How to Use iMovie to Make Your Own Music Videos – The Voice Club

iMovie is a super user-friendly program that can help your videos look great regardless of your experience with video software or computers. That’s because Mac’s are made for creative types. Sorry PC lovers, there simply isn’t anything with this many features that’s so dirt cheap and so easy to use for you. Best advice: Get a mac – you’ll never look back.
In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to record a music video with a YouTube karaoke track (like our members do many times for the Vocal Challenges at The Voice Club) utilizing the powerful magic that is iMovie.
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Open iMovie and click File > New Project.

It’s best to use ‘No Theme’ for a music video.
Name it whatever you like and let the rest of the boxes default to whatever pops up.
Automatically adding transitions is optional. If you don’t like them you can always click and delete at will.

Now we’re ready to record your live song. You can play your track (karaoke) from iTunes or from YouTube or play a live instrument. Just have your music all ready to go.
On the left side of the screen about half way down you’ll see a little camera icon. Click it to launch the recorder.

Make sure that your webcam is selected in the ‘Camera’ drop down by the clock. If you have two camera’s attached you can choose which you’d like to record with. Any standard built-in or USB webcam will work fine.
If you have a snazzy, pricey HD-like video camera, plug it into your computer and select it here. If you don’t have one – you’ll get similar quality from one of the newer webcams in the $75 range.


TESTING YOUR SOUND (“Check, check, check”) & VIDEO

You may have heard singers chant the mic check. You don’t need to do that at home. They’re only making sure the mic is plugged in….and trying to look cool. A better choice is to sing through the loudest part of your song as a mic check.
To test that your computer can indeed hear you and that you’re not going to sing too loud for the recording, sing a little bit of your song and watch the dancing green lights. If they go into the yellow on the loudest parts of your song, you’re good. If they touch red once or twice very briefly, still ok.
BUT if you start seeing red more than twice you’ll need to back up from the recording device (your webcams recorder or external microphone) during the loudest parts.
How loud you’re really singing can change dramatically between songs. It’s a good idea to test it out until you find the best distance before each new song.
To check your video just look at the screen. Do you see you? Are you too dark or too light? Is there an odd jacket in the background hanging on a coat hook that makes it look like you have a third arm coming out of your head?
This is the time to adjust all of those things to give you just the right super-star worthy look.
Keep in mind that simple backgrounds are better. Better yet, a blank background.
Lighting from the ceiling can make you look…well, bad. And shadowy.
Try adding a lamp at each side just out of view or a light source just behind the camera.
Move things around until you like the look. FINALLY – it’s time to…..



When you’re ready to begin recording your song, click the Capture button. Your computer will ask you which hard drive (if you have more than one connected) and which folder or Event you’d like to save your video to.
If you don’t already have a “worlds next major music sensation” or similarly named Event, create one.
Click the blue ‘Capture’ button to start recording. Then start your music, look deeply into the eye of the camera and sing it like the world is watching you on your first world tour.
When you’re done, click ‘Done’. Don’t worry about any extra time at the front or end of the video. We’ll clean that up next.




Your recording will appear in the folder (Event) you selected when you recorded it. Click the folder to see what videos have been saved there.
Select a video (aka a ‘take’) and drag it to the main blank screen at the top.



To zoom in or out of your video in the main top left area, simply move the slider bar right or left.

You should see your video with a jagged mountain of audio waves below it, like this:

If your video has no beautiful mountain of sound waves below it, we can easily fix that.
(oh no! Where is my beautiful mountain of sound?)

Click on the button to the left of the zoom in/out slider (ironically it looks like a mini jagged mountain of sound waves)

Ta-DAH! Bet you see it now.






Now we want to make the most of your beautiful mountain range of sound. If you see lots of yellow and orange in your sound wave that means the sound level is a little too high.

Click the horizontal line at the top of the sound wave and drag it down. You don’t want to remove all of the yellow. All blue and no yellow makes for a sound level that’s too low.

Instead, Adjust the line up and down until you only see the tip of the yellow every once in awhile. This will give you the best, even sound for your video.



Now it’s time to trim off the extra space at the beginning and end of your video. If you look at the wav (the mountain of sound below the video) you can easily see where the music started. You can also click the spacebar to play and listen for the point you want to start your video with.

Once you identify what you want to get rid of, click and drag the yellow brackets to select it. You can always grab the ends of the yellow brackets to adjust if you need to.

Deleting the selected section is as easy as clicking ‘Command+X’ or clicking ‘Edit’ in the menu and selecting ‘Cut’ from the drop down window.

Now just go to the end of your video, select the end part you’d like to delete and repeat the steps above to rid your video of dead space forever.



It’s easy to add your name and song title in iMovie.
Once your video is edited down, just click the ‘T’ button in the menu that lies at about the middle of your screen on the right side.
Below you’ll see your options for text. Choose one you like and drag it to the place you’d like the text; usually the very beginning.

