audio volume reduction or ducking tends to suck at the most inopportune times when there is noise in the background. I don't do it!
(Edited)
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drummath

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Yes!
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prospectorjess

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I sure wish these audio requests had made it into Camtasia 2018. Too bad as I am disappointed with Camtasia 2018's audio bugs in the release. Locks up frequently on record and transfer to the editor and has a serious -30 db input loss for real microphones feeding USB inputs to windows (Behringer UMC404HD.) Yeah, both Microsoft and Techsmith are to blame or at least blame each other, get over it and fix the bug(s).
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ron

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I agree so much with this!  WHY DOESN'T TECHSMITH implement these requests? It's been YEARS!
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prospectorjess

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We'd be glad to beta them. I like the kiss approach to camtasia design. But several of these audio bugs hold it back.
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ron

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Beta would be good!  Paying for an upgrade with no extra audio features... bad.  :(
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Jess Wilkinson

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Sure would like to hear an acknowledgement from techsmith camtasia support about why this issue persists. No hint of a bugfix or new update to Camtasia 2018. Makes my upgrade a giant waste of time and money.
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ron

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After looking at the missing audio features and bad performance reviews of 2018, I decided to wait until techsmith actually implements the audio features we have been requesting for many years before upgrading. I’m guessing it might happen in 2025 based on the progress, so far...
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Jess Wilkinson

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Looks like it missed Camtasia 2019 as well.  Promised sometime in the future... I'm not upgrading or recommending to others until this lack of proper audio control and monitoring is fixed.
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Petter Dessne

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Since we're on the subject of working with audio, I'd like to add what I wrote in another post on adding markers to sync with audio (for promotion/music videos etc), according to second, frames, or BPM (https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/add-markers-fr).

I think it could interest readers of this thread, so I paste the post here (not trying to hijack the thread).

BTW, nothing like this exists in Adobe Premiere (for example), so it would perhaps attract more customers to Camtasia.

Also note that since this would simply be ordinary markers, they wouldn't necessarily need to control audio, but could just as well be there to make video clips of equal lengths, say for a tourist agency producing a movie with clips from tourist spots, or for a teacher/coach/parent/etc producing a movie where each child should be given the same amount of space.

I'm sure other people may come up with their own creative uses for this idea: let's say add an overlay effect every thirty seconds, or a popup ad every two minutes? Or just add markers to trim the start point, the end point, or the total lengths of video clips? etc, etc...

- - - -

A couple of months ago, I suggested having a beats per minute (BPM) setting for the timeline. The idea was that for a music video, a promotional movie, a catwalk shot etc, one should be able to sync the video clips to the beat. This was evaluated by the Camtasia staff (thanks for looking into that!) but was not so easy to implement.

However, I have thought more about this and refined the idea. How about an Add Markers... option? I'm thinking that one could choose between adding markers according to an amount of seconds, BPM or possibly frames (in case that's of interest).

When the user has entered something and pressed OK, the desired amount of markers would be inserted. Note that even BPM won't match exactly with frames, the difference will never be more than 1.5 hundreds of a second, so it's not a matter for concern.

Doing it this way would be much easier to implement, I assume, and at the same time, the function would be much more versatile!

I tried to convey my idea in the mockup below, ready to rock and in Camtasia style. :)

Petter

(Edited)
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kayakman, Champion

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see THIS post
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smccartney

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Having an EQ would be nice too.  EQ with some presets  and the ability to manually adjust frequencies.
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Brooks, Camtasia Technical Product Manager

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Official Response
We are actively working on automatic LUFs normalization applied to all media added to the timeline. This should be a part of the next major release of Camtasia.

Brooks

Camtasia Technical Product Manager
Mobile Technical Product Manager
TechSmith
(Edited)
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Jess Wilkinson

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Like released in the next major release =  Camtasia 2019?

