13 Replies Latest reply on Jul 5, 2009 10:17 AM by the_wine_snob

    Modulation by volume


      When making music video clips, I like to have the following great feature. The possibility to modulate the intensity of a spotlight [in the Lighting Effects] with the intensity of the volume from an audio source [on an audio track].  In this way we can achieve a disco look. And ofcourse, other parameters [from other effects] also may be modulated by the volume.


      Thank you in advance.

        • 1. Re: Modulation by volume
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          I'm sure this is possible -- though it's not clear from your post the effect you're trying to achieve.


          Can you link us to a video example, maybe on YouTube?

          • 2. Re: Modulation by volume
            the_wine_snob Level 9



            If you are looking for some sort of plug-in, or an automatic Effect, I do not think that you'll likely find one. It can be done manually, by Keyframing the parameters on the Lighting Effect, based on what you hear in the Audio (or even by "eye," if you can read the Waveform pretty well). Even AfterEffects does not have any way to automatically vary the parameters in its various Lighting Effects type Effects - there are just too many possible variables that can be adjusted.


            Going back some years (er-r decades), there was hardware that did exactly this. Often, it was hooked up to lighting systems and modulated the light levels, predicated on the audio signals. While I used it differently, my o-scope did something very similar. Now, one does the physical lighting changes via computer, that translates the full spectrum of the Audio signal and controls everything from lasers to fountains, and even to detonating pyrotechnic devices. We've come a long way. I just have never seen similar to adjust an Effect automatically in an NLE, or animation program.


            If you DO find something, please post of it. Could be neat. In the meantime, think about manually Keyframing the parameters of the Lighting Effect. It'll do what you want, but you'll have to listen, watch and do it by hand.


            Good luck,



            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Modulation by volume
              Benny3333 Level 1

              Steve, the result of such a feature will be as follows.
              When you have an audio track with, let say, only snare hits, the intensity of the spotlight will increase/decrease at the same time the volume of the snare

              Thank you very much for your wide explanation, Hunt.
              Surely I'll post it if I find something. But if Steve said that it is possible, than we just have to wait for it.
              In fact, this feature will be a breakthrough, for it integrates video and audio in harmony.

              • 4. Re: Modulation by volume
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Good luck in your search. If Adobe were to introduce a plug-in to do this automatically, I'd suspect that it would appear in AfterEffects long before either PrPro or PE. Until it does (or some 3rd party developer does it), there is always the old-fashined manual way with Keyframes of the parameters of the Lighting Effect. While that will work fine, it does take some hand-work and one's patience and listening abilities.


                Were I doing a Project like this, I would perform this part in AE, as it offers so much more control. Still, it could be done in PrPro too.



                • 5. Re: Modulation by volume
                  Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                  Again, Benny, if you can show me a sample of what you're trying to do online, it will make it easier to recommend a means of doing it.


                  For instance, you say you're trying to make a "spotlight" light up whenever a snare drum is struck. Well, a "spotlight" could be a number of things.


                  1) By definition, a spotlight (as opposed to a key light or a flood light) lights one specific spot on a stage. Is this the effect you want?


                  2) There is an effect called the Lens Flare, which creates a flare as if a light were shining into the camera lens. That too could be considered a spotlight effect.


                  3) You can also easily brighten a scene momentarily, in rhythm with a beat -- but this won't look like a spot light is turning off and on. It will just look brighter and dimmer. I don't know of any way to actually light objects in your scene as if a light is turning off and on.


                  4) Finally, there is a Strobe Light effects also. This could also be what you're looking for.


                  But if you can show us what you're trying to do, we can help you do it.

                  • 6. Re: Modulation by volume
                    the_wine_snob Level 9
                    3) You can also easily brighten a scene momentarily, in rhythm with a beat -- but this won't look like a spot light is turning off and on. It will just look brighter and dimmer. I don't know of any way to actually light objects in your scene as if a light is turning off and on.


                    For this, the Lighting Effect can be applied and its properties Keyframed to match the beats of the music. In PE, this Effect has controls for 5 different lights, and their effects can be mixed, or solo. You can change the colors, the intensity, and also regulate the amount of "ambient light," to enhance, or diminish their results. With combined Lens Flare (mentioned above), you can create the look of the lights in Lighting Effects being in the scene, if desired.


                    The only drawback is that each parameter needs to be done by hand, i.e. with Keyframes. It will take time, and experimentation, but is very doable.


                    Were I doing similar, I'd study up on Keyframes first, and then experiment with the Lighting Effects, starting with one light and tweaking it until I had what I wanted, before adding more "lights."


                    Even with the power of AE (Adobe AfterEffects), one would still be doing most of the work by hand. It's great fun, but requires some study and some work to get it right. None of this will be automatic - plug-in and let the Effect take direction from the music. Now, AE does have some "helpers" that might allow one to say, follow a "subject" a bit more easily, but it's still pretty much by hand.


