4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 14, 2011 9:21 AM by Rick Gerard

    How do you make colors of a clip react to music?

    Jimmy McBride

      Does anyone know of a way to do a "color organ" in any of the Adobe CS5 products?  I want it to react to more than JUST the bass.  I want it to react to the midrange and treble also.  Any help is greatly appreciated.





        • 1. Re: How do you make colors of a clip react to music?

          Not exactly sure, but I've heard about Soundkeys. You might wanna look that up

          • 2. Re: How do you make colors of a clip react to music?
            Todd_Kopriva Level 8

            You can set keyframes or expressions to animate any of several properties of any of the effects that affect color. You could have those keyframes or expressions linked to the amplitude of the sound. See "Convert audio to keyframes".


            I'm guessing from the way that you asked this question that you are very new to After Effects. I strongly recommend that you begin here and work your way through the getting-started materials before tackling a complex project:


            • 3. Re: How do you make colors of a clip react to music?
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

              One way to start:




              Substituting the wobble for a color e.g. by ways of a tint effect would give you one triggerable color. duplicating teh setup and using different colros and audio ranges would then allow multiple colors. I would throw in another vote for Trapcode Soundkeys, though, since it's much more intuitive. Still, even then you need to understand a minimum of expressions and how AE works in general, so delving into the basics is inevitable. There might be some canned effect out there in some plug-in suite that does what you want, but off hand I can't tell you where that might be...



              • 4. Re: How do you make colors of a clip react to music?
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                The two easiest ways to control color is for me are hue adjustments, and angle value, or color a 4 digit array. Tying Hue to an audio to keyframes data set by expressions is fairly straight forward and the Dan Ebberts solution suggested by Mulenlum is a good place to start. This will allow you to set different thresholds for different effects.


                Another option would be to use fill and apply an expression to the color value. The array for color looks like this: [r, g, b, a] and the acceptable values for each of the RGBA values is 0 to 1. You could use linear(SoundValue, minSoundValue, maxSoundValue, 0, 1) to convert the sound values which I think run from 0 to 50 to the range usable by the RGBA array.


                An expression would or may look something like this:

                r = linear(thisComp.layer("Audio Amplitude").effect("Both Channels")("Slider"), 1, 4, 0, 1);
                g = ease(thisComp.layer("Audio Amplitude").effect("Left Channel")("Slider"), 4, 20, .5, 1);
                b = ease(thisComp.layer("Audio Amplitude").effect("Left Channel")("Slider"), 20, 30, .5, 1);
                [r, g, b, 1]


                If you were to do it with hue it would look something like this applied to the colorize hue variable:

                a = linear(thisComp.layer("Audio Amplitude").effect("Both Channels")("Slider"), 1, 4, 0, 360);


                The best option to accomplish what you want would be to invest in Trapcode Sound Keys. This will give you even more control with very little effort. You would then be able to use the interpolation math to control the color ranges. There are some great tutorials on music visualization on the Red Giant site.