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How to Add Narration with iMovie on Your MacBook

Ready to create that award-winning nature documentary? Using your MacBook, you can add voiceover narration to your iMovie project that would make Jacques Cousteau proud. In fact, you can record your voice while you watch your movie play, allowing perfect synchronization with the action! To add narration, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Voiceover button on the Editing toolbar — it sports a microphone icon — to open the Voiceover window.

  2. Click the Record From pop-up menu and select the input device.

    All MacBook models sport a decent internal microphone, but you can always add a USB microphone to your system.

  3. Drag the input volume slider to a comfortable level.

    You can monitor the volume level of your voice with the left and right input meters — try to keep the meters at 50 percent or so for the proper volume level.

  4. To block out ambient noise levels, drag the Noise Reduction slider to the right if necessary.

    If you’d like iMovie to enhance your voice electronically for a more professional sound, click the Voice Enhancement check box to select it. If you need to hear the audio from your movie project while you speak, click the Play Project Audio While Recording check box to select it. Note, however, that you need to listen to the audio while using a set of headphones to avoid feedback problems.

  5. Click in the desired spot within a clip in the Project pane where the narration should begin.

  6. Begin speaking when prompted by iMovie.

  7. Watch the video while you narrate so that you can coordinate your narration track with the action.

  8. Click anywhere in the iMovie window to stop recording (or wait until the clip ends).

    iMovie adds a tiny microphone icon to the Project pane underneath the video with the voiceover.

  9. Click the Close button in the Voiceover window.

You can fine-tune the audio within a video clip or the audio clips. With the desired clip selected, click the Inspector button on the Editing toolbar to display the Inspector window and then click the Audio tab. The Audio Adjustments window includes an array of audio controls that allow you to change the volume of the selected clip or to give that audio priority over other audio.

If the volume of one of your clips is dramatically higher or lower, select the clip that you want to set to optimum volume and then click Normalize Clip Volume. You can also set an automatic or manual Fade-in/Fade-out for the audio. When you’re done tweaking, click Done.

On the Video tab in the Inspector window, you can vary the exposure, brightness, contrast, and saturation of your clip. Click the Auto button, and iMovie will perform what it considers the best job of improving your video.

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