Using audio in presentations

Adobe Presenter lets you add narration, music, step‑by‑step instructions, or almost any sound to your projects. You can use audio to provide instructions or to emphasize key points in the presentation. In general, sound can be as individual and flexible as any other presentation component.

You can use audio in Adobe Presenter presentations in various ways. For example, you can use Adobe Presenter to:

  • Add sound to an individual slide
  • Add special sounds to quizzes for correct and incorrect answers
Adobe Presenter also lets you record your own audio files (using some simple equipment) or import existing files. Recorded files are saved in mp3 format. Imported files can be in WAV or mp3 format. Stereo files are imported as stereo, and mono files are imported as mono.

Audio files included in presentations are saved within the audio assets folder. The PPCX file contains metadata about audio files. Presentations with a PPC file must be converted to PPCX to enable Adobe Presenter features. If you move or copy presentation files or the assets folder, be sure to include the audio assets folder. (Moving or copying the audio assets folder without the PPCX file may lead to problems.)

After you add audio to a presentation, you can do some simple audio edits such as:

  • Synchronize the timing with other content, such as animations. For example, if your presentation contains PowerPoint animations, such as text that “flies in,” you can synchronize the animations with the audio. For more information, see Add animation, image, and Flash (SWF) files
  • Add silent periods to audio files. 
  • Normalize audio for all slides so that the sound level is consistent.
For more information on editing audio, see Editing and managing audio files.

Note:

Files imported in WAV format are converted to mp3 when a presentation is published. Final published presentations only play mp3 files.

Add audio files to a presentation

You can quickly add existing WAV or mp3 format audio files to a presentation. Simply import the files and use them as opening music, narration, or instructions.

  1. In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file).
  2. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Audio group, click Import.
  3. Select the slide to which you want to add the audio file.
  4. Click Browse and navigate to the audio file (WAV or mp3) you want to add to the slide.
  5. Select the audio file and click Open. (You can add multiple files. If you select more than one, the first audio file is added to the slide you selected in step 3, the next file to the slide immediately following, and so on.)

    Note:

    Do not exceed 100 minutes of audio per individual slide in a presentation.

  6. (Optional) Select the Ignore Markers option to ignore any sound markers placed in the audio file.

Audio recording tips

In addition to adding existing audio files, you can also record your own audio files to use in Adobe Presenter presentations. Recorded files are saved in mp3 format. Follow these tips to ensure that you are recording the highest-quality audio possible.

Setting up audio equipment

After you have acquired the necessary audio recording equipment, set it up properly. If you are just using a microphone, plug the microphone into the computer and start recording. Alternatively, you can plug the microphone into a mixer or stand-alone preamplifier. And then, plug the output of that device into your computer sound card’s “line in.” Plug the headphones into your computer. Then, set the volume on the mixer or preamplifier. Begin speaking to test the volume levels, and carefully raise the volume until it shows just under zero. (Using a preamplifier and line-in socket is optional.)

Setting sound card options

You can open the software application that controls the sound card. (In most Windows operating systems, you can find sound settings by clicking Start in the lower-left corner and selecting Settings > Control Panel > Sounds.) When you select the recording source (line in), you can adjust the volume to 100%. If you are using a mixer or stand-alone preamplifier, the actual recording level can be controlled from there.

Changing audio recording settings

After starting your audio recording software, you can change the settings as necessary. Mixers and preamplifiers don’t have sound-level controls, so you rely on the meters when recording. While recording, ensure that you do not exceed zero on the meters. Else the sound gets distorted.

Placing the microphone

Positioning your microphone correctly can make a big difference in the finished audio file. First, get as close as possible to the microphone (within 4–6 inches) so that you avoid recording any other nearby sounds. Don’t speak down to the microphone; instead, position it above your nose and pointed down at your mouth. Finally, position the microphone slightly to the side of your mouth, to help soften the sound of the letters s and p.

Improving microphone techniques

Have a glass of water nearby so you can avoid “dry mouth.” Before recording, turn away from the microphone, take a deep breath, exhale, take another deep breath, open your mouth, turn back toward the microphone, and start speaking. By doing so, you can eliminate breathing and lip-smacking sounds frequently recorded at the beginning of audio tracks. Speak slowly and carefully. You may feel that you are speaking artificially slowly, but you can adjust the speed later by using your audio recording software. Finally, keep in mind that you don’t have to get everything right the first time. You can listen and evaluate each recording and rerecord, if necessary.

