7/9/209:00 am iMovie For Mac Audio Tips And Tricks There are many ways to control audio from your video clips or effects and music you bring into your projects. Learn how to control volume throughout the track, apply effects and more. 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 look at variety of iMovie audio tips and tricks. If you use iMovie you're going to want to know about these. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 700 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 to work with audio in iMovie you want to make sure that you can see the wave forms in your Timeline here. You can see the waveforms at the bottom of these video clips. If you don't see those go to Settings and there make sure you have Audio Show Waveforms checked. Now there's a variety of ways you can have audio in iMovie. One is just like this. The audio that comes with a video track. You can also have recordings, sound effects, and music. You can do that in here by going to Audio. Then you could select from Music, Sound Effects, or if you have GarageBand. What you see here is going to depend upon what you have installed on your Mac. The way I prefer to do it is to actually go in and drag and drop audio files from the Finder. So, for instance, I can drag and drop this little sound effect. It's just a file in the Finder. I can drop it and it appears here underneath the video. Also if you're adding music you can drag and drop an audio file and do the same thing. But you could also go all the way to the bottom and there's a special area underneath a little black line there that's the background music area for a soundtrack. It's up to you whether or not you want to use it there or have it be just one of the audio tracks here. One of the main difference is, you see this little connector lines here, so anytime you have one of those it's connected to that point in the video. So if I were to like move this video over here you can see how the audio follows it. Whereas if I put the music here at the bottom you can see it's not connected to anything. It just starts here at the beginning of the video. So now on to the tips. My first tip is Automatic Levels. You could see here how this first video has a lot of audio. There's a lot of noise in this. The second video is pretty quiet. You hear the audio drop off significantly as you go from on clip to the other. You could fix that by Auto Leveling everything. So select this clip here and then go up here to Controls and click on Audio. You can see there's an Auto button there. So I'm going to do it for this clip and then I'm going to select here and I'm going to do it for this clip as well. It brings this level up here a little bit so it's not so drastic of a drop-off. If you've recorded people talking and you've got different levels because the microphones, maybe, changed position a lot this will help and make it sound like there hasn't been a change from one clip to the next. You can also adjust volume for each clip on your own. You could see the line here for each of these. You could simply click and drag that up and down. Now notice you'll see the corresponding change over here under Audio. You'll see this percentage here. You can go all the way up to 400% boost for the audio or cut it down to zero. So whether you drag the line or move this it doesn't matter. It's the same effect. Now if you need to fade audio in and out it's pretty simple using this line here. There's a dot at either end of the clip. You click on that dot and you drag to the right or to the left. You can see the curve there for fading in and fading out. Now you can also adjust volume throughout the entire clip. These are called Automation Curves. So you've got this line here. If you hold the Option key down and click on the line you get a dot. You need to click in various places and then you can drag the line between dots to increase or decrease the volume for an area. So if I wanted it to fade to silence here you can see how I created four dots, dragged the line between the middle two dots all the way down. That will fade out, be silent, and then fade back in. You can add as many of these dots as you want to get the volume levels you want throughout your clip. An important technique when editing audio is Detaching Audio. So this audio now is part of the video. But I can Control click on it and select Detach Audio. So also under Modify, Detach Audio. Now I get an audio track underneath the video. The video is now silent and this audio track is now separate. When you have it this way you can do lots of things. One of the things you can do is you can adjust when the audio starts. So if you have some audio that's not in sync with the video you can adjust it this way. It's best then to move this zoom line here up as much as possible so you can really zoom in very closely on this. Then you could move pretty much frame by frame and adjust the audio a little bit. Like that. Now you can also use this to do something called L-Cuts. L-Cuts are when you have audio continue to play even though the video clip has ended. So for instance here if I wanted the audio from this boat clip to continue playing a little bit into this next clip I could do that by shrinking the video down a bit. You could see the L shape