Tips for creating an animation synced to a soundtrack?

My new project is to create an animation for a track my band just recorded, but I’m wondering how to get something that stays in sync with the music. It’s a straightforward 4/4 song but we weren’t playing to a click track so the tempo increases slightly. Anyone done this sort of thing? (Currently I just have an MP3 but I probably get hold of the source.)

Hello starurchin,

I’d suggest visualizing the waveform of your audio (most audio software will do, including audacity -great and Free-).

You could them make a screenshot of the waveform, import this image of your sound peaks into Synfig, and make it move from right to left by converting its origin to linear (for instance slope: -200,0)… stretch it to get a readable view of the peaks and falls… and adapt slope this stretch factor.

That way, when you animate your animation, the visuals of the soundtrack progresses accordingly.

This is (mostly) the way I did

Hope this helps.

Yeh, I’ve done this a few times… The only way I know that works is to open the song in Audacity or something similar, and down the bottom it will tell you where you are in hours minutes and seconds - there’s an option for it to tell you in frames as well. Then the tedious bit, play through the song, keep stopping and starting and find every beat, and write it down as a list on a piece of paper (minutes/seconds/frames)

And a wee trick I use, make an empty paste layer and call it something like “timer” or “beat”, then in animation mode, nudge it about on each beat of the song, so you’ve then got a bunch of green circles in the timeline to use as a reference
Genete did some good work to allow importing of papagayo files directly into Synfig

Thanks for the tips everyone (and that’s a neat video there berteh). I was hoping there would be a program to automatically detect the beats - some sort of peak detector maybe? I’ll ask the Linux Audio list and report back if they turn up anything useful. Meanwhile I guess I was bound to start learning Audacity sometime and now is as good as any. Papagayo looks interesting too, thanks for that link pixelgeek!


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