Trapcode Sound Keys



Sound Keys is a somewhat unusual keyframe generator in that the typical keyframe generators in After Effects (Wiggler, Motion Sketch) appear in their own palettes, whereas Sound Keys is applied as an effect. It then uses the comp window to display the audio spectrum, and for defining what range of the spectrum should be used to create the keyframes. The keyframes are then generated to the Output parameters of the plug-in itself. To use the generated stream, either an expression is used, or the keyframes are copied to desired parameters.

One advantage with this approach to keyframe generators is that you can save the settings for the generator with the project (naturally, since it is a regular effect!). This means you can-- at any time-- go in and tweak the settings, and then press Apply again and your keyframes will be regenerated with the new settings. Just remember to delete the old ones first if you have changed the Keyframes per Second parameter.


Sound Keys renders the audio spectrum exactly like an effect renders its output; when the keyframes are done, the layer visibility is usually switched off. The Apply and Delete buttons still work when visibilty is off.

Sound Keys provides three ranges that are used to setup the keyframe generation; a range defines an area in the spectrum. The intended workflow is to first use RAM Preview to spot the area in the spectrum that corresponds to the sounds that you want to capture. Then the range selectors are used to define that area. After that RAM Preview is used again to inspect the output (green bars on the right). When the output seems fine, the Apply button is pressed to generate keyframes for the work area duration.