Adding Music to the Timeline
1 Click the collection where your audio clips are stored in the Collections pane.
2 Drag the clip from the middle Collections pane and drop the track on the Audio/Music section of the Timeline.
To create a soundtrack, music tracks are added to the Timeline. The audio tracks are first inserted on the Timeline, and then positioned in the exact location where you want them to play by dragging them to a specific point in the Timeline.
TIP Zoom the Timeline
To make placing audio clips on the Timeline easier, use the Zoom Out button on the time-line toolbar to expand the time-line. This allows you to position the audio at the precise instant you want it to start.
Trimming Audio Clips
1 Click the end of the audio clip and drag it to the point where you want to trim it.
2 Release the mouse button when you get the clip shortened correctly.
When only a portion of an audio track is required for the movie, trim the audio to eliminate the part you don’t need. Trimming involves eliminating a portion of the beginning or end of the audio file, in order to have it fit the length you need.
HINT Eliminating Silence
Trimming audio tracks is particularly useful for eliminating extra silence at the start or end of an audio clip. Find the point where silence begins by listening to the track and making note of where the silence starts, and then adjust the track end point until you have eliminated the silence.
Making an Audio J-Cut
1 Drag the two clips you want to j-cut to the Video section of the Timeline.
2 Drag a second copy of clip number two to the Audio/Music section of the timeline, lining it up with its duplicate.
3 Making sure the second video clip is selected on the timeline, click and drag the slider to the point in the second clip where you want the video to start.
4 Click the SpBt Clip button located below the monitor.
J-cut refers to an audio transition where audio from the next scene starts playing over video from the current scene. J-cuts are quite common on television, where you will often see the exterior of a building, hear a conversation happening inside the building, and then see the people having the conversation.
Nudging the Timeline
Using the Previous Frame and Next Frame buttons located below the monitor to accurately position audio and video for j-cuts will save you time and eliminate some of the frustration of trying to position the mouse exactly where you want your clip to go.
5 Right-click the newly created video clip between the first clip and the second clip and choose Delete from the menu.
6 Drag the audio clip on the Audio/Music track so it lines up with the beginning of the first video clip.
7 Right- click the audio track on the Audio section of the timeline and choose Mute from the menu.
8 Click Play and watch to verify the audio and video are still synchronized.
Combining J-Cuts and Fades
For a smoother appearance to the j-cut, add a video fade transition between the two video clips, making the scene change less abrupt.
In more complex j – cuts, you may be starting the second audio track in the middle of the first track instead of at the beginning as illustrated here. Any j-cut involves simple math to determine how many seconds of the second audio track play before you reach the end of the first video track. Eliminating an equivalent number of seconds of video from the second track results in a clean j-cut.
Making an Audio L-Cut
1 Drag and drop the two clips you want to I-cut to the Video section of the Timeline.
2 Drag and drop a second copy of both clips to the Audio/Music section of the time-line, lining each up with its duplicate.
3 Making sure the first video clip is selected on the timeline, click and drag the slider to the point in the first clip where you want the second video clip to start.
4 Click the SpBt Clip button located below the monitor.
An L-Cut is the reverse of a J-Cut. The audio track from scene one keeps playing as the video from scene two is shown onscreen. This is another common television trick for filling in gaps in the plot without shooting everything.
HINT Layering Audio
In both j-cuts and l-cuts, it’s possible to overlap the audio so that both the audio that goes with the current video and the audio being cut in will play simultaneously.
5 Right-click between the first clip and the second clip and choose Delete. The second video clip automatically shifts to fill in the resulting empty space.
6 Drag the second clip in the Audio/Music section so it lines up with the second video clip.
7 Right-click each audio track on the Audio section of the timeline and choose Mute from the menu.
Audio Cuts and Soundtracks
Adding custom audio transitions to the video’s Audio track in addition to music for a soundtrack requires the use of an external audio editing application to combine both elements.
Filling in Gaps
L-cuts are great for filling in gaps in the story. You can keep relevant dialog from the previous scene going and lead into the next scene without having to visually illustrate how people in your movie got from point A to point B because the viewer gets to hear their course of action in the dialogue.
Preparing the Soundtrack for Normalization
1 Choose File, Save Project As to save your movie project before adding the sound-track audio.
2 Name the project and click the Save button.
3 Click on the collection where your soundtrack clips are stored.
4 Drag the audio files for your soundtrack to the Audio/Music section of the timeline.
When you create a soundtrack from multiple audio sources, like songs from several different bands, the soundtrack may be very loud in some places and very quiet in others. Normalization evens out the extreme highs and lows by adjusting the volume of all tracks louder relative to the loudest point in the entire soundtrack.
External Audio Editor
Movie Maker doesn’t include normalization in its audio editing feature set, so you have to perform the process in an external editor. See the next task in this part, "Normalizing Audio with Roxio Easy Media Creator."
5 Click one clip in the Video section of the timeline and then press Cti’l+A to select all of the movie clips.
6 Press Delete on your keyboard to delete the movie clips. Choose File, Save Movie File.
7 Select My Computer from the Save Movie Wizard and click Next.
Save Movie Key Command
To save a Movie Maker file from the keyboard, use Ctrl+P. In most Windows applications this shortcut is reserved for printing, but in Movie Maker it launches the Save Movie Wizard.
Exporting Video Audio
You can also export the audio associated with a video clip by dragging the video clip to the Audio/Music section of the Timeline and saving the timeline as an audio file.
8 Type a name for the movie file, choose a folder to save the file, and then click Next.
9 Under Other Settings, choose High quality audio, and then click Next.
Although we are saving an audio file during this step, Movie Maker still refers to the file we are saving as a movie file. When you reach the point of choosing a file format, only audio formats are listed, rather than the usual list of movie formats.
HINT Audio Quality
When you plan to edit an audio file, save it in the highest quality format available. You can always reduce the quality of the file after editing, but you can’t regain quality that was removed before the editing process begins.
10 Click Finish when the audio file is done saving.’
11 Close Movie Maker without saving the project.
HINT Make Note
Make sure you document which folder the audio file is saved in. You will be opening it in another application to edit the file.
Movie Maker saves audio files in Windows Media Audio (.wma) format. Make sure the audio editor you plan on using to edit exported audio files supports .wma audio.