Editing sound

Editing sound is like editing text. Listen carefully to your recording, delete any extraneous sounds, and then use the options available in your software to polish the sound. Add any music or sound effects you require, but make sure to save your audio track in the correct format (mp3 or WAV).

Reviewing the presentation

After you have added the audio to the presentation, listen to it again. Finally, it helps to ask others to preview the presentation file. If necessary, you can edit the audio again, on a per‑slide basis.

About audio recording equipment

Having the right audio equipment makes a significant difference in the quality of recorded audio. Surprisingly, basic audio equipment can be relatively inexpensive; your equipment could include some if not all of the following:

Computer with a sound card

The sound card installed in your computer acts as a digital recorder for audio.

Microphone

If possible, avoid using the internal microphone that comes with most computers. Use a professional-quality microphone cable and a stand to hold the microphone while you are recording.

Microphone preamplifier

A preamplifier boosts the signal of the microphone. The microphone input of your computer’s sound card probably includes a preamplifier, but it’s most likely a poor quality one. When purchasing a preamplifier, you can choose a small mixer or a stand-alone version. Mixers let you connect several microphones and devices to one location, and you can adjust their volumes independently. Stand-alone preamplifiers can be better than mixers at filtering out unwanted noises.

Speakers

The speakers that came with your computer are probably good enough for listening to any audio you record. For best results, check the specifications of your speakers and use the highest-quality speakers possible.

In Microsoft Windows operating systems, you can usually find speaker (sound) settings by clicking Start in the lower-left corner and selecting Settings > Control Panel > Sounds.

Recording software

A wide range of recording software is available, including Adobe Audition®. Important software features include editing capabilities (to fix mistakes), music and sound-effect options, and the capability to create the file format you require (such as mp3 or WAV).

Recording area

You need a quiet place to record. Try closing doors, turning off any unnecessary computer equipment, turning off or lowering lights that might be making noise, and turning off phone ringers, beepers, and pagers. Also, tell coworkers that recording is in progress.

Set audio recording quality

Audio files present the common challenge of balancing quality against size. The higher the sound quality, the larger the file size. When working with audio, think of your users’ connection speed. In the best development case, experiment to find the optimal balance between sound quality and file size for your users.

  1. In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file).
  2. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Tools group, click Settings.
  3. In the Presentation menu on the left, click Quality.
  4. Select an audio quality level. Remember that a higher quality level results in a larger audio file size.

    CD Quality (stereo or mono)

    Bit rate of up to 128 Kbps and sampling frequency of 44 Khz

    Near CD Quality (stereo or mono)

    Bit rate of up to 112 Kbps and sampling frequency of 44 Khz

    FM Quality (stereo)

    Bit rate of up to 64 Kbps and sampling frequency of 44 Khz

    Low Bandwidth (mono)

    Bit rate of up to 32 Kbps and sampling frequency of 22 Khz

  5. (Optional) If your presentation contains SWF files on consecutive slides, select Disable Preloading Of Embedded Flash Content. This option prevents a second SWF file from beginning to play before a first SWF file is finished.

    Note:

    To publish a presentation without including any audio files, deselect Publish Audio.

  6. Click OK.

Change the audio input source

If you are recording audio for a presentation, you can either use a microphone or the line‑in option that is usually included with an external audio device, such as a tape deck or stereo amplifier.

  1. In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file).
  2. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Tools group, click Settings.
  3. In the Application menu on the left, click Audio Source.
  4. In the Audio Input Source area, select either Microphone or Line In.
  5. (Optional) Select the Always Prompt To Set Microphone Level Before Recording option if you want to calibrate the microphone before each recording session. Calibrating is useful if you use different microphones or if you record in different environments (for example, a quiet room versus an area with background noise).
  6. Click OK.

Calibrate microphones for recording

If you are recording audio for a presentation, set the microphone or recording device to the correct recording level. This process is called calibrating the recording device. Adobe Presenter can detect optimal microphone and recording sensitivity levels automatically.

