Animate With Music: Using The Mograph Sound Effector in Cinema 4D

November 12, 2012

In this tutorial, I will show you how to use the Sound Effector in Cinema 4D to make a render that animates to music. No keyframes needed. First, I will go over some of the basic settings of the Sound Effector, then we will use what we learned to make a dynamic abstract animation set to any music or sound effect you like.

Example Video

Watch Tutorial

Tutorial Focus:  , , , ,
Software:  , ,

  • Nice one. Havenยดt used the sound effector until now, maybe I should give it a try ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Cool, cool, cool. I was just experimenting with sound effectors yesterday.
    I did however strive to find a good solution: If I want to animate with several sound effectors. I.e. one sound effector doing rotation on an clonerarray of hemispheres, and another sound effector doing random scale/position on a cloner with tons of circles. Cinema tends to freeze or get really jagged when using two sound effectors. Are there any ways to use one sound effectors, but to have the same sound effector affect two different groups of parameters?

  • Freaky but awesome! Thanks for this cool tutorial ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was wondering if someone knows where I can get some abstract tracks from which I could create stuff like this? Thanks!

  • Great tutorial. Been meaning to experiment with this type of animation…

  • Back then when i did this music-video :, i only used sound effector!
    I had the separated instruments of the track, and assign each cloner to an instrument.
    It’s a good way to work with and it looks pretty good !!

    Nice tutorial !

  • I’ll have to give this a go. It would be great to see how this works with the 1812 overture, especially one with the canons. I’m thinking have them explode . . . hummmm of course the overature would have to be sized down, 15 minutes or so.

  • Who does the audio track? Love it. Reminds me of Prefuse 73.

  • Hello, I’m following the tutorial and when I put the tag rigid body appears not to force??

    can you help?

    thank you

  • It would be a good idea use Trapcode Sound Keys in AE and export the frames to Cinema… perhaps using XML, or the Maxon plugin and applying the values ??to an object… What do you think?

  • This is Really good!!! thanks for sharing!

  • Ferhat Yalรง?n November 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Thanks again for this nice tutorial. I will give it a try with a classical music, maybe one of Mozart’s, I think it will be interesting.

  • I love this tutorial – I did a very basic attempt of a similar thing for After Effects (following a tutorial from Videocopilot – it’s a song from the Tron: Legacy soundtrack – and apart from messing up somehow on the white emitter lines still showing, I was pretty happy with it as a first ever attempt at something like this. Now this is here for C4D ๐Ÿ™‚ Great! Not sure about adding a second effector yet though, but one thing I was wondering about it what we might need to do to create a shadow underneath the animated blobs? I’ve seen something like this done in AE but could you explain how this might be done within C4D, please?

  • Thank you, Nick! I shall try this out for myself tonight, and eventually upload the results later. Can’t wait to try it!!

  • Gracias Nick. very good as always

  • I found that best way to use Sound Effector when you have all song in separate layers, separated by instruments (multitrack song). I have rendered my song project in Logic Pro having separated wav files with each instruments solo parts: bass, kick drum, synth, vocal, hihats and etc. parts.
    And in this way I can trigger my 3D elements not only by using inacurate sound efector filter & bandwidth, BUT triggering them with every instrument in solos. For final sound in AE used master track containing all instruments.

  • One more thing, in Sound Effector there is option Left Channel and Right Channel. It’s really great to make one Sound Effector working only with the left side of audio track, and other with right. In this way your movie can be visually stereo ๐Ÿ™‚
    And if you are working with sound editing software, there is possibility to separate any song in two layers Mid and Side. Mid would be layer of everything that contains mono and Side – would be layer with everything that isn’t mono – in other words โ€“ all stereo information.

  • Top quality tutorials lately Nick, love it!

  • Thanks Nick
    Can you please show the AE work sometimes.
    Learning how to make 3D look better. New to AE

  • Nick ji ,
    Light and sound is what we all live-in with.
    Being the festival of lights, Diwali, here in India, it’s a cracker of sound effects you have gifted us.
    “Happy Diwali” to you Sir ji.

  • quick question….
    I noticed when colorizing the sound effector that its more like a left to right setup…..meaning low end is one color…middle range another color…and hi yet another for example…
    But i was wondering if you could do something more along the lines of the EQ in that…when a sounds volume level is low its say black…as it hits the normal sound range it turns green…and if it peaks it turns red… its more of a down up thing…instead of a left right thing…lol

    If that makes sense…
    Again Nick…great tutorial….and always somehow just when i need it…lol

    • Ok…in case anyone is wondering….I kind of found a way to allow the sound files volume to affect the color….

