Audio in After Effects

A brief look at working with Audio in AE

Importing:
Audio files import just like other media types but the best format to use is WAV as opposed to MP3, which can be problematic. Audio files can be placed on the timeline just like other media files. There is also an audio switch that can be toggled on or off.

Previewing:

Essentially there are 2 ways to preview audio in AE, first you can play just the audio in a composition by hitting the PERIOD key on the number pad. This will begin playing the audio only, in realtime. The other alternative is using the RAM preview function by hitting the ZERO key. Be sure the audio switch is on in the Time Controls Panel. Also audio levels are displayed in the Audio panel while sound is being played. To render Audio just be sure to check the audio option in the OUTPUT Module from the render queue. Read More about this from Adobe

Viewing Audio

There are many tips for working with audio as well. To view an Audio Waveform, select an audio track and Press LL on the keyboard; one L will display the amplitude. You can also scrub the Audio by holding down CTRL and dragging the Current Time Indicator across time. More by Adobe

Audio Effects

After Effects has several audio Effects as well. For fading out audio, the Stereo Mixer filter is great because it uses a amplitude percentage rather than Decibel (db) value. There are also many effect that will use audio to generate a visual Waveform or Spectrum, these can be found in the effects generate category. More by Adobe

New Features in CS3
In AE CS3 Speed changes and Time Remapping, will also affect the speed of your audio. This allows you to Ramp both video and sound, unlike in previous versions.
More by Adobe

Tutorials with more info

Check out our Audio to Animation tutorial for more tips and tricks, as well as how to convert Audio to Keyframes. Watch Video

Our Audio Product

Almost forgot, our very own, Designer Sound Effects also includes several helpful audio mixing tutorials and designer sound elements. Be sure to check it out.

PS, I’m a little under the weather so my singing voice is a little off… tutorials will return soon.

97 RESPONSES TO "AUDIO IN AFTER EFFECTS"
Casey Millwood
January 21st, 2008 @ 11:58 am
Thanks for that Andrew. Its nice to have a refresher every now and again. Look fwd to the next tut. Thanks for everything.

C
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 1:37 am
    Thanks for the tips AK. I gotta be honest though, Iíve been intimidated with introducing audio into my After Effects workflow because I find it difficult to line your video up efficiently to it.
January 21st, 2008 @ 12:04 pm
I still have problems with QT. Is there no solution?
January 21st, 2008 @ 12:04 pm
Yeah, thanks for the update. Oh yeah, your singing voice is probably better than mine, no matter how under the weather you are...yes, it's that bad.
January 21st, 2008 @ 12:05 pm
QuickTime, previous post please.
January 21st, 2008 @ 12:11 pm
Thanks for the info, Andrew!

Hope you feel better soon!
January 21st, 2008 @ 12:43 pm
I have trouble with audio.

It comes out all crackly and louder than it should be.

Any help ????

I use a vista and I think that might be it.
January 21st, 2008 @ 1:01 pm
Thanks for the tips AK. I gotta be honest though, I've been intimidated with introducing audio into my After Effects workflow because I find it difficult to line your video up efficiently to it. It's annoying having to keep ram previewing it just to see if it lines up right. I have to go back into your designer sfx dvd and watch a couple of tyhose tutorials again. I know u touched on it a bit.
Dennis L. from Germany
January 21st, 2008 @ 1:02 pm
I had some .ASF Material.
I converted it to Quicktime, but the Sound in the Output Video was....omg....horrible.
Well it√ā¬īs pretty late in Germany ;-)
I√ā¬īll read the Post tomorrow :-)
Kind regards from Germany
frizo
January 21st, 2008 @ 1:06 pm
what the..
January 21st, 2008 @ 1:18 pm
I seriously can't live without you!
Jimmy Gadget
January 21st, 2008 @ 1:19 pm
Get well soon mate.
No rush with the tuts.
As they say, 'the best things.......
Dustin James
January 21st, 2008 @ 1:21 pm
I just got over being sick.. hope you start feeling well.
Iain
January 21st, 2008 @ 1:53 pm
Some Guy
January 21st, 2008 @ 2:18 pm
I was sick a week ago. Chamomile (I hope it's the right English word) tea and honey will help you. And of course Vitamin C (oranges, lemons or any other citrus).
January 21st, 2008 @ 3:12 pm
Hi Andrew,
many thanks for that.
Good to know where i can find these infos !

