Chapter 11. Music, Sound Effects, and Narration

If you’re lucky, you may someday get the chance to watch a movie whose soundtrack isn’t yet finished. Maybe you’ll be scanning TV channels and stumble across a special about how movies are made, or you’ll see a tribute to a film composer, or you’ll rent a movie that includes a “making of” documentary. These shows sometimes include a couple of minutes of the finished movie as it looked before the music and sound effects were added.

At that moment, your understanding of the film medium will take an enormous leap forward. “Jeez,” you’ll say, “without music and sound effects, this $100 million Hollywood film has no more emotional impact than…my home movies!”

And you’d be right. It’s true that the visual component of a film is the most, well, visible. Movie stars and directors become household names, but not the sound editors, composers, foley (sound effects) artists, and others who devote their careers to the audio experience of film.

But without music, sound effects (called SFX for short), and sound editing, even the best Hollywood movie will leave you cold and unimpressed.

iMovie’s more powerful than it’s ever been at editing your movie’s audio. You can use traditional methods to make simple volume changes, like the classic rubber-band tool (Volume Adjustments), or advanced techniques that reduce background noise (Reduce Background Noise). This chapter explains everything iMovie has to offer in audio editing.

Three Kinds of Audio

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