Hey all, I’m new to video editing. I have a podcast audio track. I also have a background music track for ambiance. However, the background music is quite dynamic: it has lots of quiet and loud parts. How do I ‘level out’ the background music so the loud and quiet parts have the same volume?
You should look at using a ‘Compressor’ effect on your background music track. How much compression you use will depend on the difference between the loud and soft sections. A compressor will ‘squash’ the loud sections down. If the soft sections are really low, you can apply what’s called ‘make up gain’ or ‘auto gain compensation’ to make them louder.
It’s a little tricky in Vegas to see the effect a compressor has on an event because the ‘waveform’ displayed in the event does NOT reflect the applied effect, only the source.
If you ‘render’ the compressed track to a new track, you will be able to see the result in the waveform shown on the new track.
there are a few different ways you can control the level of audio in your projects.
If you just want to lower or raise the audio level in a clip run your mouse over the middle of the audio clip and you will see the work “gain” come up – there is a little saucer shaped handle which you can move up and down.
A better way to do this and to have more control and be able to increase and decrease the audio at exact points is to insert an Audio Envelope.
So if you go up to the Top Menu, click on Insert, Audio Envelopes and then click volume. It will put a bluish line through the middle of your audio track.
Put your cursor on that line where you want to decrease the Audio and right click your mouse and use the command on top, Add Point. Do the same at the point where you want to have the audio return to normal. You will need to add a Point just before the first point and just after the last point, (so you end up with 4 points) then you can put your cursor in the middle and it acts like a handle to move the volume up and down. You can also drag the points to change the effect.
I’m sure there are other ways of doing this but having the video envelope allows you to compensate for changes in volume when you want to.
If you haven’t used these before it would be a good idea to practice with envelopes, both Audio and Video.
Just like Stephen Mann, I too have been using Levelator for many years. Works great, fast, easy to use. Also, have a try with Ath Tek Voice Changer and experiment with it. Both Freeware with no hassles.