After Effects - Animated Infographic Video & Data Visualisation

How to add audio & music to a infographic in After Effects

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this video we're going to bring in some audio. We're going to put it into some folder. We're going to bring in some music and look at where to get some of that for free. And then we're going to balance it so that my voice isn't so low, and the music is down a bit so you can hear underneath me, let's hit it. The Value of Sleep for Creatives. It's made me sound a little more like I know what I'm doing. Anyway let's get on with the chorus so I know what I'm dealing with, most of the time.

Okay, let's deal with audio properly in this video. So we're dealing with a voice over, that's me. Obviously, if you're doing your own voice over it makes it easy, if you've got a half decent mike, it's pretty easy to do but probably you're going to be like most people and hate the sound of your own voice, me included, but it was cheaper to do my own voice over than paying somebody else for this exercise, so you got stuck with me. If you're doing a higher talent, what I do is I go out to a site like Fiverr. Fiverr is a site, you're meant to pay $5 or Euros. And it's what people will do for $5.

This guy will do a voice over here for US $5. That's the Euro translation, or the currency exchange. And if you click play, you can listen to Todd. Hello Todd. Great! So he'll do that, for $5, a certain amount of words. It seems cheap, but bank on it being about $25-$50 depending. Because he might say he'll do the first 50 words for $5, or the first 10 words, whatever his rates are. And you might have to go further than that. And if you want it done, like he'll say it's $5, but I'll do it when I get around to it, maybe a week, or if you want it done straight away you might have to pay another $10. It kind of adds up. And by adding up, 25 bucks is pretty cheap for a voice over. So just have a go through, and decide, do I need a Caribbean voice over or do I need this guy, or that guy? He has a great, like normal voice. If you need somebody who's Irish, if you need somebody who's Australian, or English, just type it in up here. I just typed in 'voice over' to get these guys. It's amazing what you can get done, quite quickly, and cheaply.

So we've got our voice over, back to After Effects. So when you are working with audio, especially a voice over, often you need to time things to it. You can see, I've added little markers down here. We'll look at these markers a little bit later on. I've added them here, so at this early stage we can add our Infographics at different timing points. But if you need to edit audio what you really need to do is, something on Audition, it's down here. So I've recorded into Audition, and did any edits so I cut out all the ums and ahs, and made it sound half decent. In Audition, if you need, you remove background noises, the air conditioning noise, something like that, that's the job for Audition. And I'll do a course about that real soon. And we've got our mp3s, it's come through.

One of the things you might want to do is, see I can twirl down this little arrow here, and go to Waveform. Waveform is really handy, you can start to see where the breaks in the language are, you can see the pause there for a little bit. So you can start timing things, like I'm probably starting to say something about here. I'm going to hit space bar. You can see, I've got the beginning of the conversation there. I often have this open when I'm trying to time Infographics to an audio file like this. So I'm going to twirl it up at the moment.

Now one of the big things is, you wouldn’t have seen, I had that open already, but when I hit Play for this, it's quite quiet. You won't really notice it when you're working on your projects. You need to check, whenever you bring in audio to check whether it's at the right level. You don't want to send your Infographics somewhere and people be listening to it, and it either blow their ear drums out or just be really, really low, and they raise the volume, and in the next video, it blows their ear drums out. So you want to get consistent, there's a world of consistency sound, and it's between -6 and -12. Minus is weird, huh? Just about, it works from 0 being the highest, and we work down from that. How to check? It's quite easy. Go to 'Window', down to 'Audio'. Or in my case, there's that little gap there. And this little guy is what we're going to be watching for. And see the gap between -6 and about -12. If I hit space bar, watch it. See it bouncing down here. It's bouncing too low. You want that little line to be bouncing anywhere between here and here, is a good kind of general range. And you kind of see red, but yellow, just okay, but in here is the sweet zone.

All you need to do is, have it selected. And what I might have to do is, if you've got it locked, like the last video, unlock it, select it, and just yank it up a little bit. And then see how it goes. Hit space bar. Not bad, I'm going to get it a little bit higher. It's bouncing in that right kind of sweet zone, you can see there. It's a little perfect. But that's going to be great for me.

Next thing is, let's bring in the rest of the audio. We can go to 'File', 'Import', 'File'. It's a long way, there's a shortcut. 'Command I' on a Mac, or 'Control I' on a PC, we use that loads. To be honest, I never use it. I just double click in this big gray area here in my Project window. So just double click, that's the shortcut to it. I find it quite quick anyway. So these two files, go to your exercise files. And under 'Icon Pop', '01 Icon Pop', bring in 'Blip.mp3'. And double click it again, let's bring in a second file. It's just under the root, 'Infographic Exercise Files'. It's called 'Background Music'. We're going to use these on all the different exercises that we do. It's on its own folder, and all these files here, they're next to all free because somebody like Wistia have given them out to us. So Wistia is W-I-S-T-I-A. Go check out them, they've got some free background music that I saw they were there, and I appropriated it for some of my projects.

The other ones in here, I found Shutterstock. It's a stock music site. And I've paid for them. Actually these ones are the preview versions so what you'll notice is that, you'll play it for a little while and it all plays happy music, but then, part of the way through it says "Shutterstock music'. Kind of ruins the mp3 for you, so that you go off, and pay for it. You're not allowed to use these commercially, any of the Shutterstock ones. But you can kind of see here, this one here is the Wistia Learning Gallery. They allow you to use it for commercial purposes. I'm going to use Interlaken Crossroad. At this stage follow me, you can pick a different one, of course. But I've done this project obviously and tried to find something appropriate.

So what I'm going to do is I'm going to add it to my Comp. You can do it a couple of ways, you can drag it down here. The only problem is, if you drag it down here, see that little Playhead there, the blue thing, if you drag it there, it kind of starts way out here. So it doesn't start till I get… so you've either got to drag it down here, just make sure it's at the beginning or just drag it into the center bit here, and it just goes in right at the beginning.

So couple of things I would like to do. I would like to create a folder in here, put in my audio in. Often, if I'm doing Infographic there will be a files folder, an audio folder, a video folder, and I leave the Comps just out of there, so I'm going to create this one here, this one's going to be audio. I'm going to stick you, you, and you in there. And we'll make 'Files'. Files is just like any static images, and any other weird stuff I get. And you notice, when you create a new one, let's put it inside the file, so we can fix that. This one's going to be any video. This project's not going to actually hit somebody but let's get something good going early on.

So, that's my files. One of the other things is, if I hit Play now, you can see, they're all kind of battling it out. The voice over here, Value of Sleep, is at the same level as the music, but they kind of fight it out when I start talking, so I'm going to lower the volume of this music. So with it selected here, I'm going to do the opposite of what I did with the voice over and lower it down. How low? Just keep dropping it down. That feels good. So just keep lowering it down until you feel like… That works for me. So, low as you go, it's really just the balance with that whatever has to be the highest, which is going to be our dialogue. So I'm going to lock these two here, so we don't mess around with them, and we're going to move on to the next video.