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In iMovie '11 Essential Training, author Garrick Chow illustrates the process of creating high-quality video using iMovie '11. The course covers the entire post-production process, from importing audio, video, and still images to adding effects, creating trailers, and sharing your finished projects on social networks. Also included are tutorials on adjusting audio levels, automatically identifying clips that include faces, and using green screen effects. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now let's look at how to add background music to our iMovie project. Now previously, I added this Greasy Wheels music to my project, but the method I used was to drag it into my project and attach it to one of my clips, and again this means that if I drag the clip anywhere, all the audio moves with it. Let's undo that. But what I want is some music that plays from the beginning of my project and won't be moved if I shuffle my clips around. So first of all, I am going to select that Greasy Wheels Long music and delete that. That way it won't conflict with the music I am going to bring in. So to add background music to your iMovie project, you can either drag it in from a Finder window on your Mac or browse through the Music and Sound Effect browser, which gives you access to your iTunes library, any Garage Band songs you have composed, as well as to the iMovie and iLife Sound Effects folders, which again contain hundreds of sound effects and musical pieces.
If you're dragging in your own music, just note that it has to be a QuickTime- compatible format like an MP3, AIF, or AAC file. In this case though, I am just going to go into the iLife Sound Effects folder and look in Jingles, which is where you will find the majority of the music, and again you can sample through just by double-clicking on some music. (music playing) I think I am going to go with that one.
So to make a sound a background sound, you have to drag it into your project as before, but instead of dragging it on top of a clip or between clips, drag it into an empty area of the Project pane, until you see the background of the pane turned green. Then drop it. That makes it a background sound. You can see it's listed right here. So our background sound is represented by this green area, showing exactly how much of our project it will cover. In this case I picked a song that's just a little bit shorter than my footage, but we will address this momentarily. Let's play the project from the beginning and give it a listen. (video playing) So you get the idea.
Now, that's how you add background music. Now, if have the issue I have where your music is not long enough to cover all of your footage, you can always drag in additional music or the same song again. But bear in mind that the background music will only extend as far as your last piece of footage and then stop. So if I take this last piece of footage here and delete it, notice that my background music only goes to the end of the last clip. (video playing) So you can see iMovie automatically faded out at the end of that clip.
If you want your music to continue to play over say a black screen at the end of your project, you will have to drag in more footage or a still image and set its duration to however long you want the music to play. Now in this case since iMovie cut off the music you can hear that fade at the end-- (video playing) --which sounds a little abrupt to me, so again, all I have to do in this case is make sure my waveforms are showing, again using this button here, and I can go to the end of the background music clip and you can see it's waveform here. I am just going to extend that fade a little bit, so it's a more gradual fade.
(video playing) So that sounds a little bit better to me to have that slightly longer fade there. Remember, you can also fade in tracks at the beginning as well. If I go find the waveform here, I have a slightly longer fade-in. (video playing) I think that waxing is a little out of the beginning, so I am going to drag its waveform down.
(video playing) Now, if you only want to use a piece of the music clip--maybe you'll only need the first few seconds--you can trim the audio file just like any other clip, by clicking the clip's Action menu and going to the Clip Trimmer, and here you can adjust the ends of the clip to trim off the beginning or the end. You can even drag to move the selection area, and so let me exaggerate this clip a bit little more, so you can see what I am doing here.
So if I drag, you can see both the beginning and end points are moving. This is lot like slip editing a video clip in the sense that I'm changing which parts of the song are going be played, but the length of the clip is going to be exactly the same as I am moving it. I'll just go ahead and undo that, by dragging everything back to the beginning and end. Now, there were probably be times when you want a lock a piece of music or sound effect to a specific part in your project. Maybe you're using one of the cartoon sound effects during a shot where someone slips on the floor or something, or maybe you want to make sure some dramatic music plays when someone enters a shot.
In that case, you need to pin the background music to the clips. Now, the way to do this is to click anywhere in the background music and then drag it slightly to the right or left. Notice that turns the clip purple, and you can see a little pin icon has appeared in the upper left-hand corner of the background music. So I also want to make sure this music starts with the second clip, I just drag until it locks up at the beginning of that clip and then release. And with the background music pinned to this particular clip, no matter where I move this file, the background music will remain with it, like so. Let me undo that.
So this is similar to having the audio attached to the clip like we saw previously, but this is done with background music. And again, this can be very useful when you want to make sure the music comes in at a very specific point. Now if you accidentally pin your music-- and it's not that difficult to do; all you have to do is accidentally click on the background music and drag slightly right or left-- you can either immediately undo it with Edit > Undo, or if you miss that chance like I just did since I already did something else, you can choose Clip > Arrange Music Tracks. And here you can select the music under Pinned Music Tracks and choose Unpin Track. That moves it to the Floating Music Tracks area.
Now while we are in here, this is also where you can rearrange the order of your background music. Music is added to the background in the order you drag it in. So if I had multiple background music tracks in here, I could drag them and move them around. So as an alternative to deleting all background music and dragging them in again in a different order, you can simply select and drag your tracks into your preferred order here. I am going to leave everything the way it is, since I only have the one song here, and click OK, and you can see now my background music is back to being regular background music. And if you want to get rid of background music altogether, you just select it and hit the Delete key on your keyboard. Of course my Clip Trimmer has to be closed first, and I could hit Delete to delete the background music.
I kind of like having it there though, so I am going to choose Edit > Undo Remove Music. And that's how you work with background music in iMovie.
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