If the symbol was a graphic, it would follow along with the sound, assuming you're talking about AS3 and the outer sound is set to Stream.
If you want to programmatically animate a mouth based on the volume of a sound, it would be best to set the sound going with code, and then watch the volume of its sound channel.
To make the graphic animation time to the outer sound, just copy the sound into the graphic while you're setting up the animation, then delete the sound when you're finished.
Thanks for the reply.
2. I can't always import the sound into the symbol and delete it after. The sound file is long comprising and pacing an entire scene. I would have to make the inside of the symbol as long as the 3 minutes of dialogue and find the right spot along the timeline. Is there a better way?
Only answer to 1= ActionScript 3
You will have imported that sound already, and just be placing second copy of it in the graphic's timeline. But you're right that to do what I said would mean making each graphic be the full length of the scene, even if it was only needed for part of the scene.
What you're asking for doesn't exist at the moment, I don't think. You can go to this page and enter a feature request:
One thing you can do is to go to the Window menu and select Duplicate Window. You'll now have two tabs, both point at the same FLA. In one of the tabs you could go into the symbol that is just as long as it needs to be for its part in the animation. In the other tab you would look at the main timeline, and be at the point where that short graphic begins. If you scrub the playback head in the timeline you will hear the sound, and you'll see that short graphic animating through its frames. As I said before, this is assuming you're using an ActionScript 3 FLA, and you have the sound sync set to Stream. You can't do these steps in an HTML5 FLA.
As you scrub the main timeline and watch the short graphic, you'll see if the lip movement matches the sound. You then could switch to the other tab and edit the graphic to better match the timing of the sound, then go to the first tab to scrub the timeline again to see if it's improved.
That's not anywhere near as efficient as your suggestion, but it might work out ok.
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Absolutely possible and in TV animation we do this all the time. It's simple. Just place the main audio on the timeline, then duplicate that same audio inside the symbol as well on the same frame. The nice thing with Animate is you can Split the dialog up on the frame you want to cut up like say for instance a Cut from Sc 1 to Sc 2. you simply right click on the audio, select Split Audio on the first frame of the cut and then Right click again and drag select the audio to be put into the graphic symbol like say for instance a head which has a mouth symbol to do lip sync with.
But honestly if you're trying to make a short film, most studios do an animatic with the storyboard, then cut up the scenes and then import that animatic into Animate and use that audio for the scene. Then simply duping it inside or outside a symbol will produce the same clip.