Week 13

Adding sound to your project in After Effects

While an audio editing software will give you more control and options for creating your soundtrack (Audacity is a good option if you are looking for something simple and free), you can add sounds directly in After Effects and do some basic editing within the software.

Gathering and organizing the audio

Record you own track or find royalty free sound effects and music online ( Freesound.org, Internet Archive: Audio ArchiveBensound, and Audiofarm.net are all good options). Rename the tracks and save them in the same folder as all your After Effects assets. After Effects accept with mp3, .way, and .aiff so any of these formats will work.

Importing the sound files into a composition

Import your sound files into your After Effects project panel by going to File > Import > Multiple Files and selecting the audio tracks.

Open your composition (in the case of the walk cycle, this should be the one that combines the title, credits and walk) and drag your audio tracks on the Timeline panel. You can mute individual tracks by clicking in the little speaker icon column.

Editing a track

You can edit the starting point, overall length and volume of a track in After Effects:

  • To change the starting point of a track, click and drag its color bar in the Timeline
  • To change the overall length of the track:
    • Double-click on the track (this will open it in its own window
    • Set the starting and ending point with the curly brackets
    • Go back to the main composition
  • To change the volume and/or fade in and out:
    • Click on the arrow to the left of the track layer and open the Audio tab
    • Open the Waveform tab to see the waveform
    • Click on the Audio Levels stopwatch and change the dB value overtime to create multiple keyframes. Please note that After Effects takes the original amplitude as its “0 dB” point. Use a negative value to lower the volume and a positive one to increase it.

Video Tutorial

A very simple video that demos importing an audio file and fading it in and out.


Add a sound track to your project.  Details Here


  • Complete the assignment
  • Make sure you have handed in all of your work