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Lesson 4. Transitions, Sounds, and Video > Adding Sounds to the Score

Adding Sounds to the Score

The next part of this project calls for you to add sound in two places in the score. In one case, the sound will loop, or play continuously throughout the movie. In the other case, the sound will play for only a few frames.

1.
Drag cast member 12 (Bgsound) from the Cast window to sound channel 1, frame 1, in the score.

You should see the sound appear in the sound channel just as a sprite does in the sprite channels. This sound will play in the background throughout the production, so you should start it in frame 1.


Figure .


2.
In the Cast window, select cast member 12 and click Cast Member Properties.


Figure .


3.
In the Property Inspector, check the Loop box.

Often you'll want a particular sound to play repeatedly throughout a movie. Setting the Loop option starts the sound again at the beginning of the sound file once it finishes playing. This is a good way to establish background music for a movie. If you don't check Loop, the sound will stop playing at the end of the sound file.


Figure .


4.
Drag the end frame of the Bgsound sprite in sound channel 1 to frame 118.

Even when you have set a sound file to loop, the sprite for the sound must extend through every frame in which you want the sound to play. Extending the sprite ensures that the sound plays through to the end of the presentation in frame 118. Your score should now look like this:


Figure .


5.
Rewind and play the movie.

The sound plays throughout the movie and adds life to this presentation.

Now you will make the movie more dramatic by adding another sound in sound channel 2. Adding a second sound in the sound channels is one way you can add more audio interest to a movie. The sound you'll add to the Taj Mahal travelog will play only when the TajArch and TajRune graphics are displayed, but it will play at the same time the background sound is playing.

Tip

Many small sounds add life to movies and can be reused throughout a movie without dramatically affecting the movie's file size. Since file size is always a consideration when downloading movies over the Web, you'll want to limit the size of the sound files you use in a movie. Also, sound effects can be sampled at a lower rate than a voice-over file. Sampling reduces the dynamic range of a sound file—removing the sound file's highest and deepest sounds—so the sound can still be heard but only at its middle ranges. When digitized speech is sampled, it typically never runs at less than 8-bit 22 KHz, but even at this rate, quality is drastically reduced, whereas sampled sound effects can run at half that size, at 8-bit 11 KHz, and still sound fine. Also, using mono instead of stereo can cut the size of the sound media in half.

6.
Drag cast member 9 (Flute) to sound channel 2, frame 92, in the score. Change the sound's end frame to 99.

The Flute sound will play now when the TajArch1 image appears on the stage. To make the sound play for each of the images that follow, you'll copy the sound sprite and paste it into the frames where the remaining images appear.

7.
Select the Flute sound sprite; then copy and paste it into frames 101 and 110 in sound channel 2.

This will make the Flute sound play three times in the presentation, announcing each of the images as they appear on the stage. Notice that a blank cell is necessary between each of the Flute sound sprites.


Figure .


8.
Rewind and play the movie.

Great sound effects! Notice that as the Flute sound plays, the sound in channel 1 continues playing. The transitions you placed in frames 92, 101, and 110 also help to announce images in the movie. Now you can see how sound and Director's transitions can bring a presentation to life even more.

9.
Click the on/off toggle in sound channel 1 to turn off the looping music.

During long projects, you'll get tired of hearing sounds playing over and over. To temporarily turn off the sounds, click the box at the far left of the channel. This will highlight the box, indicating that the sounds in that channel have been toggled off. To hear the sounds again at any time during this project, click the box to toggle the sound on. Notice that every channel has an on/off toggle.


Figure .


Tip

The toggle off states are not saved when you save a movie. Next time you open Director and look at your movie, the toggles will be turned on by default. Director does remember the toggle state as long as it is running, however. So if you toggle off a channel and then open a new movie, the toggle off state will be applied to the new movie. If you don't seem to be getting any effect from a channel, check to see that the channel hasn't been turned off.

10.
Save your work.

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