      1. Put an expresso tag on your cloner
      2 Turn off color mode (if you have it on)
      2. Apply a new material to the cloner
      3. Open up the expresso tag
      4. Drag the Sound effector into expresso…
      5. Add an ouput “object” tag to the sound effector
      6. Add a Sample effector ( New node-Motion Graphics-sample)
      7. Add a “strength” output to the sample effector
      8. Drag your material into the expresso.(make sure you grab the actual material and NOT the material texture tag on the cloner)
      9. Figure out your main color range…blue based…red based…or green based. (Mine was mainly green)
      10. Add a color r/g/b input tag to your material in expresso. (if your main color is red…choose red…if its green choose green etc.) (Color-Color-Color g..b or r)
      11. Now just connect connect the object tag from the sound effector to the input of the sample effector…then the strength output of the sample effector to the color choice input…

      Then you should be all set and the color will increase in intensity as the sound level increases.

  • Getting tired of thanking you for advancing my knowledge of C4D.
    Thanks again! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Yo nick.. nice tutorial!

    Question: When i rendered out my scene the small “dust” particles have like a black outline around them… Any ideas of why would would be caused? My material is just default color and 65% luminance. Nothing black about it.


  • nice tutorial thanks!

  • Great demo. Music is quite awful but the rendering is so sweet.

  • GREAT! But you could find a better music to make the example ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Hello Nick,
    i,ve been experimenting these days with cinema and sound.i found there it,s a new world here.Thanks for the tutorial!!

  • I noticed this several times in your tutorials that you change several variables to same kind of value!
    For example the size of the cube to 50x50x50! A hint for you is to mark what you like to change and while pressing CTRL (cmd on apple?) + Enter will change all values to the same.
    Also works while scrolling values (changing all to the same time) – Observe! Only works atm when the values are in a vertical line and not the horisontal vectorish ones!

  • That looks just too stupidly amazing!!!!, gonna check out this tutorial for sure.

  • It’s very cool and I will be able to use the technique in an ongoing production right away. Thanks!

    Nick: How long render time did you have to complete all TIF images and in what resolution did you have?

    Thanks for all your posts!

  • I was having an erection these 2 minutes while watching the preview.
    This is an amazing one! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I sooooo love it.
    Enormous thanks Grayscale Nick ๐Ÿ™‚
    P.S. Actually like yesterday I was thinking about gsg and what would be awesome for the new tutorial and I thought something that deals with moving along with sound. ๐Ÿ˜€ Amazing! Weird! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Hi Nick,

    Thanks for the great tut. Do you mind posting a link to the Mike the Monkey tutorial you mention — the sound character animation?


  • Hey Great tut!
    One problem I’m having. I’d like to render it in C4D for now with audio, not After Effects… but I am unable to render with audio. I made sure everything was “checked” on that needed to be and also in my render settings but it still doesn’t render with sound. Any help on this would be great.


  • Hey great tut , i was wondering what is the app you used for your finder window, the HUD that is around it?

  • In regard to the idea of changing the color based on there scale, so that they dont fall back to black.
    I tested this idea but I don’t get to work with the sound effector…

    • Hey, I know this is 2 years later, but maybe someone else will read this.

      When you go to the cloner tool, if you turn on “Render Instances”, your default color is fixed. It is whatever your texture should be.

      This was what I believe he said he couldn’t fix around 19:20 in the video. It will be the only contribution I can make towards this great help.

  • Thank you for your tutorial….
    I do not get it… Why do yousent to after effects?…..I tried to render in cinema 4d but I can not get sound…… Thats is the reason?

    • Hey, I’m having the same problem not being able to render out the sound. I looked on youtube and found a few tutorials and still no luck. If you figure it out please let me know.


  • hey! for some reason, simple i hope, i can not draw within the filter shape window… suggestions?

  • Kevin Croes-Hernandez November 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Awesome tutorial, will definitely be testing this out after work. ๐Ÿ˜€
    Nick, have you checked out this kickstarter for an ipad/iphone console editing app for FinalCut/Premiere? Looks wicked awesome to me.
    Cheers, mates!

  • Very fun and inspiring tutorial.

  • hey nick.
    i was messing with all this good stuff and was trying to manipulate the sound effector to effect a soft body tag values with the kind help of expresso and user data.
    for now there are no results and i was wandering if there is a way to translate the movments of the clone or what not, to actuale scale or position values that could be further manipulated to effect other shit like rigid\soft body tags etc.
    any suggestions?

  • Loved this. I jumped right in and made a little test of this effector. Nick, thanks so much for all you share. Great stuff!
    Here is what I came up with.

  • Can someone point me in the right direction for this….

    I would like to have the scale of the cloner be zero when the volume is zero, or when a cloner is Black because of no audio I would like the cloner to be invisible.

    I have tried a few effectors and none seem to do it. Is this a job for Expresso?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Dave if you look above in my comments youll see me write a post about changing the color along with the sound….If you just changed the input of the material to Transparency…instead of color….it should work the same way…when the music is not playing it should be invisible….when it is at 100 percent volume you should be fully visible with all the steps in between…..If you need some more help than that say so here and ill throw together a sinple c4d file for you to look at so you know what I mean….

  • When i add a second set of cloners my music track starts jumping/repeating all over the place…….don’t know why? 3 yr old macbook pro so maybe my system can’t handle it? Any ideas?

