MacMost Now 468: Editing Audio in iMovie 11

iMovie 11 allows you to set the volume for specific portions of the audio track. You can adjust the sections of volume control and set fade in and out times for each section. You can also apply audio effects, filter sound using an equalizer and layer multiple tracks of audio.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary at MacMost Now.On today's episode lets look at audio editing in iMovie 11.So iMovie 11 introduces some new audio features.So lets learn how to edit audio in iMovie 11.So here I have a project and I've placed the clip in the main project area at the top.I can switch it to a single row view which is kinda like a timeline by clicking here.Then I can turn on the audio wave form viewer by clicking this button in the middle of the screen.Now I can see the audio wave form at the bottom.The first thing that I wanna show you is volume control.So you can grab the line here which gives you the volume for the entire track and drag it up or down and you can see a percentage.
This is nothing new , you could've done this in the audio inspector in iMovie 09.What is new is that you can select just the audio area by clicking on it and select a section of it like this and then adjust the volume for only that section and you can see what happens.I lowered it just for that section there and I have small little handles here that can actually drag out the fade in and fade out for that section.I can continue to do that for other sections as well say increasing the volume on this one,say decreasing the volume here and I can also grab the line here selecting the entire movie clip drag it up and down.See it changes the non specialized areas.These stay the same while the overall wiring for the rest of the track will change and I can reselect any one of these sections,change its handles, even change the area of the volume change.
Now,before I could also detach the audio by selecting clip detach audio,I can mute the entire clip and I can remove all the volume adjustments that I made just like that.I can also add audio effects.I can select the track and hit I for the inspector.So you see the inspector is clip,video and audio and you think you could use audio for audio effects but in fact for effects you stay on the clip side and you have the audio effect pop up here and theres many things you can choose.Just some basic stuff,here for some special effects that you can play with.
In addition, you can also go to the audio inspector here and there are many things that you can change.You have the ability now to reduce background noise.So,this is pretty simplified for iMovie so it may not work in all cases but you can check that off and then select a percentage and try different amounts to see if you can educe noise in a particularly noisy audio track.You can also set an equalizer here,you can change it to something default like say music enhance or hum reduction and it will show you what its done here.Or you could adjust yourself and lower or raise different frequencies of the sound and you can simply turn it off like that.
And as before you can also normalize clip volume to bring lower levels of volume up to a level that makes sense for the video.
Now, as before you can add multiple layers of audio.So,for instance I've taken this bit of audio thats attached to the video itself I can bring it extra bits here and add them either to the entire project or to just this track and you can see its pasted there below and I can do adjustments there as well and I can continue to place extra pieces of audio like that.You can see it places them on top of each other and I can adjust the volume controls there and in addition to that adjust specific pieces of it here.
So,the ability to add a special effects,filters and also adjust specific sections of the audio is something we dint have before iMovie 09.You had to bring it into a garage band in order to have that level of control.You can still bring it into garage band for even more control but most of the reason for that is now gone that we can actually edit audio pretty well in iMovie 11.
So, I hope you liked this look at editing audio in iMovie 11.Till next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 115 Responses to “MacMost Now 468: Editing Audio in iMovie 11”

    Kathy Whitehurst
    1/9/11 @ 1:00 pm

    Hi Gary, I just love your website and it has taught me a great deal. I did learn a bug in 11. When I used the fade in and fade out on a clip sound, it did not play when I burned the DVD. It took be a couple times but notice it was only on the clips that I had used the fade in and out on. Have you seen this?

      1/9/11 @ 3:36 pm

      No, I haven’t experienced that problem. But I don’t created DVDs. Did the bug exist when you simply exported to a video file?

    Dave Ziola
    2/27/11 @ 3:44 pm

    In iMovie 11… have they made it easier to insert video clips but use the audio from a different clip? I have iMovie ’10 and the method to accomplish this is confusing and time consuming.

      2/27/11 @ 5:49 pm

      iMovie 10? I assume you mean iMovie 09 (there was no 10). It is basically the same, but relatively easy. You use the “cut-away” functionality. I can’t imagine it being any easier. Or, if you don’t want any of the video from the first clip at all, then just use “detach audio,” drag the audio from clip 1 to clip 2, and then remove the left-over video of clip 1.

