Settings to use for audio for a video with 3 types of clips

I am using Audacity 2.1.I, have Windows 7 and installed Audavity with audacity-win-2.1.1.exe.

I was asked as a last minute request to take some video at my niece’s wedding. A “formal” wedding video was not organized. I used my Canon HV40. This is camera broke a week or two later when my wife went to Europe.

Two other people took videos. They both had JVC’s, both cameras looked the same. I was looking up specs of different JVC Everios and it could have been the GZ-VX755, but I am not sure. I do the editing with Cyberlink PowerDirector 13.I have tried to use AudioDirector 4 but I have been struggling too much and could improve the the sound, so I started using Audacity yesterday. I still have problems to equalize /normalize the sound of the clips from the three cameras. I have never edited sound before, so this has been a battle just to come this far. I watched quite a few Audacity/Cyberlink/Youtube videos to help me get going.

The sound of especially JVC 2 is extremely bad, especially while the people were dancing. As this is not a professional job, I suppose I can give the video like this to them, but I am quite sure that one can get the sound better. Just normalizing the sound of the Canon and JVC 1, already makes a difference. I believe someone can give me some advice, especially to get the sound of the JVC 2 at least tolerable. I attach quite a few screenshots as well as 9 seconds sound from each camera.

It is a pity that only one clip can be edited at a time, as there are more than 100 clips. Or is there a way that one can edit more than one clips?

:frowning: There’s not a whole lot you can do. Pros still record in soundproof studios with good equipment and good mic positioning, and of course they have a good performance to record, and there’s “take two” if needed. On-location movie dialog is re-recorded in the studio. On-location news is done with a directional microphone close to the speaker’s mouth, and often background noise still gets through. A barking dog, noisy motorcycle, or siren can ruin a live news broadcast and there’s nothing they can do.

You can sometimes get acceptable sound during a wedding ceremony with the mic mounted on the camera, But for really professional results, you’d like the mic up-front where it won’t pick-up too much room sound. For the reception you really need to get the mic as close as possible to the speaker.

If you start-out with a bad recording you are very limited in what you can do to improve it.

Your basic tools are equalization, volume adjustments, and noise reduction. (Noise reduction works best when you have a constant low-level background noise and I wouldn’t bother trying it with this recording.)

Volume adjustments are best made moment-to-moment with the Envelope tool. It’s time consuming, but audio/video editing is time consuming. You may want to bring-up the dialog to a constant-loud level and fade-down when there’s only background noise.

Equalization and filtering can filter-out low-frequency noise (maybe below 100-200Hz), and that should help a little. You can try experimenting with EQ to see if you can bring-out intelligibility (usually by boosting highs) or reducing “harshness” by reducing highs, etc. But you my find that EQ is not effective or worthwhile.

If dialog is hard to hear or if there is distracting/annoying background noise, the best option is usually to reduce to reduce the volume to the point where it’s not so annoying and add subtitles. (That’s assuming you can make-out what’s being said.)

For the badly distorted music one “extreme” solution would be to find the same music, synchronize it, and replace the existing soundtrack. Otherwise, your best bet is just to turn the volume way-way down to make it less annoying.

Thanks for your response. I was hoping that there might be an effect that could target an incident like this, but this is clearly not the case. I will however play a bit with those clips,perhaps I can get them at least bearable!
If one listens to the other 2 clips, would volume adjustments be enough to bring them “closer” to each other?
Thanks again!

I was hoping that there might be an effect that could target an incident like this

So do thousands of other people. I did an April Fool Spoof about a software package which could do that. In the spoof I pulled a clear copy of my voice out of an Air France jetliner going overhead, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in Hollywood, etc. Pure fantasy.

Getting the volumes close is always a help whether you can clearly hear what’s going on or not. You can use the volume sliders to the left of each track to get an idea of what the final is going to sound like. I believe those settings stick if you export the track but not if you don’t. Normalize and Amplify are the two “real” volume control tools.


The professionals consider this an aggressively hostile sound job. There is no way to make it sound good and it will make them look bad, probably forever.