  • Amaaazing animation!!! Soud is so cool I love it! What genre is it?

  • Hey Nick!

    Great Tutorial! I’ve also watched your Render Optimization Tut because my estimated rendertime was 850 hours ๐Ÿ˜€

    Another Question, how do I get more poppy saturated colors? Should I use AE for this or is there a possibility in C4D for it?

    Greetings from Germany


  • Great tut Nick!
    I was wondering if there is a way to put some live sound acquisition on C4D and make same kind reactions.
    Anybody knows more about a plugin or anything? I sometimes use C4D as a vjing live application.

  • Can anyone help me here every time I try and add the rigid body tag, it adds a collider body tag. When I click on the tag only options available are; basic, dynamics and collision. ๐Ÿ™

  • The music was GREAT!. A bit “pretty lights” / “Forss”
    Does anyone know what/who it is?

  • Thanks for the tutorial. Here is my attempt…

  • nice dude, btw. you are awsome! :]

  • hey! great tutorial! thanx! i understood a lot more about the effectors and the combinations of them…
    but a short question… is there a way to use the position parameters on the clones, when there already on the flor affected by physics? in my case, only the scale parameters work….

  • Just a quick second attempt using Metaballs in a loop….
    something different…lol

  • Here’s my interpretation โ€“ same essential technique

  • Hey Nick,
    I want to say a big thanks for this great Tutorial, I really enjoyed making this sound driven animation.
    Here’s my stab at it:

  • Love the tutorial! Your actually partly responsible for me making the jump from maya to cinema 4d a couple years ago.

    I worked on a sound effector based animation about a year ago. I made it for my then 1 year old daughter. Tried to be very minimal with how I used it. check it out and thanks again for the great site!

    Nature Special

  • Love it! However, I’m having an issue. When I add the Overhead Softbox to my objects, I do not get that glossy look that he does. What am I doing wrong?

    • check to make sure “mix textures” is unchecked in the texture tag. also, make sure in the color channel ‘texture’ is set to >mograph>color shader. obviously turn your reflection channel on.

      • My colors look washed out and i dont know why. ive done everything just like the tut. can u help?

        • Hello there, I have a problem here with this color shader thing. When I just apply the matirial onto the sphere, and check the Mix Textures check box, and I can see the color of my spheres, but with the color shader on the color channel of the material, in the viewport, all the spheres are white, but in render its white. Do you know why? Thanks !

  • great tutorial thanks so much. one issue i’m having: audio and 3d out of sync in AE. when i open my tiff sequence up in AE, bring in the mp4 file, they don’t sync in…seem to be a few frames off. i’ve started rendering from frame 0 at 25fps, duplicated those specs for the AE composition. wondering if i’m missing something.

    thanks again. great tut.

  • Thank you so much for this tutorial! I took a slightly different approach, but used the same ideas to make this project:

    Check it out! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Keep on gorrilla’n

  • Great tut… I had fun with this one.

  • This is awsome!
    Thanks a lot for giving all that inspiration and knowledge to us Nick!
    So here’s my cubed version:

  • Hi Nick & all the good fellows around here,

    I’m putting a sound effector to my clones and everything works fine
    I’m putting my cloner in a BOOLE object with some text ( mo text or extruded spline) and everything works fine exept one thing, I’m loosing colors… sad

    any tips for me? I continue my investigations on the interweb, if I found a good answer I’ll post it here


  • Hey man thanks a lot for the tutorial. This is my first time using the software but I found it very useful just having a bit of trouble with lighting stuff (mostly because i don’t know how to use the software yet). but this is what i came up with.

  • Lost a fair bit of resolution, dunno how to fix that, but here is my try:
    4:30 second video, 4 gigs raw, and only 1.4 hour render time ๐Ÿ˜€ (was rendered at 820p)

  • Hello Nick,
    here there are few animated gifs i’ve been doing following your tutorials.
    hope you like them and can’t wait for the next tutorial.

  • i need help for probably the most easiest thign but can i work it out, hell no!

    sound effector is working great but the “filter shape” spline tool to balance the
    frequency is not functioning.

    ive tried enabling the filter and pressing near everything?

    any thought / ideas? its jsut stopping me at the first hurdle and its driving me nuts ๐Ÿ™‚


  • I loved the example you showed and had to take a crack at it myself and this is what I came up with!

  • Great tutorial as always. Here’s my experiment:

  • Great tute Nick, here’s my effort ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Sweet ideas! Using expresso, you can bind the sound strength to the inner glow strength of the material, as well as the luminosity strength. It creates sort of a lightning effect, making it much more exciting to watch. I’d have a sample, but I’ve rendered the thing three times and it still gives me issues.

    • Wow, just commented on how I was looking to do that. Mind telling/showing me your expresso set up?

