Leveling Out Your Audio Track Volumes

Leveling Out Your Audio Track Volumes

When you’re using multiple music tracks in your slideshows, especially ones from different sources, chances are that certain tracks are noticeably louder than others. There are two things at play here: amplitude and dynamic range. Changing the track volume in ProShow Gold or ProShow Producer only addresses the amplitude. To address differences in perceived loudness, you’ll occasionally need to alter the dynamic range in a 3rd party program. Today I’ll give a few tips on how to do this.


When people talk about the volume of a track, they often are referring to the peak amplitude, or essentially the loudest point of a track. Most tracks on a well-mastered CD will have their peak amplitude somewhere close to 0 decibels (all quieter parts will have a negative decibel value). Increasing the volume of a well-mastered track will often push it over the limit in several places and introduce digital distortion (a.k.a. “clipping”). For this reason, it should be relatively uncommon that you ever set the track volume in ProShow to something above 100%. When in doubt, lower the volume of a “loud” track instead of raising the volumes of the comparatively quiet tracks.

Dynamic range

Some songs start off quiet and end loud. Others have quiet and loud parts interspersed. And sometimes, a track is just loud the whole time. In a very basic way, these qualities describe the dynamic range of a song. What happens when one song ends loudly and you segue into a song that starts quietly? This is the type of thing that can cause a viewer to scramble for the remote control or volume dial.

Fortunately, you can alter the dynamic range of a track so that the highs and lows aren’t so extreme, and by extension, the transitions between tracks aren’t so extreme. Of course, it’s possible to overdo it (Top 40 radio stations come to mind) but dynamic range compression can be a very important tool when applied with care. I’ll show you how you can do this in the free audio editor Audacity:

  1. Download the Audacity installer here, then run through the installation process afterward.
  2. Run Audacity, then go to File > Open and select your track.
  3. Under the Effect menu at the top, choose Compressor. Check Compress based on Peaks at the bottom of the window. The rest of the settings should be fine at their defaults, but you can lower the Threshold and increase the Ratio for more extreme scenarios. Click OK.
  4. Go to File > Export, then save the edited track somewhere. Make sure to not overwrite the original track. This will save as a .WAV file by default which may be somewhat large, but this ensures that you don’t lose any additional fidelity when editing in Audacity.

If you’ve done this to each track prior to importing them into ProShow, there’s a good chance that you won’t have to touch the Track Volume option at all once they’re imported.



  • Most audio editors will allow you to achieve the same goal, perhaps with even more options and precision. Just look for a Compression / Dynamics Processing feature, which will allow you to reduce the dynamics of the track.
  • If you’d like to maintain the original dynamics of your tracks but make sure their peak volumes are all the same, you can use the Normalize feature in Audacity’s Effect menu (this is also found in most other audio editors) and specify a peak volume. Normalizing to 0 decibels (or 100%) should be fine.


ProShow Effects Pack Portraits: Photo Book Layouts Brought to Life

ProShow Effects Pack Portraits

We’re excited to announce the release of the newest edition to our popular Effects Pack line for ProShow – Effects Pack Portraits. This pack was designed around the concept of bringing the modern day coffee table book to life. Inside you’ll find hundreds of professional, themed effects that turn your slides into animated montages and moving collages. Watch the demo video below to see it in action.

Effects Pack Portraits includes 400 slide styles (our best value to date!) that are categorized into 25 unique sets, like Art Deco, Linen, Henna, Heirloom and Sunshine, to name a few. Each set includes a dozen beautiful photo layouts and matching caption and title styles designed in the style of modern photo books. The breadth of options + mixed photo orientation support (landscape, portrait & square) make it easy to build video slideshows with a consistent look without losing variety. You’ll love the mix of formal and casual themed slide styles that are ideal for portrait photography subjects – families, weddings, boudoir, teens, holidays & everyday.

Effects Pack portraits puts the focus on your photos. The motion is soft and subtle, allowing plenty of time and space to fully appreciate the content of the photographs and take in the details. Try using these effects paired with simple transitions like dissolves, blurs and page turns for best results.

