Backup Recording with Audacity is Better Than Camtasia - How Can I Fix This?

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Hi everyone,

I just discovered that I have to redo dozens of PPT presentations because I failed to set the correct "widescreen" ratio for my video. While I'm at it, I also noticed that when I record with Audacity (as a backup file) at the same time as I am recording the Camtasia video, I get much better audio with Audacity than if I do with Camtasia but I can't figure out why. Is there anyone willing to help me figure this out?

I use the ATR-2100 microphone and Camtasia 8.

My Audacity is set to record at 44,100. That's pretty much all I know about my Audacity settings. I don't change the audios once I'm done with them because they sound pretty good as is. In Camtasia I left the default settings but the sound is just not as nice overall.

Do any of you have any suggestions on what to change the settings to in Camtasia?

Many thanks.
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corefreedom

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Posted 5 years ago

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Fred Grover, Champion

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By default in the .trec Camtasia Studio Recorder the Audio Settings are this below:

CCITT A-LAW
8.000 kHz, 8 bit, Mono, 7kb/sec. This is in my opinion a low audio setting but I get alright audio using it. My suggestion is to change the Audio Settings but, with Camtasia Studio Recorder you need to change the recording format to .avi instead of the .trec format to make these changes. Then you can set your audio to the following settings below:

CCITT A-LAW
44.100 kHz, 8 bit, Mono, 43kb/sec.

This should give you better audio if you are recording without Audacity. Just keep in mind that you would want to change the recording format back to the .trec after changing these settings. It used to be an available option with the old .camrec format in Camtasia Studio 7 and they change this in the new version of Camtasia Studio 8 so if you have any questions on these settings please post back and I will make a short video or upload some screenshots for you to look at. Thanks for posting and I hope this helps a little.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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These are NOT the defaults for TREC audio.  TREC currently uses AAC audio for the microphone and system audio.  The sampling frequency is 44.1 KHz, and the bitrate is a high quality variable bitrate stream around 254 Kbps.

You can look at the properties of your TREC file as follows:
1. Make sure file extensions are not hidden in Windows Explorer.  Here's a screenshot of the setting that controls this:  http://screencast.com/t/uxGuL0xx
2. Add a .mp4 extension to the file name.  TREC files are based on the MP4 container.  This helps MediaInfo to recognize the format.
3. Use MediaInfo to view the file properties.  Here's an example TREC I made using the default settings in Camtasia Recorder 8.4.3:  http://screencast.com/t/wRAEHCCflad0
4. Don't forget to remove the .mp4 extension (leaving .trec) before trying to import the file into Camtasia Studio.

Hope this helps.
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Joe Morgan

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I just recently discovered how to export a WAV file from trec.  "44.1K was what I got" and I did not what to chime in on this issue because I expected a response from someone like yourself was coming. I will expand with this.  Joe from tech. support said that the audio file is also in direct relationship with the input source as well. @corefreedom's  ATR-2100 microphone is " Mono  50k to 15,000k "Maybe that is part of the issue he is experiencing.

I don't know if you can expand on that or not. I was holding off suggesting he contact tech support in hopes we could see an expanded response here.
Thanks Dave. Hope to here more on this.

Regards, Joe
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corefreedom

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I actually talked with tech support in length yesterday because the mic seems to be interfering with the recording of PPt presentations. I kept getting 8581 error reports. When I dragged the PPT onto the desktop I could record but since testing out version 8 I am now getting weird error messages even with PPT on the desktop. It goes from error message 101 to 102 and then to 8585. We looked at this with tech support yesterday and determined there is a glitch with the ATR-2100 and Camtasia somehow. We are doing more testing on Monday. Will keep you all posted.

As far as the quality of the mic itself is concerned. It's strange that I get super great quality when I record in 44,100 16-bit stereo with Audacity but it sounds nothing like that when I record with Camtasia. I have not yet tested Fred's suggestions from his video (am in a different location today) but will do that this weekend and see what happens.
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Fred Grover, Champion

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All I can say and maybe something is different is that the settings I listed and I had made no changes to the audio before or after installation of CS 8.4.3 Upgrade this is the default settings it showed for me when I did what I did in the video. I did make changes before making the video so maybe someone might try a fresh new install and then go through those steps and see what their settings are. The point I am making is it was better when you could just adjust those audio settings from the .camrec and now this .trec seems to make it harder for users and the help files do not really make any references to these things. Might there be something incorrect in my version as it installed just fine? Who knows but maybe we can all get something figured out so it is not so confusing to us all. Just my opinion and views here. Some may agree and others may not. Have a great day everyone.
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corefreedom

