ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS: Forum Expressions Tutorials Creative Cloud

Music stutters in AE

COW Forums : Adobe After Effects

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Ryan Moyer
Music stutters in AE
on Feb 17, 2010 at 4:08:46 am

I have an mp3 music track that I've imported into After Effects (CS4) for use with my video. When I play the track on its own outside of AE, it works fine. But once I import it into AE there is one particular point where it stutters briefly. Even if I re-import it, it always stutters at that same spot.

Any ideas what's going on here or how to get around it?


Return to posts index

David Johnson
Re: Music stutters in AE
on Feb 17, 2010 at 12:54:20 pm

convert it to an aif or wav


Return to posts index

Dave LaRonde
Re: Music stutters in AE
on Feb 17, 2010 at 3:40:06 pm

Yup -- you need to convert it. AE hates any kind of compressed audio. It just doesn't work properly.

You may have read that After Effects supports mp3 files in Adobe promotional literature. That's true up to a point: you can use them for reference audio, but you can't create new audio files from them.

This isn't anything new: Adobe has been foisting this half-truth on users for years.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


Return to posts index


Michael Szalapski
Re: Music stutters in AE
on Feb 17, 2010 at 6:40:24 pm

Perhaps "half-truth" is a bit too bitter-sounding. Perhaps "mis-understood truth" would be better. :)

To be honest, AE supports an amazing array of file formats, but unfortunately some just suck. Like MP3 and MPEG-ANYTHING. Right Dave? :
Dave's Stock Answer #1:

If the footage you imported into AE is any kind of the following -- footage in an HDV acquisition codec, MPEG1, MPEG2, mp4, m2t, H.261 or H.264 -- you need to convert it to a different codec.

These kinds of footage use temporal, or interframe compression. They have keyframes at regular intervals, containing complete frame information. However, the frames in between do NOT have complete information. Interframe codecs toss out duplicated information.

In order to maintain peak rendering efficiency, AE needs complete information for each and every frame. But because these kinds of footage contain only partial information, AE freaks out, resulting in a wide variety of problems.


- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


Return to posts index

Dave LaRonde
Re: Music stutters in AE
on Feb 17, 2010 at 8:36:18 pm

[Michael Szalapski] "Perhaps "half-truth" is a bit too bitter-sounding. "

...and perhaps not. Since I started using AE with version 3, circa 1996, it has NEVER supported mp3s as the literature suggests. It has ALWAYS reacted the same way to compressed audio.

To me, this means that fixing it is a low-priority item for Adobe, or fixing it is not possible considering how the application's coded.

In any case, Adobe's literature has always implied -- for the past thirteen or fourteen years that I know about -- that mp3s work just as well in AE as Quicktime movies in the animation codec. It's high time to either fix it if possible, or change the propaganda to more accurately reflect the truth.

I'm stickin' with "half-truth". Call it my propensity to be annoying rather than bitterness.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


Return to posts index

Michael Szalapski
Re: Music stutters in AE
on Feb 17, 2010 at 8:59:51 pm

It's true, it's true.
I remember the first time I discovered mp3's wouldn't work in AE...
It was version 5.5, so not quite as far back as you, but I was shocked - SHOCKED I TELL YOU - that such things wouldn't work in AE. There were strange clicking sounds! Odd bumps! Why was this happening to me?! The mp3 sounded fine everywhere else WHY WHY WHY???!!!?!?!?!?!
Then I rendered a WAV out and suddenly everything was good.
I dried up my puddles of blood, sweat and tears. Then I carried on to beat my deadline and chalked up another lesson learned.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


Return to posts index


David Johnson
Re: Music stutters in AE
on Feb 18, 2010 at 1:17:40 pm

From what I've experienced, saying that mp3s work in AE is a "half-truth" is a pretty reasonable characterization and here's why ...

Although I avoid using mp3s in AE whenever possible and have experienced the typical problems before converting them, there have been times that I've made entire AE projects using mp3 audio and haven't had any problems at all. I can only guess that it has to do with how the mp3 was encoded (bitrate, VBR or CBR, etc.). So, it seems it is possible that an mp3 will work fine in AE ... just not likely, which is why I always convert them unless the person paying me insists they're not willing to pay for the extra 10 minutes it might take or that they don't want me to "mess up" their audio track. ;~)


Return to posts index

Dave LaRonde
Re: Music stutters in AE
on Feb 18, 2010 at 10:10:03 pm

[David Johnson] "I always convert them unless the person paying me insists they're not willing to pay for the extra 10 minutes it might take or that they don't want me to "mess up" their audio track. ;~)"

Yeah, that ultra-high-quality mp3 stuff beats other kinds of audio files any day. Sometimes when working with clients there's an irresistible urge to yell out, "What are you THINKING?"

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


Return to posts index

David Johnson
Re: Music stutters in AE
on Feb 19, 2010 at 12:43:38 am

Actually, I don't get that urge anymore since I already know the answer ... they're too busy talking for that silly thinking stuff. How do I know that? Here ya go ...

The first scenario (save 10 minutes of billing, yet waste 10 hours on things that contribute zero to a project) is one I'd actually never encountered before, but I work in corporate now so it's the standard.

The second scenario is a direct quote from an Account Manager who insisted that I not risk "messing up" the client-provided "high-fidelity" mp3s by converting them. Need more proof? "It sounds fine on my iPod so I already know there's nothing wrong with the file". Because supporting my family is frankly far more important to me than any individual project, I complied.


Return to posts index


Walter Soyka
Re: Music stutters in AE (OFF-TOPIC)
on Feb 17, 2010 at 9:30:27 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "Adobe's literature has always implied -- for the past thirteen or fourteen years that I know about -- that mp3s work just as well in AE as Quicktime movies in the animation codec"

Funny you should pick that example, since AE renders large-raster Quicktime movies in Animation codec that it can't import back in...

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/969907

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/972459

I think I'm the image-sequence guy on this forum; maybe I'll have to start lobbying for "sample sequences," too...

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


Return to posts index

Dave LaRonde
Re: Music stutters in AE (OFF-TOPIC)
on Feb 17, 2010 at 9:36:45 pm

[Walter Soyka] "..I think I'm the image-sequence guy on this forum..."

Pretty much, sir! However, rendering image sequences does tend to keep one out of a jam, which is something we should all remember.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


Return to posts index

Ryan Moyer
Re: Music stutters in AE (OFF-TOPIC)
on Feb 17, 2010 at 9:40:42 pm

Thanks guys!

I'll convert it to .wav and give it another go.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]