Hard to say what the issue may be without hands-on analysis. Perhaps you can post a copy of your project file? What format is your audio file?
There's certainly nothing wrong with audio level editing within AE CS5.5, so the issue would seem to be specific to your system and/or project.
A workaround: try applying the Stereo Mixer audio filter to the audio and change the levels that way.
Andrew - thank you for the reply.
The audio format in question is WAV but I've been experimenting and found the same behavior with MP3.
How would I "post a copy of " the project?
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Pressing the L key twice will bring up the audio waveform. You'rs should look something like this:
Set the audio levels to 0 and -100 by typing in the values. It works for me and I'm also on a Mac.
A better solution would be to split the layer where you want to make the audio cuts. An even better solution would be to NOT do your audio editing in AE. You can only make frame accurate cuts. In an audio app you can make sample accurate cuts and all of the tools are better.
Thanks Rick -
That is one keyboard shortcut I know well and those are the steps I've been taking.
If I use a Hold Keyframe and set the Audio Level at -100% at that keyframe there should be no sound at all until another keyframe changes that value to other than -100%. Between the two (Hold keyframe and "regular" keyframe) the numerical value remains unchanged. Is that correct?
Because that is not what is happening. Sure the numerical value shown in the Layers Switches Pane doesn't change until the Time indicator reaches the diamond shaped keyframe marker - but the audio level I hear changes.
Am I crazy or is this "broke"?
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It works fine on my Mac. Do your audio levels look like mine with straight lines between the keyframes?
Like I said before, if it were me I'd just split the layers. It makes editing easier in the long run because nobody speaks exactly at the same rate all the time.
Yes - the lines are flat.
I also looked at the Graph Editor and there again the lines are solid and straight.
So all visual indications are that there should be silence. Instead AE is letting sound bleed through.
I was hoping that there was a setting or preference somewhere that would make this operate in a more expected, "as advertised" manner.
Barring that I'll move to the other techniques and workaround.
Thanks for your help.
I have 2 audio layers of the same narration - slightly different reads. I was going to pick the best parts of each.
What am I doing wrong?
In my opinion, what you're doing wrong is that you're using AE to do something for which it is ill-equipped: audio editing. True, that doesn't answer your more basic question about audio behavior, but consider this: if you want to piece together a narration track, why not do it in a real editing application where the process goes far, FAR faster?
I do that all the time to audio files from my TV station's staff announcer... using a video editing application, then exporting an AIFF when I'm happy with the track. I wouldn't dream of doing the same thing in AE. It's just too kludgy for that kind of thing.