Audio tracks play simultaneously on layers

Hi, I thought Storyline had fixed this two upgrades ago, so I stopped adding Play Sound 2 when Sound 1 is complete and Play Sound 3 when Sound 2 is complete on all my layers.

Now I have two issues:

Sometimes, I find that when I revisit a layer, the sounds will all play at once, even though they are clearly spread out over the layer timeline.

At other times, Sound 1 doesn't play at all, then Sound 2 kicks in. 

We thought it might be a caching problem etc once the Storyline file was published and up in our LMS, but we can make this happen in the Preview in the .story file too.

Can't easily share the Storyline file without doing a bit of work to neutralise the content so I wonder if anyone at Articulate can create this scenario and try to replicate the issue?

45 Replies
Meg Lewis

YES! I have finally found someone with the same issue - I have a slide with multiple layers. I have a layer with two separate sound tracks on it, but clearly separate on the timeline.  When I hit my trigger for "replay slide", when it gets to the layer with two separate sounds, the second sound track will play along with the first sound track on the layer.  I've put "pause timeline of base", I've added "hide layer" to the trigger. Most recently, I've added "stop media" to the trigger as well for the second sound track and it seems like it might have worked, but this doesn't seem like I should have to do this. Is this a glitch?  Am I doing something wrong?  Also, Lilian, how do you "join" your audio which seems like I might have to do if I don't want to add a stop media to the triggers?

Charlie Weems

I believe this is a common bug in Articulate that has yet to be resolved. In my experience, the best practices are:

  1. Edit audio tracks together in an external program such as Audacity or Adobe Audition
  2. If you can't edit in another program, take the second audio clip in the timeline and add silence equal to the duration of the first clip. The idea here is that it will start immediately on the timeline, but it will be silent until the first clip ends. This is kind of a hacky solution though, and I'd definitely recommend the first option if possible.
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Meg and Charlie, welcome to the Heroes community,

I was looking around for more information about this issue, and see that it's been shared with our QA team recently for review - although the sample file that we have is a very brief overlap, of around a second or two. I'm curious if you have a sample .story file you could share with us? 

Meg Lewis

Hi Ashley, I attached one of the slides I was experiencing this on. If you publish it then, after viewing the first layer (get started) and move into the second layer (oneStopSys), click on my trigger button "replay section" which will have it go back to the start (I have it going to the base layer which initiates the first layer again), but you will hear an overlap of the second audio file on the layer. You'll see in the triggers for the replay button where I tried to address this through triggers.  I also forgot to add that I have multiple sound files on several of the layers in that slide.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Patricia,

I don't yet have any additional information to share, and I see now that Meg was able to share her file (sorry Meg! I'm not sure how I missed this post - but I've seen the behavior in your file and have added it to the existing report filed with our QA team. )

We'll keep this thread updated when there is any additional information to share. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Kate,

Are you setting the sound files up to be played based on the user clicking on something or are they starting based on their position in the timeline? It sounds like your set up may be a bit different than what was described here, and as this thread goes back at least 8 months. Are you using Storyline 1 or Storyline 2? Do you have a sample file that is causing you difficulty you'd like us to take a look at?

Kate Petersen

I am using SL 1, and the sound files play based on their position on the timeline.

We have found that the slides play OK the first time, but if the Previous button is used, sometimes sound files play simultaneously.   I'd rather not have to go back and combine all the sound files on each slide if it can be avoided.   A fix for this problem in a service patch would be preferred.


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Kate,

Is the previous button going back to an earlier slide, or redirecting to the base layer from the slide layer where the audio lives? It may help if we're able to take a look at your slide's set up here to ensure we're all talking about the same things and that the settings are all correct. Another option instead of combining the sound files would be to place them on their own layers - as you could choose to hide other slide layers when a new slide layer is showing and that way the audio shouldn't ever overlap. 

If you're able to share the one slide from your .story file we'll be happy to take a look. 

lilian soon

Sorry for late reply:

In SL1, what we now do as standard for layers is this:

If there is more than one piece of audio on the timeline, we add triggers to the slide to Stop Media Sound 2, 3 4 etc when timeline starts. This works.

Annoying to have to do this all the time though. Hope it's fixed in Storyline 2..


Kate Petersen

Thanks for your suggestion.  The problem occurs in SL1 when there are multiple sound files on the base slide, and the user plays the slide, goes to the next slide, then clicks "Previous" to replay the slide.  That is when the multiple sound files sometimes play simultaneously rather than  as they are supposed to play sequentially on the timeline.  

Putting the audio on different layers with triggers to show each layer when media completes does seem to prevent the bug.  

We  had to combine the audio into one long sound file rather than having multiple sound files on the base layer, but it is a time consuming solution. I don't have a link to demonstrate this since we already fixed the instances of this problem.  Sorry. 

lilian soon

Hi Kate, When we experienced your issue on the base layers, we joined up sound files too. See my reply a year ago (3rd reply down). Sorry you didn't get that before you combined one long sound file! Might have saved a little work. 

If you ever have sound file issues on layers, my suggestion above works. 

Hope SL2 has solved this :-)

Christy J

I am having issues with adding multiple audio files to slide layers. I want one audio file to begin playing when the slide layer appears (slide layer opens will user clicks a shape on base layer) and I need the other audio file to play when the user clicks a marker. Suggestions?  Everything seems to work until I revisit a slide layer, then all audio files play at the same time over each other.