        10/6/11 @ 1:15 pm

        Hello Gary;
        I use a lot of the “detach audio” function and I never had a problem. Currently, I’ve been working on a video and when I detach the audio I can’t hear the audio, but if I click on the audio to adjust, and hit the play, it works.
        Do you know why the audio is not playing on the project window after is detached? but when it plays on the event window it works. I never experience this before.

          10/6/11 @ 1:18 pm

          You never get 100% when you preview or scrub in iMovie. It depends on what it has to do — how many layers, etc. So for whatever reason it doesn’t try to render the audio in that case because there is too much to compose.

            11/18/11 @ 1:19 pm

            I am having the same problem as Cecybrizz. Audio clip works in events panel but not when detached in the iMovie. It’s just a 4 second clip. It works on my iMac in iMovie 09, but not on my laptop using iMovie 11. Is there a fix for this?

          3/1/12 @ 2:43 pm

          I’m having this same issue… the audio in the event browser is fine and the audio in the project is fine… until I detach it from the clip. When I detach it from the clip I can’t hear ANY sound whatsoever. Can you please suggest a work around? Thanks.

    Dave Ziola
    2/27/11 @ 7:20 pm

    Whoops! You are right. It’s iMovie ’09. So, is the cut away function easier to employ? I find that attempting a cutaway with the audio from another clip to be a huge pain when not having a timeline to work with like I did 6 years ago using Pinnacle on a Windows-based system. I see iMovie 11 utilizes a timeline. I appreciate your input by the way. you really know your stuff.

      2/27/11 @ 8:59 pm

      You DO have a timeline in 09 — it just doesn’t look like a timeline. But it can act like one. Especially if you are using the detach audio function. It just stacks the timeline instead of being a single line. Same for 11, except it does allow you to make it a single line.
      Try both approaches to see which you like. THey both are good for different needs.

        Dave Ziola
        2/28/11 @ 5:50 pm

        I am only considering upgrading to 11 at this point. I just need to be certain that it’ll be easier to insert clips within clips (utilizing the audio from only one clip) on 11 versus 09 before taking the plunge. Can I detach audio in version 09? What I’ve been doing so far is inserting clips and then darkening the audio I don’t want while ensuring the audio I want is correctly lined up under the clip. very clunky and time consuming.

          2/28/11 @ 5:55 pm

          Yes, you can detach audio in iMovie 09. But iMovie 11 is a great upgrade. I don’t see any reason not to upgrade.

    Emily Armstrong
    3/27/11 @ 10:15 pm

    Just to say thanks so much for this vid, totally explained everything I needed to know :)

    Josh Thomas
    3/29/11 @ 7:25 pm

    Hi Gary. Thanks for this video. Do you know of a way to select multiple audio clips?

    I’m trying to copy the contents of 3 projects into one new project. I can duplicate them, but that doesn’t help me tether them all into the same project. Copying the video clips are easy, just “select all”, copy and paste into the new project. But the audio clips can only be selected one at a time as far as I can tell.

    Any ideas? Does what I’m asking make sense?

      3/29/11 @ 8:20 pm

      I’ve never tried to do that. So if you select ALL it doesn’t select all of the audio clips, just all of the video ones? That’s odd.

    Randy Shetler
    4/6/11 @ 10:10 am

    I am also trying to select all the audio clips and export them, to make a cd but but havent been able to find the path to do it. (imovie 11)

    Marcus Costantino
    4/6/11 @ 7:34 pm

    thanks for the videos I’ve learned a lot more about how to use my imovie. I do have one question though. I’ve been trying to figure out if there is a way to add a portion of songs from my itunes. I don’t want the beginning of the song but just the chorus. is there way to accomplish this simply using imovie 11?

      4/6/11 @ 11:04 pm

      Absolutely. You can select the audio clip in the project area and use the split command to break it up. Or, better yet, select it and bring up the clip trimmer (Command+R) and trim the audio clip.

    4/21/11 @ 7:41 am

    Gary — Great videos and thanks so much. I wonder if you can help. My audio clips in certain sections of my iMovie 11 project suddenly stopped working, even though volume is turned up. I’ve been dragging loops directly from Garageband as well as from iTunes. Apple tells me I have to start a new project, which isn’t helpful. Any clues?

