Different volume levels between audio- and videofiles

Dec 12, 2019

I am experiencing a difference in volume levels between audio files and video files when inserted in Storyline 360 even though the volume levels in the source files are the same.

The background of the issue is, that i am creating an interactive video with multiple stops where the user has to do different interactions in relation to information or questions from the video. The video(mp4-file) is narrated and playing on a layer (not base-layer). The stops are triggered by cue points which also trigger a new layer popping up. This pop-up-layer is narrated (mp3-file) by the same voice, and it is in these situations the difference in sound levels are very noticeable and disturbing to the user experience.    

The issue occurs both when previewing in Storyline and when exported and uploaded to our LMS. I have tried different formats i.e converting the mp3 files to wav, but that didnt help. I have also tried adjusting the quality of both audio and video in the publish settings, which didnt help either..

A not very satisfying fix is to convert the mp3 files to mp4 files (through a videoediting software to add a visual element, as storyline wont insert the file without) and insert them,outside of the canvas, as video instead of audio. 

Do you have any idea what might cause this and how to properly fix or avoid this issue when changing from video to audio formats between layers?

16 Replies
Lauren Connelly

Hi Christian!

There are a few areas I would check to make sure the audio is all the same!

Here they are:

  • Make sure the Compression for the video is set to None.
  • The Video Volume is also customizable. You'll want to make sure that's set to the same volume as the other videos.
  • In the Edit Video section, make sure the volume is not set to Increase or Decrease.

I've shown you how to make these changes in this short video.

Leslie McKerchie

Thanks for the additional details, Christian.

I'd like one of our support engineers to take a look so that we can better understand and assist you.

I've opened up a support case on your behalf and sent a link for you to upload your .story file privately to work 1:1 with your support engineer.

Welcome to E-Learning Heroes by the way :)

Robbie Christian

Was this resolved? I'm currently working on a 3+ hour course full of video and audio files. All narration (both video and audio) was done as videos in the studio on the same day. It was easier for the director and actor to shoot video for everything and pull audio directly from the video. Audio files for every video were given to me, and when I play them on the computer, the audio and video sound identical, as expected. However, the video volume is slightly higher than the audio when they are put into Storyline. It's not a wildly dramatic difference, but it is noticeable.

Considering the size of the course, it is not practical to manually adjust the volume of every video or every audio file. I have played with the compression of the videos, testing out both "Automatic" and "none," but it doesn't change the volume of the videos.

Considering the size of the story file, it is also not practical to upload all audio as an off-screen video.

I'm hopeful that there was a resolution for this and that there's a simple solution!

Andrea Koehntop

Hi Robbie!

I apologize for the discrepancies you are experiencing in your audio when inserted into Storyline, and thank you for sharing the details of the troubleshooting measures you have tried.

  • Are you working from your local drive when this issue occurs?
  • Does this issue occur in the preview, published output, or both?
  • Which method are you using to publish your course?

I encourage you to open a support case with us so we can investigate further. We will delete your file from our systems when troubleshooting is complete. 

Robbie Christian

Hi Shannon, mine stopped replicating the issue, so unless it does it again, I won't know the cause or solution. Carlo from the Articulate team sent me a follow-up email in case it does it again. Here's what he suggested:

If in the future you'll encounter odd issues again with Storyline. Please follow the steps in this article to fix unexpected or erratic behaviors.


Moreover, please consider these preventative measures to protect your project files since file corruption is unpredictable, and there's no straightforward way to determine what causes it. Common causes are environmental (disk errors, power outages, improper shutdowns), viruses, failed Windows updates, and even file size (i.e., very large files have a higher risk of corrupting).

1) Save and publish projects on your local hard drive. Working on a network drive or external USB drive can cause erratic behavior due to latency.

2) Save incrementally. If your app has an AutoRecovery feature, take advantage of it. If not, save a new version of your project every hour or so with a new file name each time. If a file becomes corrupt, you'll still have a working version available.

3) Install Dropbox and copy important projects from your local drive to your Dropbox folder as a backup. Snapshots of changes in your local Dropbox folder are kept for 30 days. If a file is damaged or deleted, you can restore a previous snapshot: https://nam10.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dropbox.com%2Fhelp%2F11%2Fen&data=05%7C01%7Crobbie%40miami.edu%7C0ecdf496d9734d3d4ab308da38313f51%7C2a144b72f23942d48c0e6f0f17c48e33%7C0%7C0%7C637884081424279117%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=YX1Wqc7XowibimI1Z0%2BMJupYzWKurioZ6ZNgDPTQRkY%3D&reserved=0

4) Don't leave the app open and unattended for long periods of time. Some users have reported file corruption after leaving their apps open overnight. It's possible that a malware scan or disk backup could run because the machine is idle, making your app vulnerable to crashing.

Dan Lidholm

I have the same issue.

The volume levels on video and audio files are the same when I compare the files in external software.

  • When I play the video and audio files in the timeline, it is the same level.
  • If I play the audio inside the Media Library, the volume level on the audio files are much lower than normal.
  • When I publish the audio files has a much lower volume level.

Turning of Optimize Audio Level helped a little bit.

I also got a suggestion from support to set the sound volume to High in Options. It raises the volume but it's till not the same level as the video, even if it is better then before. And it does not fix the core of the problem. If I have the same level on my files when I import them, it should be the same level on the output.

The current production has a lot of video and voice over and is in the final review. I need a solution.

Example file attached
Review link: https://360.articulate.com/review/content/697ae0f9-a5a2-430d-960b-6af975b7f3b2/review

Jon Denenberg

Hi - I am having the same issue. Using Storyline as a way for stakeholders to review modules in a massive course on Review 360. I am well aware of how massive projects can get corrupted, so I regularly copy a backup and add more content. And we are getting this level mismatch issue between MP4 and WAV....however I was able to fix that issue. Its the issue that the streaming video is far too loud. Recorded the same way as the WAVs in the project, however these are streaming from a Brightcove server and are in the course as embedded web objects. Should I put in a support ticket regarding this issue? Thanks!


Eric Santos

Hi Jon!

Thanks for the troubleshooting you've done to prevent file corruption on your end! I'm sorry about the volume discrepancy between audio and video files streaming from an external web server. That behavior does sound strange and is a great troubleshooting opportunity for our support team. Feel free to open a support case here so we can dig deeper into the issue!