View Full Version : Working with audio in imovie

12-29-2014, 04:38 PM
So I've got the first part of an mp3 file that's instrumental but I need it to last longer, you know, before vocals begin. How can I make a loop of just the instrumental part so it will last as long as I need it? I've looked for articles on this and found nothing.

12-29-2014, 05:53 PM

I'd import the mp3 into Audacity (free) and select the instrumental section only.

Copy it and paste at the beginning of the whole piece.

Work out the length overall that you need the instrumental to last for and chop off the excess.

Export the file to Desktop (say) and then copy it into your movie.

Hope that helps.


12-29-2014, 09:45 PM
Is there no way in imovie to loop a musical selection? I tried cutting at where the instrumental section ends and cutting and pasting just that section to the end of itself and it didn't work.

12-30-2014, 08:57 AM
OK, I had a little play around and I think that I've figured out a way of doing the job from within iMovie.....

Let's say that you want your intro/loop to last 20 seconds. Start a new project by selecting a title from your title browser - I chose the 'simple' one, with a black background - deleting all text. Adjust the duration to 20 sec.

Then I drag from the music browser my 5 second clip - 'the loop', four times....

You may need to adjust the length of the title to coincide exactly......

Then add your movie proper and it should work.

You could of course, use an image instead of the blank title that I've suggested here.

Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Cheers M

12-30-2014, 01:40 PM
When you say "drag from the music browser my 5 second clip" what do you mean exactly? I have my tune in my imovie library now and when I drag it into the movie it puts the whole thing in. Then I have to trim it. That's where I can't seem to cut it up.

12-30-2014, 02:09 PM

I just happened to have a 5 second sound clip from earlier messing around. You probably don't...

Make sure that you have either the blank title that I mentioned or a still image that you like in the project window. Its duration should be set to however long you want the intro to be.

Let's say that you've set the image to a duration of a minute. Your loop lasts for twenty seconds, say.

Grab it from wherever you have it, and drop it into the main project window. It will appear under the title or image. Repeat twice more and you'll have a loop that plays three times while the image stays set. Then add the footage to the end of this, with a fade in or whatever....

If you are still having issues, let me know and I'll try to put together a brief movie to explain further.

Cheers again M

12-30-2014, 02:14 PM
I'll play with it-thanks!
In the meantime I'm trying to fade out a song under an image a couple of minutes into the song and I can't get the fader handle under the clip to pull it down. How do you do that?

12-30-2014, 04:13 PM
Anyone know how to adjust background music volume for the same music file? I want to use only one track but adjust the volume at different locations in the movie.

12-31-2014, 06:12 AM

It's not too difficult.

Ensure that you can see the audio waveform for the still image. Do that by clicking on the 'show or hide audio waveform' button.

Select from the two minute point that you mention to the end of the image. Select the audio only - not the clip.

Then drag down the thin horizontal line to zero. You can adjust the rate of fade out by playing with the golden bubbles to the left and right of the selected audio. Have a play around. It will all make sense......eventually.


Do the same sort of thing as above. Select the audio only section that you want to alter, and adjust away.

To both:

Have a look at The Missing Manual - iMovie 11 and iDVD by David Pogue

Cheers Mitcherooney

01-10-2015, 06:31 PM
Thanks. By the way, I resolved the mp3 issue by uploading to Dropbox and downloading the files onto my laptop.

I was also wondering: how come when I save my finished film as an mp4 it wants to always open through itunes? What's the benefit of saving as a Quicktime file? Are some files more compatible than others? Also, what's the best format to save in for projecting the film but not having a file that will take too long to copy to multiple laptops?

Thanks again!

01-10-2015, 06:38 PM
When I go to save in 720p it automatically saves as a QT file. I also have that option from the drop down menu in Share. What's the difference?

Lastly, how can I save my actual film project as an imovie file and/or back it up?

01-11-2015, 09:39 AM
Hi again

If you locate your mp4 movie and 'Get Info', you'll see a drop down arrow which says 'Open with'. Change that to whatever suits.

Quicktime is pretty universal, but I'm no expert on 'wrappers', codecs and the like.....

How long is too long? The time taken will depend on the size of the movie, which will be gigabytes rather the MB. Just be patient....

I'm not clear about 'saving in 720' - I don't know where you have that option....Do you mean Export?

Time machine will have a back up. Of course you can export your movie to your HD or burn it to a DVD if you'd rather....

Hope that helps a little.


01-11-2015, 06:17 PM
Thanks. What exactly is backed up?

01-11-2015, 08:32 PM
The whole project.

If you go to Finder ➣ Computer ➣ Movies ➣ iMovieProjects, you'll find them listed there.


01-12-2015, 12:17 AM
Is the project (editable) saved in that folder that I can back up then?

01-12-2015, 12:00 PM
Yes it is