Learn how to use Camtasia 9's advanced volume leveling tool for clear, natural sounding vocals.
- [Instructor] We're going to look at advanced volume leveling using custom settings. Custom leveling can increase the overall perceived volume of your track without causing any clipping or distortion. Now it takes a tad longer than just using the leveling presets, but if you're shooting for quality, the extra minute or two is well worth it. You can do custom leveling at any point in your project. If you do it before you begin cutting, you only have to do it once per clip. If you wait until the end, you just copy and paste the effect to your other tracks which is a method I'm going to demonstrate.
Okay, if you are removing noise from your recording, I recommend you do that before you level the volume. Otherwise, you're just going to be boosting the noise as well. Custom leveling will work on any audio clip or any video clip with audio. It works on TREX, MP4s, whatever. I'm going to be working on a wave file, but the steps for any type of other file with audio are identical. Okay, so first I'm going to go to my audio effects here and I'm going to use volume leveling and I'm just going to drag it to my first clip.
It's really squashed my audio. The presets certainly are fast to use, but I find them to be a bit heavy handed especially for vocal tracks so I'm going to go over here to my properties. Make sure you select the track. Click on properties and I'm going to choose custom. Now I'm going to go ahead and reset all of these and put my ratio to one and put the rest of these to zero. Okay, so from this point, there are a few different paths you can take to get the same effect.
I'll show you the one I use, but feel free to try out other orders of operation if that works better for you. Okay, so I'm going to start with the ratio. This tells Camtasia how much compression to apply to my track. Now how high I go with this really depends on the sound I'm shooting for, but I usually go no higher than five on vocals. It starts to sound too compressed. I'm going to start with three and then I'll add more if I need to later. So our compression ratio is three. Ratio on its own doesn't actually do anything. It works in tandem with the threshold so I need to bring down the threshold before I can see the effect the compression is having on my waveform.
In fact, I'm going to expand this a bit so we can really see what's going on. Now watch the waveform here as I bring down the threshold. You can see it's compressing it. Now I don't want to go all the way down. That's going to sound terrible. I just want to knock off the peaks here and level it out so I'm going to go about let's say about there. Okay, next I can bring up the overall volume on my clip. We talked about how loud to go with this in a separate video. I want the vocal track to really pop out and be easy to understand even on a phone or a laptop with tiny speakers.
So I'm going to push the volume up near the top, but be real careful that none of the peaks are actually crossing the top of the clip. We can go ahead and push this up about right there. That looks pretty good. Okay, let's give that a quick listen. I'm going to show you how to use a field recorder as an audio input... All right, it sounds pretty good. It's lightly compressed, but not to the point where my vocals are sounding squashed or wonky.
If I find things to be a little punchy or even a little soft, I can of course just revisit my properties and tweak things until I get the sound I'm looking for, but we're pretty good here. Okay, now once I'm happy with my sound, as long as the clips were captured with the same device, the same settings and the same environment, I can just copy and paste the effects to my other clips. So I'm going to right click, copy effects, that's going to copy both my noise removal and my volume leveling, I'm going to select all my other clips there, right click, paste effects, and all the clips have the same effects now.
Now if I zoom in here, you can see some of them are a little different. Some of them are a little hot. They're touching the top. So I can of course make individual clip adjustments. Let's go over to the clip, bring this down just a tad, same thing here. I could also do it over here in the properties if I needed to, but I'm looking for a consistent sound so it's better if you don't. Now if I had applied the volume leveling before I began cutting, obviously I would not have to do that last copy/paste effect step.
So there you have it folks, how to use advanced volume leveling to add punch and clarity to your vocals.
- Adding transitions
- Changing speed after recording
- Removing or replacing a green screen
- Reframing a shot
- Creating advanced animations
- Fixing audio gaps with room tone
- Removing noise
- Leveling volume
- Including music
- Adjusting color
- Adding closed captioning
- Publishing closed captions
- Archiving an entire project