Smart Volume Meter

Smart Volume Meter

Posted on 12. Mar, 2007 by in After Effects

Learn a smart way of creating dynamic and sound reactive Volume Meter. This tutorial takes this subject further than any other tutorial on the net.

Expressions are the most powerful feature of After Effects in my opinion. After watching this tutorial you will learn how to make your Volume Meter more dynamic by reacting to sound playing in the background while keeping total control over its sensitivity. You might have seen similar tutorials on the net, but I Tea Cups With Lids Amber Rings Wholesale Tea Trays Toddler Sleeping Bags assure you that this one takes this subject a step further and that it’s worth watching.

Download: Tutorial project file (After Effects CS2)

Original tutorial by Talid Al Khatib from

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19 Responses to “Smart Volume Meter”

  1. Wiktor

    06. Nov, 2007

    Chyba moge napisac po polsku, co??:)
    Tutorial swietny. dzieki niemu poznalem moc jaka daje uzycie expression. Mam tylko takie pytanie do Autora: zalozmy ze chcialbym zrobic tak: vumetr ma pewna swoja wysokosc (max wartosc) i ma jednolity kolor (wszystkie paski sa np. zielone). Wartosc amplitudy reprezentowana jest tradycyjnie, czyli pojawiajace sie i znikajace paski, jednakze pojawiaja sie one przez kolor czarny (lub kolor tla) do zielonego. Tzn ze np jak sygnal ma amplitude 80 (max wartosc jest 100) to na zielono pojawiaja sie wieksza czesc vumetru, a wartosci od 81 do 100 gradientowo przechodza od zielonego do czarnego. jak wartosc amplitudy jest np 30, to na zielono pala sie tylko te niskie paski, a np od 31-60 gradientowo przechodzi zielen w czern. Rezzta paskow vumetra jest nie wyswietlana, albo maskowana przez kolor (w tym przypadku czarny).
    pzdr i dziekuje za ten VuMetr Tut.

  2. Stefan

    13. Nov, 2007

    Hi I want to download this tutorial but there is an error 404 not found please fix this error or reupload the tutorial. Thanks in advance :)
    P.S. Great work awesome tutorials keep it up with the good work!

  3. Maltaannon

    14. Nov, 2007

    Sorry for the trouble. Already fixed. Cheers!

  4. Jordan

    16. Dec, 2007

    Hi Maltaannon, love your tutorials but for some reason this one seems to end abruptly. I tried viewing it online and downloading it and both stop working around 25 minutes in (right when you go to add the controller adjustment layer to the VolumeMeter precomp) :/ any way to fix it so I can finish watching?

  5. Maltaannon

    16. Dec, 2007

    It should be working now.

  6. DrS

    11. Feb, 2008

    Hi! Very nice tutorial. I have a quick question for you. Is it possible to modify the expression on the mask to move in steps (increments of bar size), thus making each bar step either on/off like a real meter? My math skills are not up to the task ;)
    Great work.

  7. Maltaannon

    12. Feb, 2008

    Yes you can. I can’t give you an expression from on top of my head right now, but I think you could try to use % (modulo operator).

  8. iori

    17. Apr, 2008

    hi Stefan!
    you can always download online tutorials as long as you get the right tool which is awaiting you to discover.
    for this one, the download link is

  9. Maltaannon

    17. Apr, 2008

    Also… the download link is at the bottom of the video player and in the video player itself – indicated by an arrow pointing down.

  10. Chris Pendy

    21. May, 2008

    When I convert my audio to keyframes, I don’t get a x,y value rather a x.y value. How to I correct this?

  11. Slickluv

    17. Aug, 2008

    Hmmm impressive…………most impressive.

  12. notelodigo

    01. Oct, 2008

    From Argentina, the land of 5 president in a week. Tank you very much.

  13. silvio

    21. Oct, 2008

    Hi, I downloaded the file and when I preview the Comp manually srewing it by hand it works, but when I try to render it eather with Ram preview or make movie it doesnt´t pump? Would anyone help me?

  14. yusuphhamid

    07. Sep, 2010

    Hi, Maltaannon. great tuts, i really enjoy it but I am a total NOVICE of these softwares. what I use most is CorelDRAW and now I want to switch to illustrator, after effect, flash, photoshop, dreamweaver, fireworks. can you help me out with a beginners tutorial? ( i.e. starting from the scratch).

    God bless you!

  15. youhua

    23. Jul, 2011

    Thank you for your sharing.I’m very interested in art painting.There are so many famouse mlb stars jerseys,we have abstract painting.So I an fascinated to the landscape painting,flower painting

  16. yasiekyasiek

    30. Aug, 2011

    posiadam Twoje kursy z eduweb, ogladam i trenuje kiedy tylko moge (malo czasu – male dziecko :)
    ale nasunelo mi sie jedno pytanie na ktore nie moge znalesc odpowiedzi….
    czy da sie stworzyc jakis krotki klip, ktory nie bedzie zapetlony, a jakis jego element podlinkowac do strony????
    chcialem zrobic maly welcome screen, a po zakonczeniu animacjii chcialem zeby pojawily sie “kwadraciki” “polski” i angielski” – taki wybor jezyka i zeby wlasnie te elementy podlinkowac…troche zagmatwalem pewnie :)
    pozdrawiam serdecznie

  17. amin

    23. Oct, 2011

    vere good

  18. Declan

    05. Feb, 2012

    Thanks again for another amazing tutorial. One thing I did notice was the render speed is slow due to the for loop on every frame. Not sure if there is a way to store global variables so the loop only executes once, but what I did was got it to set the sider to the max value, then copied that max value into the linear function and removed the ‘for’ loop. It renders soooo quick, but obviously if you changed the music you would need the loop to find the max value. Great tutorial, learned much!

    • Declan

      05. Feb, 2012

      I know I’m a bit late to this party, but I now learned that globals don’t exist, however, your tutorial has spurred me on learn about expressions. So to round up this one, I have added a “MaxValue” slider and a “ShowMaxValue” checkbox. Clicking the checkbox shows the max value, then you can set the “MaxValue’ slider to that for lighting speed render time!. Expression as below:

      sld=effect(“Both Channels”)(“Slider”);

      if (effect(“ShowMaxValue”)(“Checkbox”) == 1) {
      this.frame=timeToFrames(t = time + thisComp.displayStartTime, fps = 1.0 / thisComp.frameDuration, isDuration = false);
      compDuration=timeToFrames(t = time + thisComp.duration, fps = 1.0 / thisComp.frameDuration, isDuration = false);
      for (i = 1; i max) max=val;
      } else {
      result=linear(sld, 0, max, 0, 100);