Improve Your Mac (Part 2) - Add Music To You Movies

11/29/2012 5:29:09 PM

A film would be very dull if you didn’t have a musical score to accompany it.

Skill level: take things further

It will take: 20 minutes

You’ll need: iMovie 9.0.7 or better, a project in progress, some music tracks on your Mac.

How many movies or television shows do you know that don’t contain any music? Music helps convey mood, makes an audience nervous and jumpy or relaxed and all fuzzy inside. Try watching a tense part of a movie without the sound on – you’ll find that you’re much less on the edge of your seat as you would’ve been with the music to guide your emotions.

iMovie is designed with musical scores in mind and it’s incredibly easy for you to add an audio track to your project and heighten the mood of your film with the right song or sound effect. But the way it handles sound can differ, depending on how you add that track in the first place. It’s possible, for instance, to add your music in such a way that it spans the entirety of your project, even lading automatically at the end, should your film be shorter than your chosen song. You can also add your track at a specific point in your movie, and even trim it to only use a portion of it.

Description: You’ll need: iMovie 9.0.7 or better, a project in progress, some music tracks on your Mac.

You’ll need: iMovie 9.0.7 or better, a project in progress, some music tracks on your Mac.

We’ll be showing you all of this in this tutorial. In the next issue, we’ll focus on iMovie’s sound effects along with how you can alter the volume of any audio track with great precision (be it self-contained or part of a video clip).

Quick look work with audio

1.    Close Section

To get rid of a music section, click on its Toolbar button or click on this little ‘X’.

2.    Waveforms

Reveal or hide your tracks’ audio waveforms by clicking on this button. Seeing waveforms can make it easier to trim a dip straight from the Project section without having to use the clip trimmer.

3.    Trimming

It’s easier to trim an audio track than it is a video clip from the Project section. AU you have to do is move the cursor to its edge and drag inwards.

4.    Play selection

When working in the Clip Trimmer, playa selection (the section bound by the two yellow handles on either side) by clicking on this button, to help refine your selection.

Add music to your movies

Description: Add music to your movies

Add music to your movies

1.    The Music section

Let’s start by gaining access to your music. With iMovie open and a project selected. go to Window> Music and Sound Effects to reveal the audio section, lower right. Or activate it by clicking on the toolbar’s music button.

2.    Browse through music

You have access to your entire iTunes library: click to see all your songs. By clicking on the small disclosure triangle to the left, you can reveal playlists. There’s also a search field to help narrow down your search. If you made songs in GarageBand, they’ll be available here too.

3.    Preview, add to project

To preview a song before adding it to your project: click to select it, then click the play button to the left of the search field. You can also control playback with the spacebar. Drag the track onto your film and release it when the entire project background turns green.

4.    Background music

Your musical track starts at the beginning of your film and lasts for the duration. If your film is longer than your song, you can add another song after that. It’s also possible to drag two songs from the Music section at the same time, but they’ll be added alphabetically

5.    Overlap

If you’d rather your second song started before the end of the first, drag that song over the first; its background turns purple to make it clearer where the second one starts and the first ends. iMovie also creates a gentle cross fade between the two tracks.

6.    Audio trimming

How do you get rid of any gaps before What if you want your audio to start at the start of a piece of music? Top-left of the music track is a small gear icon. Click it to reveal a menu. Choose Clip Trimmer to replace the Event section with your audio track. Use the yellow handles to trim the song and hit. Done.

7.    Another way

What if you want your audio to start at a specific point? You could drag the first track to the right, but there’s another way. Remove your music by selecting it and hitting the key. Next, drag a song onto your project, only this time, release it when it’s hovering over clip.

8.    Music banner

Your track now appears as a banner beneath your video, which you can move anywhere in your project You can also use the Clip Trimmer in the same way to only select a portion of the song you wish to use. Your track is linked to the clip above it.

Description: Your track is linked to the clip above it.

Your track is linked to the clip above it.

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