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Chapter 13. Using Sound in Flash

Where would Star Trek be without the sound of the sliding doors as the captain enters the bridge? Where would folk music be without a guitar? Face it: We associate sound with events. Sound can be a very potent memory trigger. It conveys mood, sets tone, and elicits an emotional response. It’s another layer of description about the world in which we live. Used properly, sound can enhance and add to your Flash project. Used poorly, it’s just wrong.

When you’re working with sound in Flash, there are two topics that you’ll come up against on a regular basis: bandwidth issues and sound synchronization. To help you understand these subjects as thoroughly as possible, in this chapter, you explore:

  • The basic theory behind sound. The ways you perceive sound details and visual details are significantly different, and those differences have a direct impact on the size of files using motion and sound. Learn how you can manipulate sampling rate and bit depth to keep your files as small as possible.

  • Layering and synchronizing soundtracks. You can use short loops of different sounds to create soundtracks inside Flash. Learn how to get the different sounds to synchronize with each other.

  • The limits of editing a sound file in Flash. Flash is not an ideal sound-editing environment. Learn some workarounds to add variety to your files.

  • Synchronizing simple animation and sound. Synchronizing animation and sound can be a challenge. The tricks you learn here help you pull it off. You also learn how to preload all your movie elements to ensure proper playback.

  • Turning the music off. If you’re going to have sound on your site, you really should give your audience the option of turning the sound off. Not doing so is rude. Learn how to add the necessary user controls.

Before you jump into the good stuff of manipulating and working with sounds in Flash, you need to get some basic sound theory under your belt. The more you understand about how sound data is handled, the more efficient you can make your Flash files.


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