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Hi Fred,

Thank you so much for your reply. Goodness, 8.000 kHz, 8 bit, Mono, 7kb/sec, I'm surprised Camtasia uses this as the default. The sound difference is quite significant. No wonder. :-)

I don't know how to change the audio file to avi. Are there multiple steps involved or is this something I can set up before I click the "add-on" in PPT? Also, I usually record in 16 bit and my kb is higher too but I can't seem to find where I changed that.

Does anyone else record simultaneously in Audacity and then import that wav file into Camtasia to render the final presentation? Seems a bit cumbersome though.

Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it!
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Fred Grover, Champion

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So from what I make of this is you are just making a PowerPoint Presentation and then using the Camtasia Studio Add In when recording your Presentation and Audacity for the Audio? I am assuming you are not recording the audio with the Recorder for Camtasia Studio enabled inside of PowerPoint and that you are just recording the Presentation with no audio and just using Audacity and editing the audio in Camtasia Studio to Produce your video? I am a little confused so if you could explain the steps you are taking in more detail I might be able to help you more. Thanks.
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corefreedom

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Hi Fred,
Actually, not quite. I'm using Camtasia to do both the PPT recording and the voice. I noticed that the quality of the sound was quite terrible and out of curiosity I tried the same thing but also turned on Audacity so it would record there as well. When I compared the two, the Audacity version was much nicer.

I would prefer not to have to hassle with importing files and just working with Camtasia, but if I can't improve the quality then I can't use the file as it is and will have to record audio in Audacity and then importing it to Camtasia.I would like to avoid that if at all possible but haven't figured out yet how to change the audio settings in Camtasia.
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Tamutka

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Hi,
I am very bad for speaking while recording :-) So I write all down, practice a little bit and then record in Audacity, export as .mp3 and then record video with Camtasia while listening my sound track. Then import the sound track to Camtasia. In case the voice and video does not match exactly, I split iether voice track or/and video track and synchronise both. But I have short videos, 7 minutes the longest.
regards, Natasa
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juwex

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I also don't record audio while recording the screen as I need to do things on the screen, instead of it being static. I record my audio first, using Camtasia's voice recording feature (and a script). I then record screens/PPTs and sync the two together.

I'm using a USB microphone. WAV files are produced from the settings that I have. I'm able to edit out any unwanted noises without a problem.
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corefreedom

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I'm recording PPT presentations with lots of animations. So I can't really record the audio first without watching the presentation at the same time. Writing a script for over 30 PPT presentations (a 10 hour course), would take me forever. :-)

Does anyone know if there is a way to change the audio quality after it has already been recorded? And how do I do that? Or does the sound have to be recorded with the right settings from the get go?
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juwex

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What type of changes do you want to make?
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Usually it is best to have your settings to what you want before recording the audio. It can be changed but it might not have very good audio quality after the changes are made. I have recorded bands and quite a few screencasts. Also used Pro Audio Editing Software and it is not the best idea to make changes as I have found from experience the results do not always come out the best. Just my 2 cents worth here.

However, if you mean removing noises, hisses, etc. then yes the audio can be edited and corrected. I always use a .wav file instead of .mp3 as the .wav is uncompressed audio and makes it easier to edit in my opinion.
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corefreedom

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Thank you, Fred. So how to I create the right settings from the get go? I can't seem to find that area in Camtasia 8 anywhere.
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Fred Grover, Champion

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I will try and make a quick video and upload it for you tomorrow.
(Edited)
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Ok corefreedom and others who might find this useful. Here is the quick and short video made to show you how to do this with a quick explanation for pre-setting audio in the Camtasia Studio Recorder. I would also say that it is a good idea to just do a quick test of a recording say for maybe 10 seconds or so and then stop the recording and listen to the playback to make sure it is sounding good enough for you. This is one of my standard practices before recording and it saves me some trouble later on down the road.