                    Good luck,



                    • 7. Re: Modulation by volume
                      Benny3333 Level 1

                      Sorry Steve, I was not quite clear, for I ment that this feature must be operate automatic.
                      For I once tried it by hand, and it took a lot of time and difficulty, just like Steve exlplained. Especially with the very small tiny letters and knobs of Premiere, it is a misery.
                      In due time I'll post the try-video on Youtube, for I first must register, for I have'nt dealed with Youtube yet.

                      • 8. Re: Modulation by volume
                        the_wine_snob Level 9



                        I assumed that you were looking for something automatic, and that's why I did not go into a lot of detail with the Keyframing of the parameters.


                        You are correct - it IS time-consuming, though quite a bit of fun to do. Personally, I like the Keyframing screens in PrPro and AfterEffects much better than in PE. However, one is talking programs that cost many times what PE costs. They'd better offer something for the $'s. Still, PE is very powerful in what it can do. It's more about the interface, than the power with me.


                        If you do locate such a plug-in, Effects VST, or other (even a stand-alone program would be good), please update this thread. I'd love to have such a program, as it could save a bunch of time and effort and likely produce some neat effects.


                        Good luck with YouTube. A lot of people here, and on the Muvipix "Community" use it. If you have any questions, I'd post a new thread here, and also one on Muvipix, and ask those - someone can help you. Also, be aware that YouTube is a "moving target." What they accept and want today, will likely change next week. A lot of the Muvipix subscribers keep very current on exactly what YouTube requires and works best with. Were I starting with YouTube, my first stop would be Muvipix to get up-to-date recommendations.


                        When you visit Muvipix, poke around a bit. Besides the "Community" (equal to this forum), there is a lot of great material. You'll find original music, stock video, stock still photoghraphy, articles and tutorials on almost everything regarding videography and editing, and a great bunch of people, looking to help others. Much is free just for signing up, and then all is included, if you pay to subscribe. Though well organized, because of the amount of "stuff," it can take a while to explore the wealth of material. Plan on a full hour, just to poke around. You will not be disappointed. There is also a gallery (sorta' like YouTube, but with differences). You might find that useful to display your work.


                        Good luck, and please report any "finds," that you make on an automatic processor,



                        • 9. Re: Modulation by volume
                          Benny3333 Level 1

                          Indeed Hunt, it is quite a bit of fun to do. I love it! It was almost a year ago when I try it, combine with Lens Flare. Well, it took me more than one hour with the Keyframing of the parameters for only 30 seconds of music. Then I never did it again.


                          Thanks for the Muvipix info; I never have heard of it, since I started doing video just one year ago.


                          If I locate such an automatic plug-in, I'll update this thread. But yesterday I contact Prodad, from which I once bought a plugin, and ask them if  they knew something. Then they sent me this answer below.



                          Thanks for your idea. Indeed it is a dream having Audio contact in the video transitions and effects plugins. Unfortunatly no NLE manufacturer offer this yet.

                          So we only can hope to get this basis from the one or other manufacturer soon...


                          Best regards,

                          • 10. Re: Modulation by volume
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            Well, ProDAD would definitely be a likely source. Their Vitascene plug-in/stand-alone does some wonderful things. If they don't have it, that does cut the chances that anyone else might.


                            The only other real possibility might be Magix. They have a stable of Audio editing programs and also do an NLE, Movie Edit Pro [?]. I've got it, but its on another machine. Anyway, names similar to that. Because of their extensive work with both Audio and Video, I could see them as a likely candidate to develop something similar. Some of their Audio programs take loopology to another level, and their stuff is quite inexpensive. I've found that their Audio Cleaner (a US$35 program +/-) does almost as good a job automatically, as I can do in Audition by hand. I was really impressed, especially as I rather thought that I'd bought a toy, albeit an inexpensive one. Man, I had to eat MY words. I'd keep my eyes on Magix. I get their e-mail all of the time, and if they do come up with something like what you want (and I'd like to have it too!), I'll be sure to post.


                            Thanks for reporting and good luck to both of us. Something like that could be great fun, and a real time-saver.



                            • 11. Re: Modulation by volume
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              Kind of late getting back on this one, but Adobe After Effects, it seems, can do this. See the reply by Dag near the end of this ARTICLE.


                              Good luck,



                              • 12. Re: Modulation by volume
                                Benny3333 Level 1

                                Thank you, Hunt. But it is a pity that it's only for AE, because I don't need all those effects and it's to expensive.

                                I only want that 'convert to keyframe' function. It is more for my audio things; there in the audio world they call it Envelope Follower and you can find it in almost every (cheap) software synthezier. There it's not a 'big deal' feature.

                                But fine to hear that AE have such a possibility.


                                • 13. Re: Modulation by volume
                                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                                  From another, somewhat similar thread, Paul_LS suggested Magix Movie Edit Pro. You might want to look into it. I have an older copy, but have not used it extensively. It also works in conjunction with several of their Audio programs.


                                  Good luck,