here. Now this audio continues to play even when this new clip starts. I can fade out a little bit like that. This is an effect you see in TV and movies all the time. But when editing our home video in iMovie we usually don't think to apply it. Now if you use Cutaway you can do something called Ducking. This is when you have two pieces of audio competing with each other. You could have the cutaway take over and not have the audio from the video behind it kind of dominate. For instance if I were to move this video here into a cutaway instead you could see the video cuts away to this and then cuts back. If I select this here and then go to the audio control you could see I've got lower volume of other clips. I can select that and you could see how it automatically adds kind of an automation curve but without changing that line. This is very important if you've two camera angles. Like you're showing a scene and you're going to cutaway to the person who's talking about what they're looking at. Then you have the audio from the main video completely disappear and be replaced by the person talking. You can have both combined but you can simply have the main clip volume be lowered so that the audio in the cutaway clip can play over it and you can hear the person talking. Now you can apply lots of different effects to audio. You can do this either on the video itself and it will change the audio or you could do it on Detached Audio. One thing you could do is you can go and apply an equalizer here. One of the main effects here is to reduce the background noise. Just turn that on and then see how it sounds and adjust the percentage. What percentage sounds best really depends on what type of background noise there is and how loud it is and how consistent it is. So you're going to want to experiment with this. Now it can't work miracles. So if you have a lot of noise in the background you may not find that the audio gets any better. You also have an Equalizer here where you can choose various different things. So you can try voice enhancements for instance if the main thing is somebody talking but there's some other noise as well. You just turn that on and then the person's voice will be emphasized in the audio. Now another type of audio effect is here under Effects. You can go here and this is where you usually apply video effects. But there's also Audio effects that will work on the video or in this case, since I have audio selected, only audio effects are available. Select that and you have a variety of things. You can hear a preview each time you move over one. You can actually combine using the Equalizer, so go to Voice Enhance here, and Audio Effect and switch that on and have both going at the same time. But there's another way you can combine Audio Effects in a really creative way. You can't really stack two Audio Effects or two Equalizer changes on the same exact audio clip. But you can Option drag, or Copy and Paste to create a second copy of exactly the same audio. Since they're both in sync they sound fine. Just a little bit louder than normal since you basically have double the same audio. But you could select one and then go and apply Audio Effect to that and then select the other one and apply a separate Audio Effect to that one. The two will kind of combine and create a neat unique effect. So if you're looking to be really creative with audio you can try stacking copies and applying different effects to each one. Now one of the things you can do is you can speed up or slow down video. So I can select this. I can select the Speed control here and then I can change it, maybe, to make it faster. Let's go to 125% or maybe even slow it down. Go to like 75%. That actually slows the audio down as well. Now you can preserve the pitch so it doesn't have to go to a lower or higher pitch by using Preserve Pitch here. That will actually slow the audio down. So it's still slowed down but now it sounds still kind of normal. Just like the person is talking a lot slower. Adjusting the speed while preserving pitch also comes in really handy if you have some music that maybe is too slow or too fast. You can drag it down either just as a regular sound or into the music section below here and you can hear a little bit of it here. Now let's change the speed and make it a little bit faster. I'll do Custom 150%. Now you can hear it and it's faster but it is pitched too high. So I could hit Preserve Pitch. Now I get something that's pretty usable. When you're working with audio sometimes you make a lot of adjustments to one clip. So, for instance, I'll select this clip here. Let's go in here and maybe to Auto and maybe then go into Equalizer and change it to Music Enhanced and also go into Audio Effects and apply like an audio effect to it. Now if I want to do that in other clips I would have to go and repeat all those things. But you can actually do Edit, Copy, and then go to another clip. Then you can go to Edit and Paste adjustments and see that you have various different adjustments you can paste. So I could say Paste All of the Adjustment, or the Audio Effect and the Clip Filter and the Volume Control. If these were just audio tracks then you would notice when you Copy this and then go here under Paste Adjustments you could