Friday, 8 July 2016

What Kind of Sound Files Can You Use in Maya?

Maya has long been the leading 3D animation software, but it does have its limitations. In particular, Maya's audio tools are relatively unsophisticated. You only get one audio track, and it will only accept certain kinds of audio files.

So, how exactly should an animator approach the use of audio files in Maya? In theory the process is quite straightforward, but in practice there are quite a few pitfalls.

Below is a guide to many of the common problems - with some helpful solutions.

What kind of sound files can you use in Maya?
1. wav files
2. .iff files

How do you load sound files into Maya?
1. Copy the sound file to your Maya project audio folder
2. File/import/wav
3. In the Maya timeline, right click on the sound file and select it.

How Do You Adjust the timing of the Audio in the timeline?
1. Right click in the timeline on the audio file, select the options box
2. Change the offset values to adjust the audio timing.
3. Adjust the Offset. +10 to advance 10 frames. -10 to regress 10 frames.

How do you delete sound files?

1. Window/animation editors/trax editor
2. Select the audio file and delete it.

Adobe Premiere
How do you edit a audio or sound clip? (You cannot do this in Maya)
1. Online: Allows you to edit sound files online.
2. Quick Time Pro is simple to use and good for editing clips.
3. Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro

Where can you find free sound effects online?

How Do You Convert a MP3 file into a wav?

1. will convert .mp3 files to .wav
2. Adobe Sound Booth

Useful software for recording voices
What If Maya doesn’t like your wav file?
1. Try opening the file in Quick Time Pro, or Premiere, and exporting it as a new wav file.
2. Go to and export it as a new wav file, or an .iff file

I want to record a voice-over. What shall I do?
1. Garage Band is good. Go to the podcast settings, and select male or female narrator.
2. You can use the microphone in your computer, but it is better to buy an external microphone: you will get much better quality.
Why Doesn't It Work?

Why Doesn’t my Audio Work in Maya? – Troubleshooting Guide
1. Have you copied the sound file to your Maya project folder, and put it in the audio folder?
2. Is it a .wav or a .iff file? If one kind does not work, try converting into the other
3. Have you tried converting it online using
4. Have you tried adjusting the offset?
5. Try loading a different version of Maya. What does not work in Maya 2015 may work in Maya 2016. Or the other way around.

I just made a batch render of my frames - where has the audio gone?
When you make a batch render of individual frames, you will lose your audio.  To re-install your audio, you will need to import your frames into Premiere, Final Cur Pro, or Quick Time Pro (or some other editing software), and import your audio files again.  When you are done editing, export your frames as a QT or AVI file and make sure to embed the audio with it.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our new BA/MArt starting in September 2016, follow this link.

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