One other not for recording audio whether I do it in Camtasia Studio, Audacity, Adobe Audition CC, or my Digital Recorder. I always leave about the first 5 seconds for silence without saying anything so I can hear any background noise my microphone might pick up and be able to edit it out without to much hassle when and if the editing is need to remove those noises. And last but not least is to make sure you are recording in the quietest area you can and not to have your mic to close to other electronic devices, fans, etc. where noises can be picked up. The link to the video is below for you and others:

http://www.screencast.com/t/OT1vFw9Cw

I hope this helps and let me know. Thanks for posting and have a great day.
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Hi,
Thank you, that is very helpfull. And very kind also :-)
Natasa
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Your welcome Natasa. I am glad it helped and you enjoyed. Thanks for the feedback and have a great day.
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Tamutka

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:-)
Since you are very acquainted with the program I will ask you something I allready asked (just now) the Support team. But perhaps you are familiar with the problem. I noticed it before with my videos but now with your wideo also (which is on Screencast, so everything should be OK but it is not.)

1. no matter if in Chrome or Firefox, the controller does not hide even with Hide controls checked. This I can see when opening other videos like this one:
http://www.screencast.com/t/OT1vFw9Cw
2. I cannot jump to a later part of video or jump back, if I want to see some part of the video again like on Youtube for instance.

In previous version all was OK.

What do you think?

regards, Natasa
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Fred Grover, Champion

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That is strange behavior Natasa. You asked:

"1. no matter if in Chrome or Firefox, the controller does not hide even with Hide controls checked. This I can see when opening other videos like this one:
http://www.screencast.com/t/OT1vFw9Cw "

When I view this video I can see it automatically hides the controller as long as my mouse is not somewhere over the video and I am using Firefox. I have not tried this in Chrome as I have not used Chrome for awhile. By chance when you watch this video is your mouse over or near the edges of the video that bring the controller back up when hidden or if in full screen mode are you moving your mouse around or anything? That can make the controller appear instead of hide.

For your next question.

"2. I cannot jump to a later part of video or jump back, if I want to see some part of the video again like on YouTube for instance.

In previous version all was OK. "

I can when it is on screencast.com jump back and forth anywhere in the video by clicking on the controller of where or close to where I want it to playback for me. On YouTube videos and sometimes screencast depending on my Internet Speed as I do live in the country and using wireless connection(s) it may have some lag rime when I click on the video controller and make me wait which it is buffering the video before I can see it again.

Sorry I am not much of a help there. Please post back what support has to tell you too for others and let us know if you are using the latest version of Camtasia Studio 8 and maybe your Production Settings and options when you do your final video production. Thanks again and have a great day. :)
(Edited)
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Tamutka

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Thanks for the reply,
I got the answer from technical help too, they told me the same.
Now I will explore my computer where is the catch.

Thanks and regards, Natasa
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Fred Grover, Champion

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If you want too Natasa you could upload one of your videos a short clip and myself and others could view it and see if they have the same problem while trying to do these things while viewing your uploaded video. Then they can let you know too. Glad to have you here as a user and if you have any questions always feel free to post them here. I may or may not be able to answer them but there are other users too that can always help too which I appreciate. If the need arises we always have the TechSupport to turn too for help too.
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Tamutka

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Hi,
Now I tried to watch on my stacionary computer and everything is as should be. So, something with Chrome and Firefox on my laptop is wrong.  
Funny only that video made with 7 is working and with 8 not. 
So, since the most important thing is that my public can see the video as it should be, everything is OK.

Thanks for your willing to help.

regards, Natasa
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corefreedom

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Fred, thank you so, so much for doing this video for us. I so appreciate it and this is of great help! I started to record with Audacity while recording the screen with Camtasia and then merging the two later. Just because the audio is so bad with Camtasia (for my purposes). This should fix this challenge. This really needs to be looked at by Camtasia for a future release. It makes no sense whatsoever to restrict audio quality in this way. Audio is the most important feature of any presentation and video and we really need to have options as to what we choose. And it shouldn't be this complicated to access these functions.

This video really helped. Thank you!

Natasa, I had the same problem that you have. If I remember correctly, I checked or unchecked a box somewhere but I can't remember where. I also updated Firefox. This fixed the problem for me.
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Tamutka

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Thanks, 
I will see what can I do.

regards, Natasa
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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I'd like to thank Fred for chiming in here to help.  We appreciate your willingness to chime in and help others on this board.  After reading the thread, there are a few things that I'd like to clarify.  I will try to check back for any followup questions you may have.

