Tip #1093: Audio is Motion’s Achilles Heel

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1093: Audio is Motion’s Achilles Heel

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Always trim an audio clip to end one frame earlier than the end of a fade.

The HUD displaying the arrow to select effects applied to an element.

Topic $TipTopic

Audio is Motion’s Achilles heel. The audio controls in Motion are terrible. However, here’s a trick that can bail you out when you are in a hurry and need to add an audio clip that’s longer than your project.

Motion works best when you add a complete soundtrack, then edit to that, rather than trying to combine multiple audio elements. However, sometimes you need to add an audio fade to the end of a project. Except, every time you do, the audio either doesn’t fade or it fades then pops at the end. What’s going on?

The problem is that effects and audio are separate clips and, most often, their timing doesn’t match. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Add an audio clip to your project
  2. Go to the Audio tab at the top of the Layers panel and select the audio clip. This displays it in the mini-timeline.
  3. Position the playhead where you want the audio to end and set an Out (type “O“).
  4. With the audio clip still selected, apply Behaviors > Audio > Audio Fade In / Fade Out.
  5. Display the HUD. If the fade controls are not displayed, click the small up/down arrow to the right of the HUD title (see screen shot) and select the effect.
  6. Adjust the duration of the fade out as needed.
  7. Finally, and this is the important step, make SURE the Out of the fade is one frame LONGER than the Out of the audio clip.

Modifying the timing of both the effect and the clip assures the fade will be heard, the audio will disappear and there will not be a pop at the end.

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2 replies
  1. stu aull
    stu aull says:

    LOL! Nice try Larry! Agree audio (even playback, perhaps in my old 2010 Mac?) is abysmal.
    I always have just cleaned up the sound back in FCPX once the Motion element is imported.


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