How to cut music in iMovie

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Pau Monfort
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Audio editing is a huge part of video production. Everything from dialogue to songs to background noises has to sound perfect for a video to be fun. With that in mind, sometimes you just have to let go of some things to shed some light on others. Therefore, cutting music is something you will do very often if you are editing video in iMovie. So, to help you deal with this kind of situation in a winning way, here are some tips and tricks on how to cut music and how to edit audio clips.



There are two methods for removing an audio clip from a project. Here is the first method:

  1. Open a project.
  2. Tap and hold on the audio clip.
  3. Wait for it to detach from the timeline.
  4. Drag the audio clip over the timeline.
  5. Wait for a smoke effect to show and release your grip.

And the second method:

  1. Open a project.
  2. Tap the audio clip.
  3. Tap the "Delete" button at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Alternatively, tap the scissors action button.

With these two methods you can eliminate all unwanted audio from your project. But what if not all audio is to be deleted for your project? Or what if you want to shorten it or only use certain parts of the audio clip so that the video makes more sense?

You can use some of the other audio editing features iMovie has to offer.


You can use one of the following methods to split audio clips:

Method 1:

  1. Open a project.
  2. Scroll the timeline to the point where you want to split the clip.
  3. Tap the audio clip.
  4. Tap the scissors button in the "Actions" menu.
  5. Tap "Divide".

Method 2:

  1. Open a project.
  2. Tap the video in the timeline.
  3. Tap the scissors button in the "Actions" menu.
  4. Tap "Detach".

This will separate the audio clip from the movie. From there you can do whatever you want with it: move, remove, edit, all without messing with the video clip's timeline.


What if you don't want to remove an entire audio track from one of your projects. You can also adjust its duration and shorten it.

  1. Open a project.
  2. Tap the audio clip.
  3. Wait for the trim handles to appear.
  4. Drag the handles to the clip points.
  5. Tap outside the audio clip to finalize the change.


In addition to changing the duration of an audio clip, moving it to the background or foreground, or removing it entirely, you can also add some very interesting effects. iMovie doesn't just have a good visual effects library.

To fiddle with different audio effects in iMovie you need to go to the 4th and final audio adjustment tab. There you will find a list of effects that can change the pitch of your music, add echo, make it sound like a phone call, attenuate the sound, or add various types and amounts of reverb.

Most of the effects should be familiar if you've used any type of music player. And let's not forget everyone's favorite cathedral effect that can turn any song into something very weird or even epic.


Matching the perfect music to your video won't always be easy. But since you now know how to edit the music and cut it out of your project, you should waste less time. Tell us, what are the songs you are dying to add to your video project? And how do you feel about iMovie and its features compared to other audio-video editing software?

Further Reading:

  • How to add music to a video on iPhone
  • Best apps to join videos on iPhone
  • How to speed up a video on iPhone with iMovie or the Photos app
  • How to delete audio from video on Android and iPhone
  • How to trim a video on all devices

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