      • Give your cloner an expresso tag.
        Next, drag you sound effector into expresso.
        Give your sound object an “object” output.
        Create a sample node [New node] > [Motion Graphics] > [Sample]
        Give the sample node a “strength” output.
        (Link the output of the sound node to the input of the effector port of the sample node)
        Drag the texture of your spheres into exresso.
        Create an input of whatever you want (Color B. R. G. Glow strength, inner glow strength, etc)
        Link the output strength port of the sample node to the input of the texture node.
        Using more than one texture node, or just more than one port within the texture node can allow you to change different parts of the texture in unison. I took the inner glow intensity, and well as the color B. and lined it to the strength output, creating sort of a flash effect when the sound is more amplified.
        I also used this with lights.
        If you drag a light object onto expresso using the same setup, you can make it so the intensity of the light is dependent on the amplitude of the sound.
        Pretty cool huh?

  • Smashing.

    Was looking for a way to effect luminance on and off via sound. Going to try it with the color mode.

  • Also, ‘The Wire’ is hands down one of the greatest television shows ever produced. Revolutionary.

  • Ok here’s mine :
    And as always, thumbs up for this one Nick !

  • Hey Nick,

    What would be the best way to create a loop and maybe a somewhat universal move or grow effect that one could apply to many various tracks? For example house tracks?

    Thanks for any help

    Great tut.


  • Hello Nick, really nice tutorials, i really like how you explain stuff, i learned a lot watching you showing what cinema 4d can do. I was wondering if it is possible in future for a tutorial in Cinema 4d and Realflow, i really like animated liquid splash or everything witch implies liquids. Thanks!

    PS: also made this after seeing the sound effector tutorial
    it was fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nice1 for the learning I had been wondering how that is done…
    Here is mine…

  • Please God Help me!!
    I did exactly the same as in the tutorial.
    But at 2:18 my cubes wont start to jump
    i use a m4a file as you did but it WONT WORK
    Please help me ;(

  • Hi this has been asked a few times but none of the solutions work for me. when i add the rigid body tag nothing changes. they dont explode and i only have options for basic, dynamics and collision.
    Is this because i dont have the studio edition?

  • Why didn’t you just use the fall off setting in the effector tab instead of using delay?

  • Great tutorial!. And fun to mess around with it and different sounds. This is how mine end up with:

  • Thanks for this amazing tutorial!!!

    For some reason my attempt took 49 hours to render!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    here it is

  • Hey GSG! I’ve tried doing this tut. Unfortunately, I can’t hear the music and I can’t get anything to animate. I am using R12 and even attempted this tut with a wav file. Still nothing. What could I be doing wrong?

  • My colors look washed out and i dont know why. i’ve done everything just like the tut. can u help?
    i would appreciate

  • Hi. am from Kenya and i started Using cinema in feb this year and uve helped me a lot. am now getting jobs from my designs. i saw this tut and i thought i should try it. check it out on . its called the shell purple and i used the hair renderer

  • Hi, I’m from Argentina and I can hardly speak and understand English. When I put the audio on the effector and then I play the cubes do not move? The audio has to be in any special format? try with mpeg, wav. wmv. mp3. mp4

  • Just found a really good thing to do for the dust effect. Put the cloner object with the spheres being used as dust in the middle of the sound effected spheres then go into project settings and turn gravity completely down. Works great!

  • Hi great tutorial but i do everything you do step by step and when i add sound in it doesnt effect anything and it doessnt play, some help would be appreciated. Cheers

  • Hey nick!
    How long didi it take you to render it in C4D??
    And what render settings did you use?
    I want to render a 4 minutes quick time movie and it seems tit’s gonna take forever…like REALLY FOREVER! D:

  • There is some way to do that and then transform the object into a logo or a shape? Thanks for the awesome tutorial.

  • Great tut , thanks.

    Question: is there a way to tell the sound effector to affect other parameters beyond POSITION, SCALE, ROTATION?


  • Mehmet Ali Karabulut December 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I have a question about the lightning: I’ve downloaded overhead softbox c4d file and I want to place it in the content browser for easy access in any project. How can I make this happen?

  • u talk too much in the tutorial IDK why ?

    ur wasting a lot of time in talking too much why don’t u go right ahead to the bottom and
    work in the tutorial more than u talk ?
    we well get to know those little problems and little details when we work in the project !
    don’t bother to explain for us what we don’t need to know man

    • Please donยดt speak for all of ” us”, or at least not for me. Thatยดs your point of view, but doubt itยดs “our” point of view.

    • I for one enjoy all the talking and sometimes, you DO need to hear explanations for stuff you don’t need to know about…

    • @Cruise No body pays Nick for the good work He and team are doing so just keep quiet and enjoy their tutorial. Nick you’re really doing a good work man. trust me. Keep the good work.

    • Great tutorial Nick… we all enjoy your banter in the tutorials so don’t mind this person…

  • Nice tut! You guys are the best! I’m new on your blog. I’ve watched some of your tutorials. You are doing a great job! Hope for more tuts:D.

  • how cool is that ha!

  • Watched this, and ended up starting my daily projects with something inspired by it.
    Feedback appreciated!

