While there are plenty of presets for both video and audio in Camtasia, mastering manual adjustment is extremely useful. My last Camtasia blog outlined the use of the presets, both when and how to use them. Today I’ll walk you through some of the finer points of manual adjustments to Camtasia sound on your timeline.
Before we get started there are a few things you should know about audio waveforms as displayed in Camtasia.
- The higher the wave, the louder it is, and the lower, the quieter.
- The green line running through the waveform is the volume percentage of the audio at that exact time. It always defaults at 100%, playing the audio at the imported volume.
- Camtasia does not provide an equalizer or audio meters, so there is no solid way of knowing if you are clipping. As a rule I use the track itself as my audio meters, and try not to have any of my levels exceed the track height.
Alright, let’s dig in.
When you select an audio clip on your timeline and open the Properties panel you will see within that panel a Gain slider and a Mix to mono checkbox.
- The Gain slider adjusts the power or amplitude of the signal from the input adding power to the signal. This is not the same as volume adjustment, but in the simplest terms, it’s one way to make your audio louder or softer.
- The Mix to mono check box will make any signal on your audio track that may be set to play out of only the left or the right speaker now play out of both speakers evenly. It is taking all of the audio selected, and making it one even audio track with no left or right fade.
This is not the limit of your volume adjustment however. Far from it. You’ll notice in your selected audio track a green line running from the start to the end. If you look closer you’ll see that the start point has a little green dot on it. This is an audio point. When only one is on the track, as there is when you first place an audio file on your timeline, then adjusting it adjusts the entire line. You can also click anywhere on the line and move it up and down to adjust the volume of the track.
You may find yourself in a pickle with certain points of your music or sound being far too quiet while the rest of your track is just fine. You may find yourself with the opposite problem as well. This can easily be solved with audio points.
By double clicking anywhere on the green line in your audio track, you can create a new audio point. You can also right click on the audio track and select Add Audio Point. This creates a hinge for your track’s volume to run through. You’ll want to play around with these until you become comfortable. These can be very useful. Placing four of them with two on each edge of any trouble spot allows you to adjust the volume of that spot selectively.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: don’t be afraid of really getting close. Zoom into your audio so that you can see what you need to see. Another tool is the track height. By selecting the top of the desired track on the far left of your timeline and dragging it up or down, you can change the height of your track.
This is extremely useful when it comes to editing audio inside of Camtasia. Also, don’t forget that you can drag the middle bar between the canvas and the timeline to allow more or less space in either of them.
If you are interested in getting even more in depth with audio, check out a blog I posted last year about more detailed adjustments. Check out our Camtasia templates too. And as always, let me know in the comments if you have any other questions or ideas on editing audio in Camtasia!