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In Captivate 5 Essential Training, author James Lockman demonstrates the core features of Captivate 5, the popular tool for authoring e-learning content such as interactive presentations, click-through simulations, and customized assessments. He shows how to import and sync PowerPoint presentations, add interactivity, and incorporate audio, video, and voiceovers. The course also includes tutorials on assessment reporting and integrating with SCORM-compliant learning management systems. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this lesson, we're going to see how we can edit audio directly in Captivate. We're going to be using the Chapter 6_ c file that we've developed earlier. If you don't have it open, please open it now and go to slide number one. There are some audio that I've recorded onto slide number one. I've intentionally made some errors in it, so that we'll have something to edit out. I would like to select the audio now that's on the slide, and then over in the General panel, I can edit that audio. When I choose Edit Audio, I enter not the Add or Replace Audio function that we saw before, but now it's the Edit Audio function.
I can select parts of the audio that I want to remove and simply delete them. In this case, I have my throat clearing, and I'd like to get rid of that. We'll play it now. (Coughing.) I need to remove everything from about here all the way back to the beginning. I can click and drag to select the area that I want to remove, and then I can click the Cut button here. Now, I've removed that sound.
At the end of the statement, there is also quite a bit of silence. Let's get rid of that. Again, click and drag to select. Once you have got it selected, simply remove it. You can see that our duration is now only six seconds. Let's go back and play the whole thing. Click at the beginning and click Play. "Welcome to the Hansel and Petal virtual flower show. Enjoy the flowers and the music." Great. I'm going to take off a little bit more that silence at the beginning.
Simply click and drag and cut. Let's move towards the middle between the welcome and the enjoy statement. "Welcome to the Hansel and Petal virtual flower show." This silence needs to be a little bit longer. What I would like to do is to insert some silence now. Setting your cursor in between this area, so somewhere along here, you can click the Insert Silence button. I would like to insert a half a second of silence.
You may have to move that down to be able to see it. I'm going to insert one half of a second. I'll type in a half a second. It's going to go at the playhead position, although I could put it at the start or the end of the audio. Once I have made that choice, click OK and watch the waveform. You can see that we've now added a half second of silence right here. The last thing I'd like to show you is how we can automatically adjust the volume of our audio. Because I calibrated my audio before I made my recording, my recording is pretty good.
Nevertheless, sometimes we want to do some automatic adjustment to make the audio a little bit louder. Click on Adjust Volume to see those controls. I can do a global volume adjustment here by clicking on the slider and moving it up or down. I could also allow Captivate to do the work for me. I could have it normalize the audio, at which point Captivate would make decisions for me about the best adjustments throughout the recording. I could also choose Dynamics that would reduce loud section but also leave quieter sections alone.
You'll want to explore how each of these settings affects your audio that you record with your own microphone. I'm not going to process any audio now, but I did want you to see where those controls were. Additionally, I have the option of saving this audio file out of my project. I can do that by clicking the Podcast button here. Let's save this recording as an MP3 File in the Chapter 6 folder, in the Project folder, in the Sounds folder, change its name to welcome.mp3, and save.
It's called Podcast because many times we will make recordings with Captivate that would like to be able to re-purpose as a podcast without having to send out the entirety of the animation, and everything else that goes with the project. This allows you to do that. Having made my adjustments to the audio, I'm going to click Save and then Close. Notice that the audio has gotten quite a bit shorter. It used to be longer. In fact, it was way out here, after 12 seconds. We need to reduce the duration of the slide to accommodate. Grab the right-hand edge of the slide duration and drag it back to the end of the audio.
We also need to make a couple of other timing adjustments. I need the pause in the button to be closer to the end of the slide. I also know that the dogs don't bark for a full three seconds. They bark for quite a bit less. Let's select the dog barking text caption and scroll down to audio, and we can figure out exactly how long that audio track is. Click Edit Audio. This audio is about one second long. You can see that right there. Having learned this information, we can close it and adjust the duration of that text caption to a little longer than one second.
Select it, go to Timing, and set its display for a specific time, that being 1.1 seconds, and then Enter. Drag that text caption all the way to the edge of the Timeline and have it snap right to the end. Lastly, we'll do the same with the button. Select the button and go down to timing. We want it to pause after 5 1/2 seconds-- hit Enter--and have it appear on the stage for seven seconds.
This didn't stick because I have to extend the duration of the button before I extend where the pause ends. Let's set that again to 5 1/2 seconds. We can even make it a little longer. There we go. Let's preview this and see what happens. We'll preview the project. "Welcome to the Hansel and Petal virtual flower show, enjoy the flowers and the music." Now, we've said all of our statement, and we'll click to continue.
(Dogs barking.) Ah, that timing is a lot better. Now, we know how we can edit audio to make it sound better in our presentations. Having edited this audio and adjusted the timing, let's save this file as Chapter 6_d. When we record our audio with microphones, we're prone to mistakes. That's human nature. Because we can now edit our audio directly inside of Captivate, it makes it so much easier to fix the mistakes that we made and end up with professional results.
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