Video and audio have become, in today’s day and age, an inseparable combination. Rarely do you see one without the other, especially video without audio. The amount of depth and emotion that an audio track can bring to any animation requires more than a cookie-cutter orchestration to be slapped on last minute and played in the background. Many videos require a close synchronization with the accompanying music, and that is where one of my favorite new toys comes into play: SoundKeys, by Trapcode.

Any video editor first starting out has gone through the painstaking process of repeatedly scrubbing through their track, looking at the waveform, and trying desperately to figure out where that beat is. Soundkeys helps to get rid of that nuisance. Soundkeys turns your audio into a 32-bit spectrum, with 3 premade ranges of bass, mid, and treble. What’s more, it allows you to set your own listener on any of your readout bars, so that you can capture and use your own custom keyframes from any portion of your music track! Using this, it’s never been easier to pinpoint and manipulate your beats.

Don’t have $150 to drop on an After Effects plug-in right now? Not to worry, Andrew Kramer from VideoCopilot offers a great solution in one of his fantastic tutorials from a while back. You can work to solo and bring out certain desired ranges, either natively in After Effects native, or in an external program, such as audacity or Audition. Then, you can feed your track into After Effects, create keyframes from your waveform, and then scale your keyframes to give you a value only at the desired places. It’s a lot to put into words, but check out Andrew Kramer’s tutorial, linked to below, and he will walk you through the whole process, step by step.

Whether you choose to spring for SoundKeys, or whether you choose to take the VideoCopilot route, syncing your audio to aspects of your animation can add power and depth to your videos, so do yourself a favor and check them out below!

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