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STEP 11 adding SOUND

What's motion graphics without sound? Well…it's motion graphics without sound. Some spots really don't need sound. If you are building an interface, it can be annoying to have sound every time that interface loads, or some drum beat looping incessantly while the user tries to concentrate on choices. But…when designing traditional motion graphics—ad spots, film titles, interstitials—sound is fantastic.

I often use two or more overlapping sounds: a looping audio clip that lays down a bed of background music and a non-percussive sound effect. Why non-percussive? It's relatively difficult to sync a sound exactly with a graphic in a Flash file. The playback is going to vary from machine to machine, depending on the CPU speed. If I used—say, a kickdrum, or a clipped boom or bang sound to introduce an element on stage—I would most likely never be assured of synchronization from one machine to the next. By using a softer, less definite sound…in the case of this ad and many of my other spots…such as a swoosh, or whooshing sounds, I minimize the sync problem. The swoosh is going to sound appropriate if it starts as the element is introduced or after it has been introduced or even while it's being introduced. (There are sync solutions in Flash, covered in Chapter 7, "Deconstruction: Christina Manning Poem," but these solutions require that I choose to stream my audio, and that often means frames are dropped in favor of a smooth audio stream. That wouldn't work for this spot.)


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