Adobe Presenter must detect your recording device before calibrating it. Before you calibrate, check that your recording device is connected to your computer properly and is turned on.

  1. In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file).
  2. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Audio group, click Record ().
  3. To set the correct recording device level, say the following sentence into the microphone until the red recording window becomes green: “I am setting my microphone recording level for use with Adobe Presenter.”
  4. When you finish, click OK.

Import slide notes

If you have created slide notes in PowerPoint, you can import the notes into the script window in the Record Audio dialog box. Importing notes is useful if you want to use the slide notes as a script when recording an audio file as voice‑over narration.

  1. In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file).
  2. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Audio group, click Record Audio.

  3. In the Record Audio dialog box, click the Show Script icon ().

    The slide notes are imported.

Record audio

If you have a microphone connected to your computer, you can record audio for inclusion in a slide. You can use audio for many types of narration or instruction.

The user interface and procedure varies in Adobe Presenter 8 and Adobe Presenter 9.

Adobe Presenter 8

  1. In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file).

  2. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Audio group, click Record.

  3. If you have not calibrated your microphone or the recording device earlier, do so by following the on-screen instructions. To skip the calibration, click Skip.

    The Adobe Presenter - Record Audio dialog box appears.

  4. Click the record audio icon () to start recording.

  5. Speak into the microphone or the recording device.

  6. Click Previous or Next to record audio for another slide.

  7. When you finish, click Stop Recording. Adobe Presenter converts the audio to mp3 format.

  8. Click Play to listen to the recording.

  9. When you finish, click Save, and then click Close.

Adobe Presenter 9 and later

  1. In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file).

  2. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Audio group, click Record ().

  3. If you have not calibrated your microphone or the recording device earlier, do so by following the on-screen instructions. To skip the calibration, click Skip.

    The Adobe Presenter - Record Audio dialog box appears.

    Record audio dialog box

  4. Click  to start recording.

  5. Speak into the microphone or the recording device.

  6. Click  to record audio for the next slide.

    Record audio dialog box. Next object for recording is a slide.

    If the current slide contains animation, then click to record or synchroize audio with the animation.

    Record audio dialog box. Next object for recording is an animation.

    When the next available object for recording is the next slide,  is replaced with  .

    Click  anytime during recording to pause. Click  to continue recording again.

  7. When you complete the narration, click  to stop recording. To play the audio that is recorded, click .

  8. Click Save to save the recording. Adobe Presenter converts the audio to mp3 format.

    To cancel the recording, click Discard.

  9. Click X to close the record audio dialog box.

Record audio at a specific location in a presentation

At times, you may need to record and add some audio to a specific location within a presentation. (To record audio, you must have a microphone or recording device plugged into your computer.)

  1. In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file).
  2. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Audio group, click Edit.
  3. Click the location within the waveform to which you want to add new, recorded audio. For example, if you have an audio file playing on slide 1 and you need to add audio at the start, click the beginning of the audio file on slide 1. You can add audio to any location on the waveform, even a location that does not currently have audio.

    To locate the exact point in a waveform, click at an approximate point where you want to record and click the play icon. When you reach the point where you want to add new audio, click pause.

    Additional audio recorded using Edit Audio dialog box

  4. Click the Record icon (). The Adobe Presenter - Record dialog box appears.

    Recording additional audio

  5. If you have not calibrated your microphone earlier, click Calibrate, record the sample message that appears, and when the status turns green, click OK.
  6. To begin recording, click in the Adobe Presenter - Record dialog box and begin talking.

  7. Click to end recording.

  8. To listen to the recording, click Play  .

  9. Click OK. The audio you just recorded is added to the location you specified on the waveform.
  10. Click Save in the Adobe Presenter - Edit Audio dialog box to save the changes.

Synchronize audio and animation timings

After previewing your presentation, you can edit the timing of PowerPoint animations to better synchronize with added audio files. For example, if you have a slide with bulleted text items that fly in, you can adjust the timing so that the audio track matches the action of the animated text.

Note: The Sync Audio dialog box synchronizes PowerPoint “On mouse click” animations only. In contrast, timed animations use the timing set in the Custom Animation dialog box in PowerPoint. Animations can only be synchronized with audio files, not video files.

The user interface varies in Adobe Presenter 8 and Adobe Presenter 9.

