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Previewing and mixing audio

From: After Effects CS5 Essential Training

Video: Previewing and mixing audio

Let's look a little bit at working with audio, previewing it and mixing it. I've imported this clip, and I want to show you a few things you could do with it. Number one, if we have it selected then we get some information about it here in the Project panel, just like any other clip. So, we could tell this is 20 seconds and 10 frames long. We could see the sample rate, 48 KHz and also the bit depth, 24 bits. Also if it's stereo or mono. It says Stereo clip here. If we double-click the clip, as with other types of clips, it open up in the Footage panel except that we don't get a visual representation of that other than that it has a little timeline here.

Previewing and mixing audio

Let's look a little bit at working with audio, previewing it and mixing it. I've imported this clip, and I want to show you a few things you could do with it. Number one, if we have it selected then we get some information about it here in the Project panel, just like any other clip. So, we could tell this is 20 seconds and 10 frames long. We could see the sample rate, 48 KHz and also the bit depth, 24 bits. Also if it's stereo or mono. It says Stereo clip here. If we double-click the clip, as with other types of clips, it open up in the Footage panel except that we don't get a visual representation of that other than that it has a little timeline here.

Now if we press the Spacebar, nothing happens. We could RAM preview this, but we could also preview audio only either in the Footage panel or in the Timeline panel by pressing the Period key on the numeric keypad. (Music playing) You press the Period key again to stop it. Also, if you wanted to trim the audio in the same way we trim video by shortening the beginning or the end, we can do that as well her in the Footage panel.

Now another thing we could do is drag this piece of footage and make a new composition with this. Now, there is not a pixel aspect ratio or necessarily a pixel dimension, but it does take into consideration the duration there. So, what we could do is drag this to the New Composition icon. And a lot of times in your motion graphics projects, you build the project around the audio track. Maybe like if its a commercial, the client will give you the completed audio and then you're trying to sync up the clips and the graphics to the already established audio, so this is helpful for that as well.

Now as far as mixing audio, there is not really too much here. Now if we open this track up-- and this goes for all tracks with audio, not just audio only tracks-- we'll see an Audio area and we could click Audio to open that up. We have Audio Levels and this is pretty much all you get when it comes to mixing audio. You get a volume control and that's all the Audio Levels is. So, if you wanted to mix it with another audio effect, for example, then you might want to take the volume of this one down or up accordingly.

It's a very simplistic way to deal with audio, but that's what you got in After Effects. Another thing that's very helpful though is if you open up the Waveform area. Based on how big you have your Timeline panel stretched out, you can see the waveform here and it can be a great representation visually of what's happening in your audio file. Say, for example now, I know that the audio here does not start until right about here, until about 16 frames in. So, if I wanted to, I could trim this by using the Alt+Left Bracket or Option+Left Bracket keyboard shortcut.

Then press Option+Home or Alt+Home to put this at the beginning of the timeline, just as we would with the video clip, and now when we preview this composition, using the Period key on the numeric keypad, the audio will start right away. (Music playing) Pretty cool! Now you might have noticed some clipping there, because I had my Audio Levels at +7. So, I were to take this down little bit lower and preview that. (Music playing) It's much quieter. And so you can even see the waveform, how it is affected by the Audio Levels.

As we increase this, you're seeing these Audio Levels get blown out of reduced. We'll take this back down to zero. Now, as far as working with audio in the Timeline, that is what you get. You get to mix it and then look at it while you mix it and by mixing I mean you get to just play with the volume. So, just be aware that if you are going to have some really elaborate audio and that's going to be significant, you might want to use another audio application, a dedicated audio application, and then you do the finishing on that audio there and then bring your entire audio track completely mixed into After Effects.

But if you don't have that capability, then these are the tools at your disposal.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects CS5 Essential Training
After Effects CS5 Essential Training