Please do not provide "auto" LUFS normalization without the ability to manage it or turn it off.  Automatic audio tweaks tend to render results that are poor quality.
(Edited)
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Jess Wilkinson you can turn this feature off in Camtasia 2019 by going to the following steps.

1. In the Camtasia Editor go to the Edit/Preferences option.

2. Under the Preferences Screen you will see the Options Tabs. Go to the Tab that says Project. Under that you will see the Option to check or uncheck the Auto-normalize loudness. If it is unchecked then when you add your audio/video to the timeline it will not do this for you automatically. And if you have a check mark in this box then it will Auto-normalize loudness for you.

I have put a screenshot to show this Option and where it is under the Preferences/Project Tab. I hope this helps and explains that a little bit.



Let us know if this is what you were wanting to know and if it helps. Thanks for posting and have a great day/night.
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ron

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How about some of the other requested audio enhancements from your support board?
And auto ducking, etc.?
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Brooks, Camtasia Technical Product Manager

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We are continuing to evaluate requested audio improvements. No guarantees on ship date, but audio is an area we know is important to our users. Make sure you continue to request and vote on the things that are important to you.

Brooks

Camtasia Technical Product Manager
Mobile Technical Product Manager
TechSmith
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ron

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I also noticed that the audio leveling doesn't seem to do anything on the mac version.
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Brooks, Camtasia Technical Product Manager

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The current audio leveling effect is, perhaps, labeled inaccurately. It’s actually an audio compressor. It will be renamed more appropriately and LUFs normalization will be applied automatically, by default, to all new projects in future versions of the software.
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lukas

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Just to make sure: But you will also consider the case where an automatic audio normalization is not desired...? (I'm often recording string or orchester sample library demos where some clips are really quiet - and don't want the audio to be normalized or affected in any other way) So I think that really ought to be optional.
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Jess Wilkinson

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Just make sure we can turn off any audio adjustment feature. I post process in isotope and hate auto duck and auto LUF during capture.
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Jess Wilkinson

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24 bit audio at 48khz or more would be great.
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Brooks, Camtasia Technical Product Manager

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You will be able to disable automatic LUFs normalization.
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Petter Dessne

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Could you please include a hipass filter as well? I would have needed one yesterday to filter out AC hum from a recording. What I did instead was to export the audio, put it in my DAW and use a HP filter there, and finally insert the exported audio from my DAW on a new track in Camtasia. 

This worked well, but I assume most of my university's 400 teacher colleagues are not familiar with DAWs etc and then they would just say: "Camtasia makes boomy recordings and we can't get around them so let's look elsewhere."

As mentioned above, a notch filter would probably be better, but a basic hipass filter would be a step in the right direction.
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christopher.clephane

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Ok....OFFICIALLY DISGUSTED by the smoke and mirrors.

Product managers ...I am talking to you!

Camtasia 2019 -- it appears ...that all you did....was relocate the volume leveling function out of Audio Effects  (where it was tweak-able) and moved it into PROJECT SETTINGS...and you have the Audacity call it a NEW FEATURE?

Less control and more mystery is not helpful...

.....ESPECIALLY when you don't even know what your levels are to begin with!

Loud and clear.
Shame. Shame. Shame.

These collective forum professionals have been  politely asking for the simple addition of a few valued tools -- and you continue to skirt the requests of professionals -- who simply want to set consistent and reliable audio levels.

That's SUPER BASIC when it comes to timeline editing.   (Mixing audio to a known reference.)

Now I am going to get catty...

Instead you focus on "me too" flashy features such as IOS integration......
..........when one of your core features (AUDIO) is WEAK.     Let me say it.  WEAK.


Myself and others have requested numerous times in the past few years...even for just the inclusion of  BASIC AUDIO METERING.

Instead...you take an existing feature...remove a few controls...embed it deeper...and have the Audacity to call it something new?

Come on.....   
Forum participants?  Am I nuts? Am I off base here?   
I do make mistakes occasionally...and I will own it if I am wrong.

