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Windows Movie Maker Record and Playback Levels Differ Significantly

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The audio level that you hear when play your movie in Microsoft Windows Movie Maker may be significantly different from the level that you heard when you were recording your movie.
To resolve this issue, make sure that you use the correct settings for both the Recording Control mixer and the Volume Control mixer.
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This issue most likely results from a difference in the recording audio level and the playback audio level. With most audio-capture devices, the recording and playback levels are adjusted with two separate sets of slider controls. The recording set is grouped together on the Recording Control mixer, and the playback set is grouped together on the Volume Control mixer.

Before you make an audio recording, adjust the level going into the sound card with the appropriate Recording Control slider. For example, if your audio source is plugged into the Line In jack, adjust the Line In slider. After you have made a recording, adjust the levels on the Volume Controls mixer. Playback from a file is usually adjusted through a slider labeled Wave or Wave Out.

A common issue occurs when only the Line In slider on the Volume Control mixer is adjusted before recording. Though you can hear the sound from the monitor speakers change, only the sound for the speakers is affected, not the recording level. To improve your audio, make sure that the audio levels for the audio-capture device are set to the same level for both recording and playback by using the Volume Control panel.

To adjust audio levels, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, double-click Sounds and Multimedia, and then click the Audio tab.
  3. In the Sound Playback area, select the device that you are using to play back the audio, and then click Volume.
  4. In the Recording Control area, click to clear the Mute check box for Line In, and then move the Line In slider to the middle of its range.
  5. In the Volume Control area, click to clear the Mute check box for Line In, and then move the Line In slider to a point that sounds good through the monitor speakers.
  6. Record your source material in Windows Movie Maker.
  7. Under Volume Control for playback, click to clear the Mute check box for Wave, and then adjust the Wave slider to match the audio level that you heard when recording.
  8. If the sound is distorted or too low even after you adjust the Wave slider, adjust the Line In slider under Recording Control appropriately, and then record the source again.
NOTE: The names of the different volume controls for recording and playback differ from one sound card to another. When you perform this procedure, select the controls and inputs that best match your audio capture device.

Article ID: 265570 - Last Review: 01/10/2015 07:21:05 - Revision: 3.0

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