111 video lessons · 67410 viewers

Chad Perkins
Author

 
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  1. 5m 40s
    1. Introduction
      1m 30s
    2. What is After Effects?
      3m 12s
    3. How to use the exercise files
      58s
  2. 28m 14s
    1. After Effects workflow overview
      2m 18s
    2. Bringing elements into After Effects
      2m 23s
    3. Adding elements to the Timeline
      1m 57s
    4. Working with layers
      3m 45s
    5. Creating animation with presets
      3m 24s
    6. Applying effects
      3m 34s
    7. Creating animation without presets
      5m 38s
    8. Previewing your work
      2m 46s
    9. Exporting content as a movie file
      2m 29s
  3. 27m 20s
    1. Touring the interface
      6m 2s
    2. How After Effects projects work
      4m 47s
    3. What is a composition?
      4m 52s
    4. Tips for adding content to compositions
      2m 49s
    5. Understanding the properties of video
      8m 50s
  4. 57m 8s
    1. Importing an Illustrator file
      4m 57s
    2. Animation basics
      7m 12s
    3. Animating opacity
      6m 40s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      4m 57s
    5. Animating position
      6m 8s
    6. Animating rotation
      4m 41s
    7. Animating scale
      7m 19s
    8. Using the Puppet tool
      7m 13s
    9. Copying and pasting keyframes
      3m 4s
    10. Animation shortcuts
      4m 57s
  5. 9m 42s
    1. Understanding precomposing
      6m 51s
    2. Navigating through compositions quickly
      2m 51s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. A showcase of effects
      2m 34s
    2. Creating a layer for effects
      3m 1s
    3. Applying effects
      4m 54s
    4. Animating effect properties
      4m 29s
    5. Using Glow
      5m 34s
    6. Creating patterns and textures
      6m 57s
    7. Creating a fireball
      7m 9s
    8. Using the Cycore effects
      5m 58s
    9. Adding blur
      5m 45s
    10. Creating a galaxy scene from scratch
      8m 38s
    11. Distorting objects with effects
      4m 7s
    12. Creating and using lens flares
      4m 21s
    13. Creating lightning bolts
      4m 3s
    14. Viewing random variations with Brainstorm
      4m 39s
  7. 30m 52s
    1. Shortening the duration of layers
      4m 23s
    2. Trimming in the Footage panel
      4m 14s
    3. Slowing and accelerating video speed
      7m 9s
    4. Applying video transitions between clips
      6m 7s
    5. Working with image sequences
      4m 47s
    6. Importing footage with an alpha channel
      4m 12s
  8. 36m 11s
    1. Brightening dark footage
      9m 12s
    2. Changing colors in footage
      6m 34s
    3. Creating cinematic color treatments
      8m 17s
    4. Creating a quick vignette
      3m 42s
    5. Colorizing black-and-white objects
      4m 50s
    6. Using adjustment layers
      3m 36s
  9. 21m 9s
    1. Creating and editing text
      7m 39s
    2. Applying text animation presets
      4m 41s
    3. Animating text manually
      4m 43s
    4. Applying layer styles to text
      4m 6s
  10. 28m 58s
    1. Let's get better
      37s
    2. Using work areas
      3m 37s
    3. Creating markers
      6m 17s
    4. Replacing layers
      2m 35s
    5. Mastering Timeline navigation
      3m 18s
    6. Aligning and distributing layers
      3m 4s
    7. Selecting layers quickly
      1m 56s
    8. Cropping layers
      3m 43s
    9. Adjusting comp resolution
      3m 51s
  11. 23m 53s
    1. Using the paint tools
      9m 35s
    2. Using the Roto Brush tool
      9m 25s
    3. Animating growing vines
      4m 53s
  12. 40m 29s
    1. Creating and using masks
      6m 42s
    2. Exploring mask options
      7m 57s
    3. Creating masks with Auto-trace
      6m 51s
    4. Masking objects with other objects
      5m 33s
    5. Making shape layers
      3m 43s
    6. Modifying shape layers
      9m 43s
  13. 30m 44s
    1. Turning 2D layers into 3D layers
      9m 22s
    2. Creating lights and cameras
      6m 14s
    3. Creating shadows
      4m 23s
    4. Using depth of field
      4m 42s
    5. Working with 3D effects
      6m 3s
  14. 18m 10s
    1. Removing a green screen background
      4m 37s
    2. Refining the matte
      4m 48s
    3. Compositing with color adjustments
      4m 50s
    4. Compositing with blend modes
      3m 55s
  15. 25m 44s
    1. Understanding spatial interpolation
      2m 5s
    2. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      3m 55s
    3. Orienting moving objects along a path
      1m 29s
    4. Drawing motion with Motion Sketch
      2m 51s
    5. Creating pauses in animation
      3m 6s
    6. Understanding temporal interpolation
      1m 56s
    7. Easing keyframes
      5m 57s
    8. About the Graph Editor
      4m 25s
  16. 12m 13s
    1. Stabilizing shaky footage
      7m 46s
    2. Tracking the motion in footage
      4m 27s
  17. 24m 58s
    1. Setting up parent layers
      5m 49s
    2. Working with null objects
      2m 31s
    3. What are expressions?
      7m 17s
    4. Modifying simple expressions
      2m 20s
    5. Using the wiggle expression
      7m 1s
  18. 6m 52s
    1. Understanding audio in motion graphics
      1m 22s
    2. Previewing and mixing audio
      3m 55s
    3. Enhancing audio tracks with effects
      1m 35s
  19. 11m 36s
    1. Adding comps to the Render Queue
      2m 30s
    2. Exploring key Render Queue settings
      4m 11s
    3. How should I export my video?
      4m 55s
  20. 7m 16s
    1. Using Photoshop with After Effects
      2m 10s
    2. Using Illustrator with After Effects
      3m 2s
    3. Using Flash with After Effects
      2m 4s
  21. 11s
    1. Goodbye
      11s

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