New in Cinema 4D R19: Create Audio-Reactive Motion Graphics with an all-new Sound Effector

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Instructor Cineversity

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  • Duration: 06:57
  • Views: 2105
  • Made with Release: 19
  • Works with Release: 19 and greater

Create audio-reactive animations and music visualizations based on multiple frequencies from a single MP3.

With the all-new Sound Effector in C4D Release 19, it’s easy to create motion graphics animations based on any MP3, AIF, M4A or WAV audio file. Sound Track support makes it easy to link multiple effectors to a single music track, and probes make it simple to isolate specific frequencies and amplitudes in order to transform or change color with the beat. Built-in decay functions allow for smooth transitions without any additional effectors.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn all about the new Sound Effector in Cinema 4D R19’s MoGraph feature set, included in Cinema 4D Broadcast and Studio editions.

Special thanks to DJ ROMAK, who provided the custom loop used in this tutorial.



The sound Effector in Cinema 4D Release 19 makes it easy to create audio reactive music visualizations. This is an all-new Effector offering a vastly improved work flow compared to MoGraph's original sound effector. Let's take a look. To add a sound effector to your scene, simply choose it from the "MoGraph Effector's" menu and apply it to any MoGraph object by dragging it into the "Effectors" tab. You'll need to associate an audio file, and you do that within the sound Effector by clicking on the triangle here and choosing "Load Sound." Thanks to the new media core in Cinema 4D Release 19 you can load virtually any audio format, aac, aiff, m4a, mp3, wav, even the audio portion of an mp4 video. It really doesn't matter which you choose. When you load an audio file, the Effector will create a sound track within the Timeline, so we can view the wave form here in the Timeline. You can also view it in the time slider by right clicking and choosing the sound from the Context menu. The real benefit is that you can link multiple Effectors to a single soundtrack. And this makes it really easy to replace the audio for all of your sound Effectors simply by changing the audio file associated with that soundtrack. It also makes sure you don't have multiple versions of the audio playing back in your headphones building up the amplitude and creating a loud distorted mess. Also, because there is a soundtrack in the timeline when you Render in any of the video formats supported by Cinema 4D including mp4, you can easily include the sound associated with the sound Effector making it really easy to create a preview render that you can view in the Picture Viewer or any other media player. Now let's take a closer look at the sound Effector itself and the centerpiece is the amplitude graph. This graph shows you the amplitude or loudness of the sound at each frequency. And you can view this with a logarithmic frequency distribution that's more like the way our ears actually hear and puts more of an emphasis on the lower frequencies. You can also choose to view with a linear distribution which puts more of an emphasis on the higher frequencies or you can drag this slider back and forth and choose any point in between. You can also zoom in on this graph by scrolling with your mouse wheel or by holding the two key and dragging your mouse. If you hold down the one key as you drag, you can pan back and forth in order to view different frequencies. It's really handy to get a detailed view of this graph because you use the graph itself to choose which portions of the audio will drive the animation of your objects. And you do that using this orange box here called the Probe. You can drag this around anywhere in order to isolate specific frequencies and amplitudes. And as you play back the audio, we can see the graph change and we can see, in this case, that the bass beat is happening right in this frequency range. So by adjusting this probe, we can isolate that specific frequency and amplitude in order to drive these clones with the bass beat of this audio. If you look down here in the Probe Properties, you can further dial in the frequency and loudness numerically. You can also control the Sampling of the probe. The default Peak mode will take the loudest amplitude from all of the frequencies in the probe while the Average mode will average out all of the amplitudes inside the probe. The Step mode will actually distribute the amplitudes among all of the frequencies in your probe in order to get a frequency distribution like this. Now, just like with all MoGraph Effectors, you can control how the strength of the Effector is mapped onto your objects using the Parameter tab. You can control the Position, the Scale of the Rotation. You can also control properties specific to MoGraph objects. Here I'll use the modified clone parameter in order to blend between two different cloners, one with zero clones, and another with 11 clones, in order to create a traditional-looking equalizer. Within the sound Effector, we can also enable the Color Mode and map different colors onto our clones and objects based on the sound. And we do that in the Effector tab itself by adjusting the Gradient here. By default, the Gradient is mapped in the Frequency direction from left to right. But you can change the direction to Volume in order to color the clones based on the amplitude of the sound. Of course, you can adjust the color and position of the gradient knots or simply load a new gradient preset. For the ultimate control over how the frequencies are mapped onto clones, you can use multiple probes. And for this, we're going to look at the minute hands that surround the watch face. Inside of this Effector, I have a single probe in the high frequencies. I can create an additional probe by clicking the "Add Probe" button or simply Ctrl dragging within the graph view. The sound Effector will iterate between each probe so that each probe effects every other clone. And of course, we can add additional probes and iterate between all of these probes, looping back each time to the first probe once we reach the last one. In addition to the Iterate mode, you can use the Distribute mode, which separates the clones into contiguous groups. And each probe effects one contiguous group. So with just two probes, half of the clones are being effected by one probe while the other half are being effected by the other. Finally, you can use the Blend Distribution, which smoothly blends between the amplitudes of each probe. With all of these Distribution modes, you can use any of the available Sampling types. So you can create complex effects that combine Step mode sampling as well as Peak mode sampling in a single sound Effector. Finally, each probe has a Decay attribute allowing you to smoothly fade out the strength without any additional Effectors. This is especially useful when you're using the Effector to control the animation playback of the clone like I'm doing here with the hour's Effector. A Decay value of 4% here allows me to smoothly fade out the animation along with the bass track of the audio. That's a look at some of the things that you can do with the new sound Effector in Cinema 4D Release 19. Of course, there's many possibilities and I'll be showing you how I achieved the effects in these other sample files in Cineversity tutorials and quick tips that'll be coming out over the next couple of months. Make sure to visit Cineversity often and check out all of our quick tips and reference tutorials so that you can learn how to get the most out of Cinema 4D Release 19. ♪ [music] ♪
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