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Voice Waveform - Create a realtime waveform from a sound file
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Posted on October 7th, 2006
Adobe After Effects
There are many ways to create a waveform like you see on winamp or on any mediaplayer with visualizations..
You can use a plugin from Trapcode called soundkeys that allows you to do much cooler stuff. but it costs...

So let's do some cool waveform for our equalizer, tv, monitor, mp3player whatever.

What you need:

  • - After Effects 6.5

  • - Soundfile (aiff works best)

For the not-mac users around us, you can create a aiff file with the normal quicktime player. just open the soundfile you want to convert and choose "export as".
You can also download the aiff that I've used on this project HERE

Let's get to work..

Step 1

Open After Effects and create a new composition with your preferred size. I'm using 320x240 for this tutorial with a length of 6 seconds. You should do what fits best to you.

Create a new Solid (CTRL+Y) same size as your composition and with a black background.
Now choose the pen-tool and create a straight line in the middle of your composition from the far left to the far right.
Step 1

Import your aiff file into your project and place it into your composition, doesn't matter where you put it.

Now you just need to choose the Audio Waveform effect (Effects - Render - Audio Waveform) and you will see that you already have slight waveform depending on your sound ;)
Step 1.1

On the next page we will go through all the settings available.

Step 2

There are not so many settings in this effect, and they are all pretty easy to understand, but I will explain it though.
Here the complete effect window:
Step 2

Here the most important options:

Audio Layer: This is where you choose the layer which is holding the sound, since we just have one.. :)

Path: Here we choose the path we've created at the beginning, Mask1 is the name of it. If you didn't create a mask at the beginning no problem, you can also set the left and right side on the effect window with the start and end point options

Maximum Height: This is just the height of the waveform, I like to use big heights depending on what I'm doing.

Audio Duration: This defines how much of the waveform is being showed on the window, I would explain it as zoom in/out of the waveform.

Thickness: hmm.. no explanation needed.. thickness of the line

Inside/Outside Color: If you chosen a thin line, you will not notice the inside line.

Display Options: Digital, Analog, Dots, different displays of your waveform
Step 2.2

HERE you can download the movie I've created, maybe you need it as reference.

That's it.. there you have your own REAL waveform.

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