It is QuickTime 7.4 a must have for CS3 ?
I dont have it yet...

i am looking forward for new infos and tutorials...


greetz
HIStory [ArtOfDesign]
DarthItaly
January 21st, 2008 @ 4:48 pm
So you're singing in the next tutorial, eh? I recommend Slippery Elm lozinges or tea, and that voice should be back in no time. Hope you feel better mate.
January 21st, 2008 @ 4:51 pm
Hope you feel better man. Thanks for the post. Maybe you're Raspy Voice will get more of the ladies watching your tutorials.. Hey.. Ya never know :)
video-fx-universe.com
January 21st, 2008 @ 6:06 pm
I have found that when adding some audio files in after effects it comes up with the classic "windows has encountered an error and after effects must close" is this because it was an mp3 file
January 21st, 2008 @ 9:19 pm
Forgot about the Crtl Scrub. If you want I'd suggest blending modes refresher. There is an awesome way to scrub through blending modes that everyone should know.
January 21st, 2008 @ 9:48 pm
Frist sorry my english! I from China. But I Must write somthing for you !Because You make the work is great √Į¬ľ¬ĀThanks your all √Į¬ľ¬Ā
January 22nd, 2008 @ 12:14 am
Great info. Hope you get better soon.

keep up the work!!

tesssam
January 22nd, 2008 @ 3:43 am
Hello! Thanks for your opinion... I have sent to you a pretty question to your mail, but i havent receive any answer. The question: I have buy all of your products AK, i dont deserve a bonus? LOL
Nate
January 22nd, 2008 @ 5:43 am
Great tips. Very well written too! Also wanted to give you a quick suggestion. You probably already have something better in the works but it would be great if your tuts were in categories like - Motion Grapics, Effects, 3D and so on.
Sandy
January 22nd, 2008 @ 6:34 am
Very helpful info. Andrew!!!!, u always help us with ur awesome knowledge.

Anyways, get well soon. Regards ----- Sandy
January 22nd, 2008 @ 8:15 am
spell mistake: i think its realtime not reatime! sorry i like doing this :D:D
But hey, take care of your voice and drink a lot of tea ,it will help ( my mother said that ;-) ) Dont hurry up, we can wait for the next tutorial!
illegalD
January 22nd, 2008 @ 11:57 am
Hey guys,

who can tell me when AE is really clipping/distorting Audio?

I wonder, because the Mixertool often shows up those red dots, which in Audio Programs means, that the Audio is digital over 0dB.
The difference is, that I can hear the distortions in Audioapps, but AE mixes never seem to crackle although the red warning is on...

Is AE 0dB "real" 0dB, ??
January 22nd, 2008 @ 12:25 pm
Singing voice????? ha ha! Hm something having to do with singing?
Todd Kopriva
January 22nd, 2008 @ 2:08 pm
Great post, Andrew.
Jack H
January 22nd, 2008 @ 11:16 pm
Actually the time remapping feature did affect audio in earlier versions of AE, I remember using it for that purpose in 2003. Can't remember what version that was might have been 6.0.
January 22nd, 2008 @ 11:57 pm
did you compose the music first and than the ae project or
did you compose your after effects project suitably to the music?

greetz
HIStory [ArtOfDesign]
Pat
January 23rd, 2008 @ 12:23 am
Should I be able to import MP3 into After Effects?
I can't at the moment.. Same goes for WMV.. Can't important that

Thanks
James Price
January 23rd, 2008 @ 1:17 am
Hi Andrew...off topic but have you seen this?

www.rerendered.com

Do you think this idea will work as a way that you could expand your sales (doing specific AE projects without doing a whole product package each time)

Hmm...just thinking of earning you more bucks.

I expect 10% by the way..hee hee!
griffo
January 23rd, 2008 @ 10:13 am
andrew:

You said that you use another program to handle audio, which is such software, there may be some tutorial on that and because you use it?
January 23rd, 2008 @ 1:02 pm
Speaking of audio and speed changes: for those of you guys who haven't checked out my CE TimeShuffler yet - it works with audio as well so make sure to check it out and create some crazy effects. http://maltaannon.com/after-effects/ce-timeshuffle/
Enjoy!
Kim A. Strandli
January 23rd, 2008 @ 2:49 pm
you couldn't time this blogpost better Andrew! :p I'm working on a musicvideo for a schoolprosject now :p Anyways, good post!
Ted
January 24th, 2008 @ 7:48 am
Just wanted to say hi to "THE MAN" and that i prob would not even know how to use after effects if it was not for Andrew. Thanks Again.


