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Cutting Audio in iMovie: A Guide for Mac and iPhone Users

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Apr 30, 2024• Proven solutions

Sometimes, we find the desired audio or soundtrack for our videos longer or shorter than we want, and that is where audio editing comes. Audio editing refers to manipulating audio to alter the length, speed, and volume or create additional effects such as loops. Are you new to audio trimming? Don't worry, as our article today would show how to cut audio in iMovie on Mac and iPhone.

Part 1: How to Cut Music in iMovie on Mac?

Cutting music is audio editing carried out when the music or soundtrack seems longer than desired. To cut music or soundtrack in iMovie using Mac involves the following steps:

Step 1: Adjust the Playhead to Cut the Clip

You can cut an audio clip only when the specified audio is in the timeline. To perform the operation, right-click on the clip and pick out a split clip. This operation cuts the clip into two and divides the two pieces wherever the playhead is situated.

Step 2: Select Split Clip

Right-click and select the Split Clip. Once this step is over, you have successfully cut the audio clip.

Part 2: Cut Audio in iMovie Alternative – Wondershare Filmora

Generally, as humans, we feel more satisfied when we have options or choices because we get fed up with doing the same over and over again the same way without changes. Wondershare Filmora is an alternative for iMovie and can easily carry out the function of various forms of audio editing.

If you wish to trim off the beginning or the ending of a mp3 file quite swiftly, this section is for you. Things can get specifically weird if you want to import heavy mp3 files to your space-limited MP3 player to play.

You’re required to choose an intelligent MP3 trimmer to trim an MP3 file to any length. Here, we suggest this robust video editing software — Wondershare Filmora, which enables you to precisely extract an MP3 file or audio segment effortlessly without losing any original audio quality.

Download Filmora Win Version Download Filmora Mac Version

You can get both the Windows and Mac versions of this great video editor. It embodies the following features:

  • Import videos, audio, or photos from various sources and edit them in one place.
  • Three different video cutting methods to meet different editing needs.
  • Various editing tools help you edit the video completely, including rotation, picture-in-picture, green screen, cropping, etc.
  • Output the edited video to more than 20 different formats or locations as needed.
  • Use more than 1,000 video effects in the effect store to customize videos.

Using Filmora is quite effortless. The following tutorial will display how to cut audio in it easily and quickly.

Step 1: Import MP3 Files for Editing

Firstly, drag the specific MP3 file or audio clip into the media library, or you can directly import audio files or video from portable devices such as your digital camera, smartphone, or camcorder, etc.

Step 2: Drag MP3 Files to the Timeline below for Cutting

Filmora provides two ways to cut audio/video files. You can either select to cut from the beginning or the end by trimming. You can also split it into various segments from the mid-sections.

Move the slider ahead to the cutting point within the midsection, and then tap the scissor icon to split it into little sections as desired.

When executed, please select the part that you don't want to, hit the Delete button to remove.

Step 3: Export to Save

Hit the Export tab to save your edited project. If you want to save in the original MP3 format, select MP3 before you export.

Part 3: How to Trim Music in iMovie on iPhone

This section will offer you a guide on how to cut out parts of audio in an iMovie project on an iPad or iPhone. After adding music to your project, the audio is trimmed to the desired length using iMovie’s inbuilt tool.

Step #1: Open iMovie on your iPhone or iPad.

Step #2: Tap the movie project you want to edit.

It will display a list of your projects, among which you must select the one you want to edit.

If you want to edit a current section of video not even opened in iMovie, you have to make a new iMovie project to add your audio and video. Select the + icon, choose the Movie tab, select the video(s), and then choose the Create movie button.

Step #3: Hit the Edit button below the name of your project.

This opens your project in the editor. And, you’re already in the editor if you just created a new project in the previous step.

Step #4: Add audio to your project.

You can skip this step if your project already contains the audio. Hit the + icon in the upper-left timeline's corner.

Choose Audio.

Go with a specific category:

Soundtracks are audio tracks provided by iMovie which are free to use in your project.

Select My Music to locate the file and use a song from iTunes or the music app.

Sound effects are shorter sounds—mostly below 10 seconds duration.

Choose an audio file for the preview.

Select the + icon to add the file to your project.

Step #5: Hit the audio bar on the timeline.

It is present below the multi-frame version of your video in the screen’s bottom area.

Now, detach the MP3 segment or audio from the video by tapping the video on the timeline and selecting the Detach button at the screen's bottom area.

Step #6: Tap and drag the beginning of the audio track.

Drag or move the audio track to the exact point where you wish it to start from—the audio track's left-end marks of the yellow bar starting your audio.

Step #7: Tap and drag the end of the audio track.

You can drag the yellow bar at the end and move it to the exact point where you want the audio to end.

If you can't see the yellow bar on the far-right end of the audio track, swipe left below the audio track to scroll to the end.

To move the audio track to another location, select and hold it for about one second, and then move it to the desired video’s location.

Step #8: Select the Play tab for preview.

It's the sideways triangle just below the video preview.

Step #9: Select the Done button when you're finished.

It is present at the screen’s top-left corner. You have now confirmed the changes done to your project.

If you want to play it on any other device, tap the Share button at the bottom after choosing the Done tab and select Save Video to export it.

Part 4: Audio Editing Tips for iMovie Users

Here are some guidelines or tips for various audio editing processes, starting from cutting trim music on iMovie, using iMovie to trim audio and video together, and other audio and video editing tips.

  • Use Waveforms to See What You Hear

Sound is just as relevant as the images in a video, and should focus just as much during editing. To efficiently and adequately edit audio, you need a good set of speakers and headphones to hear the sound, and you also need to be able to see the sound.

If the waveforms don't appear, go to the "view" drop-down menu and select "show waveforms", the waveform would show you the sound intensity level of a sound clip and definitely would give you an idea of what part will need to be turned up or down.

  • Audio Adjustments

With the audio button situated at the top right, you have access to some essential audio editing tools for changing the sound level of your chosen clip or changing the relative volume of other films in the project.

The audio editing window also contains primary noise reduction and audio equalization tools and a range of effects – from robot to echo- which would affect how people sound in your video.

  • Editing Audio with the Timeline

iMovie permits you to adjust the audio within the clips themselves, each volume as a bar. You can shift up and down to increase or decrease the audio level. The clips also have "fade in" and "fade out" buttons at the beginning and end, which are draggable to adjust the fade length.


Finally, with the answers to the question, how to cut audio in iMovie, you can follow the simple step guide and feel free to edit your audio or video to your taste using iMovie or Wondershare Filmora.

author avatar
Marion Dubois
Marion Dubois is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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