Sound Solutions

ProShow doesn’t do the dishes and it can’t replace a real sound editor. I use Adobe Audition, but you can get an excellent and totally free editor by downloading Audacity . You’ll also need an MP3 encoder, which is a separate download with an interesting name: LAME.  You can start learning how to use Audacity by reading the  instructions online or downloading them to your computer.

On to common sound problems and their solutions.

There’s an annoying click at the start and/or end: Add a short bit of pure silence at the beginning and the end of the sound wave. My habit is to add 5 seconds at both ends because it’s usually more than enough. When you load the music into your slide show, you’ll immediately see that it begins 5 (or whatever) seconds after the show begins. Offset the sound by -5 (or whatever) seconds. If it’s just one song you’re using, allow the flat-lined silence at the end of the track to trail off beyond the end of the show. If you’re using two or more songs, overlap the silent end of one with the silent beginning of the next. I guarantee you’ll be clickless.

The fade is far too noticeable: This is because it isn’t anywhere near long enough. Yes, you can do fades in ProShow, but you’ve more control over them in a sound editor. In ProShow, test where you want the fade to begin, commit that spot to memory, and then do the real work in your editor where you aren’t forced to fade off into dead silence.  Sometimes it has a more natural feel to it if it fades out to just barely audible.

You want to stop the sound for one or more slides, then pick up again where the sound left off: One of the easiest ways to do this in a sound editor is to select the first part of the music and save the selection as a separate file, then save the second part as another separate file. Before you use the two files in a show, add enough silence to the end of the first part and the beginning of the second part so you can overlap them to head off any of the dreaded clicks.

The supposedly seamless loop isn’t so seamless: I haven’t tested the solution yet, but I have it on good authority that WAV files are much better loopers than MP3’s. It makes sense since a WAV file, being uncompressed, has all its faculties in good order.

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm  Comments Off on Sound Solutions