Adobe Presenter 8

  1. In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file).

  2. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Audio group, click Sync.

  3. In the Sync Audio dialog box, click Previous or Next, if necessary, to navigate to the slide containing the timing that you want to adjust.

  4. Click Change Timings to play the audio.

  5. As the audio plays, click the Animation arrow to synchronize the timing of the animation with the audio. If the slide contains another animation, the Animation arrow is displayed again in the Sync Audio dialog box. Click the Change Timings icon again and click the Animation arrow to synchronize the timing. Repeat this step for all animations on the slide.

  6. When you are finished and the audio has stopped playing, click Play () to view the slide and animations with the new timing. If you do not like the results, repeat steps 4 and 5 again.

  7. Click OK.

Adobe Presenter 9 and later

  1. In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file).

  2. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Audio group, click Sync.

  3. In the Sync Audio dialog box, click  to start playing and synchronizing the audio.

    Sync audio dialog box

  4. As the audio plays, click the Animation arrow to synchronize the timing of the animation with the audio. If the slide contains another animation, the Animation arrow is displayed again in the Sync Audio dialog box. Click  again and click the Animation arrow to synchronize the timing. Repeat this step for all animations on the slide.

    Audio synchronization with animations

  5. When you are finished and the audio has stopped playing, click Play   to view the slide and animations with the new timing. If you do not like the results, repeat steps 3 and 4 again.

  6. Click Save to save the changes.

    Save or discard changes to audio sync

Edit audio files

You can edit the audio in your presentation at any time. You can listen to an audio file, insert silence, adjust volume, and change other options.

Use the Audio Editor to edit audio files you record for a presentation or import into a presentation.

A. Insert marker B. Slide divider and Red marker line C. Waveform D. Record audio button E. Play/Pause audio button 
  1. In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file) containing audio files.
  2. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Audio group, click Edit.
  3. Use the buttons and menu options to make any necessary edits. You can cut and paste sections of the audio file, insert periods of silence to lengthen the audio file, adjust volume, import a different audio file, and more.

    Cut

    To cut the selected portion of the audio file.

    Copy

    To copy the selected portion of the audio file.

    Paste

    To paste information from the clipboard. (For example, if you select a section of the audio file, and then click Cut or Copy, Adobe Presenter places the selected audio on the clipboard. You can then click Paste to place the audio back into any location within the audio file.)

    Delete

    To remove the selected portion of the audio file.

    Undo

    To undo the previous action.

    Redo

    To redo the previous action.

    Zoom

    To enlarge or shrink the waveform.

    Record Over/Insert Recording

    To begin recording audio. (A microphone is required.)

    Play

    To start playing the audio file.

    Pause

    To temporarily stop the slide from playing. (Click Play to resume playing the audio file.)

    Stop

    To end the playback of the audio file.

    Playhead

    To specify the selected location, in seconds, within an individual slide on the waveform. For example, if you are working with a slide that is 5 seconds long and you click in the middle of the slide on the waveform, this playhead area displays approximately 00:00:02.500.

    Selected

    To specify the total playing time of the presentation, if no span of time is selected on the waveform. If you have selected a span of time on the waveform, this area displays the amount of time selected.

  4. When you finish editing the audio file, click Save.

Preplay audio

A quick way to listen to the audio you added to a presentation is to play the slide show directly from within the Edit Audio dialog box. Click in the Edit Audio dialog box and then click play ().

Add silence to an audio file

You can add a period of silence to any audio file that is part of a Adobe Presenter presentation. This feature is useful in the following situations:

  • If you import an audio file and must synchronize the audio with slides

  • If you need to make an existing audio file work in a presentation without having to edit the audio extensively

  • If you have inserted an FLV file with audio, such as sidebar video of a speaker, into a presentation and want to synchronize the FLV file audio with slides

  1. In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file) containing audio files.
  2. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Audio group, click Edit.
  3. Click the location in the presentation, or the exact location within an audio file, on the waveform to which you want to add the silent period.
  4. Click .
  5. In the Insert Silence dialog box, enter a number specifying the duration of silence (in seconds).
  6. In the Seconds At text box, specify where to add silence:

    Cursor Position (default)

    This option adds silence at the point in the waveform you selected in step 3.

