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iMovie '09 is a powerful video editing tool that is part of Apple's iLife suite. In iMovie '09 Essential Training, Damian Allen takes new and intermediate users through the steps to create professional-looking video. Damian covers the whole editing process, from importing audio, video, and image files to adding text and graphics. He also teaches several ways to share a finished piece with others. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now, some of the video you record will have very quite portions of audio and then there are the clips of your obnoxious Uncle Jerry who doesn't seem to be content unless he's shouting right under the camera's microphone. iMovie '09 includes plenty of controls for adjusting the volume of your individual video clips. Let's take a look. Here we have a clip with a lot of ambient noise, quite loud. (Crowd noises.) To adjust it, I move up the clip, from the Action menu I choose Audio Adjustments.
Now, just so you know, you can also access the inspector by clicking the Inspector button or more usefully, simply by double-clicking the clip. This launches the Inspector and then you select the tab you want to work with, in this case, Audio. Adjusting a clip's volume is as simple as dragging the Volume slider. Here, I'll drop it down to around 64% and hit the Spacebar to preview. (Crowd noises.) You'll also see an option to normalize clip volume.
This automatically increases the volume of quieter video clips to the loudest sound possible without distorting the sound. Now, in the case of this clip, the level is pretty loud, so it won't have much effect. (Crowd noises.) But in quieter clips, it can substantially raise the volume level. Now bear in mind that this will also increase any noise in the recording. So the result isn't always desirable. That's especially true if you have a lot of background ambient noise like wind or crowds. You can remove the normalization again with, of course, the Remove Normalization button.
A third way to adjust the volume is to apply a Fade to the start or end of the clip. When set to the default of Automatic, iMovie will match the duration of the fade to any transition applied before or after the clip. You can overwrite this setting by dragging one of the Fade Time sliders. Here I've added a 1-second fade to the start of this clip. I'll click Done and take a listen. (Crowd noises.) In an upcoming lesson, we'll take a look at one more way to change volume in iMovie, namely ducking, the process of automatically lowering the volume of background music when someone's speaking.
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