PS. Be sure to vote for my strange wilderness mash up video. (Click on My Name)


This is my Temp. Website: http://shorelinestudiofilms.tripod.com/
Mickey
January 25th, 2008 @ 4:24 am
i didnt know you could sing... how about a song in your next tutorial? anyways, thanks for all of the awesome tutorials.hope you get better soon.
greetings from Australia.
Shujaat Syed
January 25th, 2008 @ 10:17 am
Hey Andrew check this out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rz5NekSUTM

They used one of your tutorial its the last part when it says "Jumper"
Bolletje Bakfiets
January 25th, 2008 @ 1:57 pm
Wooow, I was looking for that ZERO key :D Thanks man!
karim
January 28th, 2008 @ 7:29 am
hello andrew ,i m karim i was wonderoing if you can make a tutorial where you show how to make the effect of a tv screen which you did the sound fx promo
Dale Jackson
January 28th, 2008 @ 2:36 pm
I have to say that this package is truly incredible!!! that's it, short and sweet!
January 31st, 2008 @ 6:13 am
Informative and concise as always...
Do you know of any way to work with 5.1 surround sound in AE? Even just importing a 5.1 file (wav or ac3) without it performing a stereo mixdown? Quicktime H264 supports 5.1 audio but only from QT Pro as far as i can tell....
iuliu
February 4th, 2008 @ 1:55 pm
hy Andy, it will be nice to make some 3d max tutorials
Micah
December 1st, 2008 @ 3:46 pm
I can't change any settings in the Output Module...so my audio isn't rendering at all...I can't click on anything. Only the triangle tab next to Output Module can be clicked on...it pulls down, but nothing is changeable. Please help!
jooo
May 2nd, 2009 @ 12:05 pm
u r a genius man :D
plzzzz i want the projects files but i can't reach it
i just want to know,did u upload them?
sry i can't speak english well but i hope u understand me thnxxxxx
Joan
October 25th, 2009 @ 9:24 pm
Hello! Can someone help me please. I cant hear my audio in after effects even it's a .wav file. Thanks!
Chase Grund
January 9th, 2010 @ 7:28 pm
When I try and put any audio on after effects it just doesn't even work.
It's not just bad, it doesn't play at all.

So, I put the videos on premiere pro to add audio, but when i export from premiere pro it the quality of the video is not half as good as it was straight out of after effects.
(in one case after premiere pro there were no stars left from the earth zoom out video, and there was a bunch of stars there before hand)

if you could help me with this I'd really appreciate it
Goran
January 26th, 2010 @ 6:02 am
hi andrew, i have a question, where do you put your sound in videos? cause in "Basic training - render tips" tutorial you said than you almos never use after effects for sound, and in submerged i saw, a good mesh of sound and all of them, i'm trying to use camtasia studio for it, but, i want to know "what do you use?" please respond 8^), sorry for my english.
Goran
January 26th, 2010 @ 6:07 am
I'm whatching all your tutorials again, you know, i have to use a chanse like your tutorials.
Pedro
January 28th, 2010 @ 6:28 pm
Andrew, I was doing the "Soul Removal" tutorial, and when I chose the effect "CC Particle World" to do that energy wipe there is a green line ! I tought that when I renderized this green line would go off, but it didn't. I was doing just like you, and that green line shows up in every composition of mine. Would help me ? Please ! I don't know how to make it disappear !
Chirag vadgama
February 4th, 2010 @ 12:02 am
I am planning on buying Pro Scores and Designer Sound Fx but my question is are they compatible with Audacity and Soundforge? and what are the format of the files.

Thanks
Pedro
February 7th, 2010 @ 9:38 am
/\ I FOUND IT ! I just realized that my CycoreFX was the demo version, so, if you have the same problem that I did, you should get the full version !
March 5th, 2010 @ 7:10 pm
Andrew,

Thanks so much for all the AE audio info. I was wondering if you could help answer one more question.

I need to export a video in PAL 25fps / 720x576. The music track that I'm using isn't cooperating. When I adjust the fps to 25 in AE or Final Cut, the audio starts to pop (sporadically, but noticeably). Here are the specs on the original music track: 15.6K.sec data rate, 44.1KHz, 32-bit. I've tried adjusting my audio output settings accordingly, but haven't been able to get rid of the popping.