    Start Of Slide

    This option adds the silent period to the beginning of the slide containing the location selected in step 3.

    End Of Slide

    This option adds the silent period to the end of the slide containing the location selected in step 3.

  7. Click OK.

    Adobe Presenter adds the silent period to the audio file and displays the period on the waveform.

  8. To test the audio file with the silence added, click Play in the lower-left corner of the Edit Audio dialog box.

Adjust audio volume

You can adjust the volume of audio files included in your presentations. After adjusting the volume, preview the presentation to see if the sound level is acceptable.

  1. In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file) containing audio files.
  2. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Audio group, click Edit.
  3. In the Edit Audio dialog box, click .
  4. In the Adjust Volume dialog box, click the volume slider on the left, and drag it up to increase volume, or down to decrease volume.
  5. You can change the audio processing options, as follows:

    Normalize

    Adjusts the sound volume automatically. Normalizing audio helps keep the sound level consistent between slides.

    Dynamics

    Amplifies quiet sections of the audio to help compensate for variations in audio volume.

  6. Click OK.
  7. When you finish editing the audio file, click Close .

Manage audio clips and files

Adobe Presenter lets you edit the timing of audio files after you record or import them. Having control over the timing of audio files gives you the ability to use audio files of different lengths and incorporate them smoothly into presentations.

After you record or import an audio file, the file appears as a waveform in the Edit Audio dialog box. If your presentation contains multiple audio files, you can see which audio files are assigned to specific slides.

Edit audio timing

  1. In PowerPoint, open a presentation (PPT or PPTX file) containing audio files.
  2. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Audio group, click Edit.

    In the Edit Audio dialog box, Adobe Presenter displays any audio files incorporated into the presentation as waveforms. Slide numbers above the waveform show exactly how the audio files are currently distributed across the slides. Adobe Presenter lets you import or create an audio file and then distribute that audio file across multiple slides.

Change how audio files are distributed across slides

  • In the Edit Audio dialog box, click the red slide marker line and slide the divider to the left or right.

    The waveform remains static, but you can change where the audio file begins to play within the presentation. This option is useful if you have a long audio file and need to experiment with assigning the file to one slide or having it play over multiple slides.

Jump to a specific slide during audio narration

At times, during audio narration, you may want to explain or present content that is on another slide. In such cases, you can use the Go To Slide marker to jump to the required slide.

  1. In the Edit Audio dialog box (Adobe Presenter > Audio group > Edit), click play to play the audio.
  2. Pause the audio at the point where you want to jump to the required slide.
  3. Click Insert Marker ().
  4. In the Marker Type list, click Go To Slide, and click OK.

Pause the presentation during audio narration

If you want the presentation to automatically stop at a specific point and wait for the user to continue by clicking play in the Playbar, do the following:

  1. In the Edit Audio dialog box (Adobe Presenter > Audio group > Edit), click play to play the audio.
  2. Pause the audio at the point where you want to jump to the required slide.
  3. Click Insert Marker ().
  4. In the Marker Type list, click Wait For User, and click OK.

Listen to an audio file

  • In the Edit Audio dialog box, click a location within the waveform, and then click Play in the lower-left corner of the dialog box or press the spacebar on your keyboard.

    The audio plays from the location you selected to the end of all audio in the presentation. (You can stop the playback at any time by clicking Stop in the lower-left corner of the Edit Audio dialog box or pressing the spacebar on your keyboard.)

Zoom in on an area of the waveform

  • In the Edit Audio dialog box, click the waveform, and then click Zoom In  or Zoom Out   in the tool bar. (Alternatively, click in the waveform and roll your mouse wheel to zoom in and out).

    The scale at which you are viewing the waveform is shown in the Scale information box in the top-right corner of the dialog box.

    After you have added audio files to your presentation, you can use the Edit Audio dialog box to cut or copy entire audio files or portions of audio files and paste them in a new location.

Cut or copy and paste audio

  • In the Edit Audio dialog box, select a section of an audio file directly on the waveform, click Cut  or Copy , click a different location on the waveform, and then click Paste .

Delete an entire audio file or portion of an audio file

  • In the Edit Audio dialog box, select a section of an audio file directly on the waveform and click Delete.

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