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How to preview in After Effects with Audio?

If you are used to editing programs you might be irritated that the default live playback of After Effects does not play audio. To hear the audio you need to do a RAM preview.

For a RAM preview, you need to click the rightmost symbol in the Preview panel. Alternatively, hit the 0 key on your number pad.

A RAM preview first renders your clip into memory and then plays it back. In contrast to the normal play button this guarantees that your video always plays in real time - no matter how complex your project is.

Update: Note that in After Effects CC 2015 and newer the RAM preview button does not exist anymore. In those new versions caching frames in the RAM happens automatically in the background and sound is now audible also with the normal live playback.

More Infos

To get started with these basics, take a look at our beginner tutorial series for After Effects.


Actually, there is a better way if you need live audio playback as you edit. But you need premiere pro for this. Using adobe dynamic link to load the current composition to premiere pro and then you have a live audio playback!

Thank you for this helpful tip!

Delete your AE preference file by holding down ctl + alt + shift as you start the application. Then make sure all audio boxes are checked and your audio will play back in AE. No Premiere needed.


Wasted over an hour over this before I came upon your message. Thanks!

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