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Using Sound in Flash

There are several ways to use sound in Flash MX. You can loop sounds to play continuously, independent of the timeline, or synchronize your sounds to an animation. You can import and edit your sounds in the Sound Panel.


Import sounds into Flash by choosing Import to Library from the File menu. The following audio file formats can be imported into Flash:

If you have QuickTime 4 or higher, you can also import these file formats:

Flash stores audio files in the Library as a symbol along with the graphics, movies and buttons. Sound files are indicated by a loudspeaker icon. Because the sound is a symbol, you only need one copy of it and you can use it in many ways in your Flash movie. In the Library and on the Timeline, audio files are represented as sound waves.

Two types of sounds in Flash -- event sounds and stream sounds

Editing with the Sound Panel

The Sound Panel allows you to modify the properties of the selected sound, for example:


You can apply different effects to your sound

  1. None - choosing this will remove any previous effects
  2. Left channel
  3. Right channel
  4. Fade left to right
  5. Fade right to left
  6. Fade in
  7. Fade out
  8. Custom – when you choose this, another window will open, allowing you to edit both audio channels.

The edit button opens up the same audio channel editor. Choose each effect, open the editor and look at each effect. If you click in one of the channels, it will change to Custom, but these effects can be used as starting points to get the effect you want or use them as is.
The best way to get a feel for the sound editor is to apply each effect to your sound, listen to it and try some things in the custom effect editor.

Below the effects panel is the sync menu. It has the following options:

  1. Event – associated with specific actions, not tied to the timeline (like a sound accompanying a mouse click)
  2. Start – same as Event, but will create a new instance of that sound if it is already playing.
  3. Stop – stops the specified sound
  4. Stream – syncs the sound with the animation, forces the animation to play at the same rate as the sound, dropping frames if necessary.

You can loop the sound the number of times you type in the box. Don't loop streaming sound; it will increase your file size dramatically.

Have fun!


  Updated 2006 July 26
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