Do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks in advance for your help!
Mike
July 11th, 2010 @ 4:28 pm
I am using After Effects CS4 with Video Copilot's Designer Sound Effects and I keep getting clipping on the audio tracks. There is no clipping when I play audio in Adobe Bridge.
tugce
July 28th, 2010 @ 2:04 pm
Hello... thanks for all the tutorials and useful information you are my teacher of after effects :) however with this audio thing i always have problems... i render out my work to a mpeg2-dvd format, but the audio(even though i select stereo) is always coming out from one speaker. I mean the music i added comes out from both, but the speaking voice of the actors, which is dubbed, is just coming out from the left speaker. This doesn't change even i chose pcm or mpeg as the audio. what am i doing wrong?
pankaj shetye
October 4th, 2010 @ 4:08 am
hey hi i have a query regarding after effects i need to apply a image to a solid model created in after effects it's a kind a book wherein i need to super impose the images i have on the solid.


thanks and regards
pankaj shetye
multimedia developer (creative)
Eric
October 6th, 2010 @ 2:27 pm
Thanks for all the tutorials! Such a great help, speaking of HELP! When I import audio into CS5 it slows down the speed from what it is in itunes...It is about 10 to 15 DB slower than the original...any ideas????
November 28th, 2010 @ 4:08 pm
I do most of my audio work in Audition or Premiere.
January 9th, 2011 @ 3:58 pm
messing with audio settings frustrates me,I always end up worse off then when i started. Your tips were helpful for me, thank you
jordan
February 2nd, 2011 @ 12:38 am
umm.......... how do i download this?
Ashok
March 8th, 2011 @ 9:44 am
Hi,
First of all thank you Andrew for your tutorials,I wanted to combine more than one composition,I dont know how can u help?
Tal
March 24th, 2011 @ 1:39 pm
Great information and insight. Why would audio sound lower in pitch when importing into After Effects CS4? Thanks to anyone with knowledge on this.
Gismo
May 19th, 2011 @ 9:15 am
Hey Andrew.

Love your work.

I have a big problem in AE. The sound isen't there at all. No matter what I do... And my sound on my comp is set up the right way. But no sound in AE or when my video is rendered... Hope that you can help me.
    cymbals
    June 1st, 2011 @ 7:12 pm
    I had the same problem. Try Composition->save ram preview. That worked for me. Also the ram preview button played audio for me. It might have to do with quicktime files.
July 1st, 2011 @ 5:12 am
I am really impressed by your work. I also work in CS4 and the audio after effects you shown in video tutorials are great. I was not using audio after effects. Thanks for the information.
Jimbo
September 8th, 2011 @ 2:11 pm
Hi
Im relatively new to After effects, and im having an audio issue with rendering. Whenever i try and render a composition in AF CS5 using an mpeg2 or mpeg2 dvd format, the render always leaves me with a video file and a separate audio file. Is there a way to render to mpeg2 and have one combined video/audio file, or will I need to use another package to blend the two files?

Jim
    Gergely
    March 12th, 2012 @ 4:14 am
    Hi. I'm having the same problem and it's really annoying. Have you found any solution?
September 21st, 2011 @ 5:07 am
Its really very informative. I needed the tutorials for after effects and the plug-ins. They are really helpful. Thanks
tomi
October 4th, 2011 @ 11:35 pm
why i cant hear my sound when i move my cursor in composition...????

pleaase help me thx
Cha
October 18th, 2011 @ 9:37 am
Thank you! really, thanks a lot, I'm a newbie in AFx, and spent a lot of time trying to understand how to work with audio layers...
Waheed Muhaal
November 3rd, 2011 @ 10:19 am
messing with audio settings frustrates me,I always end up worse off then when i started. Your tips were helpful for me, thank you
Waheed Muhaal
November 3rd, 2011 @ 10:20 am
Andrew,

Thanks so much for all the AE audio info. I was wondering if you could help answer one more question.

I need to export a video in PAL 25fps / 720◊576. The music track that Iím using isnít cooperating. When I adjust the fps to 25 in AE or Final Cut, the audio starts to pop (sporadically, but noticeably). Here are the specs on the original music track: 15.6K.sec data rate, 44.1KHz, 32-bit. Iíve tried adjusting my audio output settings accordingly, but havenít been able to get rid of the popping.

Do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks in advance for your help!
Waheed Muhaal
November 3rd, 2011 @ 10:21 am
HelloÖ thanks for all the tutorials and useful information you are my teacher of after effects :) however with this audio thing i always have problemsÖ i render out my work to a mpeg2-dvd format, but the audio(even though i select stereo) is always coming out from one speaker. I mean the music i added comes out from both, but the speaking voice of the actors, which is dubbed, is just coming out from the left speaker. This doesnít change even i chose pcm or mpeg as the audio. what am i doing wrong?
November 22nd, 2011 @ 4:38 pm
If you're on a Mac laptop, then you're probably having a hard time previewing audio by pressing period in the comp preview or timeline panes. That's because the keystroke is assigned to zoom on laptops without a number pad. It zooms, instead.