      4/21/11 @ 8:19 am

      Hard to say. I would at least try to start a new project, like they suggested. Perhaps something is wrong with the current project.

    5/15/11 @ 12:56 am

    Hi Gary
    I’m work on a project with just pictures and sound.
    The problem with iMove 11 is that I have an audio track with a duration of 3:26, but I only need 1:20. From this point I would like to add a different audio track but iMove 11 does not allow too. It expect for me to fill the whole duration with pictures before i can add a different track.
    How can I make iMove 11 to allow me to add an other audio track after 1 minute and 20 seconds from the fist track.
    I hope I’m making sense. Not very good in expressing my thoughts through e-mail. Hope to hear from you soon.


      5/15/11 @ 3:38 am

      what u can do is add the other audio clip where u want it to be and then when they are overlapping u can mute the unwanted audio track with selection the unwanted section in it. Thus the audio which you require will stay and the other audio will not be heard.

      5/15/11 @ 9:54 am

      It sounds like you added that first audio clip to the whole project, not just a single clip. Remove that first audio clip. Then try adding it again, but to a specific clip so it appears under it as a single track.

    5/20/11 @ 10:54 am

    i have added about three songs to the project i am working on and it is exactly what i want but when i add the next song it will only add to a specific clip and i would rather it get added to the project background like the rest as i am changing the pics to go with the music? any ideas?

      5/20/11 @ 11:01 am

      Why not just add it to the clip? It will still go over many clips. Adding it to the background really doesn’t get you anything.

        5/20/11 @ 11:22 am

        for some reason when it gets added to the clip it will only let me have the track to the end of my pictures and i wanted it to extend beyond that.

          5/20/11 @ 11:23 am

          i guess i could just add a blank title to the end as well to get more from it.

            5/20/11 @ 11:36 am

            Ah, yes. You can’t have audio with no video. There has to be something to display visually, even if it is just a black picture.

              5/20/11 @ 11:52 am

              would that be why it made me add it to a clip because i didn’t have media to cover it?

                5/20/11 @ 11:55 am

                Probably. But you mean you didn’t have any video at all? Why make a video then? Just make audio.

    Peter Cole
    5/30/11 @ 2:42 am

    I don’t think you can ever know how much this instructional video means to me – it helped me compensate for poor sound quality of my 09 version, by using the ’11 version properly. One might have supposed that Apple would have made the changes clear, but it is absolutely not the case. Their instructions are nearly impossible to access and opaque when it comes to finding the subject you want. I was about to ditch the whole thing till I found you. Thank you very much!

    Brian Kullman
    6/28/11 @ 11:38 am

    I believe my issue is similar to what Pete said above. Basically I’m looking to add the entire audio track of 4:04 first and then add video clips on the timeline. Basically, I’m in the process of filming still and want to be able to add the clips I do have throughout the song which will help me determine whats clips I will need to fill in the blanks through the process. Hopefully this makes sense. Thanks for taking the time!

      6/28/11 @ 11:58 am

      Just add some placeholder video first and replace it later. That’s the closest you’ll get to what you want in iMovie.

    Linda Campanelli
    7/17/11 @ 9:57 pm

    I can’t seem to select a clip and then choose “detach audio”. The “detach audio” is always in grey — never in black, allowing me to select it. Any suggestions as to what I might be doing wrong? I’m trying to delete the audio from a project that I’m working on. Thanks.

      7/17/11 @ 10:16 pm

      Are you sure you are selecting it in the project area (top) and not your event (bottom)?

    Laura Enders
    8/10/11 @ 1:19 pm

    I am making a slide show with all photos but one short video clip. I have a song set to play through the entire slide show but want to insert a short section of another song for only about 10 seconds. Every time I drag the second track it won’t let me pin it anywhere, it just puts it at the end as though I have added it to the entire project as a background song and it just sticks it at the end. I keep deleting it and dragging it up to the exact spot where I want it but it never does anything different.
    Thanks for the video instructions… it helps a LOT!

      8/10/11 @ 3:25 pm

      Add it by dragging it on to a clip in the project. If you try to add it outside of a clip, it will think it is for the entire project. Do that for both pieces of audio.

