MacMost Now 307: Editing a Video Soundtrack in GarageBand

You can use GarageBand to edit your video's audio. You can filter the audio, add music, adjust the volume and re-arrange the sound.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 307: Editing a Video Soundtrack in GarageBand.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode, let's look at how to edit the audio in your video using GarageBand.
Well, among all the other things that GarageBand can do, it can also edit the audio in a video that you make, so you can produce a video in iMovie and then go ahead and use GarageBand to do some advanced audio editing; let's look at how.
Now there are several ways to get your video into GarageBand. First thing you want to do is start GarageBand and in the "Projects" panel here, select the one at the bottom, which is "Movie". Once you choose that, you get some basic options here, just name it something.
You can see right up here there's already a movie track and text in here says "Drag Movie Here". Now, you can drag a movie from several different sources. One place you can do it, is drag it right from the desktop or from the finder into this track here. So you can use a movie from anywhere, as long as it's a QuickTime movie.
Now, you can go ahead and also browse through your movies using the media browser here on the right. You can go ahead and look for instance in "iMovie", in the different projects, in your events, you can also look in your movies folder, Photo Booth as well. And you can go ahead and pick something out.
So let's go ahead and grab just a movie here from the Sample Movies Project, actually it's a sample movies event, in iMovie, and I'm going to drag it here. And it's going to go ahead and import it in, create some thumbnails, so now I have the thumbnails going across here in the time line. It separates out the audio track.
Now I can scratch along this track here, by moving the time line, and I can see where I am in audio, where I am in the video and I can even see the preview here. I can click on this, and it will enlarge this area, and I can even make it larger here and go ahead and control it this way or this way so I can see where I am in the video as I edit the audio.
Now there are a lot of different things you can do. You can basically do anything you can do in GarageBand with the audio tracks below the video. So for instance, I can select it here, I can go ahead and hit the info button, and I can change the type of insurance, in other words the effects applied to this track. So, for instance, let's go ahead and listen here.
"The first thing anyone notices on the first day of junior high..." It's just some old footage from the 50s, so I'm going to go ahead and change the audio so that we can go ahead and make it sound a little bit more like it's being played over a projector. So we're going to go to Vocals and I can choose Megaphone, and that applies the effect to this track that I've had selected.
"The first thing anyone notices on the first day of junior high is..." Now, in addition to that, I can add some more tracks. So for instance, let's go to the Loop browser here, click on the icon here to go and look at pre-made loops, and lets look at like Jingles. And we can do some Jazz jingles and pull out this piece of music here, drop it in and it will go ahead and create another track for us and mix these two together, lower the volume a bit and I can play it back.
"The first thing anyone notices on the first day of junior high is people". I can go ahead and continue to add more tracks, I can mix them together, I can move the tracks around, so for instance in this I can offset the audio a little bit just by shifting this around here, and I can also change the volume by taking a look at the track volume here and clicking on the down arrow. Now I can go ahead and say, have it start at full volume, maybe edge down a bit, go up at the end, that kind of thing. So you can adjust volume to your heart's content, something you can't do in iMovie.
And if you're just interested in editing the audio you can double click on the track itself and once you're here in the Audio Region Editor, you can go ahead and split the track right there and move pieces around, so now you end up with two parts there, and you can delete areas, so select, delete. There's a lot of things you can do, deleting, selecting, copy, paste, moving the audio around and playing with it.
And when you're done with the video, you can go to Share and you can send the movie to various places like iDVD and iWeb but you can also go and just say export movie to disc. They have a bunch of different options here. You've got some basic things like web, and e-mail, and streaming and iPod and Apple TV.
Full Quality is probably the most important one, because if you're just in this to edit the audio and you want to leave the video the same as it was before, exporting full quality will actually export the video track out untouched which is good if you've already compressed it out of iMovie. And it will just basically change the audio track only. So this a very common one to be used when editing audio in GarageBand. Also you can go to the "Expert" setting which then will prompt you to go ahead and set every little thing that you want about the movie when you export it.
Now the one big drawback to using GarageBand to edit the audio in your video, is there is really no way to edit the video after you're done editing the audio. Once you're finished, you export it out of GarageBand and you have a finished product. If you want to go and change the video, like get rid of a segment or edit something, then you basically have to start over again with the GarageBand audio editing.
You can copy and paste some of the elements from the old GarageBand project into a new one to save some time, but basically you want to make sure you're really done with the video before you go and edit the audio here in GarageBand. Of course in iMovie 09, there's a lot of good audio editing techniques you can do without ever leaving iMovie. Take a look at episode 278 for how to do some of these.
Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMostNow.

Comments: 5 Responses to “MacMost Now 307: Editing a Video Soundtrack in GarageBand”

    9 years ago

    bummer you can’t send the finished product to you tube

    9 years ago

    We’re using Imovie/GB O9 and encountered a problem; maybe you can clarify this for us: We have a video which we put into Garageband. We added two mp3 soundtracks. We saved to the disk. The finished product sounded very good. We uploaded it to a website and the mp3 tracks never made it. The only audio is from the original soundtrack from the iMovie video. I also noticed the completed project ended up in Soundtrack Pro. This problem sounds similar to the other comment. What’s the problem? Thanks for your help on this.

      9 years ago

      What were the steps you took to “save” the video when you were done in GarageBand? It sounds like the result was a multi-track audio video, and the website only processed the first track. One solution would be to run the video through something like QuickTime Pro, FFMpegX or MPEGStreamClip that should merge the audio into one track (or a stereo) track. which might work better for that web site.

        9 years ago

        We exported the GB’ed version to disk just like you mentioned but GB doesn’t seem to render added audio tracks into one audio track. We solved the problem with a very simple fix: We saved the Garageband synchronized video in Soundtrack Pro; It rendered the added tracks into one audio stream. Everything uploaded. Thanks Gary for your help. Your video tutorials are immensely helpful; They have provided answers to more questions than I care to mention.

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