Understanding Vocal Video Audio Settings

Make your videos sound their best with audio normalization options and per-scene volume controls.

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Audio Normalization – what it is & how it works

When you're editing a multi-scene video in Vocal Video, you'll see that different people will sound louder or quieter. This is normal – people will naturally do their recordings at different distances from their microphones. Some respondents will have more sensitive equipment, or different mic-volume settings on their device.

loud and quiet
Some respondents will be a lot louder than others!

Volume differences can even become apparent across different video clips from the same person, or even within the same video clip. 🤯

So, how can we generate a nice-sounding video with relatively even volume levels for all speakers, and how can we do that without a lot of fussy busy-work twiddling volume levels throughout our videos?

Enter Vocal Video Audio Normalization. This feature automatically adjusts the volume (technically, "loudness") of different parts of your video so they all sound relatively even, using a standard originally developed by the BBC for broadcast television. Read this article for more details.

Normalizing Speech Loudness vs. All Audio

By default, we only normalize the loudness of the people speaking in your videos – these are your Video and Audio scenes.

If you'd like to make sure your video's soundtrack doesn't sound too loud when people are speaking, you can enable our "Adjust Soundtrack Dynamically" option, which will include the soundtrack in the audio normalization process. This has the effect of making your music louder when people aren't talking (for example, in your Logo scenes at the beginning and end of videos, and in the Text scenes in-between your video clips).

And, if you don't like the way either setting sounds, you can disable them entirely.

audio normalization
Adjust audio normalization settings when publishing a video on the Audio tab.

Audio Normalization Happens During Publishing

Audio normalization is a post-processing step that happens when we render your video in HD in the publishing process. This means that you won't hear the effects of audio normalization in the Vocal Video editor, only in published videos.

So, if you publish a video and don't like the sound you get with your selected audio normalization settings, you can change them and Republish.

Global Defaults + Per-Video Overrides

You can change your account's default audio normalization setting by going to Settings (⚙️) -> Default Video Settings.

You can also override your default settings when publishing individual videos when by selecting the Audio tab on the publishing screen.

Adjusting Volume on Individual Scenes

If you prefer not to use our audio normalization settings, you can now adjust the volume of your individual Video & Audio scenes in the Vocal Video editor.

Just click on the scene to open its sidebar panel, and use the volume slider.

video scene volume
Adjust the volume of individual video/audio scenes in the Vocal Video editor.

Unlike the audio normalization settings, you can hear and preview these volume settings while you edit your video.

Note that audio normalization will have the tendency to counteract these scene-level volume adjustments, so if you're using audio normalization, we recommend leaving the volume of your audio & video scenes at 100%.

Adjusting Soundtrack Volume

To adjust your video's soundtrack volume, click the Music button on the right side of the Vocal Video editor to open the Music settings sidebar and adjust the volume slider.

Music volume
Adjust soundtrack volume in the Music sidebar in the Vocal Video editor.
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