    8/21/11 @ 2:34 pm

    Hi there! Is there a way to pause a track while playing other audio and then have it start up again after the audio is done? (I’m thinking of pausing the soundtrack for a short audio clip in the trailer feature – which I have converted to a project). Thanks!

      8/21/11 @ 2:42 pm

      You could split the audio clip, then move the second half forward. The clip would have to be a sound layer, not the single background audio for the entire movie. You could also simply lower the volume for the duration of the other audio. Might be a good effect to lower it, but not all the way.

        8/21/11 @ 2:58 pm

        Unfortunately it doesn’t have the option to split the clip.

          8/21/11 @ 3:14 pm

          Do you have this music in the project as the background audio? Or a another track? As background audio (large green area under everything) you can’t split the clip. But as a track (just drag and drop on to a video clip and it appears under it), you can Control+click and choose Split Clip.

    Steven Frisk
    9/5/11 @ 7:09 pm

    You are great, I have a major road block. I have done “voice over” audio from an external mic on 2 different “projects”. I am wishing to bounce (use) pieces of those PERFECT voice audio tracks between the 2 projects. I CANNOT recreate the magic this is why!!!!! I can “copy” a v.o. track but it will not let me “paste” it to another project.
    Video you can do this easily. Why such a simple yet terrible snag in Imovie 11! HELP!!!!

      9/5/11 @ 7:46 pm

      So you recorded a voiceover inside a project and you now want to move the audio track to another project? Hard to do. You’ve got to get creative. Here are some ideas.
      I would duplicate the project, then build the second movie around that duplicate — removing the other voiceover and video parts you don’t’ want
      Or, duplicate the project, eliminate all other audio except that the export it as audio only, and then import that audio into your new project.

        Steven Frisk
        9/6/11 @ 10:15 pm

        Thank you Gary, I see the approach and will try it, the 2nd idea you had above , can you please clarify it a bit? Thanks, Steve.

          9/6/11 @ 10:23 pm

          Create a duplicate of the project so that you aren’t altering the original. Then remove everything from the project except the voiceover you want to export, plus some video or a photo stretched over the length of the audio. The image isn’t important, but if it is a video, be sure to set the volume to 0 so only the sound of the voiceover is heard. Then export, use Export to QuickTime export, and export only the audio (Sound to AIFF setting). Then you have an audio file with just the voiceover that you can drop into another project or use any way you want.

            Steven Frisk
            9/7/11 @ 9:03 pm

            I see, treat the Q time mixdown as an announce track, not a music track, that is a creative approach, you are good! Will try it! May I ask one one puzzler? I have a CanonVixia HF R10 HD cam corder. I am running Mac. OS X 10.6.8. on my Intel I mac desktop. I can load video files but I have ZERO FILE INFO to go with the thumb nails. no numbering at all. Very troubling. Without my verbal slate on the clips have nothing to go by!@@## ! Any ideas how to remedy? Thanks, Steve

    Phyllis Snook
    9/22/11 @ 7:18 pm

    I am using IMovie 11 and have been able to put music in my slideshows but this is the first time that I am trying to add music to a video. When I try to drag the music or anything else, it will not allow me to do this. I cannot figure out what I am doing wrong. When I watched your video the other day, I was amazed at what I could do with the slideshow…but now I am really stuck with the video! Any help you can give me would be very much appreciated. Thanks, Phyllis

      9/23/11 @ 1:24 am

      Perhaps you are dragging the music to the wrong place? Make sure you drag it to the project area and over a clip that is there. Maybe try another music clip if one isn’t working. Experiment. Play around.

    10/5/11 @ 9:26 am

    When ingesting a tape I see two separate audiotracks (one cameramic, one handmic). Now I only want to use the audiotrack of the handmic, but how do I split the audiotracks?

      10/5/11 @ 9:37 am

      Not sure that you can. I’ve never even seen how two tracks are represented in iMovie. What happens when you use Detach Audio? Do you end up with two tracks?
      Maybe try bringing the video into GarageBand first. Then you may be able to delete a track and save it.
      I know you can do this in QuickTime 7 Pro.

