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How to add voiceovers and sound effects in iMovie

Bring a touch of Hollywood to your projects by recording epic voiceovers and cool sound effects

Making your own movies using just your iPad or iPhone is great. But how much greater would they be if you could add your own sounds? Using iMovie for iOS, you can do just that.

We’re going to take a look at creating the two most common uses of audio – voiceovers and sound effects. Voiceovers are the perfect addition to documentary-style movies and movie trailers, and the great news is that you can create your own using the built-in mic on your iOS device, giving your movie project a professional edge to really make it stand out of the crowd. The biggest budget Hollywood movies are famed for their use of sound effects – why not add a touch of Hollywood to your iMovie project by adding some cool sound effects?

Step-by-step: Add sounds to your movie

1 Create a movie

Launch the iMovie app and tap Projects. Double-tap on an existing project to launch it, or alternatively, create a new project by tapping on the ‘+’ icon in the top-right of the interface.


2 Add some video

Tap Video in the top right-hand corner and double-tap on a clip to add it to your movie. Position your clip in the timeline by pressing on the clip and dragging it to its desired location.


3 Add voiceover

Swipe left and right over your video clips so that the playhead (the white vertical line) is positioned over the precise point in the project where you would like your voiceover to begin.


4 Record voiceover

Next, tap the Microphone icon in the bottom-right. A recording pop-up box will appear. Tap Record and, after the countdown, begin speaking. A red box appears when recording.


5 Play it back

When you’ve finished, tap Stop. Play back your recording by tapping Review. If you want to re-record, tap Retake. If you want to add the audio recording to your project, tap Accept.


6 Add a sound effect

To add sound effects to your project, tap the Audio option in the top right-hand corner of the interface. From the pop-out menu that appears, tap on the option labelled Sound Effects.


7 Preview sound effect

A list of sound effects will appear. Single tap on an effect and then tap the Play icon to preview the sound effect. Once you’ve found a sound effect that you like, click the arrow icon.


8 Move sound effect

The sound effect will be inserted wherever the white playhead is positioned. To move it, simply single-tap on the sound effect in the Timeline and then press and drag it to its new location.


9 Edit your sound effect

Single tap the sound effect. A yellow box will appear around it. Press and drag either of the left or right edges inwards to trim it, or outwards to extend its length.


In detail: Editing audio

Click the annotated image below to view it at full size.