Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Editing to the beat

From: iMovie 11 Essential Training

Video: Editing to the beat

In iMovie '11, you can synchronize your video clips, photos, and titles to specific points in your audio tracks. This makes it super-easy to edit your video to music, or to make sure a cut happens exactly when a music cue or sound effect occurs. And you accomplish this by adding beat markers. As an example, let me show you how you can quickly create a photo slideshow set to music. Let's create a new empty project first, so I will choose File > New Project. I will choose no theme. I will call it Snap to Beat, set to Widescreen, 24 frames per second, and I will click Create.

Editing to the beat

In iMovie '11, you can synchronize your video clips, photos, and titles to specific points in your audio tracks. This makes it super-easy to edit your video to music, or to make sure a cut happens exactly when a music cue or sound effect occurs. And you accomplish this by adding beat markers. As an example, let me show you how you can quickly create a photo slideshow set to music. Let's create a new empty project first, so I will choose File > New Project. I will choose no theme. I will call it Snap to Beat, set to Widescreen, 24 frames per second, and I will click Create.

Now, let's look for some music. I am going to go to my Music pane, and I have Jingles selected in the iLife Sound Effects folder, and again, we can just sample some music here. (music playing) Okay, we will go with that one. Now this is going to be my background music, so I will just simply drag it into my Project pane. So now that I have an audio clip in my project, let's add the beat markers. I am going to click the audio clip's Action menu and choose Clip Trimmer, and now I see my audio waveform at the bottom of the window.

Now, it's just the matter of figuring out where I want the cuts in my video to occur by adding beat markers. Now there are a couple of ways of doing this. Give this a listen again. (music playing) So let's say I want a rapid fire succession of photos during that opening drum fill. Now, I can see where those hits are occurring by looking at the peaks on the waveform in this area, and I can add a beat marker by right-clicking or Ctrl+Clicking and choosing to add beat marker. So there is the first hit right there, so I will right-click, and I can choose add beat marker. You can see that puts a little marker with a tiny dot in right there.

I can do that again where this hit occurs, or another way I can do this is to drag a beat marker in, which is this little Note icon here. Simply just drag it and I can put that right where the next hit occurs, and I can quickly add a couple more here. But personally, if you are trying to sync your video to a music track, I think the best way is to tap out the beat markers in real time along with the music. As long as you have a decent sense of rhythm, this is the fastest and most fun way to add beat markers. All you have to do is let the music play and press the M key on your keyboard-- that's M, as in music--each time you want a beat marker to appear.

Let me show you how this works. I am going to play the music from the beginning, and I am going to press the M key periodically, and you'll see the beat markers appear as I add them. (music playing) Okay, so I went a little bit crazy at the end there, but let's go with it.

Now that I have my beat markers, I can add my photos to create my slideshow. First, I will click Done to close the Clip Trimmer. Next, I am going to go to the View menu and make sure Snap to Beats is checked, which it should be by default. Now, I am going to go to the Photos pane, and in here I can access my iPhoto Library, and let's grab the photos from my album of beach photos. I imported these in an earlier chapter. So I am just going to select the first one, hit Command+A to select them all, and I am just going to drag them all into my project. If you don't have your photos in iPhoto, you can also just drag them in from a Finder window. So it's now adding the photos to my project, and just like that, you can see that iMovie has automatically aligned each photo with the beat markers I added.

Let's see how it turned out. (video playing) Pretty cool! Now, I actually ran out of photos before I ran out of music, so you can see that's why it faded at the end there. But how cool is that? There is no faster way than that to edit an entire slideshow to music.

Now, you don't have to drag all your photos in it one time like I just did here. If you don't have them all in an iPhoto album, or if you just want to put a little more thought into the order of the pictures, just browse through your photos and drag them in one at a time. They will still automatically line up to the beat markers you created, and this works the same for video clips as well. Dragging clips in from your Event Browser will automatically sync them to the beat markers. But also be aware that the clips will be trimmed to sync to the beats. So if you are dragging in a 10-second video clip, but there is only 5 seconds between beat markers, your clip will be trimmed to 5 seconds long. If there are times when you don't want your clips to be trimmed, just go to the View menu and deselect Snap to Beats.

The clips you drag into your project will remain the length they were when you dragged them into the project, but you will still be able to manually sync other clips and photos to your beat markers. Just keep in mind that you can also sync titles and even other audio clips to your beat markers as well. Now, iMovie '11 also has a new effect called Jump Cut at Beat Markers, found under the Clip menu. This is an effect that automatically cuts the number of frames from your video footage, which makes the action look kind of jerky, but it can really look cool when it happens to the beat of background music. I am going to select all my photos, by selecting one and then hitting Command+A, and delete them from my project.