  • I was wondering if there is a way to bake the cloner with the sound effector and delay to the timeline? Because I am having a little bit of problems when I render (my computer crashes) and I assume its because my computer is calculating the sound effector and rendering. I just thought that if there is a way to bake it all to the timeline, my computer wouldn’t have to do everything at the same time.

  • Hey,
    Maybe just to let you know as a musician: The compression you are talking about (at 6min) works like this: low volume sounds will be compressed and maxed out by volume, while loud sounds are compressed to about the same volume it is like making a snowball: if you have a pre made snowball which is tight and you add new snow witch is softer, you compress them both to about the same strength.

  • Hello there,
    After trying some of these awesome tutorials you guys have here, I tried to give a shot to this one, too. I’ve tried something similar in AE, but this looks so much more delicious, I just couldn’t help it.
    Anyway, for some reason, I couldn’t possibly make it work. None of the sound files I tried affected my cloner. I hear the sound, the frequency graph jumps around, but the cloner sits still. I though I had some options messed up, but everything seems to be ok. I think I did everything as explained, I thought my wavs are messed up, I then found a wav somebody else used, it didn’t work whatsoever. I have no idea what is wrong.
    I’m using Cinema 4D R13 on W7 x86, but I don’t think it has anything to do with this.
    After a couple of hours trying to find a solution on forums and blogs and such, I gave up. I’ll try it again sometime, though. I’ll give it a shot with an aiff, or, I donno.

    Anyhow, keep it up, you are awesome!

    • Did you check if the Sound effector was included into the Cloner’s “Effectors” tab? If not, you just need to drag it in and everything should work, as soon as you choose “Step” into the Apply Mode in the Effector tab of the Sound!
      Hope that helped!

  • Daniel - (Cytherina) January 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    i gave my own go at it, turned out nice. thank you for the information and experience i can take away from this to apply to other projects:

    slightly different, but here is my version:

  • This was my result using the tutorial only.

  • Hello Gorilla,

    Iยดm doing the tutorial and at one point I got confused man. In my Cinema 4D Studio 13 there isnยดt the option Subsurface Scattering Subdivision in the Physical Render Settings. Do you have any clew what the heck is going on?
    Thanks a lot for your time and keep up the good work man!

  • Great tutorial, thanks Nick. I was inspired to try my own version here:
    Rendered in Maxwell on 2 Macs so it took a loooong time – all through Christmas and the new year!

  • Thanks Nick!
    Quick question…for some reason, I can’t add points to the “Filter Shape” grid under the Effector tab in the Sound Effector. I thought I followed you closely, but did I miss something?

  • Hey Nick!

    For some reason I dont have that force tab from the ridg body thing!

    Any help?

  • Hey,

    Great tut….
    thanks so much,
    I have an issue at 20.55 where you add the Dynamic body tag – ridged body..
    From that you alter the force via the force setting..
    I cannot locate it on my C4D, I am using 11.5…
    Again, BRILLIANT TUT!!!!!

    Hope you can help


  • ๐Ÿ™ I can’t get any sound files to play at all! No sound at all coming out, tried all standard file types… any idea what I am doing wrong?

  • Hey Gorilla, at 20:32 you put a simulation tag on the spheres, when i select the spheres and go to tags, simulation tags option is even there. Can you please help?

  • I was wondering if we can use the sound effector in only certain frames. For example im animating objects but from the frame 35 to frame 50 i want to use the sound effector. Is this possible?
    Thank you very much for the lovely useful tutorials.

  • I have the same problem as Andy. I canโ€™t add points to the โ€œFilter Shapeโ€ grid under the Effector tab in the Sound Effector. Anyone?

  • Thanks Nick, the tutorial helps alot.
    I’m animating a building now, so I’m wandering if it is possible use the soundeffector on that one object and not using the cloner?
    much appreciate

  • Another awesome tut man! Just one question though. When i try to adjust the filter shape, no points appear on the graph when i click in there, really confused why not. Do you have any ideas?

    • When this happens you can right click and choose reset, and it should snap it back to a linear graph. Hope this helps.

  • Hi, I did your tutorial, but i dont get the right look on my spheres, did you use global illumination?
    btw: Nice tutorial!

  • I have a problem when I pick sound file, I play it and it did not moving like in your tutorial. Frequency Graph also shows nothing. Can you help?

    • Okay, I know what was my problem. And if any of you guys having problem just like me which is when you select the sound file you want and your object is not moving while you can hear the song, it is probably your sound file. Check it again and again. Make sure it is supported file and if you are using windows, try it with Sample Music like Kalimba and Sleep Away

  • Lassel D. Richards February 4, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Very interesting tutorial.
    I admire your work, Nick.

    Eh, Iยดm embarrassed of asking that question and I apologize for spamming the comments,
    but I really need to now that Artistยดs name or the Track ID, please.
    Hope my english is correct, and you understood my question.
    Sorry, again.

    Liebe GrueรŸe aus Deutschland.

