Macworld Masterclass: Record audio and video in iMovie

Film new footage without leaving the editing room

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  • Main Screen Intro
  • Step 01 Step 1: Getting ready
  • Step 02 Step 2: Recording
  • Step 03 Step 3: Review your recording
  • Step 04 Step 4: Fine-tuning
  • Step 05 Step 5: Recording video
  • Step 06 Step 6: Higher quality
  • More stories
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Intro

The editing process generally occurs after you’ve finished filming – you take the shots you need with your camera, import the footage into your computer and then start putting your project together.

But iMovie for iPad turns this notion on its head. Because your camera also happens to be your editing suite, you can do both at the same time – Apple wouldn’t have put a good-quality camera in the new iPad if it didn’t expect you to use it. It can, however, be quite frustrating to have to constantly go back and forth between the Camera app, to take a shot, and iMovie, to insert it into your project. Thankfully, iMovie itself now has a Record button.

Even better, you can use iMovie to record a voice-over, which is a great way to insert self-recorded audio into your project.

Vital Info

Device: iPad
Difficulty: Intermediate
Time required: 20 mins

What you need:

iMovie
iOS 5.1 or later

Next »

Next Prev Main Screen

The editing process generally occurs after you’ve finished filming – you take the shots you need with your camera, import the footage into your computer and then start putting your project together.

But iMovie for iPad turns this notion on its head. Because your camera also happens to be your editing suite, you can do both at the same time – Apple wouldn’t have put a good-quality camera in the new iPad if it didn’t expect you to use it. It can, however, be quite frustrating to have to constantly go back and forth between the Camera app, to take a shot, and iMovie, to insert it into your project. Thankfully, iMovie itself now has a Record button.

Even better, you can use iMovie to record a voice-over, which is a great way to insert self-recorded audio into your project.

Vital Info

Device: iPad
Difficulty: Intermediate
Time required: 20 mins

What you need:

iMovie
iOS 5.1 or later

 

Step 2 of 7: Step 1: Getting ready

First, open an existing project and move the playhead until it’s over the part you want to give a voice-over. Tap on the microphone button (top right of the timeline section) to bring up a floating window. The bars indicate your audio levels: green is good, yellow borderline, while red is too loud.

 

Step 3 of 7: Step 2: Recording

Check that your levels remain in the green, and when you’re ready, tap on the Record button. iMovie will give you a three-second warning and move your playhead back, so by the time the recording starts, the playhead will be exactly where you originally left it. When you’ve finished, tap Stop.

 

Step 4 of 7: Step 3: Review your recording

You’re then given four options. You can either Review your recording, delete the existing voice-over and start again with Retake, use Discard to get rid of the recording and close the voice-over option, or opt for Accept to insert your recording as a purple banner in your project.

 

Step 5 of 7: Step 4: Fine-tuning

Even though it’s a different colour, your voice-over clip will behave like any other audio file, so you can move it around and trim its edges. To get rid of it, drag it out of the timeline; to alter its volume, double-tap it. It’s also possible to add multiple voice-overs to the same part of a project.

 

Step 6 of 7: Step 5: Recording video

To the right of the mic is the camera icon, which lets you record video in iMovie. The interface is similar to the Camera app’s, except that once you’ve stopped recording, you can choose to Retake your shot. Tap Use to add it to your project where your playhead is located.

 

Step 7 of 7: Step 6: Higher quality

There’s also the option to record video at a higher quality. To access it, open the Settings app. Scroll down until you see iMovie and select it. The Record iFrame 720p is off by default. Turn it on and your clips will take up a lot more storage space, but the visual quality will be improved.

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