Camtasia 9: Adding Audio after recording video or vice-versa

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 5 months ago
I record what will become very short tutorials on using our library search tools, 2-4 minutes. My system is Windows 10 professional and I am using Camtasia 9. We have a recording studio with good mics. That enables me to get really good audio, as long as I speak properly. However, because of my poor eyesight, it is difficult to record video and audio simultaneously. I record the screen in which I type and move the mouse around. I've tried to record the same tutorial several times now (for a total of about three hours) and each time, there's a problem with the video or the audio.  I really would like to record the audio from a script that I have and then, while sitting at my desk with my large monitor, add the video that is the right length for he audio. I've seen people post that they use Audacity for the audio track. So I know both don't have to be done at once. How do I go about recording only audio first or only video first and then adding the others? I've seen several poss here about problems syncing the two. If I understand things correctly, I can stretch out the audio segments if they are too short for the video. Is that practical? Thanks.




Photo of kennethlitwak

kennethlitwak

  • 115 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like

Posted 5 months ago

  • 1
Photo of david

david

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Why not, watch the video and record the audio on something like Audacity (free software). Export the audio file as a WAV file (MP3s cause the issues you’ve spoken about) and then just import the audio file and put it onto the timeline in Camtasia

David






Photo of Joe Morgan

Joe Morgan

  • 7266 Posts
  • 3968 Reply Likes

For what it’s worth, I always record my audio and video at the same time.

How do I do it? I wear a headset microphone for starters. Because you have to have free hands to operate the keyboard and computer mouse. Plus, as you move your head around. A microphone that sits on your desk. Will not pick up the sound of your voice properly. Because the sound will trail off as you turn your head away from it.

For scripted tutorials, I have the script on one monitor. And do the video recording on my primary monitor.

If I have to be very precise in my wording. I will rehearse my lines a bit. Read them aloud a few times to get them clear in my head. I may even practice actions on screen when utilizing software. Undoing my actions, helping the recordings go more smoothly.

I have the pause button of the recorder mapped to a handy key. I also have the recorders tool bar set to minimize to the system tray while recording. In that mode, when it’s paused, it pops back up on screen while paused. So I always know if I am recording or not.

There are people that record the audio first. Then try to time their movements on screen to their audio. If you can make that work for you that’s fine.

When I’m talking, typing and moving the mouse naturally, everything is smooth and in time by default.

I would think you can waste as much time in the editor extending frames, slicing and dicing the audio and moving things around. To accommodate these mismatched recordings. As you would rehearsing your actions.Winding up with a choppier production overall to boot.But that’s just my perspective.

There’s more than one way to get things done.

Regards, Joe


(Edited)
Photo of Fred Grover

Fred Grover, Champion

  • 2445 Posts
  • 384 Reply Likes
I have personally used both ways for recording my audio by using a script. I use PreSonus Tudio One or just record my audio into a Digital Record that has multi tracks in case I want to bring in live Sound FX or something and it is all controlled by a Laptop and Tablet I use. I also use dual monitor setup and would not prefer to do it it on one monitor or laptop screen after using dual monitors.

Sometimes the audio turns out great with some editing but TechSmith's audio still needs more editing features in my opinion. I use Lavalier Mics, and USB Headsets and also have a Pro Recording Setup as I record my music too and never had problems using an external mic as long as you stay focused on where it is placed and prepare ahead of time for getting your audio levels set correctly etc.

Everyone has their own ways of recording their screencast videos and audio so there would be many things and options to consider and just do some experimenting with to see what works best for the user and what makes them feel most comfortable.