        10/5/11 @ 10:04 am

        Hi Gary

        Thanks. Below the preview there are two audiobars which move independently from each other (each mic has its own bar). So Imovie sees the separate tracks but when I choose detach audio I only get one track.

          10/5/11 @ 10:07 am

          Interesting. But can you lower the volume of the tracks independently? You’ll need to experiment on your own on this since I can see what you are seeing.

    10/11/11 @ 7:11 pm

    Hi Gary,

    I am trying to copy the audio from my clip on iMovie 11 and post to a different clip. I know it can be done, because I took a class at the Apple store, but don’t remember how…
    Thank you in advance.

      10/11/11 @ 9:45 pm

      Many ways.
      Put the clip in the project. Then use Detach Audio. Then put the other clip in the project and drag the audio from the first to the second.
      Or, use the cutaway function for a different way.

    10/30/11 @ 3:01 am

    Hi Gary,
    Great videos!very helpful :)
    How can I use a video clip that is , say 2 min long and an audio clip that is , say 3 min long – I want the audio to continue after the last video has played.
    Regards Rohan

      10/30/11 @ 8:23 am

      You have to have SOMETHING showing on the screen in a video. There is no such thing as a “null” video. You can insert a still image if you want. Or, maybe a graphic of a back background. In fact, you can do that by inserting a title there, then choosing a black background. Then select and delete the title portion and keep the background. Then select and modify the background to extend it to 1 minute instead of 4 seconds.

        10/30/11 @ 8:54 am

        Hi Gary,
        Thank you so much for the speedy reply on a Sunday – My project is now well under way the way I want it :)
        Kind regards

    11/8/11 @ 11:26 pm

    Hey Gary, it looks like you’ve been able to help a lot of people!? I’ve been having problems with sharing a video where the audio’s been muted. I muted the clip, finalized the project, but when I’ve shared on YouTube the audio is back… Any thoughts?…

    Thanks! -s

      11/9/11 @ 7:48 am

      Export to a file first. Check it. Then upload to YouTube via the regular web interface, not directly from iMovie. Then at least you can start to figure out where the problem is. You can also use different export settings to see if you can fix the problem that way.

    Randy Auten
    11/25/11 @ 7:09 pm

    Gary, over the past several months, I have recently converted to a Mac. Your videos have been very instrumental in the transition. My question; I have recorded several videos of individuals lip-syncing and now I am trying to sync video parts back to the original song’s audio. Do you have any tips in doing so? Again, thanks for all your videos, tweets, newsletters, etc.

      11/25/11 @ 9:13 pm

      Just play around with it. Bring in the video, then drop the real song under it. Move it around to make it sync, assuming they were singing in real time along with the song.

    12/13/11 @ 11:41 pm

    I have recorded a video clip of a live song program.Audio part is perfect. I want to replace some blurry images with still images or voice-less video clip without disturbing original audio clip(song).I am in the process of editing iMovie11 project.
    Please advise me as how should I do?

    12/27/11 @ 5:25 pm

    I have been working on a composite of green screen video clips, with photo backgrounds and everything was fine. But now when I drag a video clip over the background the clip audio no longer plays. I’ve quit iMovie and restarted my Mac, which did not solve and the problem. Any suggestions. I appreciate your time and excellent videos.

      12/27/11 @ 6:06 pm

      Hard to tell. Check and recheck everything. Then try exporting to a file as the preview may not have the audio, but the final product might be OK.

    1/6/12 @ 11:48 am

    Fantastic article, I was 5 minutes away from buying a programme to do just what the article explained. Thanks.

    1/20/12 @ 10:35 am

    I’m trying to edit an audio track that I’m putting on a short video. The track is a spoken one, and I want to edit OUT the few ums and ah’s the speaker makes, and perhaps take a couple of sentences out of the middle. So far all the audio editing help I’ve seen addresses clipping off the front or end, or aligning separate tracks, not taking a short bit OUT of an existing track. Can you please help?

      1/20/12 @ 10:56 am

      I would take the track into GarageBand first where it is very easy to edit.

    1/31/12 @ 8:31 am

    Hello, when creating a trailer, can I change the audio? to use both audio from video clips (talking) and music (Itunes)?

