How to Add Music and Fade-in and Fade-out Effects in iMovie 11

 The filmmaking staple technique of fade-in and fade-out audio is easy to achieve in iMovie 11. One of the first things you should do as you get ready to add your fading clip is to turn on the advanced tools in the menu.

Turn on advanced tools by going to Menu > Preferences and select Show Advanced Tools. This will give you access to the Waveform Editor, which appears at the bottom of the Project Browser window as a button with a squiggly waveform image on it.

Click the Waveform Editor button top display the music and audio in your video clip.

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Find Music in iMovie 11

In iMovie, you can access music and sound effects by clicking on the music note in the center-right part of the screen. This will open up the iMovie music and sound effects library, where you can access your iTunes library, Garage Band songs, as well as music and sound effects from iMovie and other iLife applications.

You can sort music by song title, artist and song length. You can also use the search bar to find particular songs.

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Add Background Music to a Project in iMovie 11

When you've selected a song, drag it from the music library to the timeline. If you want the song as background music for the entire video, drop not on a clip but on the gray background of the project editor window.

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Add Music to Part of a Project in iMovie 11

If you only want the song included for part of the video, drag it to the spot in the sequence where you want it to begin. The musical track will appear underneath the video clips.

Once it is placed in a project, you can still move the song by clicking and dragging it elsewhere in the timeline.​

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Editing Music With the Audio Inspector

Open the Audio Inspector either by clicking on the i button in the middle bar of iMovie, or by clicking on the tool wheel in the music clip.

In the Audio Inspector you can adjust the volume of the song in your iMovie project. Or, with the Ducking button, adjust the volume of the other clips that play at the same time as the song.

The Enhance and Equalizer tools can be used on a song, but usually aren't necessary for professionally recorded music.

The Clip Inspector in the other tab in the Audio Inspector window offers tools for adjusting the song's volume and adding audio effects to it.

How to Fade-In and Fade-Out Music

You can also control how the song fades in and out during the video. In the Waveform Editor timeline, position the pointer over the audio clip. This will bring up the fade handles. 

Drag the fade handle to the points in the timeline where you want the music fade to start, and then drag the handle to the point you want the music fade to stop.

If you drag the handle to the beginning of the clip, you will get a fade-in, while dragging to the end will create a fade-out.

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