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Create a VU Meter in Adobe After Effects

Learn how to create a dynamic VU meter in Adobe After Effects. This quick tutorial will guide you through the steps to craft a visually engaging audio-level meter that responds to your music, giving your projects a professional touch. Follow along to add a vibrant visual element to your audio tracks effortlessly!

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating VU Meter in Adobe After Effects:

Step 1: Setting up the Composition

  1. Open Adobe After Effects.
  2. Go to the File menu and import the required music from your computer.
  3. Drag and drop the music file to create a new composition.
  4. If you don’t have the music file, you can download it from my website.

Step 2: Creating the Base Shape

  1. Select the Rectangle Tool.
  2. Set the Fill Color to white and the Stroke to none.
  3. Double-click to create a shape.
  4. Navigate to Rectangle 1, then Rectangle Path 1.
  5. Uncheck the Constrain Proportions option.
  6. Adjust the Width to 30 and the Height to 125.
  7. Click the Add button and choose Repeater.
  8. Under Repeater 1, change the Copies to 30.
  9. Adjust the X Position to 40 and customize the Anchor Point as desired.
  10. Rename the shape layer to Levels.

Step 3: Adding the Gradient Effect

  1. Select the Pen Tool.
  2. Set the Fill Color to none and the Stroke to a solid color.
  3. Adjust the Stroke Width to 135 pixels.
  4. Create a stroke to cover the level’s shape.
  5. Rename the shape layer to Gradient.
  6. Right-click on the Gradient layer, go to Layer Styles and choose Gradient Overlay.
  7. Under Gradient Overlay Properties, set the Angle to 0 degrees.
  8. Customize the gradient by adding the desired colors, such as green, yellow, orange, and dark orange.

Step 4: Applying Track Matte and Audio Keyframes

  1. Right-click on the Gradient shape layer and choose Pre-compose.
  2. Rename the pre-composed layer to Gradient.
  3. Drag the Gradient composition just below the Level shape layer.
  4. Go to Track Matte and choose Alpha Matte.
  5. If the Track Matte options are not visible, click the Toggle Switches button.
  6. Right-click on the soundtrack, go to Keyframe Assistant, and select Convert Audio to Keyframes.
  7. Delete the Left and Right channels under Effects.
  8. Under Levels Layer Properties, navigate to Repeater 1.
  9. Hold the Alt key and click the Copies to add an expression.
  10. Drag the Pick Whip to the Both Channels Slider.

Step 5: Final Adjustments

  1. Go under Rectangle Path 1 and adjust the Roundness to 20 for a more professional look.

Step 6: Conclusion and Call-to-Action

Congratulations! You have successfully created an impressive audio level meter in Adobe After Effects. Don’t forget to like, share, and comment. If you have any questions or need further clarification, please leave a comment, and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Stay tuned for more exciting tutorials!

Project File Details:

UpdatedMarch 25, 2024
CompatibilityAfter Effects CC
Required PluginNo
Size1.34 MB
CategoryAfter Effects Tutorials
PriceFree