How to Edit Audio with Keyframes in iMovie (Advanced)

Getting the audio mix at just the right level in iMovie can be a little daunting.

Check out the advanced tutorial below to get a grip on your project’s audio!

(video source: Eric Timmer)


We highly encourage you to download the “How to Use iMovie- Tutorial Guide” 4-Step Checklist.
It will help you speed up the editing process for every one of your videos.

Got your 4-step checklist?

Great. Now, let’s move on…

Adjusting the Audio Level

The first thing we’re going to do is grab some video footage with sound in it.
You’ll notice that the audio in this video is clipping hard:

01 Video clip has loud peaking wave audio

First, bring the audio levels out of the yellow and red and down to a more manageable level.

02 turn down the sound by dragging elastic band down so no yellow showing

Simply click and drag. You can control the output from 0 to 400%.


Check out iMovie’s ONLY Audio/Video Sync Tool:

Getting More Specific

If there’s a specific section of audio that we want to drop the volume for,  you’ll want to do an option click on the audio’s waveform line. 

03 Hold option and click on iMovie video clip audio in timeline to create a keyframe

This will place a marker for you. I’m going to place four and it’ll look like this: 

04 Create 3 more keyframe dots to make 4 total

These markers only control one little air gate here. They can be dragged from 0% to 400% so you can get really specific with how the audio sounds.

05 Click on center of dots and drag elestic audio band down in iMovie to turn section down

Again, you can control the points here and you can add as many as you want.

06 Create multiple keyframes to allow manual volume throughout imovie timeline

You can still fade in and out with the markers while still conserving their value.

Detaching the Audio

You can also achieve a similar effect by detaching the audio. Simply right click or command click and then press “detach audio”.

07 CMD and CLICK on video clip and choose Detach Audio

Now we have a separate piece of audio that’s detached from the video. This is a handy way to control where the audio starts and stops.

08 Audio can now be dragged throughout iMovie timeline separate of video clip


Easy enough, right? Let us know if you found this tutorial helpful in the comments below.

And Don’t forget to check out iMovie’s ONLY Audio/Video Sync Tool: Woowave DreamSync!
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