A blue text bar will appear above the place you selected in your video. You can drag it right or left and stretch it longer or smaller to adjust the exact timing.

In the preview window you’ll see the text style you’ve chosen. To change the text, just click to select and replace it with your name and song title.

If you’re uploading a Voice Club studio challenge video, include the challenge name after your song title for extra brownie points.




Adding fade in’s and fade out’s is super simple and adds a nice touch.
When you click the Transition button (shown below) you’ll see a bunch of options for some cool effects.

We’ll stick with the standard ‘Cross Dissolve’ which is perfect for basic fade in’s and out’s for your super cool music video.

Click and drag the ‘Cross Dissolve’ button to the very beginning and very end of your video. You will see the button below appear.


If you’d like to make the fade in/out slower or faster, click on the transition marker and adjust the ‘Duration’. If you click the checkbox it will change any transitions in your video to this default. Click ‘Done’ to complete your change.




You can change your video to black and white or change the amount of color in it pretty easily in iMovie.
Just click the little settings wheel that appears on the first part of your video and choose ‘Video Adjustments’.

In the ‘Video’ tab you’ll find everything you need to play around with your video color. Try sliding the sliders and see what it does to your video in the preview window on the top right of the screen. If you don’t like it just click ‘revert to original’. If you do, click ‘Done’ to save your changes.
To turn your color video to black and white, slide the ‘Saturation’ slider all the way to the left.




Once you’ve got your video looking like you want it, it’s time to get it uploaded for the world to see.
Click ‘Share’ from the top menu and choose ‘YouTube’.

Enter your YouTube account and password and add your video details.
If you’re uploading a Voice Club challenge video, add that after the title.
Adding tags help people to find your video when they search for certain words. Add the words you think people might search for that you’d like to lead to your video.

To make the video private (which means no one but you will ever see your masterpiece unless you specifically give them permission through your YouTube account, check the box at the bottom.
A better option is to leave this unchecked. If you decide you hate it later, just delete the video from your YouTube account. But why are you going through all the trouble to make music videos if you don’t want someone to see them?
To upload your video, click ‘Next’.
When your video it up, your browser should take you to the page where it lives. This is the address you’ll want to copy and email to the studio when you submit your vocal challenge video.
Next, email it to people who love you and tell them you expect them to leave a very nice comment after all your hard work.
Making music video’s is a great way to improve your performance skills, gain more experience connecting through your music and provide real life goals that will drive you to sing better faster.
So what video are you making next?
For more tutorials, click the link below.
Apples iMovie Tutorials
(here’s a little video I did in iMovie ’11. The audio was done separately, the video was done in several takes against a piece of green felt using the ‘green screen’ feature of iMovie. Hardly advanced stuff once you get to know iMovie. It’s fun to get stupid and creative! Go for it!)


How to Choose the Right Microphone – The Voice Club

Learn the difference between a live mic and a recording microphone, what to look for and how much to (and NOT to) pay to get a great quality mic for as cheap as possible in this training video.

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How to Use GarageBand to Record Your Cover Song – The Voice Club

In this webinar and tutorial video I’ll show you why any singer at any level can and SHOULD be recording at home.  Then I’ll walk you through the simple steps to make a great sounding recording even if you’ve never used GarageBand before.
As a career producer, I’ll show you the tips all great producers use to get the best sound out of your recording; tips you won’t see in most ‘google tutorials’


Additional Downloads & Training:

[private_Basic Training]
[private_Advanced Training]

Download the PDF Tutorial guide here

GargeBand Tutorial Only

[/private_Basic Training]
[/private_Advanced Training]

Signs of Trouble with Your Voice – The Voice Club

voice painIs there something wrong with my voice?
The Voice Club’s speech therapist Chelsea Roberts has a great list of symptoms that your voice could be in trouble.
As a speech therapist, there are several things I listen for when evaluating a new patient. Most of the warning signs I listen for are also signs you would recognize as well! It does not always take an expert to identify a concerning sound but does usually take an expert to treat the disorder. Below is a list of ten vocal symptoms that may require attention from a speech therapist.

1. Pitch breaks
2. Phonation breaks (voice completely cuts out for a second)
3. Increased vocal fatigue as the day progresses
4. Harsh vocal quality (raspy, gruff, etc…)
5. Low pitch
6. Frequent laryngitis
7. Frequent throat clearing or coughing
8. Inappropriate breath support (odd breathing patterns)
9. Obvious vocal and/or neck tension
10. Reduced loudness or vocal range

If you hear these symptoms in your voice while signing or talking it may be time to request a referral from your primary care physician for an evaluation by a licensed speech and language pathologist.
Good luck and happy singing!

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