  • I’m in trouble, the dust falls and gets on the floor below the main color spheres. already in the tutorial, the dust down, up and never stops. Anyone know how to fix this?

  • I can’t seem to add points to the โ€œFilter Shapeโ€ grid under the Effector tab. I have Cinema 4d R13 and Im not sure what Im doing wrong.

    • Dave May 23, 2013 at 3:05 AM I first saw this tutorial on your page. Very useufl info, and well explained. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, and the scene files.

  • Also when I drop the Tag simulator (rigid body) I notice that there is no force option. Any ideas?

  • Thanks for the video, I added a plugin called twitch by video copilot which made it scale randomly, some of you should try it, it’s really nie

  • Here is my attempt mixed with a little xpresso. Also got a lot of help from the new camera mapping tutorial:


  • What a lovely tutorial. Everything worked like a charm.
    Here is my outcome:

    The resolution is low because my PC is ancient and rendering higher res TIFFs takes ages :/

  • Hi i have some problem, when i apply Delay Effector, nothing happen at all… whyit can be? I use Cinema 4D R12

  • When i render in cinema i cant get my music in the final product
    Please help me thanks

  • The tutorial was amazing! You explained everything with great clarity and detail. I did my version of it; unfortunately, it took ages to render. I know I am only on a Macbook, but it took over 11 hours to render 1/3 of the animation. I had to stop it there because it was taking too long. What I did notice though was that I had over 8200 frames just for a 3 minute song. Is there anyway to reduce the processing time, and/or the overall frames needed to render on a lower-spec computer?

    At any case, here is my rendition:

    Thank you for the tutorial!

  • when I drop the Tag simulator (rigid body) I notice that there is no force option. Any ideas? cinema 4d R14 mac……….Help! nice tut bytheway!!

  • Really love this tutorial!
    I can’t seem to get the punchiness you have in your video. The bubbles move but they aren’t snappy enough. Do I need to use several sound effectors to get the same effect in your final render, so that I am isolating lots of separate parts? Also, the dust particles don’t bounce around for very long..eventually they just sorta sit at the bottom looking rather sad and lonely D:

  • When i import to AE and add the sound(in AE), i can’t hear it.
    I tried as a .m4a and .wav but both didn’t work.
    Maybe it’s a wrong setting in my composition or AE self but can’t find it.
    anyone that can help me? thx

  • How can i export my bubble movie (.mov) with the sound file in cinema4d ?

  • Such a great tut I just had to have a go at this, this is my attempt it took so long to render ๐Ÿ˜ฎ thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hi Nick!
    Great tutorial, as always.
    I have one really small request tho: could you explain (a comment would do just fine) how to exclude the gravity for the dust-spheres? I can’t seem the get the Force Mode > Exclude to work propperly.

  • Hey man, I love your tutorials BUT, I have a big and unfortunate problem with this tutorial ๐Ÿ™
    I have tried using my sound files (whether be .wav, .m4a (converted online) etc etc.) but none work whatsoever, the frequency bar stays blanks and no animation occurs, if possible does anyone know an easy way to fix this? Help please. Also if anyone knows how to convert any audio file to make it work that would be appreciated too, thanks

  • For all the folks who are struggling with the audio file to work:

    Check the most right tab of your cloner (“Effectors”) and see if the sound effector is present. If not, just drag the sound effector there and watch your little fluffy cubes going bananas.

    • The problem with me is that, I put an M4a. file into the sound effector. It DOES, however, show the effector in the cloner tab. I can’t hear ANY music and the cubes aren’t moving. Do I need to have quicktime or anything to support C4D? I’m working on a windows pc.

      Thanks anyway.

  • Hi Nick,
    I`m from germany and iยดm 16 years old …and you are my idol ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hey, thanks for the great tutorial!

    But i have one problem, when trying to add points into the filter shape for the sound, nothing is happening? i cannot add any points. Some help would be appreciated.


  • Hello Nick!

    I have the HDRI Studio Pack but i dont have a Seamlessfloord.c4d and i dont know why!?
    Some help would be appreciated!

    Thank you!

  • this is sooo much fun to play around with. thanks nick:) …. here’s what I came up with

  • Hey! I figured out a bit of a fix to the issue of the spheres going to black when they get small.
    In your texture applied to the spheres where you have the “Color Shader” driving the Color, simply set you texture to “Layer”. Now in the layers, add in Shader > Color, and choose a color. Move it below the “Color Shader” layer. The set the mode of the “Color Shader” layer to something like “Hue” or “Add”, or just experiment.
    It gives kind of odd results, but with some tweaking you can get nice effects, and I like that they don’t return to black when they get small.

    Thanks for the tutorial and the inspiration.


    Thank you for the tutorial! This is my try!

  • Is there a way to deform the entire animation, from very small to the normal size. I want to flow the ‘soundballs’ out of iPhone earphones (live action footage).

    Thanks for the great tutorial and inspiration btw!!

  • Thanks so much for the tutorial!

