Learn to Animate

Working with Audio

Audio is an important aspect of any animation. Whether or not there is any spoken dialogue, sound effects and music help to make an animation more polished.

Recording with a Hand-held Recorder

Using an Oylmpus LS-100 recorder, you can record sound effects and/or dialogue on the go at the location of your choice.

Olympus LS-100 Manual

Setting Up the Microphone

Sometimes it is better to record directly on the computer using a microphone. This can minimize unwanted ambient noise. We can sign out conference rooms in the library to have a quiet place to record.

To setup the microphone:
  1. Plug the USB cord into the microphone
  2. Plug the USB into your computer
  3. Toggle the button into the on position (the light being blue does not mean the microphone is on)
  4. Place the microphone in the stand

Recording in Audacity

Audacity is a free audio recording and editing program. While the interface is dated, it has proffessional level capabilities. Record or edit your audio in Audacity if you want to change how the audio sounds.
  1. The audio input should be set to the USB microphone, probably called AT2005USB - or something similar. DO NOT leave the input set to Built-in Input when using an external microphone
  2. Push the recording level slider to the highest point (the little slider next to the microphone)
  3. Set the recording channel to mono: 1(Mono) Recording Channel - we are only using one microphone so only need one channel
  1. Press the red circle to record (Shortcut: R-key)
  2. Say your line of dialog (or make your sound effect)
  3. Press the yellow square to stop recording
  4. Preview your dialog/sound effect by pressing the play button
  5. Pause, move forward or back along your track with the pause and arrow buttons
  1. Click on the black triangle next to Audio track
  2. Select "Name"
  3. Type a name for your track and select ok
  1. Press the small X in the top left corner of the audio track
The process is the same for recording additional tracks, however it is greatly important to mute all other tracks! The mute button is to the left of the audio track. When the track is muted, the button will be a greyish-purple instead of light grey. (If you do not mute your previous track(s) the new track will include the new recording and your previous track(s) at the same time.)
  1. Make sure to mute any other tracks
  2. Select the track you would like to continue (Left-click)
  3. To record from the endpoint, use the shortcut shift-R then continue as normal
It is important to know that the project file and the actual audio file are two different things. When moving your work from computer to computer, make sure to keep the .aup project file and the _data folder together.
  1. File → Save Project (Cmd-S)

Recording Directly in OpenToonz

Audio can be recorded directly in OpenToonz to save time.
  1. Open the Record Audio window
    1. Windows → Record Audio
  2. Record a track:
    Keep in mind there is a maximum length of 9 seconds per track (for most individual lines of dialogue, this is fine - otherwise use Audacity)
    1. Click on the record button (red circle) when you are ready to record a track
    2. Click on the stop button (white square)
    3. Press the play button (white triangle) to preview
    4. Decide if you want to keep the track:
      1. If you like the track, select “Save and Insert”
        1. Your track will be placed in the X-sheet
        2. In the Xsheet you can make adjustments to the position & copy/paste/delete frames as necessary
    5. If you don't like the track, record again
  3. Record more tracks as necessary