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How to Do an L-Cut and J-Cut in iMovie?

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Sep 23, 2021• Proven solutions

Are you an inspired person interested in creating unique videos that could get hits on YouTube or Facebook? With the evolution of professional video editors and experts, the animation and film industry's world has reached heights compared to the past. You no more need a professional videographer or an expert in the field. Instead, all you need is a professional video editor to sprinkle sparkles or magic on your videos and bring them to life. If you have Mac, I hope you would have come across iMovie L-Cut and iMovie J-Cut for sure. And if not, you can get to know in detail how to do an L-Cut in iMovie along with J-Cut.  

Part 1: The Basics of L-Cut and J-Cut

As you know, iMovie is an in-built video editor tool that comes on your Mac device suited to perform advanced video editing operations without any prior technical skills required. When it comes to editing, split, fade, and wipes take the top spot in the visual community.

In split editing, iMovie L-Cut and iMovie J-Cut are the popular ones to overlap audio from one scene to the next or transition from one shot to another where the audio and video transits at different times. Although the terms seem similar, they are different. They are nothing, but scene transitions accomplished oppositely.

In iMovie L-Cut, the audio from the previous scene carries out to the following one despite visual changes.

iMovie J-Cut, whereas, is reverse to the iMovie L-Cut as the scene's audio plays over the video from the previous footage.

Part 2: How to Do an L-Cut in iMovie?

Are you interested to know how to do an L-Cut in iMovie? Here is a step-by-step guide below to show you how to perform iMovie L-Cut at ease.

Step 1: Launch iMovie and import files

On your Mac, launch iMovie, and once it is open, tap the "Import Media" option from the primary interface to bring the video into iMovie. You can also do a drag-and-drop to get the files into the workspace.

Step 2: Detach audio

Now, drag the intended videos to the timeline and trim them wherever required.

Once added, right-click on the video to which you want the audio to equalize with the other, and select the "Detach Audio" option.

Step 3: Fade out audio

Now, the audio gets detached and comes under the audio section below the video in the timeline.

As you can see, the audio is still on the same limit without getting related to the following clip. So, all you have to do is, fade out the first clip's audio a little to connect to the next clip, like the way you find it on television shows or movies.

To apply fade-out to the first clip's audio, drag the small circle to the spot on the audio and place it. The wave has faded out to down, indicating the audio fades at the end.

Step 4: Apply L-Cut to the audio track

Once placed on the audio, you can preview the video and find how correctly it is placed or adjust it as required to co-relate with the preceding one. So, why is it called an L-Cut? It is because of the shape of the video and the audio on the timeline. Your iMovie L-Cut is all done.  

That is how to do an L-Cut in iMovie and for sure, give it a try today.

Part 3: How to Do a J-Cut in iMovie?

While iMovie L-Cut was that easy, how do you expect the iMovie J-Cut to be? It is damn easy just because J-Cut is just opposite to the L-Cut as the letter goes in the opposite direction and the video clip comes into the index before the video does. So, with delay, let’s get into the below manual to know-how.

Step 1: Import media files

To start with, from the iMovie welcome window, import the video files you are about to edit. Here, we have taken two short videos in the timeline where the second video is to sync with the first video audio track with the iMovie J-Cut. 

Step 2: Trim the video and detach the audio

To make the second audio sync with the first one, trim the second video a little until required, as the first video's audio is to carry out with the second video. Now, right-click on the second video clip, and click the "Detach Audio" option. 

Step 3: Drag the audio

Now, to make the audio sync within both videos, drag the second video's audio track to the left until they get correctly related to the scene. 

You can now preview the video by playing it on the preview pane, and yes, you have successfully created iMovie J-Cut. Confused how? When you look at the timeline, you could incur the shift between the first video and the audio track that resembles the letter J.


Although the terms iMovie L-Cut and iMovie J-Cut might seem challenging to apply initially, I am sure now you find it all doable. Even though you would have tried many video effects with iMovie on your Mac, it's now time to make your video similar to the one you see on your television. Finally, now that you have come to know how to do an L-Cut in iMovie along with J-Cut, it's time to put them into practice today!

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Liza Brown
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.