For a fix, you can listen to an audio podcast at Creative Cow:

---- http://podcasts.creativecow.net/after-effects-tutorials-podcast/changing-shortcuts-with-after-effects

Or, you can check out my text and image walk through in the video comments:

---- http://podcasts.creativecow.net/after-effects-tutorials-podcast/changing-shortcuts-with-after-effects
Nicholas Thines
December 15th, 2011 @ 7:55 am
Thank You Very Much Man ! You solved my big troublesome problem ! XD
Kingsley Ezeonyido
January 19th, 2012 @ 4:03 am
Thanks for the info, at least i've just learnt a new thing.
Robin H.
April 20th, 2012 @ 2:35 pm
Hi, Thanks a lot foor all the free tutorials, the helped me a lot getting through in school ^^
April 21st, 2012 @ 10:52 am
best effect that i like ever.thanks
April 21st, 2012 @ 10:55 am
thanks man!for working hard on tutorials>>>>>>.
April 23rd, 2012 @ 7:30 am
waht is use of swap channel in audio effect [backwards] i have click on swap channel but it dies not made any changes in audio what is a use swap channel
May 11th, 2012 @ 5:19 pm
Where are the controls for the audio in CS4?
Lon
June 20th, 2012 @ 2:40 am
Is there a way to listen to audio frame by frame like you can in premiere? I would like to be able to sync certain visuals with different components of the audio, like bass drum vs snare, and it is way easier if I can just hear it frame by frame.
    Lon
    June 20th, 2012 @ 12:27 pm
    Ok, so I found out that you can "scrub" (frame by frame playback)audio by holding down control while manually moving the time bar. Is there a way to move through time on the keyboard (ie. page up/down) instead of using your mouse to manipulate the time bar?

    Cheers!
July 11th, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
Thanks for Change. It's nice to have a refresher cours now and then. See FWD to the next. Thank you for everything.
Byaruhanga francis
August 29th, 2012 @ 7:48 am
I render my footages in HDTV format but i get no audio.
Keven
September 25th, 2012 @ 9:08 am
I need to save an audio file in MP3 but I do not know anything about audio parametres so I'm confused when it comes to selecting the best settings in the rendering audio parametres. Any help from Kramer or anybody else who happens to read this would be greatly appreciated.
October 4th, 2012 @ 4:29 pm
It makеs a changе to find good content foг
once, I was getting sick of thе сontinual drivel I fіnd rеcently, you deservе respect for putting out rеadablе and informatіve datа.
Ahmed
October 25th, 2012 @ 9:20 am
HI CAN YOU DO TUTORIAL ABOUT Demon Cam VIDEO VOICE EFFECT OR VOICE CHANGER
Jace
January 8th, 2013 @ 4:26 pm
Can anyone help me? I'm kind of new to After Effects, and I'm trying to edit a video. But the thing is whenever I place my video in the comp box, there's no sound, even if I RAM preview it. Is there something I'm doing wrong?
Visahl pandey
April 14th, 2013 @ 6:15 am
Thank you very much Andrew :)
June 18th, 2013 @ 11:47 am
Thanks for the tips AK. I gotta be honest though, I’ve been intimidated with introducing audio into my After Effects workflow because I find it difficult to line your video up efficiently to it. It’s annoying having to keep ram previewing it just to see if it lines up right. I have to go back into your designer sfx dvd and watch a couple of tyhose tutorials again. I know u touched on it a bit.
January 23rd, 2014 @ 3:06 am
Hi Sir, This is Vicky Shah and i learned after effect and designing sense from your website to watch tutorial. Right now i m working in Channel in India and i want to learned more thing from you and your team. Actually i wanted to work with you Andrew sir. So please suggest me is it possible. But please do reply it's important for me. I'll send you my work link soon.

Many Thanks...
April 2nd, 2014 @ 9:56 pm
Audio can add some better experience to the video. After effects look little bit weird if not attached with right audio.
May 5th, 2014 @ 4:03 am
Hi, Thanks a lot foor all the free tutorials, the helped me a lot getting through in school ^^
July 14th, 2014 @ 10:51 pm
Great blog article about this topic,I have been lately in your blog once or twice now.I just wanted to say hi and show my thanks for the information provided…
August 19th, 2014 @ 4:53 am
I’ve been intimidated with introducing audio into my After Effects workflow.
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