iMovie for iOS (iPhone, iPod touch): Add audio

Add audio

You can add background music, special effects, or your own recorded audio to iMovie.

Add background music stored on your device

You can add any of the following types of background music to a movie project:

  • Theme: Music that comes with each Apple-designed iMovie theme

  • iTunes: Songs from iTunes that have been synced to your device using iTunes on your computer

  • Imported: Songs that you created in GarageBand, Logic Pro X, or another app and imported into iMovie using iCloud Drive or iTunes on your computer. (To import background music from iCloud Drive, see “Add background music or other audio from iCloud Drive,” below.)

Note: Songs that appear dimmed or are marked Unavailable need to be downloaded to your device for use in iMovie. Use the Music app to download songs from iTunes in the Cloud, or use iTunes on your computer to sync songs from your iTunes library. If a song on your device still appears unavailable, it may be of a type that can’t be used in iMovie. For example, songs protected by digital rights management can’t be used in iMovie.

Background music clips are colored green in the timeline. If you add a song that’s less than 1 minute long, it behaves the same as a sound effect in the project and is colored blue in the timeline.

  1. With your project open, tap the Add Media button , then tap Audio.

  2. To find music previously synced to your device from your computer, tap Theme Music or any one of the listed categories.

  3. To listen to the music before adding it, tap the item.

  4. To add the music to your movie project, tap the item, then tap Use.

Tip: If you’re creating a music video and want to align video clips to specific points in the music, add background music to your project first. (If the music is shorter than 1 minute, you must add video to the project before you add the music.)

By default, iMovie automatically loops background music to fit the length of your movie. You can add multiple songs as background music, but iMovie automatically arranges them to play one song at a time. You can also manually adjust the length if you want.

Add background music or other audio from iCloud Drive

  1. With your project open, scroll the timeline so that the playhead (the white vertical line) appears where you want to add the song or audio clip.

    If the playhead is resting over an existing clip, the new clip is added either before or after the existing clip, whichever is closest to the playhead.

  2. Tap the Add Media button , then tap Audio.

  3. Tap iCloud Drive in the list of categories.

  4. In the iCloud pane, navigate to the folder you want to use.

  5. Tap the name of the song or audio clip you want to import.

    Background music clips are longer than 1 minute and are colored green in the timeline. If you add a song or other audio clip that’s less than 1 minute long, it behaves the same as a sound effect in the project and is colored blue in the timeline.

Add just the audio from a video clip

  1. With your project open, scroll the timeline so that the playhead (the white vertical line) appears where you want to add the audio clip.

    If the playhead is resting over an existing clip, the new clip is added either before or after the existing clip, whichever is closest to the playhead.

  2. Tap the Add Media button , then tap Videos.

  3. In the media library, do any of the following:

    • To preview a clip before adding it to your project: Tap to select a clip, then tap the Play button .

      You can also swipe your finger left and right over a clip to manually preview it, which can help you identify exactly which part of the clip you want to use.

    • To show only favorite or unused clips: Tap Favorites or Unused Media.

  4. Tap the Audio Only button .

Add sound effects

iMovie comes with dozens of free sound effects that you can add to your movie.

  1. With your project open, scroll the timeline so that the playhead (the white vertical line) appears over the location where you want the sound effect to begin.

  2. Tap the Add Media button , then tap Audio.

  3. Tap Sound Effects.

  4. To listen to a sound effect before adding it, tap the item.

  5. To add a sound effect to your movie project, tap the name, then tap Use.

Sound effect clips are colored blue in the timeline. If you add an imported sound effect that’s 1 minute or longer, it behaves the same as background music in the project and is colored green in the timeline.

Record audio

You can record audio, such as voiceovers, directly into your iMovie project.

Recorded audio clips are colored purple in the timeline and can be edited in the same way as any other audio clip.

  1. With your project open, scroll the timeline so that the playhead (the white vertical line) appears over the place where you want the recording to begin.

  2. Tap the Add Media button , then tap Voiceover .

  3. When you’re ready, tap Record.

    After a 3-second countdown, recording begins.

  4. To stop recording, tap Stop.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • To delete the recording and dismiss the recording controls: Tap Cancel.

    • To start the countdown again and record a new audio clip: Tap Retake.

    • To listen to the recording: Tap Review.

    • To keep the recording and add it to your project: Tap Accept.

After you record audio, it becomes available in the media library (in Audio > Recordings) so that you can use it in another project.

Published Date: Apr 3, 2017
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