after effects Tutorial

After Effects: Adding Audio to Animations

Laura Kramer
|3 min read
Written by Laura Kramer


Incorporating audio into your animations can truly enhance the overall experience. While many of us typically resort to software like Premiere Pro for audio integration, After Effects also provides a straightforward method. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

1. Importing Audio:

At the outset, I used standard keyframes like position, opacity, and rotation. But when I wanted to add sounds like alarms, clock ticking, and the toast popping up, here's what I did:

  • Locate the Audio Button: Find the audio button at the top right section of your After Effects interface.

  • Import Audio Files: Navigate to this button and import the desired audio clips. I imported sounds like clock ticking, a bleep, and a toaster pop.

2. Positioning Audio:

  • Decide Placement: Scroll to the desired position in your composition timeline. I preferred the bottom to clearly distinguish audio layers from animation layers.

  • Align with Keyframes: Identify the precise moment you want the sound to start. For instance, I wanted the alarm sound at one second 17 frames. Drag your audio clip to match this position.

3. Editing and Adjusting Audio:

  • Trim Audio: If your sound clip has unnecessary parts, you might need to edit or trim. Unfortunately, After Effects doesn't have a straightforward 'cut tool' like Premiere. Instead, you'll have to manually drag the clip's end to the desired point.

  • Adjust Volume: Depending on your animation and other sounds, you might need to adjust the volume of specific clips. For my ticking clock, I reduced its volume to negative 16 decibels to balance it with the other sounds.

  • Keyframe Volume: If you want the sound volume to change during the clip (starting loud and becoming softer or vice versa), you can use keyframes to adjust the volume dynamically.

4. Adding Markers:

Markers help you denote where specific sounds should start or end.

  • Place a Marker: In my project, I wanted the clock ticking to stop just before the toast pop sound. I added a marker at that point.

  • Align with Marker: Then, I dragged the end of the ticking sound to match the marker.

5. Locking Audio Layers:

Once you've made all necessary adjustments:

  • Lock each Audio Layer: This ensures you won't accidentally alter them as you continue to work on your animation.

Final Touches:

After positioning and adjusting all your audio layers, play back your animation to ensure everything aligns perfectly. Don't hesitate to revisit and make minor tweaks if needed.

Remember, while audio adds depth to your animations, it's essential to ensure it complements and doesn't overpower the visual elements. Experiment, adjust, and find the perfect balance. Happy animating!


motion design
after effects

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