Hi i have the following graphic enter image description here

Which i want to animate to the music. I would like them to animate like traditional volume bars but have each one animate at separate levels. I have tried using wiggle expression on the positison but it didn't give the desired effect. Does anyone know how to achieve this?

  • what exactly is "the desired effect"?
    – stib
    Commented Nov 19, 2017 at 7:48
  • for each stack to increase and decrease in height in time to the music like an equaliser
    – iamlukeyb
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 9:37
  • If you apply the eq effect to the audio before converting the audio to keyframes you can separate different parts of the audio spectrum. Then you can use the keyframes to drive the y position
    – stib
    Commented Nov 23, 2017 at 22:19
  • 2
    Trapcode Soundkeys plug-in is a great solution to separating audio spectrum in a way that would make the desired effect achievable. Loads of documentation as well. The trail runs for 30 days and is a great tool to have in any mograph arsenal.
    – user21171
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 4:25

2 Answers 2


I would build one of the "stacks" as a comp. On the first frame of the comp, I'd have the first layer in the stack, and on each progressive frame I'd add the next layer. Then in my main comp, I would put the music track, and use something like Sound Keys from Trapcode or generate keyframes from the audio using a technique like this: https://www.surfacedstudio.com/blog/vfx-vlog/after-effects-audio-to-keyframes/2

Once you have the audio keyframes, then you could use an expression to display a specific frame of your comp based on how loud the sound is on that frame.

once you've got that working, then I would think about applying this to more than one stack, and thinking about how to apply different behaviours to different stacks, either based on different EQ settings or maybe on a time delay, so the audio appears to ripple across the stack.


I guess, you want volume bars as in equalizers? Each bar in equalizer is a part of spectrum. You must calculate this this data.

I don't know After Effects good enough, so I don't know way to calculate part spectral part of sound. Maybe some plugins? If I can had such task, I can write some tiny app which will analyze sound and print data.

Plugin or external application must write data as keyframes in positions/scales of bars. You can copy-paste key frames and generate your own in text format.

When you have keyframes, just copy it to bar layout (or make this object as parent of bar-layer). Like you can do with tracking markers.

As workaround: you can draw traditional spectrum on picture, then place some motion trackers on it and track bars positions. Then you can transfer data to your custom-made bars. This is not perfect and some time consume, but it will works.

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