Audacity audio settings:
  The Camtasia Studio timeline runs at 44.1 kHz, 16-bit, Stereo.  This is the format used on audio CDs, so it's a high quality uncompressed format.  In order to mix audio from different sources on the timeline, it must first be converted to this format.  For some source formats, this conversion can affect the quality when placed on the timeline.  For best quality, we recommend using PCM, 44.1 kHz, 16-bit, Stereo.  Choosing these settings in Audacity will provide high quality WAV files that should sound great on the Camtasia Studio timeline.

TREC audio settings:
 We created the TREC format to allow the use of the same recording in Camtasia on PC and on Mac.  Not all formats are supported on both platforms.  As a result, the audio settings are fixed for TREC.  TREC currently uses AAC audio for the microphone and system audio.  The sampling frequency is 44.1 KHz, and the bitrate is a high quality variable bitrate stream around 254 Kbps.  You should get high quality audio without changing any settings.  If you're not getting high quality audio by default, the reason is not the settings.  Check your audio connections and levels, and do a test recording.  If you're still having trouble getting good quality audio, please get in touch with our free Technical support team, and they can help.

Pro tip:  You can look at the properties of your TREC file as follows:
1. Make sure file extensions are not hidden in Windows Explorer.  Here's a screenshot of the setting that controls this:  http://screencast.com/t/uxGuL0xx
2. Add a .mp4 extension to the file name.  TREC files are based on the MP4 container.  This helps MediaInfo to recognize the format.
3. Use MediaInfo to view the file properties.  Here's an example TREC I made using the default settings in Camtasia Recorder 8.4.3:  http://screencast.com/t/wRAEHCCflad0
4. Don't forget to remove the .mp4 extension (leaving .trec) before trying to import the file into Camtasia Studio.

Hope this helps.
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Thanks for chiming in Dave and I appreciate what the TechSmith Employees do for their users too.

Anyway I did use MediaInfo and the settings for what I listed above when I changed the for mat to record in the .avi is what mine were and I had never changed anything in the audio settings for Camtasia Studio Recorder 8.4.3. It is changed now as I explained in my video. Not sure if I was the only one or not that had those settings too. I was trying to explain how to make changes to the Audio settings also. I think that is the correct way to accomplish this but correct me if I am wrong please.

I just remember in Camtasia Studio 7 before it went tot the .trec format for recording and was still the old .camrec format if I recall we did not have to bounce around like this to change the audio settings which made it easier and more of a one step method. Am I correct on this or not? Also, I would like to know if that is something that TechSmith is considering changing in the next update release or the next version? I think it makes it to confusing for other users to understand and it is not really documented anywhere that I am aware of.

I have looked for this in the help file with both the Camtasia Studio 8 Editor and Recorder Dave and that information was not found for changing the audio settings. Am I missing something? I am one person that does read and look through Help Files for a software program if I am looking to learn something.

I know in the Camtasia Studio 8 Editor Help File under the Record PowerPoint Presentation>Enable the PowerPoint Add-In>Advanced Video and Audio Setup Options that it explains some options that are not there for me.  I took a screenshot below to show or help explain what I am seeing and the options it states in the Help files. The link for the image is below:

http://screencast.com/t/RVJwSHCodjI

Can you tell me Dave if the Help Files are being updated with the revision updates and new versions. I cannot find the Audio Setup Wizard anywhere in the new CS 8.4.3 or the Save as TREC Option as explained in that section of the help file(s). Once again am I missing something here Dave and if so please correct me and lead me in the right direction. I am not trying to argue or be a pain but it seems like the help files are not updated or something and if the software is updated and changes made then I feel there should be some changes made to that help file when major changes are made as it would make it better for the user(s) who do refer to the Help File for trying to learn some things in the software. Would you agree with that? Let me know and if there is anything I can do then I am willing to help in anyway I can to get some things done with TechSmith. I love this forum and I am proud to be a TechSmith Champion as I have been using the software for quite sometime now and just enjoy helping others and myself learn new things in the software. It is a great place to be and a great software. Let us know and thanks Dave.

