Unit 6. Working with Sounds (I)


Starting

 

Who would be able to see a mute movie? And a spectacular animation without sound?

Unill recently, the only sounds that we heard on the web pages were the famous "midis", of scanty size and poor quality. In fact, there were only music instruments without voice, whence its small size (and quality). Still, a creator of web pages always existed who ventured to set a complex sound (.wav o .mp3) on his web page, unfortunately, its load was so slow, that the majority of the visitors would leave the page without listening.

Nowadays, thanks to wide bandwith connections orientated to multimedia contents, set sound on the web pages is a little bit easier. What does FLASH contribute?

Flash allows us to insert any sound that we want in our movies (.wav, .aiff y .mp3) in a quick and easy way, as it is always capable to accelerate the download of the sound and do it at the same time with our movie.

We can add simple effects to the movie (by the typical "click" on pressing button), complex effects (background music) and even make the animation develop accompanied by music (though for this last it would be necessary that the entire movie was downloaded beforehand to avoid "blockage" during the developing the animation). Really, Flash makes it easy for us again.

 

Importing Sounds

If you had once intended to add a sound to your animation probably Flash would have disappointed you a lot by not achieving it. This is due to the fact that it is not taken into account that to be able to use an object in our movie: either we create it ourselves (how we have done until now) or we get it in any other way, and then we insert it in our movie.

This last is called "Import" and it can be done with sound, graphics, and even with other Flash movies. Hence, to import, you just notify Flash to add a determined file to our movie for use it whenever you want. In fact, the file is added to our Library, that is the Panel in which are all the objects that contribute in the movie (we'll see this Panel further).

So then if we want to handle a sound in our movie, we have to import it beforehand.

Once it is imported, we'll be able to use it with total freedom.

 

To import a sound click on the menu File → Import → Import to Library.

 

The Import to Library dialog will open. There you will hace to select in Type All the sound formats.

Browse your folders until you find the sound file you want to add. Then select it and press Ok.

The sound will be ready to use, you could find it in the Library (menu Window → Library).

 

Sounds Properties

In Flash 8, as well as in Flash MX 2004, we can publish all referring to the sounds from the Properties Panel. Here we have all that is necessary to insert, modify and edit the sound that we terminate to import. If we have not imported any sound, we will notice that we cannot select anything in this panel, it's enough to insert it in order that it changes.

In order to work with sounds, we have to click in a frame of our movie. After doing this, the Properties Panel takes the following appearance:

Let's see the parts that this panel has.

Sound: In this tab the imported songs will be displayed. We have to select the song that we want to add to our movie (in the next item we will see how to insert it).

Effect: From here we will be able to add some effect to our sound, as for example that the sound passes from the left canal to the right one (this creates the sensation that the sound encircles you since you hear it from one place and then from the other, although it's very far of the true surrounding sounds), that the volume increases progressively etc... If we want to add complex sound effects, we might have to adequately handle the sound with some program created specifically for this aim before importing.

In the item "Editing Sounds" these effects will be treated in more details.

Sync: This option allows us to determine in what moment our sound will start acting; these are the options that we have:

  • Event: It synchronizes our sound with a determined event. This is the option by default and causes that the sound begins to reproduce when the frame, in which the sound is situated, passes through the movie. The sound can also be synchronized with buttons and other types of symbols.

  • Start: Its operation is equivalent to the "Event", they differ in that if Start is selected and the same or different sound is reproduced once more, it makes this "over" of the current sound. It can be a very attractive effect or can add some "noise" into our movie.

  • Stop: It stops the selected sound.

  • Stream: This option synchronizes the sound with stream or the objects associated with it, therefore, if the loading of the movie is slow and the images do not flow adequately, the sound will be stopped to synchronize with them. This effect can create the sensation that the movie is abruptly interrupted (it might be considered as normal that an image is slow in loading, but the stopping sound, meanwhile reproducing, causes a very negative reaction in whose are seeing our movie).
    On the other hand, it is a very appropriate effect for some situations, for example, the effect of that a personage speaks during a movie. In this situation, it's strongly recommended to synchronize the sound with the images.

Repeat: It specifies the number of times the sound is played. To play it indefinitely, calculate the possible time of the movie duration and the time of the sound, and then repeat it as many times as necessary (that is better than to set 99999 times).

For example: If your movie lasts 2 minutes (120 seconds) and your sound lasts 16 seconds, so far 120 / 16 = 7,5 times. You will have to write 8 times, since it is no sense to reproduce a sound 7 times and half.

We do not recommend insert sounds with the option Stream and at the same time Repeating, since on synchronizing the sounds with the images, we would cause that the images (and the frames which them contain) will be also duplicated, considerably increasing the size of the movie.

 
   
   
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January-2006.