    When I put my sound effector in, it does not effect any of my objects. I can hear the audio, and have tried countless filetypes (including uncompressed WAV). I can hear the audio just fine, and the chart is being created, it simply isn’t affecting anything. Any tips?

    • Never mind, I’ve found my own problem: I stupidly didn’t have the cloner object selected when I created the sound effector ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This is my first attempt in C4D ๐Ÿ˜€
    I tried to do it “my way”, obviously following your example, which i love.
    Thank you Nick ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Does anyone know of a similar effect in after effects?

  • Hey there gorilla!

    I was wondering. What kind of music file are you using?
    I tried to put one in em but it doesn’t do anything.


  • awsome…funny…cool… ๐Ÿ˜€

  • 19:35 – im sorry, but that looks like something male and organic, and it’s pulsing O:

  • This was just an awesome tutorial. But I need to render it. But I’ve got a Macbook Pro 15 inch 4GB RAM and it takes 90 hours to render. What is the best way to render? I’ve seen the video how to optimize your project for rendering. But is it better to export as layers and render with After Effects? I’m proud of my work and really want to render it. Please help ๐Ÿ™‚

    A seventeen year old multimedia student in Antwerp passionate with Cinema 4D .
    Thank you

  • FuK’N LOVE THIS!!!

  • Michael Rodriguez June 6, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I added the color shader option when adding the texture to the spheres but my spheres don’t show color they stay white. Help? Would be greatly appreciated.

  • Great tut! Now I just need to wait 10 hours for this thing to bake.

  • Great tutorial. Thanks for the inspiration:D MY soud effector

  • Thanks for the great tutorial and turning me onto Cubesato. Here’s some fun I had with what I learned:

  • Cool man, thanks! you are the master!

  • thanks great tutorial, you giant one more respect follower

  • Dear Nick, first of all thank you for this fantastic tutorial.
    So I was following step-by-step this tutorial and I finally came to that part of adding the main glossy texture. I followed the instructions carefully. I added on Material Editor / Color / Texture the Mograph Colour Shader and all the balls turned white. After adding the two lights, the result of the rendered the scene showed the reflections, the reds and the pinks desaturated. The scene shows all balls white. I’ve triple-checked the Sound Effectors Parameters colours – in case there was a mistake – but everything was fine. I also restarted C4D just in case the software got glitchy, still the same problem. Thanks again.

  • malik singleton July 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    i need help when i get the putting the cube in the cloner. it doesnt show the clones its really messing me up. Please helppppp D:

  • Amazing tutorial! This got me back into the 3d world, this was my attempt at this sick animation:

  • I have the same problem with the colour from mograph not displaying. It’s odd because I’ve followed everything 100%

  • Hi
    Thanks!! very cool!!
    How about something more difficult like that?

  • not quite sure on how you got it into AE and got it to animate in AE. All I have is a static image.

  • Thanks for the tutorials you guys, they are fantastic!

  • Hi Nick. Im using C4D 13 but when it comes to the rigid body tag part , my rigid body tag does not seem to have a force tab on it. It only shows basic dynamics and collisions. What did I do wrong ? Even if I put it on the cloner the force tab appears but my sphere do not explode. Help !! ๐Ÿ™

  • kinda wondering…if i want to make a tree and make it bend left and right according to a song… would i use sound effector to archive that ?

    thanks !

  • this is what i made out of this tutorial so – c4d + ae . thank you !

  • well i kinda drifted out of the tutorial when i liked the cubes i was making, so here’s what i have ( mirror in case)

    i’ll probably come back later with something cooler, with easing & fancy lighting

  • Hey GORILLA!!! Im stuck on the start… when i just choose a sound file… i cannot hear anything, im using a .m4a as u did in the video… but nothing happen… when i click on play, cubes just standin and no audio in my headphones… i asked to my friend who already did, i pass him my file, and with him works… what could be wrong with me?

    • i always use .wav files ๐Ÿ™‚ you know .mp3s get stuck and play randomly sometimes in AE i dropped in a m4a earlier to c4d testing some new techniques and i found it echo repeated so its kind of the same problem AE gets, esp on playback… go .wav clean sound. peace ๐Ÿ™‚

      a new fabric promo i made. enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • i need help grey when i render there is no sound how can i fix that . i play sound in c4d everything looks fine but when i render no sound . in the rendering seting i checked include sound everything looks fine but in the end no sound ca you help mee….

  • Thank you. I learned something.


  • Hi

    Is there a way to modify the “Start Angle” and “End Angle” in an Arc, using the Sound Effector?

    Thanks in advance.

  • What I never really understood was the rendering part. If anyone can help please tell me, thanks.

  • Julien Caillรฉ January 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Awesome tut! Sure had fun with the sound effectorโ€ฆ

    Here is my take on this, if anyone is interested:

  • People who are having trouble with their audio files, can’t hear it, see it , or anything. I FINALLY found something that worked for me after research n many downloads. It is an audio compression software, was so grateful for the developer for it is very useful and free ๐Ÿ˜€ it’s called Xact. Here’s the link:
    so use it to compress your audio to the specific annoying details C4D needs for the tracks to work. I hope this helps. Now i can move on with this tutorial which looks wicked XD

    • Hello Judy ill tried your pluign but doesn’t.. Probably im not doing the correct steps. can you help me to finish my project?

