Adding sound to your animation

When creating an animation, you may want to hear the soundtrack to aid in synchronizing the placement of keys with points in the soundtrack. Keys are markers that specify timing and motion for animations. For more information on keys, see Keys.

NotePlayback Speed must be set to Real-time in order to play sound properly.

Importing sound

Maya supports the following audio file formats:

Platform Audio file format


.aiff, .wav

Microsoft® Windows®

.aiff, .wav (see note)

Apple® Mac OS® X

.aiff, .wav, .mp3

  • You cannot import a sound file whose filename begins with a number.
  • On Mac OS X, you can only drag and drop .mp3 files onto the Time Slider. You cannot import them using File > Import. See Add sound to your animation and Time Slider for information on displaying sound on the Time slider.
  • On Windows, you cannot import sound files that have the .wav Apple file format. However, you can convert your .wav sound files to Windows compatible file formats like IMA ADPCM or PCM.
  • On a Linux® system with a Sound Blaster® 16 sound card, if another application is using the /dev/dsp device, Maya will wait for the device to be available until the other application closes.

When a sound file is loaded into a scene, an audio node is created with the same name as the filename. This node has a reference to the location of the sound file. If you move the sound file to a different location, you will have to make sure that you change the filename referenced by your audio node. For more information, see Import an audio file.