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Chapter 5. Sound

Chapter 5. Sound

What you'll learn

Importing sounds

Adding sounds to the timeline

Configuring and editing sound instances

Optimizing and updating sounds

You may have noticed in recent years that producers are no longer content to simply sit back and watch moviegoers shell out $5 for a 20-cent bag of popcorn to munch on while watching a $7 movie on the silver screen. Instead, the money men are turning their attention to a new type of revenue: soundtracks. These days great effort goes into creating soundtracks that not only work well within their movies but also promise commercial appeal as stand-alone products.

In addition to playing on our emotions, music can trigger memories. It's not uncommon to relive the experience of watching a favorite movie when you hear a song from its soundtrack. Whether it excites you, provokes you, or even reduces you to tears, music is certain to elicit some sort of response. There's simply no denying the power of sound: Thus, the more you use of it, the more powerful a message your movie will be able to convey.

Using sound—via HTML—on a regular Web page, however, can be a nightmare for developers and audiences alike. Because sound is even more download-intensive than bitmaps, small sounds (and especially music soundtracks) are rarely used on the Web.

Macromedia Flash, in contrast, provides a bit more latitude. You can add small sound effects for things like button clicks, or you can import a soundtrack to play in the background of your movie. You can even synchronize a sound or vocal track with the visual component of your movie to create a flowing, synchronized presentation.

Before you add any audio masterpieces to your project, however, you should know a few things about the way sound works in the digital world. Even just a basic grasp of these concepts will help you maximize your ability to use sound.



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