MacMost Now 639: Using GarageBand To Apply Audio Effects In Videos

While iMovie doesn't really have any audio effects, its sibling app GarageBand allows you to take video clips, or an exported iMovie video and apply all sorts of effects. You can change voices, echo, distort, and so on. You can apply the change to the whole video, or only a portion. You can use the same techniques in regular audio projects.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMostNow. On today's episode, let me show you how to apply audio effects to videos using GarageBand. So in GarageBand, I want to choose a new project and then chose ‘Movie' and create the project. I‘ll just stick with the default name there. Once I have it created, I'll be able to drag and drop the video that I've got in here. So I'm actually going to drag from the ‘Finder' here. I've got this one; I'm just going to drag it there. You can also use the media browser too, if you prefer that. So now I've got my video there and I'll just add some plain audio from the last episode- "Hi, this is Gary with MacMostNow." So now I want to apply an effect to that. The first thing I want to do is to choose the audio. There you see I can't really do anything with the video in GarageBand but I can choose the audio and I can see the audio*below if I want. I can also click on the ‘I' button right here and get information about that track. Then I can go to ‘edit' and I can see the effects that are applied. Now there is no effects applied right here because they haven't been turned on. I can turn them on and off like that. Let's add another one here and turn it on. What I'm going to do is that I'm going to use something very simple, the Vocal Transformer. You can see by default, it's on. And I can then choose one of the many default settings in here. So for instance, I can make myself sound like a chipmunk. So with this Vocal Transformer- Chipmunk on, I can now play and get the result. There's lot more you can do than just a simple effect like that. You can actually go in and change this as much as you want. I'm just going to double click on the icon there and I can see that I've brought up a bunch of different things here. I can switch over to all of these and see the different settings. Basically it's a pitch change here. I can basically go to ‘Manual' and then change it as I want. Same is true for any effect you want to apply. So for instance, let's go to ‘Echo' and I turned off that one. We can hear the Echo here. And I can double-click here and actually change the echo time, repeat, all sorts of different things. Now suppose you want to apply the effect only to a portion of the video, that's going to take more work because an effect will apply over the entire track. And since the entire sound track for the video is in one track in GarageBand, you have no choice but to apply it to everything. But, we can split the video out. Let's create some splits here. Command T will do it. Let's take this portion here, let's say the middle portion. That's the one that I want to apply the effect to not the ones before or after it. So I'm going to create a duplicate of the current track, which won't copy these over but I can select them all, copy and then go down to this new track and paste them all in. This will allow me then to align them so that they perfectly match in there. And I can delete the tracks like so. So, I have all the audio tracks like before. You just don't notice from this track to this track for this portion here. Now I can choose this track and apply an effect, like say, ‘Monsters' and now when I play it, the first portion will be normal then it will go to Monsters and then go back. Now all you have to do is ‘Save' to save the new audio over the old audio on that same clip. So there are two ways to work with this if you're using iMovie. One is to take your original clips and edit the audio like this. Then take those saved clips out of GarageBand, bring them it into iMovie and start your video editing. The other is to do the opposite. Just do all your editing in iMovie and when you're done with the project, export it, share it at the quality that you want and get the final video. Bring that into GarageBand and edit the audio and then save it out. So hope you found this useful. Till next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 9 Responses to “MacMost Now 639: Using GarageBand To Apply Audio Effects In Videos”

    12/5/11 @ 10:44 am

    Thanks for the videos. I had no idea this was possible – very cool!

    12/6/11 @ 1:46 am

    You may already know this but theres an easier way to use Garange Band to edit videos while they are still in iMovie. I’m using 09′. I wanted an orchestra loop for my ending credits. I started a new project in Garage Band and dragged the loop into the editing field. I then simply saved the project and named in. I went back into iMovie chose music and clicked on the drop down until I got to my Garage Band folder with all my saved projects. I finally dragged this loop onto my ending credits on my movie and edited there. Obviously you cannot do extensive editing as you would if you exported the movie to Garage Band and then edited but if you only need some snippets of music as I did it works great and you can keep the movie in iMovie.

    I am making this movie to put on DVD for a christmas gift. I know that DVD’s are all SD but whats my best option for exporting? And finally will the project still be saved in iMovie once I’ve exported or “shared” it.



    12/6/11 @ 1:50 am

    I forgot a step. When you click to drag the saved loop onto your movie in iMovie it will prompt you that you didn’t save the project with an “iLife feature” and do you want to be directed to Garage Band to save it correctly. I clicked yes and it did not send me to Garage Band but “converted” the saved project and the icon changed to a guitar and was then available to use in iMovie.

    Bob Fox
    12/12/11 @ 10:46 am

    Great tip! Loved the interactivity of mac apps and your tips.

    mike arzan
    12/27/11 @ 2:14 pm

    very nice videos.they helped me a lot to learn and doing my projects.
    what kind of screen capture app. you are using.

    mike arzan
    12/27/11 @ 5:14 pm


    Mr Anthony Cotton
    1/4/12 @ 2:16 pm

    Is there a tutorial for beginner`s about Garageband. I used it for the fist time,and it was great. I was only trying the guitar`s and i created by accident a peace that really sounded good to me anyway. I saved it. I tried it again,but this was a disaster ,and it just got worse.

      1/4/12 @ 3:45 pm

      You can always click on the “Videos” link at the top. Then look for a video by category. In this case you would come to a page that would list all of the MacMost GarageBand videos:

Comments Closed.