Get Effects Pack Portraits today for just $19.95. Works with ProShow Gold 6, ProShow Producer 6 and ProShow Web.




Creating a Slideshow for Instagram using ProShow

Make a video for Instagram using ProShow

From time to time we get questions about how to create slideshows in ProShow Gold or ProShow Producer and upload them to Instagram.

On the surface, this seems a bit like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.  Firstly, there is a very short 15-second limit for videos on Instagram, and secondly, Instagram does not support uploading videos directly from your computer to their website.  These roadblocks are not show-stoppers though. With a little creativity on your side, you can create a succinct and captivating slideshow.

PART 1: Creating your slideshow in ProShow

To start off, open ProShow Gold or ProShow Producer and click the “Blank Show” button on the New Slide Show window, then change the Aspect Ratio to Custom and choose 1 x 1. This will cause your show to be the square shape that Instragram requires. Enter your desired Show Title and click Create.

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Show of the Week: The Great American Coastline

This week’s featured show comes from photographer Gareth Rockcliffe. Gareth and his wife Jan are currently on assignment photographing the American Coastline. They packed up their vintage air stream trailer and set out on a 4 month journey. Their Goal: To capture the soulful beauty, diversity and majesty of America’s amazing Coast.

The video above was made using ProShow Producer software and shows the beginning stages of their quest. We love the mix of video clips and stop-motion sequences that give the show a fun and playful feel.

You can follow Gareth on Facebook to see new snapshots from each stop on their journey.




FAQ Friday: Top ProShow Questions and Answers

ProShow Frequently Asked Questions

Each Friday we share the top 5 most buzzed about topics and questions about making video slideshows with ProShow. These come directly from ProShow users just like you and are collected by our customer service team each week! Read the round-up below to see what people are curious about this week.

  1. How do I publish to YouTube, Facebook, or SmugMug in ProShow 6?
    In ProShow, click on Publish > Publish Show (Ctrl+P) to bring up your Publishing window. Select the desired publishing option (i.e. YouTube, Facebook, etc.), input your login credentials (if prompted) and select the Upload button on the bottom of this window to start the rendering process for your show. Once ProShow has finished rendering your show it will upload the video directly to the online service. For more information on this topic, click here.

    Using ProShow Web?Click here to learn how to share shows online from ProShow Web.

  2. Is there an easy way to remove all styles from my show at one time?
    Absolutely! To remove styles from your show, select all slides using Ctrl+A, open up the FX Manager (Ctrl+E), and select No Style followed by the Apply to Slides button at the bottom. Note: Applying no style to your show simply removes any supporting content or values that were applied leaving just the original source files on each slide. 

    Using ProShow Web? In the Edit show screen, select the first thumbnail in your show, scroll down to the bottom and hold down Shift (Windows) or Command (mac) while clicking on the last thumbnail to select all thumbnails in the show. To remove all effects, click the FX button from the editing tools at the top followed by the red Remove button to finalize this change.Apply Style to all slides

  3. How do I preview styles prior to applying them to my slide?
    In ProShow, double-click your slide to open the Slide Options window. Click Slide Style on the top-left to bring up the list of styles installed in ProShow. Now select the style that you would like to preview and ProShow will automatically start previewing the currently selected style. Note: If the preview does not start, it may be stopped. To start the preview again, simply click inside the gray area in the preview and it should start playback. For more information on previewing or apply styles, click here.
  4. How do I configure my show for playback on a vertical display in ProShow?
    The first thing we need to do is set the aspect ratio of the show so the orientation of the show is vertical. To do this, we need to go into the Show Settings (Ctrl+H), locate Aspect Ratio, set the aspect ratio to ‘Custom’ and plug in the following numbers: 9 x 16. Click Ok to save these changes and you should now see that your show’s orientation is taller than it is wide.