    Kind thanks,

    Phil Villeneuve
    2/2/12 @ 8:32 am

    Hi everyone,
    I’m having a very hard time importing a song from iTunes to soundtrack my video in iMovie 11′ basically iTunes won’t open in iMovie so that I can even choose a song to use… I’ve been waiting hours and nothing.
    Any hints?

      2/2/12 @ 9:37 am

      There are many ways to import music into iMovie. You can use the Media browser, but if you’re not sure how to do that you can always control+click on the song in iTunes and select “Show In Finder.” Then drag and drop the song from the Finder into the Project area (not Event media area) of the video you are working on.

    Susan Dixon
    3/5/12 @ 8:07 pm

    Hi Gary, Thanks for your very helpful video, but I’m wondering if you can change the EQ or effects of one or more sections of your audio track. I’ve tried to isolate a section to do this but it always goes to the full track when I go to change it in the inspector. Thanks!

      3/5/12 @ 9:56 pm

      You can always split the audio and move parts to other tracks.

    Susan Dixon
    3/5/12 @ 8:24 pm

    Hi again, I was also wondering if there is anyway to fine tune the sync between audio and video. In one part of my video the audio is very slightly out of sync with the speaking in the video. I don’t seem to be able to move the audio or video that very little bit to sync them. Also wondering what the best way to share my project to You Tube is? Thanks again

      3/5/12 @ 9:57 pm

      Just split the audio, zoom in, and move it slightly.
      Best way to upload to YouTube, IMHO, is to use their web interface.

    3/6/12 @ 11:34 am

    It seems that iMovie 9.0.4 has an audio bug. I teach high school and my students are working on projects in iphoto. One of my students has experienced this “bug.” After having worked on the project for a while, any newly added audio doesn’t play (acts as if it is muted). This happens for voice over audio or audio brought into the project from a file unless it is put in the background. Although he has done a lot of work already, he still has numerous voice overs to do to complete his project. The voiceovers and audio in the project before yesterday work, but now anything newly added doesn’t. Starting over is not an option. Any suggestions?

    3/22/12 @ 6:49 pm

    I am trying to cut/trim a song, similar to audio. Is there a way to do this? Thanks!

      3/22/12 @ 8:42 pm

      You mean you want to shorten the audio? Sure. Just detach it from the video and drag the right side of it to the left.

    3/23/12 @ 8:32 am


    So I record video straight into iMovie. When I go back to edit it later I sometimes find the audio is off. Not from the beginning but like a couple minutes in and it’s off for the entire movie until you get to about the last minute of the film.

    Is there any way to fix this??? I tried going in and selecting the section that is off and splitting the clip, detached the audio and moved it over but it doesn’t work for the whole thing. It tends that I have to go in and separate more clips over and over again…. is there any easy fix to this???

      3/23/12 @ 8:58 am

      I haven’t experienced this problem, so all I have are suggestions.
      Some people have reported that this is a matter of the original video that iMovie recorded having audio that is not locked to the video. Try finding the original source video on your hard drive (in iMovie events) and running it through MPEGStreamclip or the like. The result might be a better source file that has locked audio.

    4/3/12 @ 2:34 am

    Thanks for your great video. Also I want to ask that how could you put your video to the upper left side? And also can I use a video first and after that I want to show a photo without interruption. I mean I want to use the sound of the video but first I want to show the scene.

    terry pickard
    4/10/12 @ 10:16 am

    hello Gary, love you’re stuff. very informing. I am trying to split audio channels. I only want to use channel one of an interview, can;t find where that might be. Thanks so much

      4/10/12 @ 10:26 am

      Do you mean channels: left and right? If so, just set the balance for the stereo channel. You may need to do that in GarageBand.

    5/3/12 @ 6:35 pm

    Great site Gary! Love the spot on advice! I have a current project in iM’11 and pinned music clips (.caf files) I have added are between 1-2 min each, but they only play for about 20 seconds and abruptly end. Audio waveforms show an immediate drop and the remainder of the green pinned clip is still there for the entire duration, but without sound. I have no fades on the clip or in the project so I’m puzzled why each music clip I add cuts off like that. Any ideas?

      5/3/12 @ 6:47 pm

      Never experienced that problem. Perhaps convert the audio files to something else, like aiff or mp3 files.

