Forum Question: Editing detached audio in iMovie

In my old version of iMovie, I can detach audio and cut it separately from the video (e.g., when the video glitches, and I have to move the audio to make it match up again). In the newest version, that doesn’t seem possible. Would they really have gotten rid of such a useful feature?

As far as I can tell now, I have to make all my video cuts first, and then go back, detach the audio and hope I don’t have to cut anywhere else. I know I can probably do this editing in GB or Audacity, but why on earth should I need to use two programs?

Apologies if this is already in the forum and I couldn’t find it.


Comments: 9 Responses to “Editing detached audio in iMovie”

    7/3/10 @ 11:52 am

    You can definitely detach audio in iMovie 09. Select the clip and it is a menu choice. But I’m not sure what you are trying to accomplish. Not sure what you mean by a glitch or “make all my cuts first.” Perhaps you could explain exactly what you are trying to do and why?

      7/3/10 @ 12:00 pm

      The audio and video don’t line up. And there are a couple of interview questions I want to cut out. So if I detach the audio to line it up, and then cut the video where I want it, the audio is still left with no way to cut. But if I cut them both at the same time (not detached), I’m cutting audio I want with the video I don’t.

      In the old version of iMovie, I could split the detached audio clip the same way I could do the video.

        7/3/10 @ 12:06 pm

        I think the first thing you should do is to line up the audio. Why is it out of sync? A camera problem?
        If you edit the source video in GarageBand, you can edit the audio, line it up, and export it again. Doing this does not affect the video so you don’t lose quality. Then you can start editing your video in iMovie with audio that works right.

          7/3/10 @ 12:11 pm

          I think it’s out of sync because of the conversion, but I’m not sure since I can’t look at the original clip. I think I’ll just use the old version of iMovie since I’ve spent hours converting all of this and am way too frustrated to learn Garage Band at this point. Just seems like a really dumb feature to remove when they made everything more complicated. iMovie used to be a really simple alternative to Avid and FinalCut, and now it has all these things I’ll never need, and none of the fun, simple stuff it did before. But I should be telling Apple, not you. :) Thanks for your help.

            7/3/10 @ 6:52 pm

            One option would be to try to convert it again, but use a different format — maybe the same video format, but a different audio one.
            As for using GarageBand to but it back in sync, it isn’t that hard. You don’t have to know much about GB. Just use the “Movie” project and drag and drop it in. See episode 307,
            I hear frustrations from iMovie 06 users about iMovie 08 and 09. But after working with both for many years, the 08 and 09 version is easier to use and you can get good results without as much work. I use it for every episode of MacMost Now.

    Emily Harmon
    8/31/12 @ 3:19 pm

    I have detached audio from one clip and dragged it under a still. The audio does not play after detachment. There is no sound. Have you experience this/can I fix it?

      8/31/12 @ 4:26 pm

      By after, so you mean after the still’s time period is over? So when the video has run out of something to visually show? You’ll need to extend it by making the duration of the image longer, or adding a blank image or background — there has to be something visual for there to be video. Otherwise, it is like dividing by 0.

        Emily Harmon
        9/3/12 @ 5:18 pm

        I don’t think I explained properly. I want to lay b-roll over audio from a video interview. I detached the audio from the video interview. Even while it is still under the original video, the audio does not work while detached.

          9/3/12 @ 5:25 pm

          Not sure why it wouldn’t work. Never ran into that. Hard to troubleshoot remotely — just play around with it and try different things. Maybe a first hand help (Genius Bar, etc) if you are still stuck.

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