Public opinion?   Face value.  Have we been given a new (useful) feature?  Or did we just get pacified for yet again another release on the audio stuff?




(Edited)
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lukas

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I don't want to agree. But I must. Could not agree more. You really know how to upset paying users.

It seems to me that you take user feature requests, strip it down to offer way less functionality than it would require to be a useful new feature... but it's enough for writing it into the release notes. This applies to many features over the last years.

Sorry for my bad English... but I think it's clear enough to be understandable.
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Jess Wilkinson

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This is a problem.  Missed promises about improved audio management here is a big miss for Camtasia 2019. 

Is it coming in a "minor" revision 2019 update?
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Brooks, Camtasia Technical Product Manager

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Camtasia implemented automatic audio volume leveling for all new Camtasia 2019 projects. Behind the scenes in each new project each audio clip placed on the timeline is automatically normalized to -18 LUFS. Waveforms have been revamped to reflect the relationship that automatic audio leveling has on each clip (you visually see how the audio volumes of disparate clips are aligned and the gain number is set to 100 so you see the relationship of audio gain adjustments when you manually apply them). We do not automatically apply LUFS normalization to older projects because we don't want to mess up the manual tweaks that users may have made and if you don't start out with LUFS normalization, make a ton of adjustments to gain, or apply effects; the results may not be desirable.

The draggable effect formerly known as "Audio Leveling" was renamed to be more semantically correct, Audio Compression, and to not be confused with automatic volume level normalization.

One of our engineers put this detailed explanation of how automatic audio leveling works and its benefits. It's a 5 minute watch that's well worth your time. You are welcome to provide feedback or ask questions, but I ask you to please be respectful in tone and do not make ad hominem attacks. We sunk a ton of effort into improving this feature and are finding it super useful in our own productions. We've also gotten really great feedback from folks who beta tested it and customers who purchased 2019 and are now using it in the market.

https://videoreview.techsmith.com/review/Yi7jdFGbb8BySLJv0ywK3s/v1

Camtasia isn't ever going to be a pro audio editing tool. We want to strike the balance of saving users time and improving their overall results without needing a ton of expertise and manual tweaking. We believe automatic audio leveling hits the mark on that front. 

We are still listening to advanced users audio needs and actively looking at solutions. Please feel free to make new feature requests. It's way more effective if you do so one request per post and don't drop in comments on other posts, or posts marked as implemented (e.g. Record Audio Metering). If you do so, it makes it way clearer which features have have the most resonance within this forum. 

Brooks

Camtasia Technical Product Manager
Mobile Technical Product Manager
TechSmith
(Edited)
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Jess Wilkinson

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I'll have to test it, but we were told that turning off the automated leveling would be easy to turn off. Is it?
(Edited)
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kayakman, Champion

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it is very easy

uncheck the box in edit/preferences/project tab

you can also uncheck in project settings
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kayakman, Champion

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I'll add that I always work with that option unchecked; 2019 gives me noticeably cleaner audio than 2018 [USB mic] when the option is unchecked, even though my 2018 audio was pretty good; when checked, the effect is seen by larger audio wave forms on timeline clips 
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Jess Wilkinson

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Can you default all projects to initialize with it off? Or is this another setup dance that gets forgotten. Is the RAW input retained or destroyed in the process?
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kayakman, Champion

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if you uncheck the box in edit/preferences/project tab, your projects should default that way; all mine do
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Jess Wilkinson I have mine unchecked to test the differences with and without using this feature option for Audio. When the box is unchecked like kayakman stated for him it works the same for me and stays as the default setting. I am using Camtasia 2019 on a PC so I cannot speak for any Mac Users as I do not own one.
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Jess Wilkinson

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I wonder if Brrooks can comment on why. Kayakman says the 2019 audio is cleaner w/o leveling checked. Is the audio stream 24 or 32 bit in 2019?

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