        5/4/12 @ 7:13 am

        When I converted it to aiff IT WORKED! mp3 did not. Still puzzled the caf would not work, but glad that it worked. These caf files I am using are from the 2007 Soundtrack Pro software. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

    5/6/12 @ 4:23 pm

    I am trying to keep audio playing in an imovie 11 project underneath a photo i am inserting. ex: the woman in my movie is talking about her child and i want to have her keep talking over the photo of her child that i am inserting. right now, audio drops out for the 4sec default that the picture is up. any suggestions? thank you!!

      5/6/12 @ 6:24 pm

      So the picture continues, but the audio stops? Is the audio finished playing, or is there more? If there is more, you should be able to drag the right side of the audio to the right to extend it.

    5/22/12 @ 3:38 am

    I used to have this problem with an older iMovie, and thought I’d solve it with iMovie ’11, but it’s there again.
    I’m creating a project with LOTS of audio clips (music, voice overs, detached audios over other clips, sound effects (sometimes multiple sounds for one clip). All works well for awhile, but at a certain point, it’s as if it’s bogged down, and the sound starts to crackle/pop when listening to tracks. It makes it progressively more difficult to edit. I’m less than 20 minutes in of a 45/50 minute video.

      5/22/12 @ 6:35 am

      Are you having the problem in the preview? Or have you tried exporting? Export to see if the problem is really there, or just your Mac having trouble creating a real-time preview with all of that going on.

        5/22/12 @ 10:34 am

        It’s just in preview I think (or that’s how it was before). I have to find a work around for the preview though, or else I can’t create it. Is there a way to… I dunno , blend (?) audio files into 1 file? I think I did that last year on the old iMovie – granted it made for a nightmare of making sure voice tracks were synced up.

          5/22/12 @ 4:53 pm

          Why can’t you create it? Preview is a quick real-time render of your project to help you put things together. Use it as best you can and then export to check.

            5/22/12 @ 7:06 pm

            I mean – I am only 20 minutes into about a 50 minute movie. I can’t hear how the audio sounds, etc. in the preview as it is SO distorted.
            I had a thought to export the project, and could then start a new project with the .mov I created, and add to it – less audio files, less distortion. However, I’ve run into a problem I had previously ( a project back in March) where in the last seconds of the exporting it shuts down and closes. So, now I’m trying to solve that problem…

              5/22/12 @ 7:49 pm

              One thing you can do is to convert the audio to a simpler format (assuming they are large files now). Convert them to mp3 or aiff files to make them easier for iMovie to render. Same for video. Hard to say if this will work as I don’t know what you have now.

    6/6/12 @ 2:55 pm

    I have created quite a few projects in imovie now and have the same problem some times and not others. I can’t adjust levels to background music on second and subsequent songs added to project. I have the same song playing three times over in the project and I can fade the song under when my first video plays. I want to bring music back up for 10sec. in the second playing. I can adjust the level for the whole song but not a section. Any ideas? Does it matter if the clip is pinned?

    6/17/12 @ 11:40 am

    I recently upgraded from iMovie 09 to iMovie 11 and when I detach the audio from a clip, the sound disappears and I’m left with a detached audio that is just silent. I tried turning up the volume, but there is nothing there. Ducking is off. I never had a problem with this before I upgraded. What could be the problem?

      6/17/12 @ 1:43 pm

      I’m not sure. Never seen that happen before. Maybe try again? Reimport the clip? Try different things and experiment.

        9/4/12 @ 1:51 pm

        Just as a follow up to my problem, I noticed that I had most of my video clips in one event. When I split them up into smaller events, this seems to have solved all of the problems that I was having with iMovie.

    6/19/12 @ 10:17 pm

    Hi Gary,
    This guy has the same question as I do (from 3/29/11), but I don’t think it got answered.
    Hi Gary. Thanks for this video. Do you know of a way to select multiple audio clips?
    I’m trying to copy the contents of 3 projects into one new project. I can duplicate them, but that doesn’t help me tether them all into the same project. Copying the video clips are easy, just “select all”, copy and paste into the new project. But the audio clips can only be selected one at a time as far as I can tell.
    Any ideas? Does what I’m asking make sense?

      6/20/12 @ 7:51 am

      I think that’s all you can do. But perhaps it varies according to the type of audio clip (voiceover recorded in iMovie, as opposed to an import audio file).

