I'm using AfterEffects CS6 on Windows 7. During footage preview/playback, I never get any audio. I have the Mute Audio option in the Preview panel turned off (audio is not muted). I checked the Edit > Preferences > Audio Hardware settings and found that 1) the only device listed in the Default Device list is "After Effects WDM Sound", and 2) clicking the Settings button and checking all of my audio devices (with and without the Device 32-bit Playback option selected) does nothing.

Am I missing something here? I have to preview my clips in Windows Media Player and then go back to AfterEffects to do the trimming - it's annoying!

AfterEffects audio settings.


2 Answers 2


After Effects is not designed as an editing platform. Audio preview only works when you do a RAM Preview and pre-render all the frames for the content you are previewing. You never get Audio with the real-time preview.

The intent behind RAM Preview is that it lets you check the final quality of the render prior to writing it to disk, but it isn't really designed to be used constantly while doing effects work in most cases.

  • So there is no way to efficiently preview footage and trim/cut/insert into the timeline? Seems like a feature that must exist - unless I'm missing something...or using AE improperly and should trim/cut my clips in Premiere first?
    – Josh M.
    Feb 25, 2014 at 4:56
  • 1
    @JoshM That's it exactly, AE is designed for manipulating individual clips (compositions) and then those clips are put together in to sequences in Premiere. It is possible to embed an After Effects composition directly in to Premiere, including transparency support.
    – AJ Henderson
    Feb 25, 2014 at 4:57
  • Interesting. My understanding was that Premiere was to get video content (from DV/cam, etc.), layout out the timeline and then bring it into AfterEffects to do overlays and such. Is the "After" in AfterEffects not to be taken literally?
    – Josh M.
    Feb 25, 2014 at 5:08
  • 1
    @JoshM yeah, not to be taken literally. It's effects after shooting, not editing. Workflow is generally, capture shots, edit individual shots (if needed) in After Effects (color correction, stabilization, composition, etc) and then edit shots together in to a video in Premiere. Premiere is pretty much always the final output.
    – AJ Henderson
    Feb 25, 2014 at 5:18
  • Yeah, complete opposite of how I was thinking! Hmm...
    – Josh M.
    Feb 26, 2014 at 2:17

If you want to Preview Audio you need to use RAM Preview... Press Numpad 0 on the number pad (shortcut key for Ram Preview), then you can hear the audio.

Press Numpad 0 on the Numberpad.

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  • Thanks. Turns out I was using AE when I should have been using Premier.
    – Josh M.
    Feb 28, 2014 at 19:04
  • mine still does not work 0 does not play any audio I am usin ae cc 2015
    – user11123
    Jun 26, 2015 at 23:49
  • 1
    Make sure number lock is on.
    – user3643
    Feb 19, 2017 at 21:14

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