audio volume level problems

Nov 23, 2011


I am using Camtasia to record some video demos to which I published as MP4 and inserted into Presenter. The problem is, the audio scripted portions that I produced as MP3 audios are much louder, then when you get to the screen with the MP$ videos it is nearly impossible to hear because the volume is so low. I recorded them in the same session with the same person and I thought I set them to the same audio output levels. Does Articulate compress MP4 more than MP3? How can I resolve this so the volume level sounds about the same to the user?

6 Replies
John Scudder

Mike, to avoid the specific issue you're describing, I extract the audio from my MP4s and put it thru the same basic audio post-production the presentations non-MP4 segments undergo (EQ, normalization, noise gate, etc.). I then add the audio back to the MP4. I usually then compress my MP4s to SWF. I'd prefer to use MP4s....but, I just find SWF files load a bit faster than MP4s (in AP products) and present fewer post-delivery problems for my clients.

John Scudder

Yeah Mike, it's extra work, for sure. Not as much as you might expect though. Your point of expecting things just to work is also definitely a fair one. But, I would bet the problem is with your MP4 audio levels (Camtasia sucks at exporting to MP4 and MOV) and not AP. To verify this, if you open your MP3 in an audio editor and open your MP4's audio track in the same editor, you'd see the difference in their levels. It would take just a few seconds to normalize that MP4 audio though. 

A sneakier approach, if you have an audio player that lets you do this (something like QuickTime Pro), is to go into the MP4's properties and increase the file's playback Volume (by up to +6db). That's the quickest way to increase playback Volume, without messing with playback Levels (audio Volume is different from Level).

Also, try exporting from Camtasia as SWF, instead of MP4, and see if you have the same issue.

BTW, I'm a Mac guy...and use Sound Studio for my audio editing and most post-production work.

Mike Palmer

I do believe you are right--that it is my audio levels in the MP4 files. I went back into Camtasia and bumped them up and republished. Wish their was a simpler way to normalize audio across output types, etc.

So far I have only done MP4 output for video. I will try the SWF thing and see how that goes.

Thanks for all the help and input.

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