That keeps my background music there. I am also going to go to the View menu and deselect Snap to Beats because that will start trimming any video clips I bring in and that would conflict with the effect that I want to apply. Now, I am going to drag some video clips into my project. Go ahead and close my Photo pane here. So I am just going to select the entire waxing clip there. Let's grab all the boots footage here and the zipping up shot, maybe this one here, this one, and let's do one more here.

Now, you can see that my clips extend way beyond the length of the music, but that's okay because I am going to be cutting a lot out of them. Now unfortunately, you can only apply this effect to one clip at a time. So I am going to select my first clip and choose Clip > Jump Cut at Beat Markers, and from here I can decide how many frames I want to remove between 3 and 30 frames. The more frames you cut, the jumpier your footage will look. So I am going to go with 30, and right away, you can see that creates these separate clips out of that video. Let's play it so far. (video playing) So you can see that rapid succession of cuts.

Actually, I think that goes on a little bit too long after the cut, so let's select that last chunk of board waxing footage and just delete that. Now I will just continue adding this effect to the other clips. So on this next clip here, I will choose Clip > Jump Cut at Beat Markers, 30 frames, and let's see how that looks so far. (video playing) Probably too much there, too, so let's get rid of two of these boot-fitting clips. I'll select the zipping up clip here, 30 frames. Let's take a look.

(video playing) I like that so far. Let's keep going with this one. (video playing) Like that. Let's cut that last one there. Let's do this next one here.

(video playing) I'd like to see him throwing the board in there, so let's get rid of these two at the beginning, and then we have one more clip to split up here. Cool! Now let's see how this looks. (video playing) Not bad! Now bear in mind that you don't have to do this to your entire project like I am doing here.

It's probably a stronger effect if you only apply it to key moments of action. But I just wanted to demonstrate how easily and quickly you can add this effect. All right, so those are some very cool options you have for easily editing your project to the beat of your background music.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for iMovie 11 Essential Training
iMovie 11 Essential Training

55 video lessons · 50100 viewers

Garrick Chow
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 44s
    1. Welcome
      45s
    2. Using the exercise files
      59s
  2. 1m 6s
    1. Making sure you have the latest version of iMovie
      1m 6s
  3. 19m 13s
    1. Types of connections
      1m 58s
    2. Importing from a tape-based camera
      5m 40s
    3. Importing from a memory-based camera
      4m 8s
    4. Importing from a digital still camera
      3m 31s
    5. Importing from other sources
      2m 24s
    6. Capturing live action
      1m 32s
  4. 11m 55s
    1. Interface overview
      2m 8s
    2. The Event Library and Event Browser
      4m 9s
    3. Selecting and adding clips to a project
      3m 3s
    4. The toolbar
      2m 35s
  5. 23m 53s
    1. Organizing events
      4m 28s
    2. Rating clips
      3m 26s
    3. Advanced rating tools
      2m 34s
    4. Tagging with keywords
      5m 6s
    5. Automatically finding people in your clips
      2m 15s
    6. Moving events to a different hard drive
      2m 15s
    7. Deleting unwanted clips from your hard drive
      3m 49s
  6. 26m 40s
    1. Creating a new project
      2m 36s
    2. Adding clips to the project
      5m 46s
    3. Trimming and slip edits
      3m 40s
    4. Fine-tuning clips
      2m 6s
    5. Splitting clips
      3m 0s
    6. Cropping and rotating
      5m 11s
    7. The advanced Edit tool
      2m 14s
    8. Using a traditional timeline
      2m 7s
  7. 51m 55s
    1. Creating and adjusting still clips
      3m 22s
    2. Incorporating photos
      5m 48s
    3. Adjusting color
      5m 51s
    4. Using transitions
      9m 5s
    5. Adding titles
      4m 1s
    6. Using one-step effects
      2m 14s
    7. Stabilizing video
      5m 7s
    8. Using green screen effects
      7m 0s
    9. Creating movie trailers
      9m 27s
  8. 36m 21s
    1. Adjusting audio levels and position
      6m 8s
    2. Adding music and sound effects
      7m 15s
    3. Adding background music
      6m 48s
    4. Adding a voiceover
      5m 4s
    5. Extracting audio from other clips
      2m 58s
    6. Editing to the beat
      8m 8s
  9. 35m 11s
    1. Exporting to iTunes
      4m 58s
    2. Exporting to the Media Browser
      3m 37s
    3. Sharing to iDVD
      51s
    4. Publishing to a MobileMe web gallery
      4m 26s
    5. Publishing to YouTube, Vimeo, and iReport
      4m 39s
    6. Publishing to Facebook
      2m 49s
    7. Exporting QuickTime movies
      2m 29s
    8. Exporting a project for Final Cut
      2m 26s
    9. Changing published projects
      57s
    10. Finalizing your project
      2m 5s
    11. Moving a project to another Mac
      5m 54s
  10. 41s
    1. Goodbye
      41s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed iMovie 11 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.