  • Could sb help me?
    After rendering project to *.mov there is no sound in both picture viewer and destination file. I can hear and edit sound effector in C4D, but not after saving.

    There is only animation without sound. In render settings I have included sound.

    • you need to take the video that you rendered out and add the music in a compositing program. You could do it in After Effects, Final Cut, Premiere, etc.

  • Watched the tutorial when it first came out and tried to recreate it yesterday

    Took what I learned from this tutorial and made this one today!

  • Hey! I was following this awesome tutorial and I have a small issue that I wanted to sort out. I have a really bassy song and my bubbles are massive when I play it back. Do you have any suggestions on how I can tame these bubbles?

    Much appreciated!

  • hi dude.
    its so cool.
    i’m from iran.
    i did this tutorial but i dont know how can i render it with sound in c4d, can you help me please..?
    thanks so much dude
    peace & love

  • I wanted to thank you for your tutorial. I used your technique to make the following promo music video clips. I had the luxury of having the artist supply the Bass and Rhythm tracks separately for use on separate sound effectors.

  • Hey! Amazing tutorial!

    But I can’t seem to get the Sound Effector to work!!!
    I have the file in a .wav format but it doesn’t affect the cubes at all.
    I did it all step by step but they just won’t move or be affected AT ALL!

  • Nick Pls I donยดt speaking English, I’ve seen you Tutorials Video.. one thing, twice because the audio sounds? and how to spend the proyect cinema a after effect..

  • How long did the final product from cinema take to finish rendering?

  • Hi Nice tutorial, After watching another tutorial here on creating landscapes with hair, I was wondering if there is a way to combine both, to animate hair particles like the ones in the landscape with sound, I tired but it didn’t work so well

  • ty so much for the tutorial.

  • Great tutorial ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks !

  • Awesome tutorial. Thanks for sharing.
    I have one quick question. Everything turned out really well with my final file accept one thing. Somewhere along the way it seems to have glitched out the song i am using. ive tried replacing with new song, same issue comes up. There is always a slight repeat. Something with the timing must be off between the two sound layers. Not sure. Its pretty subtle but i can seem to figure it out how to play the song smoothly.
    any thoughts?

  • Thank you so much, you are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hey so i am having a problem. I am using R16. Every time I add the dust, the other cloner/sphere layer wont react to the music correctly; they barely move and they wont interact with the new dust cloner layer. If I delete the new dust layer, the other spheres go back to normal. Is there a setting I am missing?

  • well when I am uploading music.m4a file and playing the frame its not moving like video why ?

  • The object is not moving on sound effector why ?

  • I cant hear my sounds ๐Ÿ™ can someone help me ?

  • Hey man,
    I did this Sound Effector animation a while ago.
    It was meant to be for a music video that never actually got made in the end.
    Although it’s one of the more complex C4D projects I’ve done and took ages nothing really came of it. I found your tutorial and would love to get any feedback from you guys since this never got much coverage or views. I’ve learnt so much from all your hard work over the years and C4D seriously changed my life. Any feedback would be so welcome.
    Thanks for everything Greyscalegorilla!

  • it’s really awesome.
    i want to export an animation to realflow, but i couldn’t
    is there a method about making keys in every frame according to sound?

  • Soooo, C4D light doesn’t have a sound effector?

  • I saw a lot of examples people did from using this tutorial and I was wondering how some of them were done? I’m still pretty new to cinema 4d so I’m not sure how the other effectors would work with this one and how I could do something completely different from what was done in this video. I wanted to do something like a blobby kind of liquidy sphere with sound but not sure how to do something like that.

  • I also was wondering how I could have lines that go to the music as well but radiating from the center and moving around?

  • Thank you very much for the tutorial. Well explained.

    And here is the best version of them all:

  • pls how to mixing liquide color in realflow

  • Dope technique. Im super new to cinema but that was really fun. Im still messing with it but here’s what I got so far:

  • I wanted to try this tut ever since I saw it years ago. Thanks, Nick!

    Here is my attempt!

  • Is there a way to apply the Sound Effector to affect the noise scale in the Subpolygon Displacement?

  • Very straight forward yet detailed tutorial. However I have 0 experience with After Effects. Can someone point me in the right direction or to a tutorial that works with the rendered TIFF files used in this tutorial? I can’t find any that doesn’t use multipass.

  • Isn’t possible to just download a template from you and change the music?

  • Hi, Excellent!!!
    but I had many problems on a file with this treatment in a renderfarm, They asked me to bake it and so I did, however the problem persisted and became impossible because of costs.. Do you have any idea that it could have caused the problem?

  • AWESOME!!! Thanks a lot!

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