    6/28/12 @ 8:42 am

    Hi Gary, I ‘m just learning how to make a viedeo, your tutorials are great!!
    I’m making a movie existing out of a serie of pictures on which I added text. On a certain moment I want to change the music. I understand I should bring the volume to 0 of the first song and let start the second song. But the green or purple box of the 1st song overlaps the whole space, the second song can only begin where the first is ended. How do I let them overlapse?

      6/28/12 @ 10:07 am

      Sounds like you have added the music as the background to the entire video. Remove it. Instead, add it UNDER the video as an audio track.

    Bob Krist
    9/1/12 @ 2:23 pm

    Hi Gary: Really enjoy your instructional videos. I have a seemingly simple, but annoying problem with iMovie 11. Often times, I would prefer to drop a music bed in the time line first and lay B roll over it, often getting the feel for what I’m looking for by the feel of the music.

    But with iMovie11, the soundtrack only extends out as far as the last clip. Is there any workaround for this, other than what I do now, which is to find one long clip and just throw it in the line so the music will extend and then insert clips inbetween.

    Is there a better way? Thanks!

      9/1/12 @ 2:39 pm

      You’re doing it the way I would — though I would use a simple black background instead of a clip. Same idea.
      iMovie is great for some things, but for more creative work Premiere or Final Cut are better — I use Final Cut all the time and would certainly do work like this in it, not iMovie. But there is the price tag…

    10/5/12 @ 9:08 am

    Hi Gary, I stumbled across your site when doing a support search for some issues with audio I’m having. Your videos are great! I noticed another user posted a similar problem. I’m creating a cinematic styled video with short clips from a wedding, with music playing in the background. I use songs downloaded from itunes or song freedom and when I play them in the background, the audio is crackling/ popping. I did detach most of the audio from the other clips and did some minor enhancing on audio of the vows and such but other than that- its just music. I have not tried to export it, I just find it extremely annoying to work on a project with crackling sound. Can you help me?

    Thanks so much!

      10/5/12 @ 9:12 am

      What happens when you play the sound file outside of iMovie? Like in iTunes or QuickTime Player? Is the crackling there then?
      What type of file is it? mp3? aif? Something else? Have you tried converting it to something more standard if it is not?
      Have you tried exporting from iMovie to make sure that the crackling isn’t just an issue during the quick “preview” mode in iMovie?

    Steve Cantrell
    11/8/12 @ 12:23 am

    Hi Gary,
    Thanks for this wonderful website and all that you teach us all!!!

    I have a question regarding audio in iMovie. I need to bring in audio from another source, (I was thinking my iPhone), into iMovie.

    My question is; can I record a video and only use my voice, therefore not use the video I just shot?

    Also, do you recommend microphones, such as the “Blue Mikey”?

    Maybe do a video on this???

    Thanks again,

    Steve Cantrell

      11/8/12 @ 7:10 am

      There are many apps that let you record just audio on your iPhone. There is a voice memos one that comes with the iPhone. Or, you could shoot video, then strip out the video part either in QuickTime Player before you import it, or just import it and detach the audio in iMovie. Haven’t tried that mic you mentioned. I usually just use the Mic on the Apple headphones. But I suppose they could be better quality.

    11/30/12 @ 3:14 pm

    Gary, Can you please tell me how I can use the audio of a video clip for an entire movie but only use portions of the video. I want to put photos over other parts of the video while still keeping the audio. Learning to detach the audio is a step for me, but I still don’t know how to turn off the video in certain segments. Thanks.

    12/2/12 @ 10:57 pm

    Hi Gary,

    Very helpful video. I’ve been having an audio issue and I can’t seem to find help fixing it. Many times while I’m recording, my audio won’t sync up with my video. Like, my mouth will be two words ahead. I heard that detaching the audio works, but it didn’t help me at all. Any suggestions? It’s driving me bonkers. I never know when it will happen, but usually on longer clips.

    Thank you

      12/3/12 @ 7:52 am

      Depends on a lot of factors — what were you using to record, what format the video is in, etc. I would try converting the video in something like MPEG Streamclip to another mp4 format to see if that helps.

Comments Closed.