Add Music Effects to iMovie Mac

Adding background music or sound effects to a movie is essential unless, of course, you’re creating a silent film. And in iMovie, you have options for theme music, songs from your playlists, cool sound effects, and more.

If you’re ready to put sound with your picture, here’s how to add music and audio effects to a movie in iMovie on both Mac and iOS.

Add music and audio effects on Mac

You can add both background music and sound effects to your movie in iMovie and it’s easier than you probably think.

Open iMovie and your Project for editing. Then follow these steps to add music or sound effects.

1) At the top, in the iMovie Browser area, click the Audio tab. Optionally, you can also click the Show Libraries List button so that your options display on the left side for easy viewing.

Open Audio Options iMovie Mac

2) Pick from iTunes or GarageBand to add your own music or choose Sound Effects for neat sounds or Theme Music.

3) You can then use the drop-down box to the right to narrow down your list. For instance, if you pick iTunes, you can then select from Music, Podcasts, or your playlists. If you pick Sound Effects, you select from Animals, Transportation, or Sports. The Sound Effects choices also include Theme Music like News and Travel.

Audio Options iMovie Mac

4) Once you narrow down your options, you can listen to the music or effects by clicking the Play button.

5) To add audio to your movie, click it at the top, drag it to the spot you want it in your movie Timeline, and release.

Add Audio iMovie Mac

Add music and audio effects on iPhone

Like in iMovie on Mac, you can add both music and sound effects to your movies on iPhone. So, pop open your Project in iMovie on your device and follow these steps.

1) Tap the plus sign button on the top left of your Timeline.

2) Select Audio.

3) Then pick from options like Theme Music, Sound Effects, Playlists, or Songs. You can also do a search if you want something specific.

Audio Options iMovie iPhone

4) Tap to hear the music or effect and then tap Use to insert it into your movie.

You’ll then be taken back to your movie and will see the audio added to your Timeline.

Add Audio iMovie iPhone

Add music and audio effects on iPad

While iMovie is similar to iPhone on iPad, adding music and sound effects is slightly different. Open your iMovie Project and then follow these steps for iPad.

1) Tap the plus sign button on the top right of the screen.

2) Select Audio.

3) Then pick from Soundtracks, My Music, or Sound Effects. If you select My Music or Sound Effects, you’ll get a search option on the next screen if you want something in particular. Or you can just browse.

Audio Options iMovie iPad

4) Tap to hear the music or effect and then tap the plus sign to insert it into your movie.

You’ll see the audio added to your movie Timeline.

Add Audio iMovie iPad

If you prefer to use Theme Music for your movie on iPad, do the following instead:

1) Tap the gear icon on the top right of the screen.

2) Move the slider to enable Theme Music. You cannot pick the Theme Music separately from the (visual) Theme like on Mac and iPhone. So, keep this in mind if you are already using a Theme for your movie.

Theme Music iMovie iPad

Wrapping it up

Adding dramatic or fun music along with kooky or cool sound effects to your movie just makes it better. And iMovie on Mac and iOS gives you great options and flexibility to make your movie sound as good as it looks. Are you going to add some sound to your flick? Let us know!

Be on the lookout for our upcoming tutorial that shows you how to edit, overlap, and do more with your audio effects in iMovie.