1/14/219:00 am How To Do an L-Cut and J-Cut With iMovie To make the audio in your iMovie projects better, try keeping the audio from a previous clip around for a short time while the next clip starts. You can also have the audio from the next clip start while still showing the previous one. Want to know more about how to use iMovie on your Mac?Check out this MacMost course! Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let's take a look at some creative audio techniques in iMovie. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 800 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So iMovie is a fairly simple video editor when it comes down to it. But you can do some complex things if you just know some tricks. Today I'm going to show you how to do two audio cuts called the L-cut and the J-cut. These are ways to make audio overlap from one scene to the next. First let's start with an L-cut. I'm going to show you here using some sample clips here. This first one just shows an airplane taking off. So let's go and trim that down here so it ends, kind of, just when the airplane is moving out of the frame and it's fairly noisy with the airplane engine noise. Now I'm going to cut to another location here and this is just a street with people walking by. Let me trim this a little bit so it's start off right away with the people walking by and lower the volume a bit. It's just some ambient noise of the street. Now when you play these two together it's kind of jarring going from one scene to the other. That's not how you typically see things when you're viewing say a movie or television show. It doesn't cut directly from one to the other. The picture may cut but the audio doesn't. Now I can simply add a transition to this like cross-dissolve. That would not only dissolve from one image to the other but also the audio. But still a fairly sharp cut. Let's take a look at using an L-cut to make this better. So the idea is here we want to have the sound of the airplane noise continue into the next scene a little bit. To do that in iMovie I need to detach the audio from this clip here. So with the clip selected I go to Modify and then Detach Audio. You can see Option Command B is the shortcut. You can also use the Context Menu, Control Click two-finger click on the trackpad or right finger click on the Mouse, and use Detach Audio there. Anyway you do it you're going to get the audio detached from this clip. Now remember this clip was a lot longer and we cut it down. So if I wanted to extend the audio now I can because the video continues for awhile. We just cut it here. So it plays even while the new clip has started. Let's have it cut off right around here and I'm going to add a FadeOut. See that little dot there. If I move my cursor over it so the cursor appears to be right and left arrow like that I can drag that dot to the left and have it fade. So it's going to cut to the new scene and fade the audio out. Notice the transition is between the video clip and the next video clip. It doesn't include the audio. Now let's listen to what it sounds like to go from one scene to the next. (Playing video). So that actually now feels a lot more like you would expect to see in a movie or television show. This is called an L-cut because of its shape. You can see the video here and then the audio continues. It forms an L. Now the opposite of an L-cut is a J-cut because the letter goes in the opposite direction. This is when we have the audio from the next clip come in before the video does. So I'm going to have a tranquil little scene here and this has some audio in it. Just the water lapping at the shore. I'm going to have that disturbed by a barking dog. Then we'll switch to the video of that dog. So here is the barking dog. You can see it goes from one to the other fairly sharply. It would be great to have those first barks appear while we're still in this scene and then cut to the dog barking. Doing this is a little more difficult because if you simply detach the audio here there is really no way to make this audio extend to the left. Even if I dragged the left side of this clip it's actually going to push the audio and make the audio out of sync. So here's what we're going to do instead. I'm going to Undo all the way back to when the audio is still part of the clip and I'm going to trim it to where I want. So I want to get rid of those first barks because they're going to play before the scene starts. Now that I've done that I can detach the audio, and the audio is still perfectly in sync but we're missing those first barks here. So what I can do is drag the left side of the audio track over and it will break with the left edge. But notice these are still connected right here. So the synchronization of the barks is still perfect except now we get these first two happening while this previous video is still playing. (Playing video). So this is the J-cut. It goes in the opposite direction to the L. If we want to take it a step further we could do both things here because it would be nice to have the sound of that water fade out a little more gradually. So I'm going to detach the audio for this clip. Notice I have both. Now I can extend this clip here and make it fade out gradually. Now our sound transition is complete. You can, of course, also have this sound fade in if you wanted to. With the barking it works perfectly to just have it start off at full volume. But other situations may call for it to fade in over time. So that's how you do the L-cut and the J-cut using just iMovie. Related Subjects: iMovie (132 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 2 Responses to “How To Do an L-Cut and J-Cut With iMovie” John M. 3 years ago Great info! Can you address how to increase the transition time? Thanks. Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago John: Do you mean the audio transition? Just have more of an overlap like I show. Comments Closed.