    The second thing we need to do is setup a custom video file preset under Video for web, devices and computers so we can publish our vertical show to the appropriate aspect ratio for easy playback on your screen. I’ve included two screenshots below (ProShow Gold on the left, Producer on the right) showing the settings that we want to use for our custom present in ProShow. Once we have our presets configured we are ready to publish the video to your computer.custom_preset_psg_psp

  5. Why aren’t my shows appearing under my ProShow Web account?
    In most cases this issue happens when users are viewing the ProShow Gallery. The Gallery is a different online sharing system separate from ProShow Web. This is why ProShow Web shows don’t appear here. If you find yourself running into this issue, the first thing to check is the web address. Access all ProShow Web shows here: http://web.photodex.com/create/?shows.

Want to submit a question about making video slideshows with ProShow? Please ask a question in the comments below and we’ll get back with you right away!




Why This Slideshow Novice is so Keen on ProShow Producer

ProShow Producer review
Today’s guest post comes from writer and software reviewer, Fred J. Eckert. In this article, Fred gives his review of ProShow Producer software.

If you are, as I am, someone who seriously enjoys photography you will absolutely love knowing how to use ProShow to create slide shows — great fun and such a pleasant and powerful way to share your images with family and friends or use in business.

No longer do you need to be a pro to create terrific slide shows that inform, persuade, entertain, inspire. Nor do you need to be some tech wizard. Half of knowledge is knowing where to find it – and sometimes it’s right there waiting for you if you just pick the right products to use.

Evaluating possible choices I concluded that my best choice would be either ProShow Producer or ProShow Gold. I settled on ProShow Producer – but, yes, ProShow Gold would also have been a very good choice.

Any commentary about software for creating slide shows should mention the Wizard feature that Gold and Producer and most other such programs contain. Using it makes creating a slide show a no-brainer. Simply pick the images and/or videos you want to include in your show; create and add title pages if you wish; pick the music you want to accompany the show; choose from among available Wizard themes, which will determine which styles and transitions are then applied; and then click. Voila. You’ve just created a slide show with music timed to proper length.  And it looks really, really good. To a novice. And probably to most viewers as well.

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Converting Troublesome Video Files

Converting Troublesome Video Files

Having grown up in the VHS era, there was a certain comfort in knowing that there was only one major consumer video format. Betamax had already lost the format war. DVD wasn’t yet on the horizon. If you taped or filmed something on VHS, you could safely assume that it would play on anyone else’s VCR. But once consumer video went digital, the idea of a single video standard seemed to go out the window. And with all the new video formats created by our cameras, camcorders, and phones, compatibility becomes an increasing concern.

Many of us are familiar with AVI, MOV, MPG, and MP4 video files, but those file extensions tell us a very small part of what the files are. Take an AVI file, for example. The video and audio streams inside the file can be made using almost any compression type, and that list is much too long to mention here.  Because of this, a video player or video editor that supports “AVI files” will never support all AVI files.  The same holds true for most other video formats, and for this reason, when you try to import a supported video type into ProShow Gold, ProShow Producer, or ProShow Web, you may occasionally find that the video is blank, the audio can’t be heard, or an “Unrecognized File Selected” message is given.

Converting Troublesome Video Files

Fortunately, there are programs out there that you can use to convert your video from its current format to a more standardized one with little or no perceptible loss in quality. Today I’m going to show you how to transcode your problematic videos with one of my favorite free tools, Handbrake.

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How-To + Tutorials

Leveling Out Your Audio Track Volumes

Thursday, October 23, 2014

When you’re using multiple music tracks in your slideshows, especially ones from different sources, chances are that certain tracks are noticeably louder than others. There are two things at play…

Creating a Slideshow for Instagram using ProShow

Monday, October 20, 2014

From time to time we get questions about how to create slideshows in ProShow Gold or ProShow Producer and upload them to Instagram. On the surface, this seems…

FAQ Friday: Top ProShow Questions and Answers

Friday, October 17, 2014

Each Friday we share the top 5 most buzzed about topics and questions about making video slideshows with ProShow. These come directly from ProShow users just like you and are collected…

Converting Troublesome Video Files

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Having grown up in the VHS era, there was a certain comfort in knowing that there was only one major consumer video format. Betamax had already lost the format…