Adding Sound

Sound Types

Flash can handle several sound formats:

  • AAC (Advanced Audio Coding):
  • AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) - Mac only ?
  • MP3 (Moving Pictures Expert Group Level-Layer-3 Audio)
  • AVI (Audio Video Interleave)
  • WAV (Waveform Audio Format)
  • AU (Sun)

(Some formats may depend on whether QuickTime is installed on your computer).

Best bet is to use MP3 format, since it is very popular. E.g. it is easy to find music or sound textures on the Internet.

Flash CS3 and CS4 provide some sounds in a library (Menu: Window -> Common Libraries -> TNT sounds). CS4 has a much better choice...

Sound Imports to Frames of the Timeline

To import smaller sound files do the following:

  • File->Import->Import To library (or drag and drop).


To attach sound to a frame do the following:

Step 1 - Create a new layer and import sound to a frame

You can attach sound to any frame via the properties panel

  • Create a new layer for this sound
  • Insert a keyframe (F7) where you want the sound to start
  • Select a sound from the sound pull-down menu in the properties panel.
  • Configure it in the same panel (see next)

Ideally, each sound should have its own layer. This way it is much easier to control fade in/outs, when to stop etc. You also can see exactly how far the sound will extend on the timeline. Hit F5 or F7 (if you want to stop the sound) somewhere to the right.

Flash sound layers
Step 2 - Configuration of sounds

In the configuration panel you can change certain parameters and also edit a bit.

Sync: Will defined how sound is synchronized with the timeline.

  • Event: Sound plays until it is done (independently of the rest). It has its own "timeline". Also, if this sound is triggered again (e.g. a user enters the same frame), a new sound will play even if the old one is not over.
  • Start: Similar as event. Will play the sound when the frame loads but will not play it if the old sound is still playing. Note: This doesn't always work as expected. Probably best to use together with the Stop (see below).
  • Stop : Will stop the sound of a layer at this frame (therefore include it after a sound frame). Insert a new keyframe (F7) where you want it to stop and just edit the properties.
  • Stream: Will try to match the length of sound with the other layers, e.g. 20 frames of sound should play during animation of 20 frames. After that it should stop. Sound as stream should not be looped. Use this for example for comic strips (talking characters).


  • You can repeat the sound as many times as you like (or even have it loop forever).


  • You can choose from various fade in/out and left/right options, but you probably want to do your own custom fades (see next).