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Now if you're looking at this project, you might be thinking to yourself, wow, that is a really dark, dark Canvas, and yes, it is. It's honestly one of the most intimidating things that just about any designer can face. The limitless possibilities that get created by a blank Canvas. So, a lot of times, if I'm stuck, like a client goes, "Yeah, uh, make something cool," first I'll look at them like they have lost their mind, but secondly I'll probably get a little excited, because that generally means I get to do pretty much whatever I want.
Now the reason I'm talking about this in the audio chapter, I personally like to use audio to inspire my visuals, kind of like MTV, when they used to play music videos. So now what we are going to do is create our own little visuals to match up with some audio, but before we do that, we need to actually get some audio into our projects and get comfortable editing it. So if you navigate in your exercise files, in the Media folder, under Footage, you'll find a folder for Music, and in here we have two WAV files.
Now, Motion supports uncompressed formats like WAV and AIF, and it definitely supports AAC as well. Just understand, if you bought a track on iTunes that was copy protected--not iTunes Plus, but the original iTunes-- you probably won't be able to import it into your project, because it's copy managed, but in general when you're working with audio, you want to try and work with uncompressed audio sources anyway. So that's why we're working with these WAV files.
Now, you notice there is an audio setting for this 44 1 16-bit Stereo, same with this one. Now up in the top of our File Browser, you can also preview the audio. If you just hover your mouse over the window, you can press Play and listen and if you're not hearing anything, you want to Click this button. (music playing) Okay, you get the general idea. You can do the same thing for the other clip. (music playing) So this is just muting the playback of the actual clip up here.
The reason you may want to mute this, sometimes when you're kind of messing around and browsing through different files you may not necessarily want to listen to all of the different things that Motion will automatically start playing for you, so that's why you've separate controls like that. Now, I can import audio a couple of ways. We can select the WAV file and then drag and drop it right into the Canvas. That's honestly the one way I recommend you work with audio. The reason being this: if you drag and drop something directly into the Canvas and there is no video applied, it will just drop the audio wherever it can go.
Now, I have my project set up so any piece of footage that I drag into the Canvas will automatically start at the start of the composition. Now, if you didn't change your Motion preference for that, just jump into the Motion > Preferences section for a quick second, and then I believe it's under the Project settings. You want to go to Create Layers At and make sure Start of project is selected. This way if for some reason you know I had the playhead parked down here and I dragged my audio clip in, it would still put it at the head of our composition.
Now what if I want to drop a second audio track in? Well, I can definitely do that, but let's preview the audio that's in our comp right now. I'm just going to make sure we have the Timeline area over here selected and press my spacebar. (music playing) So as you can see, I'm hearing the audio. If you couldn't hear the audio, you want to make sure this button down here is active in the lower-left section. Now if you want to actually see your audio tracks, open up the Timing panel by pressing F6, and you should see audio down here in the bottom.
If you don't, you want to go to the lower-right corner of the interface and make sure that audio is enabled, so you can actually see it. Now if you right-click on the audio track, you can make sure that it's active you can mute it, or you can even solo the audio track. Or if you choose Reveal Source Media, what it will do is open up the Media tab and allow you to select the audio track, so you can check it out in the Media section of the Inspector. See, here is where I can actually browse and see all the information associated with that file.
Now there is one more tab here in the Layers pane, and that's the Audio tab. Under Audio, let's collapse the Inspector for now, press Command+3 and this way I can drag out to the right and just make sure I have enough room for my audio. If you look at the Audio section here, I can drag the volume down or up for the individual track, and I have volume control for the Master track. Now adjusting this or adjusting that really doesn't make a difference when you only have one track.
So let's add a second track. I'm going to press Command+1 to open up my File Browser again, and this time when I drag the WAV file in, I'll drag it right to the Audio tab. Now when I let go, that, too, is going to be added to my Timeline. Now if I press the spacebar, you'll hear both audio tracks right over top of each other. (music playing) So we could go in here and actually adjust the volume of each individual track and decide what we want, and what we don't want, or we can just adjust the overall volume down here with my Master track.
These buttons here control the pan, so you can pan the audio to the left channel, or you can pan it back to the right channel. I'm just clicking and dragging up and down to have that move around. (music playing) There, we are not seeing much of a difference with this, and that's just because they're all mixed to one specific 50% for both, but you get the general idea as to how to make adjustments here within the Audio section.
Let's look down here in the Timeline. Now you can slide audio in the Timeline just by clicking and dragging on it, and it works just like video. As you click and drag, you'll get these wonderful contextual menus that pop up and let you know exactly how far you've dragged that clip. Now what if you want to fade from one audio track to another? Well, there is no behavior just for fade for audio, but there is the option of keyframing. So, let's see where we're at right now. (music playing) So things are all over the map.
Let's just drag and see if we can get this closer. (music playing) So as you can see, there is a fair amount of editing that can be done as you're working with the audio, but to fade from one to another, let's move our playhead to the beginning of a track.
Now, if I hold Shift as I drag, notice the playhead will snap right to the beginning of that audio track. Now we can enable automatic keyframing and with this faze track selected in my Audio section, I can go up here and drag down. Notice my keyframe was added. Now if I move my playhead further down the Timeline and just drag my audio up, you'll notice now I just did a fade-in. Now to fade out the other audio track, I'll just select that audio track here and do a quick scrub.
Let's scrub that up, and then we'll move our playhead back to the beginning, and we'll scrub this down. Now, I actually did this in reverse. I've got two fades. So you can actually just drag keyframes out and over top of each other just by clicking and dragging with your mouse. Now, I can trim that out point of this second audio track, because it's not loud anymore. So just press O and that will trim that outpoint. So now if I play from the beginning, you'll hear just a quick a little bit of this first Hiphop track, and then it will fade into the next one.
(music playing) Not quite Friday night at the club, but I think you get the idea. So when it comes to actually editing audio inside Motion, it does have some decent capabilities. Honestly, I just like to use it for inspiration. So, the next time you get stuck trying to come up with something new, why don't you try dragging some audio into your project and see where it leads?
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