Before You Begin
7 About Making Audio a Priority
35 About the Timeline and Storyboard
49 About Improving Your Soundtrack's Quality
51 Create Narration Outside Movie Maker
Adding a soundtrack (as opposed to using the audio that comes with imported video) gives you control over your movie's audio. You cannot edit or delete audio that you import with video. When you import audio into your collection and then drag audio clips to the timeline's Audio/Music track, that audio synchronizes with the video on the timeline, but it isn't attached to it. In other words, you can add more audio clips, delete audio clips, or rearrange audio on the Audio/Music track without affecting the Video track in any way.
As this task demonstrates , importing an audio file into your Audio/Music track is easier than importing video. All you must do is ensure that the audio is in the proper format required by Movie Maker. (See Chapter 1, "Start Here," for a review of Movie Maker's file types.)
- Select File, Import into Collections
Begin the import process by selecting Import into Collections from the File menu. You will be importing one or more audio clips into your Collections pane, where you can then drag one or more of those clips to your Contents pane for inclusion in your movie.
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If you import a video with sound into your project, and then you import audio onto the project's Audio/Music track, you will hear both audio tracks play when you play the movie, and both audio tracks will appear in the final movie that you save later. Unless you want both soundtracks competing with each other, you should either use the audio that you import with the video exclusively by muting the audio when importing video ( see 21 Import Video into Movie Maker ) and adding a soundtrack later to the Audio/Music track, or adjust both audio levels to work with one another ( see 54 Adjust Audio Levels ).
- Select an Audio File
Locate the audio file you want to import and click to select it.
- Click Import
When you click Import , Movie Maker imports all the selected audio files into your Collections pane and stores them there as clips, with each clip sharing the same name as the filename (without the filename extension).
- Scroll Toward the Top
To see your imported audio clip, you must scroll toward the top of your project's Contents pane, if the Contents pane is not already scrolled to that point. Movie Maker places imported audio clips toward the top of the Contents pane.
The location of the imported audio clips in your Contents pane has nothing to do with their location in your movie. Only when you drag an audio clip to the timeline's Audio/Music track does the clip's location have any bearing on your movie.
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If you plan to add an opening or closing musical score to your movie, or add special audio effects throughout your movie, you might want to keep the original audio when importing your video, and then just add the audio effects to the Audio/Music track later. Such use of both audio tracks would complement, not compete , with each other.
- Drag to Audio/Music Track
Drag the audio clips you want added to your video to the Audio/Music track. You can then rearrange them, delete them, or add more audio clips on the Audio/Music track, just as you do with other kinds of clips.
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Import multiple audio files at once by holding the Ctrl key while you click each audio file.