Thanks for posting and have a great day/night.
Photo of David Demyan

David Demyan

  • 83 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
How do I go about recording only audio first or only video first and then adding the others? I've seen several poss here about problems syncing the two. If I understand things correctly, I can stretch out the audio segments if they are too short for the video. Is that practical? 
That's exactly the workflow I almost always use. I can either invest a lot of time rehearsing the narration and actions to get them right or I can invest a lot of time clipping and snipping the timeline. For me, the results are better with the latter, mainly due to the improved overall timing and quality of the finished product. This is well-covered in my book, E-Learning with Camtasia Studio. http://amzn.to/1qiy47d

Here is a high-level view of the workflow that works best for me.
  1. Storyboard the whole thing with narration and screenshots or sketches. Get it approved, if required.
  2. I like to create a "shot list" and record the video first, either with or without talking through it. If you get the timing close and the steps exactly as outlined in the storyboard, you will be ahead of the game and prevent changes later on. Both my book and some of the TechSmith resources I have seen cover the concept of using a shot list.
  3. Get voice talent (sometimes me, sometimes a colleague) into the sound booth and do a read-through while recording in Audacity. 
  4. While recording, when there's a flub or mis-read, back up to the most recent significant vocal pause (end of sentence or phrase) and just keep recording from there. When working with someone else as vocal talent, I use a backward twirly finger motion to let them know to back up and re-record that part.
  5. Edit the Audacity project file using the Effects menu to remove noise, apply EQ, and compress the peaks and valleys out of the stream.
  6. Edit the Audacity project file a second time to remove excess pauses between blurbs to about 3/4 second. This timing will be used later to help create splits in the Camtasia project timeline where needed to adjust timing there.
  7. Export audio as WAV and save in the project folder. Use WAV format to prevent over-compression in the final video.
  8. In the Camtasia project file, lay the audio on a track below the recorded video.
  9. Use the clippers, splitters, delete selection and other Camtasia timeline editing tools to adjust both audio and video tracks to match up so actions match narration. HINT: I use the clip speed adjustment a lot.
  10. Add your zooms, pans, callouts, titles, transitions and background music, if appropriate. If you do use BG music, use the Camtasia audio edit points to create dips and swells as required to get a good mix. I always use high-quality headphones to get this right.
  11. Export as high-quality MP4 and enjoy!

Photo of David Demyan

David Demyan

  • 83 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
UPDATE: A colleague on my team suggested recording video first due to your vision impairment. I agree with him; you can try both ways and see which works better for your own situation and setup.
Photo of darren.mcneill

darren.mcneill

  • 47 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Normally you record your audio first by writing the script, reading it out loud many times to practice the speed and flow. Writing a script is not just sitting down and writing. You must do the actual actions as you go, making sure every step is mentioned. Then write the script to flow. You then time the video to the audio. If you record the audio first, you can then record the steps with screen capture + rough audio using the script to get th video capture correct. Speak slowly and take your time with the video capture. It is good practice to take pauses or gaps in between sections as these can be cut and trimmed afterwards. So many people new to screen capturing try to record in one go and speak to quickly and then accepting " it will do". It is very difficult to screen capture and also still to the script at the same time. This often leads to a lot of mistakes an re-recording or worse,  accepting " we can edit this afterwards. Editing a bad screen capture takes multiples of times longer to work with than well rehearsed scripts and understanding the process. Camtasia is just the tool. It does not make good videos, you do. Many times people who are the Subject Matter Experts rock into my studio and say they can do it without scripts or practice and it has never worked out that way. If a PPT is used as a guide I give 15-30 mins per slide.  Recording content properly is not the same as giving the training as you all know. It is a huge learning curve.
As above, leave any animations, zooms and annotations to last.
Another option: Regularly the Subject Matter Expert will record the screen and talk at the same time and later a different person will record the audio via the script and the video is then matched to th new audio.
I make sure that there is minimal mouse movement when not required to aid any cutting of video and annotations an zooms etc can be used to highlight or focus on the required section of the screen.
The script and the voice should be the focus and the screen action should be there to support what the speaker is saying.
Photo of kennethlitwak

kennethlitwak

  • 115 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Thanks for all the response, everyone!  This is my first time using a script and I recruited someone to speak it who has a better voice and coughs less.

After that, I tried using the script while recording audio and video and that was bumpy , to say the least.


