The audio tracks placed in your videos are just as important as the assets placed in your scenes. Having those tracks immediately grabs the attention of your audience and makes your presentation upbeat and lively. It also helps your audience recall what your presentation is all about. In today’s blog, we will look into Doodly’s audio feature.
Doodly supports multiple audio tracks and it can get a little confusing at times. How do we add a piece of background music? Is there a way to edit a voiceover? Can I crossfade 2 tracks? Where should I put my sound effects? Can I use my own track? These questions are just some of the things we want to find out especially if this is your first time to use Doodly.
There are 3 audio tracks being used in a presentation. These are the background music, the voiceover, and the sound effect. The first two are commonly used in an explainer video. The sound effect on the other hand is usually added in videos for educational purposes like short stories for kids. These 3 audio tracks are all present in Doodly. We will look into each as we move on with our topic today starting with, the voiceover.
Voiceover within Doodly can either be recorded or imported. Before we try to add a voiceover, there are certain settings within Doodly that need to be set first. These features will make your video and voiceover experience more seamless. All these features can be found within Scene Settings.
The scene settings contain all menus that will help you customize your scene. Any changes made within scene settings are only applied to the selected scene. It does not affect the other scenes in your video.
Let’s take a look at the menus within scene settings which we need to set up prior to recording our voiceover.
1 – Exit Animation
Some presentations look better when there is a transition applied between each scene. For a short story type of video like the sample video that we are creating now, it is best to turn off the transition. It creates a clean exit in every scene.
2 – Extra Time At The End
Give yourself enough time to read the subtitles. The default extra time at the end of each scene is .05 seconds. If you need more time to finish reading the subtitles, especially if it is a bit long, you can adjust the end of the scene. For our sample video, let’s make it 3 seconds. We can either extend or shorten the time depending on the voiceover recording later.
3 – Subtitle
The subtitle functionality in Doodly is not just for the purpose of adding a caption in our videos. While yes, adding a caption can add value to our presentation, but we can also use the subtitle field to input our script. As the video plays, you can read your script which will serve as your voiceover. Once you’re okay with the timing, you can play the video without the subtitle on.
4 – Apply
Lastly, don’t forget to hit Apply to save the changes made.
Recording your voiceover
You will find the voiceover menu at the bottom of the timeline.
Here’s how to record your voiceover within Doodly:
1. From Doodly’s timeline, locate the mic icon and hit the plus “+” sign. This will display a red mic that you will use later to record your voice.
2. You will see that beside the red mic, you have a default time set at 00:00. This means that your recording has not started yet. When you’re ready to record, click the red mic icon.
3. Clicking the red mic icon will automatically play your scene along with the added subtitle within scene settings. Start reading your script as soon as you see it appear on your screen. Give it the right pace and timing, don’t rush but also, do not read too slow.
Sometimes, your video stops playing or lags as you try to read and record your subtitle. There are a lot of factors that can cause this. One of them is due to a slow internet connection.
Just like our sample video, you will see that we got to read the script only after 6.5 seconds of video playing. That is because the subtitle appeared late on the screen. As a result, reading the entire title on the first scene ended up extending up until the second scene. We will then need to adjust it so it can match the timing of our video.
Adjusting your voiceover
To adjust the voiceover:
1. Position your cursor in the middle of the voiceover recording within the timeline. Click and hold your computer mouse or trackpad.
2. Start moving the audio track to the left and position it in the middle. Note that this is not going to be the final adjustment that we will do for the voiceover. We will preview it first and see if the timing is correct. If not, then we have to move it again.
3. Preview your video.
If you noticed the playhead, it hit the beginning of the audio track after 3 seconds. By then, the hand animation is already done writing the main title and is now writing the second line of text in our first scene. It is a little bit delayed. We want to at least start hearing the voiceover say the title while the hand is still writing it. We will then move it to the left once again.
4. If we look at our voiceover, the first 3 seconds of it is empty so we need to cut it off.
5. To trim the audio, simply hover your cursor at the beginning of the audio track. You should see your video’s title as you hover. Once you see the left-right arrow (↔️), click and hold your mouse and drag it close to the start of the voiceover.
6. You can now try to move the audio track to sync the voiceover with your video. Now the next thing we need to work on is the ending of our voiceover track. It’s a long dead-air right after the title has been narrated. Unlike what we did with the beginning of the track, this time it is going to be the scene that we need to adjust.
7. To adjust the duration of the scene, we need to change the 3 seconds extra time at the end and keep it at its default value which is .05 seconds.
Editing your voiceover
Everytime you record your voice in Doodly, it is automatically saved in the Sounds tab. Your most recent recording is found at the bottom of the list under Sounds > My Library. Your recording is saved using your video’s title as filename.
To avoid confusion, it is best to rename your voiceover right after you finished recording. This is because all voiceover recordings are saved in the same filename. For our sample video, we just added scene 1 and scene 2 to their filename so we can identify them easily.
Sometimes we need to get rid of certain portions in our voiceover.
We were able to remove dead air on both ends of the voiceover a while ago. But what if that portion that we need to get rid of is in the middle of the recording just like the example below?
Here’s how you can remove the middle portions of an audio track:
1. Locate the same voiceover track under the Sounds tab and drag it to the timeline. You should have 2 identical voiceovers in the timeline.
2. Trim the first voiceover from the beginning up until the portion you wish to remove.
3. Trim the second voiceover from ending up until the portion you wish to remove.
4. At this point, you now have 2 audio tracks in the timeline with a big gap in the middle. You have the beginning and the ending of your voiceover. We removed the middle portion so now we need to closed the gap.
5. To closed the gap, simply drag the voiceover ending near to the other voiceover within your timeline.
Let’s watch the entire process of trimming the middle portion of a voiceover:
Now after we added the voiceover, it’s time for us to add a background music.
Importing your own audio file
When adding a background music, you can either import your own track or use Doodly’s preset tracks.
To import your own file:
Go to the Sounds tab and click the “+” sign.
You will see the imported audio file on top of the tracks within the Sounds tab.
To add the imported track, simply drag it into the timeline. If you no longer have a space to add a new track, just click the 3 dots within the timeline as shown below and hit Add Track. This will create a new blank space where you can add your imported audio.
Drag the imported file to the timeline.
Another factor that affects the quality of a presentation is the volume of each audio track. We want our audience to fully understand the message of our video. Thus, it is important that your voiceover is not being overpowered by your background music. Your voiceover should be at 100% volume while ideally, the background music should be set within the range of 6-10%.
Fade In and Fade Out Effect / Crossfade
Another great feature within the audio function in Doodly is the ability to add a fade-in effect at the beginning of your audio file and have it fade out as it ends.
If your background music is longer than your actual presentation, you can cut it to match the ending of your video. When you shorten your music and you play it, you will hear it suddenly stop, ending abruptly. The good thing is, Doodly provides the option to fade out the ending of an audio track. And, if you’re worried about your background music being too loud at the beginning, you can always apply the fade-in effect.
To enable these features, just locate the audio file from the timeline and right-click.
Select either fade in or fade out and extend the effect by dragging it.
You can also crossfade 2 songs in your presentation. This gives a smooth music transition and is best used when you’re trying to switch the mood in your video. You can do this by adding 2 different music tracks and having the ending of the 1st track cross or overlap with the beginning portion of the 2nd track.
Preset Tracks: Music and Sound effects
Last but definitely not the least, the preset tracks are found within the Sounds tab. The tracks within it are arranged in alphabetical order combining both music and sound effects. You will also see here your imported audios.
If you wish to just see a display of all available background music, or just choose among sound effects, you can go to Categories and select your preferred audio type.