Remember that audio makes up the first half of the term, “audio-visual.” Movies are just as much about sound as they are vision – a fact that Hollywood never forgets; nor should you. Apple made some fairly great improvements to the audio editing capabilities of iMovie ’11, and here they are.
There are several new default ways to see the audio in iMovie, like the new audio waveform mode and color coded warnings when the audio might overdrive the speakers. In addition, Apple has included a new Equalizer feature.
To access this, select the clip you want to edit the audio in and open the Inspector window by double clicking on the clip itself. When the Inspector shows up, click on the Audio tab in the upper right to go to those settings. About halfway down the audio section is the Equalizer. Click on the checkbox next to the Equalizer, then choose a type of audio equalization from the presets in the drop down menu just next to the checkbox. Or, if you know your way around a 10-band EQ, get tweaking.
There’s also, just above the EQ, an Enhance checkbox. Click in it to enable the amount of background noise iMovie can reduce by moving the slider to the right. Be sure to listen to it after you make the adjustment to avoid any unwanted quietness to the foreground sound.
In addition, iMovie ’11 has some cool audio effects you can add to your clips, bringing the auditory side more in line with the video side of things. Again, double click the clip you want to tweak to bring up the Inspector window, and click on the Clip tab at the top left. Click on the button next to the Audio Effect label to bring it up. You’ll see a grid of 20 different audio effects. Press the space bar to start your clip, and hover your mouse over each of the sound effect icons to preview what it will sound like with that audio effect applied. Some of this is downright hilarious. Especially the Robot voice. Honest, give it a try.