Photo of docsope

docsope

  • 79 Posts
  • 40 Reply Likes
I used to be in the Film & TV industry many years ago and started with recording voice overs and post syncing.  You don't need wall to wall talking, light and shade is good.  I record my V/O's using Audacity and then import them into Camtasia.  I then 'lay' them in the right place to match what is happening on the screen.   The secret of making it work, is to record a section of blank sound (room atmosphere) at the end of the Audacity recording.  When you have finished laying up your tracks, paste this section into all the gaps where there is no Voice recording.  This stops the background sound (yes, even in a studio) suddenly disappearing and re-appearing where your sound edits are, and makes it sound seamless
Photo of Joe Morgan

Joe Morgan

  • 7223 Posts
  • 3912 Reply Likes
That's fine, but its really depends on what you're doing.

The bulk of my recordings are tutorials using software.So I'm merely describing the workflow as I record my actions.
Scripting and recording my voice in advance.Then attempting to time software usage actions to a recorded voice.Would be impractical and/or nearly impossible to pull off smoothly.

Its a distinction I failed to make in my previous post.

If your videos play out more like a Power Point presentation.Without a lot of camera movements or actions that you need to keep up with. I can see how a scripted audio can work smoothly. 

Regards,Joe 
(Edited)
Photo of kennethlitwak

kennethlitwak

  • 115 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I'm used to using Audacity but perhaps there is something I don't know. because using a boom mic in the school's recording studio resulted in audio that had a terrible buzz all the way through, especially when I tried to "amplify" it. I won't try that again. What settings do others use that produce good Audacity files to import into Camtasia?
Photo of David Demyan

David Demyan

  • 83 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
Oh, I could go on and on.... In regard to buzz, hiss, and hum from the environment, I like to avoid that if possible. Sometimes it's link noise, in other words, it's an electrical problem with the mic connection to the computer. Sometimes it comes from the fluorescent lights. That's kind of rare in the USB podcast world. More likely is a situation similar to what I encountered. I was told we had an absolutely dead quite studio before I got a tour. When I opened the studio door the first time, I could hear a distinct buzz. No one else seemed to notice and they were driving the Audacity noise filter to the absolute limits to minimize it. Doing some research, I found they located the studio right below a high power transformer in the ceiling. It buzzed louder when the load was high, so it was kind of unpredictable.

Also, they were using the directional mic improperly, not speaking directly into the diaphragm due to positioning. I fixed that so I got a mid-range visible waveform on the timeline. I like to keep levels between the 50's in Audacity. This maximizes vocal strength and minimizes background. Here's what I like to see on the Audacity timeline.



Notice the flat forms between sentences and the wave peaks to about +/- 50. This visual represents low noise and rich vocals. In addition to noise reduction, I apply EQ to groom the sound and compression to even out the peaks and valleys.

I suspect your wave forms are flatter than mine, representing weak levels. Boost your input -- get closer to the mic and use gain if available. The Yeti mic I use has a nifty input gain control that works like a charm to get the levels I want.
Photo of kennethlitwak

kennethlitwak

  • 115 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Thanks for the Audacity information. What I find interesting is that if I do the same recording with Camtasia for the audio., I don't get that buzz. Our audio person said that Camtasia does a better job of recording audio than Camtasia. That seems odd to me but apparently it's correct.

  The recording studio is on the fifth floor of a six-story building. There is no power line above it.  Audacity has a lot of menu choices that I don't knowt he meaning of. I used to get a very large waveform. I don't know what changed but now, yes, I get an almost flat line.

Duncan
(Edited)
Photo of kennethlitwak

kennethlitwak

  • 115 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Thanks for all that information on Audacity. That said, I still want to record my video first, which I can do at my desk (ti's an eyesight issue, not a technical one). In order to get the timing correct, however, I wold like to record a draft audio version at the same time in order to be be sure I am gong slow enough on the screen to stay with the words. Then, using something, create the final audio. So, how do I tell the difference between my video track and my audio track? Should I to record my final audio over my draft audio or delete the audio track and create new narration? Thanks.