This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Add audio meter
1. Write a script.
2. Record the audio. I use Adobe Audition BUT if you're thinking about going that route read this: http://tonylimaassociates.com/2017/04/avoid-adobe-audition-10-1-0-174/ then go to the linked thread on the Adobe support boards. Audacity is share/freeware that is a very good substitute.
3. Clean up the audio. Again I have a standard process for various effects, followed by editing the audio to remove unwanted material.
4. After you save the fixed audio, copy it to an iPhone or similar.
5. Launch Camtasia and any other programs you might need. I use Powerpoint almost exclusively for my current work.
6. While listening to the audio record ONLY THE VIDEO in Camtasia. This will approximately sync the audio and video.
6. Trim the beginning and end of the video, move the cursor to time 0:00, and use File/Import Media to import the .wav file. Then right click the audio media and pick "Add to Timeline at Playhead."
I don't see any chance of Camtasia matching the audio editing capabilities of Audition or Audacity in the foreseeable future. The projects I'm working on don't pay all that well. But I still subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud. Just watch out for Audition 10.1.0.174.
Hopt this helps. Apologies if I've misunderstood your specific problem.
I like your explanation Joe. Thank you for posting that. It's surprising how many people don't understand what they are needed for.
Oh well, maybe they will learn from your posting.
Enjoy the day
I'm loving the input in this discussion, I think it's great!
Just to clarify--The reason I want to use an audio meter (or VU meter) is to measure the sound in decibels within Camtasia. This is not an objective volume that "sounds fine" to the listener, or a graphical representation of how loud the audio can get before clipping starts to occur. Normalizing your audio is a step in the right direction--but if you're normalizing your audio at a high decibel level, then you are going to blast your clients with some perfectly normalized loud audio. Granted, these days there is so much normalizing and compressing happening behind the scenes when we upload to YouTube, iTunes, etc. that sometimes we can get away with not tweaking the audio level, and then YouTube (for example) takes care of the rest.
Adobe Presenter and Captivate likely do not have an audio meter because they are specifically e-learning creation tools, and their output is generally for flash/HTML online consumption. The format is generally vector and flash/HTML rather than video.
Camtasia is a great hybrid tool in that it is very flash/HTML-friendly in its output, but it also at its core is a video editing tool. It exports pixels of video rather than vectors. When I say video, I'm referring to media we see on YouTube, Vimeo, television, film, etc. A volume meter is a standard video editing tool. So, I'd like to see an audio meter so that I can make sure my videos export at the correct decibel level since a variety of video formats benefit from having level audio and a targeted dB level--DVD, an on-air TV commercials, a series of online tutorials, etc.
Camtasia has been moving in the direction of competing with Premiere and Final Cut for some time now. Each release makes it more and more like one of its competitors--just look at the latest interface. I'm willing to bet that TechSmith is eager to claim any clients that don't have the time, training, or money to work with software like Adobe Premiere. Why pay a "professional" video editor using a "fancy" tool when you can do it yourself? Enter Camtasia as a hybrid, highly competitive video editing tool. It came from e-learning beginnings but it is definitely a decent video editing tool now.
Bottom line is, can I work without an audio meter? Yes. But I would like to have one because it means the difference of guessing about my audio versus measuring decibels somewhat accurately, without having to go through 3rd party software. Not everyone would necessarily benefit from having an audio meter since everyone's output has a different target audience & medium, but there are definitely folks who would benefit from it as going that extra mile in the mastering process.
In the absence of any objective dB audio level meter in Camtasia, I thought I'd outline my workaround, in case it's of any use to others. I record microphone audio and screen capture video at the same time, producing 'walkthrough' guides for using various imaging software packages. I hope this is of some help to anyone who is frustrated by the lack of an audio meter on the timeline. I've used Audacity software in this example, as it's free, but any other audio editor could be used in its place. I realise it goes on a bit with 6 steps, but it lets you produce consistent, good quality audio.
Camtasia & Audacity audio processing
1 Once your video is recorded and edited (all within Camtasia) go to Share > Advanced Export and save using the Export to Wave (.wav) option under File format. Click on Options, and in the Advanced Export dialogue, set the Sample Rate to 44100 for the maximum quality. Rename the file with 'audio' (or similar) on the end and click on Export. This will save just the audio track of your project as a new file.
2 Once it has saved, open the folder containing the audio you've just saved, then right click on it, and select Open With > Audacity. Select Read the files directly from original (faster) and the WAV file will appear in the interface. To reduce background noise, find a part of the track where you're neither speaking nor clicking the mouse (leaving 5 secs of silence at the beginning or end is a good way to isolate the ambient room sound when recording). Drag the Selection Tool (shortcut F1) over this so it is highlighted – you only need a few seconds. Now go to Effect > Noise Reduction and click on the Get Noise Profile button.
3 With the Noise Profile captured, hit Ctrl+A (PC)/Cmd+A (Mac) to select the entire track, and go to Effect > Noise Reduction again. This time, use the lower part of the dialogue and set Noise Reduction to 20, Sensitivity to 10 and Frequency Smoothing to 3. Click the Preview button to check how your audio sounds with the noise filtered out. Adjust the settings until the sound is as clean and crisp as you can get, and click OK when you're happy. The noise will be processed out, leaving a cleaner voice track.
4 To avoid excessive peaks and troughs in the volume level and get a more balanced, even result, now select the whole track again (Ctrl/Cmd+A) and go to Effect > Compressor. Set the sliders to get the effect you want. There are no 'magic' settings for compression, so start with a Threshold of -30dB, a Noise Floor of -25dB and a Ratio of 4:1 and then use the Preview button to assess the results. Change the same three sliders to alter the effect. At the bottom, tick the two boxes marked Make up gain for 0db after compressing and Compress based on Peaks. You'll now have a higher quality audio file peaking at maximum level of 0db. This is as high as any digital audio can be set before it distorts.
5 Still in Audacity, go to File > Export Audio and save the file with 'audio fixed' on the end (or similar). Once it has saved, you can quit Audacity. Back in Camtasia, go to File > Import Media and select the 'fixed' file you've just saved. It will appear in the Media window. Drag it from here onto the timeline, where it will appear as a new audio track. Make sure it's positioned exactly in line with the existing, unprocessed audio track, and you can now switch off the latter by clicking the eye icon to the left of it in the timeline. This silences the track so it won't be part of the mix.
6 You can now trim off any silence at the top and tail (the silent part you left on the track to capture the ambient noise) and export your project again, this time with the improved audio. This is done by going to Share > Advanced Export. Set the File format to the video file you want, then click on the Options button adjust the output settings for video and audio according to your needs.
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