P.S. I am sure you would agree about the changing of the Audio Settings being able to do so when recording to the .trec format or if not then at least be able to see some kind of reference in the Help Files for the instructions on how to do this and the default audio settings for that format. Mine are not what you stated but I have been around audio long enough to know what settings I need to change. Seems strange before I touched any of the audio settings like I said the settings in my above posts is what showed for my defaults. Confusing I guess. Would you agrethat the Help Files might need an upgrade in the software too? I like to think outside of the box kind of and think what might the user(s) not understand in this new upgrade or version of the software and then make sure all the bases are covered when I make my video(s) to explain something. Not always perfect or might miss some things but try to give the best information.Thanks and have a great day.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Hi Fred.  The audio settings for TREC are fixed, and you should not be able to change them.  The reason these settings are fixed for TREC is so that the file can be read on both Mac and PC.  If we allow codecs and formats to be changed, then it becomes impossible for us to test and maintain cross platform support.  So the fact that the audio settings are greyed out when you select TREC is by design.

We decided to leave AVI support, because it's still useful in some workflows.  For AVI, we intended to leave the audio and video codec selection just as it was in versions prior to 840.  That's why the audio settings light up when AVI is selected.  They're only intended to apply to AVI, not TREC.

For the PowerPoint Add-in, TREC replaces CAMREC, and with this change, the Advanced audio and video codec settings are removed.  You should be seeing MediaInfo settings similar to what I posted above.  If you're not seeing that, then that would be the bug.

As for the help file, that was an oversight.  You found an old help file topic that references options that were removed in 840.  I've opened a bug and notified our help file author.  We will remove that page.  Thanks for the report.
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Dave thanks for posting back with that explanation and I will have to try the MediaInfo and see what it says for the .trec in Camtasia Recorder and for PowerPoint then. Should they both have the same settings and if I changed it the way I showed in the video does that make the changes to the .trec then or not? Not sure that is why I ask. Thanks again for the feedback and answers.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Fred,

In answer to your question... "Should they both have the same settings and if I changed it the way I showed in the video does that make the changes to the .trec then or not?"

No.  Changing the audio settings as you did in the video should only affect the audio for AVI, not for TREC.  The TREC audio capture settings are fixed, and independent from the AVI audio capture settings.
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corefreedom

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Hi Dave,

Thanks for your reply. My Audacity settings are exactly as you stated and it makes for great audio files with this setting. Using Camtasia "out of the box" without making any audio changes (because I didn't know where to make the changes before Fred's great video), the audio just doesn't sound the same, not even remotely the same, as does my Audacity file. It's just a much lower quality. I don't know why. I use the same microphone. So I have resorted to recording with Audacity and then importing the wav file into Camtasia, but this is an (unnecessary) extra step I wanted to avoid. I talked with Tech support but he said  the file couldn't be changed to 44,100, 16-bit (it is apparently set to a lower rate). Not sure what all this means, but I'm not happy with the audio quality of Camtasia as it is. At least not for what I need to accomplish. :-)

It's okay, The work-around is doing a 2-step process until this can hopefully be changed in a future version.

Thank you,
Cha~zay
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Thanks for the reply.  We definitely want to understand why you're not getting high quality audio out of the box, because there should be little to no audio difference between the 2 methods you mentioned.  Do you have an incident # with our TechSupport?  I'd like to follow up and see if we can better understand the audio quality issue you're reporting.  In particular, it would help to have these 2 recordings (Camtasia, Audacity) to compare.  If you've already given these to our TechSupport staff, we can get the files from them.  Thanks.
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corefreedom

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I played them for him on the phone (with screen share) yesterday. He could hear the Audacity version but not the Camtasia version. We will do another test Monday with the actual microphone (was in a different location yesterday and he's off today). Will keep you posted. Yes, would love to get this figured out too.

Many thanks.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Ok, sounds good.  It looks like Incident #96349 was still open with Nate?  I've left a note for him, and referenced this thread so he'd have the context of our conversation.  Thanks for your help.
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corefreedom

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That's it, and yes, Nate's been great and very patient with me. :-)
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Fred Grover, Champion

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I would have to agree and say that Nate is excellent at what he does as I have dealt with him in the past and also Mike Spinks. Dave and other staff have been very helpful. Sometimes Logan if he is still here is slow on the responses but we all get busy and forget things. Just my views of who I have worked with. I miss the old crew like Ryan, Matt, Troy and a few others. They never missed much and always responded quickly. Keep up the great work to all of the employees at TechSmith. Have a great day.

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