The Voiceover Tool and Detaching Audio in iMovie

show more Working with the voiceover tool and detaching audio provides you with in-depth training on Video. Taught by Abba Shapiro as part of the Creating a Vacation Video with iMovie show less
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Working with the voiceover tool and detaching audio

Now let's work with one of the basic elements you need when telling a story which is actually telling your story. So let's step into 03_01. The first thing we're going to do is we're going to look at the Voiceover tool, and then I'm going to show you how you can detach the audio from one of our video clips and use just the sound effects of the underwater bubbles to put under our still pictures. Now to record a voiceover section, what you need to do is turn on the Voiceover mic. If you want to explore this deeper, this is also covered in the Essential Training for iMovie 11 on

Now once you've opened up the Voiceover dialog box, the first thing you'll need to do is select where the sound will be coming from. Now if you're on an iMac or a MacBook, it has a built-in microphone and that would be one of your choices. And then there's also the option of using a Built-in Line Input microphone. I'm using the headset in the studio, so I'm going to select the Built-in Digital Input, and the Hammerfall is something that you won't have because that's the mixer that we're using to record these movies. Once I've selected the Built-in Digital Input, as you can see I'm starting to get an audio level for my voice.

Now if you start getting into the red and if I start talking really loud, you may want to turn the Input Volume down. If you find you're sounding too soft, you may want to grab this slider and move it more to the right just so that you're mostly in the green, occasionally going into the yellow and maybe touching the red. Another thing that you can adjust in the Voiceover tool is Noise Reduction. Now in the studio, it's a pretty clean room, but in real life if you're sitting in your office or sitting in your living room, you might have some background noise that you want to remove.

And in that case, using the Noise Reduction slider, you can move it to the right to remove a lot of the background noise, but that may start sending out the sound of your voice, or you can move it to the left to give more voice and a little more background. I always like to check the Voice Enhancement box. Basically what iMovie does is it boosts the volume level of the exact frequency where your voice is so it really sounds like one of those DJ radio nice warm round voices instead of the high squeaky voice that I normally have.

And finally, there's the option to play the project audio while recording. Now only select this if you're wearing headphones because what this will allow you to do is hear what's happening in your video, but it doesn't get recorded back into the mic. If you turn this on without using headsets, you're going to actually get feedback and get non-usable voiceover audio. Well once you've made all these decisions, you're ready to start recording and it's as simple as clicking over a clip where you want the voiceover to begin. Now you want to be careful because if you have a single clip selected with only that clip highlighted, you'll just do a voiceover for that one clip.

I want to do a voiceover over a variety of clips that's why I have nothing preselected in my Timeline. Let's give it a try to see what it sounds and looks like. As soon as you click, you'll get a three- second count into your recording and at this point, I can start describing my video. One of the best parts of my vacation was when I got to take the boys snuba diving. That's kind of a combination of snorkeling and scuba, but we didn't have to get certified and it was really easy to get used to it.

The boys had an amazing time and most of the fish were scared. Now as soon as I hit the Spacebar, the recording stops and you'll see my voiceover recording is directly below the clips that I talked over. Now this clip is completely editable. Let's go ahead and turn off the Voiceover tool and I'll show you that I can make this clip shorter if I want by simply grabbing the edge, or if I want to do some more refined editing, I can simply click on it and open it up in the Clip Trimmer.

Now if I listen back to what I recorded, the beginning was me explaining how I was going to use the Voiceover tool, and of course I don't want that in my final video. (video playing) Narrator: and at this point, I can start describing my video. Narrator: One of the best parts of-- I can simply grab the area that I want to delete, I click on Done and now it's properly trimmed. I can go ahead and move this back and forth wherever I want. And if I want to pick up and do another recording, I simply turn on the Voiceover Recording tool, place my cursor where I want to start talking again and simply click.

(video playing) Narrator: and most of the fish were scared. Now the boys ate several of the fish, so they didn't have anything they needed to worry about. (video playing) And as you can see, I can continue to add voiceover either shot-by-shot, scene-by-scene, or over the entire video. I'm going to go ahead and delete that second voiceover recording because I want to make sure we have a nice clean interface to show you the next skill. And that's detaching audio from existing media, so I can put some sound effects underneath these four photographs that I have in my video timeline.

Now this is very easy to do. I can simply select any clip in my Timeline that might have good audio, and I know I have a lot of good underwater bubble sounds underneath this clip. With it selected, I'll go up under Clip and I'll simply say Detach Audio. You'll notice now that the audio or the sound for this clip is no longer connected. And because it's no longer connected, it's very easy for me to grab the edge of this clip and stretch it out as long as I need. Now it's not quite long enough to go directly underneath all of these clips.

So I do have a couple of options. I could go in to the dropdown cog and go up under Clip Trimmer and see if I had any extra media maybe at the beginning or the end. In this case, I don't, so what I want to do is simply copy it, Command+C, position my cursor a little bit before the first track ends and simply paste it by pressing Command+V. And if I scroll down, you will see that I have the first track and a copy of my track that I can fade to, to put underneath my still images.

Let me go ahead and bring the volume down a little bit and to make it a nice smooth transition, I'm going to just grab these little sliders here which will appear as soon as I hover my mouse over the audio file and I can do a very simple fade between these bubbles and these bubbles. Let's go ahead and hear how my voiceover and my newly added bubbles under my still pictures sound. (video playing) Narrator: boys had an amazing time, (video playing) Narrator: and most of the fish were scared.

As you see by simply adding bubbles under the still images, it has a presence and a reality that I wouldn't have had if I just had music. Detaching audio is a great way to move good ambient sound from one clip to another.

Working with the voiceover tool and detaching audio
Video duration: 6m 57s 2h 3m Beginner


Working with the voiceover tool and detaching audio provides you with in-depth training on Video. Taught by Abba Shapiro as part of the Creating a Vacation Video with iMovie

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