In a lot of motion graphics projects at some point you will need to know  how create and animate the beat of a sound and more specifically how to create an audio spectrum in After Effects for your music, dialogue, sound effects…

In this After Effects tutorial post I’ll demonstrate a couple of methods on how to make an audio spectrum in After Effects with different waveform style, I will  share with you the After Effects audio spectrum template files so you can work with them, and don’t worry you won’t need any third party plug-in.

If you don’t like following my written step by step tutorial you can also watch a couple of video tutorials I have selected on audio spectrum, in one of the tab below.

By the end of this tutorial, you should be able to master and impress your clients or viewers with a kick ass audio spectrum visualizer.

I have organized the sections below so it is easier to browse and get the info you need. Just click on the links below and the expand the tabs.

An audio or sound spectrum in After Effects is a visual representation of a sound which is getting data from the beat or frequency of the sound. Commonly, it looks like the bars of old hifi radios that we had in the past. They move up and down depending on the different sounds that permeate the music, voice, or audio piece. It allows the viewer to get a sense of how the sound is changing, evolving, or what is the mood of the sound.

1. Open After Effects
2. Create a new composition at 1920×1080
audio spectrum after effects composition

3. Import your sound file (wav,mp3,aiff)  in your project window [ Shortcut PC:  CTRL+I  | MAC: Command+I ]

after effects project window

4. Drag the sound file on your timeline

audio file on after effects timeline

5. Create a solid at 1920×1080 [ Shortcut PC:  CTRL+Y  | MAC: Command+Y ]

6.  In the Effects & Presets window find the Audio Spectrum Effect

audio spectrum effect

7. Drag and Drop the audio spectrum effect on your solid layer

ae timeline solid with audio spectrum effect

9. Select your Solid on your timeline and open your Effects Controls window

10. Click on the audio layer drop down and select your sound layer

audio-spectrum-effect-control-window2

If you press play you should see the bars going up and down with the beat of your sound

Now let’s start changing the shape of the audio visualizer and adding the spectrum colors the bars
11. Open your Effects Controls window
14. Change to Hue Interpolation to 320.0°

15. Change Side Options Drop Down to Side A

side-options-drop-down

16. Now press play you should have nice audio spectrum animation such as below.

After Effects Audio Spectrum With Color Bar

Download this After Effects Audio spectrum with colored bar here

1. Open After Effects
2. Create a new composition at 1920×1080
audio spectrum after effects composition

3. Import your sound file (wav,mp3,aiff)  in your project window [ Shortcut PC:  CTRL+I  | MAC: Command+I ]

after effects project window

4. Drag the sound file on your timeline