Hopefully there is an easy fix for this.
There probably is, but without knowing more about your audio setup noone can tell. Waht are the audio sources? How are your audio prefs configured? What are the exact render settings? Are there any audio-driven effects like Trapcode Form involved?
Thank you for your offer to help.
On the setup, all of the audio comes straight from the source videos; no further audio was added nor was audio modified by an effect.
Audio Effects: None
Audio Hardware: After Effects WDM Sound. Output devices: Speakers, Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
Audio Output Mapping: Map Output for After Effects WDM Sound, Left: Speakers 1, Right: Speakers 2
Project Settings: Audio Sample Rate: 48 kHz
Output Module: AVI, Post-render Action: None, Project Link yes, Video: DV NTSC codec, Audio Codec: Uncompressed, no interleave, Audio Output: 48 kHz 16 bit stereo
Render Settings: Best Quality, Full Resolution, Have tried with and without OpenGL, No Proxies
I've tried WMV and AVI, with and without video codecs. The output module seems, frankly, "broken". I'm considering a re-installation in the hopes this problem will be remedied.
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On the setup, all of the audio comes straight from the source videos
Depending on those source videos, the audio could be compressed. AE doesn't work well with compressed audio. You may have to convert the audio to something non-compressed like WAV or AIFF.
Please tell us about the source footage: media container(s), e.g. AVI, QT and codecs, e.g. H.264, ProRes 422, Mpeg.
Do you have any third party codec packs installed (like, k-lite)? If so, try uninstalling them.
The videos I'm working with have been of two types. The first were recorded on a Canon Vixia HF200 camcorder. These files are AVCHD (.mts extensions.) I don't believe that the audio is compressed and the video seems to have MPEG encoding. I tried using media encoder to convert the files into .avi type, but those wouldn't work with audio in AE either.
I have a digital camera that has a limited .wmv capability so on a whim I tried those...same results. The output module just ceases to work when audio is selected. Could soundcard drivers or something of that sort interfere?
Codecs...nothing third party that I installed intentionally. I've used divx on other machines, but I wonder if the Canon Imagemixer software has some included codecs that have muddled things up. My next step is to uninstall the Canon stuff in a last ditch effort.
It's really frustrating that I can't get preserve the audio of any video if I want to use After Effects, so I appreciate the help you guys are offering.
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My inkling is that it's a codec conflict. Can you check your registry or some equivalent way of determining if you have codec confilcts? Clearly doing a clean install of your OS and applications is something you'd want to avoid, but that's always one way to go to make certain that you're working with a clean slate (of course, backing up your data first). The fact that the audio plays fine during preview would make me think that it's not a sound card driver issue, but I sure have been wrong before.
I was able to solve this problem. I'm not sure where the conflict is/was, somewhere, but here's what worked: I created a different user account and fired up AE. For some reason, the audio output module works perfectly on that account, and the RAM preview audio works more consistently on this account also. I did not uninstall any software or suspicious codecs at that point. I don't run that much more on my main account versus the new one--perhaps an antivirus or something of the like--buy hey, I'll take the albeit unexpected happy result.Thanks again.