see only the audio adjustments are there. So it's very easy to use All or Option Command V to simply paste all the audio adjustments from one clip to another. So here's a handy tip. Let's say you bring in some video here but you only want to use the audio from the video. You can detach the audio and then of course move it underneath another clip. But you could save yourself some time by simply dragging it down underneath the video and it automatically becomes audio. Now you've got an audio track from the video track with just a quick drag and drop. So here's one last special effect I want to show you. You can reverse audio as well as video. If you select a video and then you go to the Speed control you can change the speed. But you can also reverse the video. Now the video runs backwards. If I were to detach the audio here I could also change the speed and indeed reverse the audio. Now it's doubtful that you're going to want to do this for an entire clip but if you zoom in you could select individual pieces. Easily use Command B to break apart the audio like that and then just simply reverse this one quick section maybe to have a word or phrase spoken backwards. So there's a whole bunch of different tips and tricks for using audio in iMovie. You can combine these and adjust them to create all sorts of interesting audio effects in iMove.Related Subjects: iMovie (132 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 13 Responses to “iMovie For Mac Audio Tips And Tricks” Mel Lyons 3 years ago Too much information at one time. You went too fast but I do appreciate the information. Debi Brening 3 years ago I have created a iMovie of my grandkids, it's 1 1/2 hours long. Do you have a video on what do I do now. Such as update to utube, in other words how do we view the movie? Thanks is advance for your help. Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Debi: To view it, you can just play it right in iMovie, or export it as a file and open that file in QuickTime Player. If you want to share it with someone else, then using a service like YouTube is one way to go. See https://macmost.com/sharing-private-videos-using-youtube.html You definitely don't want to try to send a video that big using email or anything like that. Pam Williams 3 years ago In reply to Debi, I would add save as QuickTime movie, then copy to USB. The USB can be inserted and viewed on TVs or receivers that have a USB port. Also, you can upload the QuickTime movie to a Google Drive (free) then enable sharing using the copy link then paste within an email and send to family/friends. They can view or download to their own computer as well as copy to a USB to play on their TVs. I would also mention how grateful I've been to Gary over many years for his MacMost Now tips. John F. 3 years ago Excellent tips. I thought I'd already figured out most of what iMovie does, but as usual, you've covered lots of new ground and great ideas. No real question here, I just wanted to comment on what an excellent job you do. You're not not just extremely knowledgeable about Macs, you're also a great teacher. Very organized, very clear, very good at explaining everything step-by-step. Pa will 3 years ago Hello and thank you Like to know how do I add music to pictures from a recording Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Pa: Just drag the music file into the timeline. Nicholas Manno 3 years ago Thanks, Gary. You never cease to amaze me with your knowledge. This post was extremely helpful. Do you have a tutorial on how to enhance the color saturation or contrast on a video? I do have to agree with Mel, this tutorial moved VERY quickly and required many pauses and rewinds. Still, a great job. Much appreciated. Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Nicholas: Just use the color controls in iMovie to adjust the image. Experiment with it. Gene 3 years ago A ton of information at once. Like drinking from a fire hose. :-) But we can always review the video. My observation is that you must have "Apple Blood" in you. You understand their software design philosophy so can reveal the many features in the application. Apple documentation certainly does not. I am again impressed. Question: How many audio tracks can be synced with the same portion of video clip? Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Gene: I've never tried to hit a limit with audio. Just try adding some and see how many you can fit. Of course you can always take a video into GarageBand and have tons of audio tracks there. Hal 3 years ago Fantastic video! As a newbie creating videos for my original music (mostly using stills with gobs of Ken Burns effects), this is really helpful. 2 questions: Keyboard shortcut to "rewind to beginning" (not "play from beginning"}? Can't find it anywhere. Since there is no "save as" command, it seems you need to duplicate the project every time you open it and edit there. Otherwise, everytime you quit imovie, all your edits are permanent, yes? Thank you! Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Hal: Home and End keys will work (If your keyboard doesn't have those, fn+left or fn+right are the substitutes). iMovie doesn't operate with "documents" so there is nothing to save. Changes are saved as you work. Comments Closed.