3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 18, 2008 5:35 AM by GShep

    Ongoing sound recording problems-Captivate 3

    GShep Level 1
      First, I understand about importing better quality audio and have done this for narrated powerpoint slides and such. However, this is extremely tedious to try to do for a demonstration. I can pull out audio and run it through a 'continuous noise filter' in another product but in a demo there are a zillion 'slides' and chunks of audio to do this to making it really unfeasible. Note that if I use other products with identical mic, etc., that the audio is perfect without any background hiss. But in C3 recorded audio is totally unusable. I have tried all sort of audio recording options from the top to bottom quality and it's always the same. I simply don't know how to get these demos recorded with usable audio. If anyone has ideas, they would be MOST appreciated. Thanks.
        • 1. Re: Ongoing sound recording problems-Captivate 3
          CatBandit Level 3
          Hi GShep,

          Disclaimer #1: I have no way of knowing your experience level with live recording or public speaking, so please overlook it if I say something real basic to an "old audio pro". Disclaimer #2: I have never had a problem with bad audio, so I am not an expert on how to fix it. That said, I've made a lot of good audio clips, so maybe I've been lucky for years, or maybe I have something to offer (or maybe I am just so tone-deaf that I am beyond surgery).

          To start, have you tried to "fix" it before recording, by setting your audio "level"? Each time Captivate is started, before audio recording you are given the opportunity to "set" your voice recording level. Try speaking distinctly and forcefully (not loud, but with authority) while you are doing that thing with " I am now setting my recording level in Adobe Captivate" (don't remember the exact wording, but you know ... (?)

          If that doesn't work, shut down Captivate, restart, and try again, this time speaking very softly, but again, clearly and distinctly - enunciation is important to any speaker. It is a "season to taste" thing, but in any case you must be in a disturbance-free environment, and you must be willing to experiment with your equipment and how it (and you) interact with Captivate's audio engine.

          Another often overlooked item is the microphone - the type and its placement. If you are using a desktop microphone, get rid of it and go buy an inexpensive headset "boom" setup. A desktop mic will be placed differently (relative to your lips) every time you use it, and often it will change during your use. A recipe for bad audio, because the microphone-to-audio-source becomes a lot like hitting a moving target.

          A headset with a boom mic is not just a better way, it is the only way, unless you are already a voice-over professional and are familiar with the physical requirements and hardware of a seasoned radio speaker. Make a point of placing the headset so that the boom mic is the width of your little finger above the line of your lips, and above the corner, not the center of your mouth (either right or left corner). That by itself will eliminate much of the "breathing" noise that forces the recording amplitude up, and is heard in the completed recording as "noise".

          Obviously I'm throwing out a lot of disparate suggestions, but I hope that one or more of them is helpful.

          best wishes~
          • 2. Re: Ongoing sound recording problems-Captivate 3
            CatBandit Level 3
            I didn't mention the obvious, the audio card in your PC, because you said you have recorded okay in other applications. But if you have the opportunity to do so, try recording in Captivate on a different box and see of that helps.

            • 3. Re: Ongoing sound recording problems-Captivate 3
              GShep Level 1
              Many thanks for all the notes and suggestions. But I don't think they are applicable in my case. I am using a high end Behringer external audio card with firewire connection and a studio quality mic and pre-amp. (By the way, I have done recordings for many years and the recording end is not applicable - all of the clips I record via Sound Forge and import are just fine.) The voice audio is there and clear when recorded with Captivate. But it is 'surrounded' with a huge amount of what would sound like an AM radio station between channels - loud static. If If export one of these and run through a continuous noise filter in something like DC6 then it takes away most of it, but this is not feasible for a demo where there are a great many partial clips that change as the capture alters.

              I spoke late yesterday with the Behriinger folks and they indicated that they had a similar problem (different product than Captivate) and it turned out to be a computer that was too slow. WIth Sound Forge only sound is being process so there are enough 'cycles' - but with Captivate trying to do both live video and sound, it may be inadequate. I tried a demo copy on another PC and got better results so their conjecture may be right. It will take more experimentation to find out for sure but this may definitely be a factor. Thanks.