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1.9.x Universal Audio

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Universal Audio


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Universal Audio

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Timing to sound the easy way

Timing animations to VO or music? Make audio flow through all your comps with one button. Universal Audio always gives you audio references along with markers to animate to, no matter where you are in your project.

Now with KBar support and over 10 new features!

Always Universal.

Animating or editing in time to music or voice can become a tedious process when working inside precomps, you may end up jumping back and forth between your main comp and your precomps, awkwardly placing markers at key points or copying your audio into your precomps and making sure it’s always lined up correctly. Let’s not even go into the times when you’re working inside comps nested even deeper.

Get audio reference anywhere in your project with one click and never break your creative flow when timing to sound. The audio reference compensates for comp layers that have been retimed, stretch and even time remapped by applying stretch and time remap adjustments onto the reference audio that cancel out any stretch or time remap from within that comp layer. It also maintains any markers from your audio layers and providing several useful options, such as including time indicators on the reference layer, and providing visual reference throughout your nested comps to help you time to an animatic wherever you are.

KBar Support

Any of the Universal Audio buttons can be added to KBar, the functions available to KBar are named universalize, refresh, remove, options and view. This script also comes with icons for the KBar buttons to use.

The Universalize Button

Select your audio then click this button and that audio will be placed into a new UA comp, which will then be spread into all the comps layers in your main comp, and timed exactly to line up with that main audio, all the UA layers throughout your project will be guide layers, so you never need to worry about this affecting your final render. Hold ALT while clicking this button and previous UA will remain in place while it adds a new set of UA. Rename the UA comp in the project panel and that name will be used for all UA layers throughout your project, allowing you to have different trees of audio in different comps at the same time.

Enable “single comp mode” in the settings and this will behave differently, with single comp mode you no longer need to select any audio, the script works backwards from this currently open comp to pull any audio it finds into the UA reference layer, and only places the UA layer into the currently open comp.

The Refresh Button

Clicking this button will update the timing and settings of all the UA layers so they match any changes you may have made to comps throughout your project.

The Remove Button

Clicking this button will remove all the UA from your project, if you have multiple UA added, then you can hold ALT while clicking this and it will only remove the latest UA.

The View Source Button

Clicking this button will take you to the comp that contains the audio that you made universal, your primary comp. If you have multiple UAs then clicking this multiple times will cycle through the source of each UA, you can also select a UA layer and hold ALT while clicking this and it will take you one comp backwards from the current comp, while also highlighting the layer that the selected UA was pushed into, ie the layer associated with that you just had open, you can use this to step backwards through the audio tree. This button also acts as a handy shortcut to take you to your main comp from wherever you are in your project.


Adobe After Effects 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, CC 2019, CC 2018, CC 2017, CC 2015.3, CC 2015, CC 2014, CC, CS6, CS5.5, CS5, CS4, CS3

1.9.3 –  Feb 8, 2023

– Included KBar icons.
– Updated licensing framework.

1.9.2  –  Sep 7, 2022

– Fixed bug where UA layer was sometimes not adhering to your selected label color after refresh.
– Fixed bug where the UA layer was not positioned correcly when “Include visual reference” is enabled and placement set to center.

1.9.1 –  Aug 23, 2022

– Label color names in the dropdown in options will now have same names as defined in your AE prefs.

– If script is added to KBar without any arguments, the KBar button will open the Universal Audio panel.

1.9.0  –  Aug 22, 2022

– Script completely overhauled, improvements to efficiency and many features added.

– Added KBar support and included icons for KBar, the functions available to the KBar buttons are named:

– The panels button layout changes based on panel size.

– Added progress dialog while the script is working.

– If a comp layer is used multiple times in a comp, the UA layer will now always prefer to be pushed into the selected instance (if you double click comp layers to open them, then the comp instance you are working in will naturally be the instance that is selected).

– Added ability to exclude certain comps by keyword, any comp layers with an excluded keyword anywhere in the name will not have UA pushed into them, to add keywords, open options and select the “Exclude comps by keyword” tab.

– You are now able to keep existing UA when you make more audio universal, to do this hold ALT while clicking the universalize button, all existing UA will remain in place and will always act in accordance with the options they had when they were first created.

– If you hold ALT while clicking the remove button, it will only remove the latest UA, otherwise the remove button will remove all UA.

– If you have multiple UAs added, the view source button will now cycle through the source comps of each UA.

– You can now select a UA layer and hold ALT while clicking the view source button, and it will step back one comp as well as select the layer the selected UA was pushed into, useful for quickly navigating backwards through the audio tree and tracing the path of each selected UA.

– Can rename and change the label color of the Universal Audio comps in the project panel and the name and label will be retained after every refresh, Allowing you to rename UA comps as they appear throughout your project.

– UA will stay in their subfolders of the project panel after every refresh, when adding new UA, if some UA already exists, the new UA will be placed in the same folder as the latest UA.

– With visual reference enabled, the scale of the UA layer is now scaled relative to the current comp it is in, so if the visual scale is set to 50%, it will be scaled to 50% of the width of comp that it is in. The visual reference layer will also now be set continuously rasterized.

– Updated license framework.

1.7.1 –  Oct 16, 2020

– Single comp mode now considers audio comps

1.7  –  Sep 22, 2020

– Removed “Place multiple in reused comp” option, as this was causing more trouble than worth and multiple duplicates of UA layer not entirely helpful. If a comp has been use multiple times in another comp, UA layer placed in it now turns orange to indicate the UA layer may not be relevant to all instances. If you have a comp that is used multiple times, rather lock any duplicate instances you don’t want UA to be pushed into. Also means your project no longer gets spammed with layer markers saying “COMP IS USED MULTIPLE TIMES OR TIME REMAPPED,” it just turns orange.

– Updated licensing framework

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