On Sat, 19 May 2007 13:51:01 -0700, SteveG
>I'm editing a short, 5-minute video for a submission to a cable channel.
>While i know that Movie Maker is very rudimentary, it will hopefully serve my
>The problem I'm having is that I'm transferring my video via a firewire
>connection, which carries the audio track with the video. Then MM provides a
>secondary audio track so you can lay down background music, VO etc.
>Where I'm stuck is that I can't find any controls to edit the audio tracks.
>Specifically, I want to lessen the track connected to the video and bring up
>the music an effects on the secondary track.
>Any one know the secrets?
Not a secret, the different between a toy and a real video editing
application. Microsoft totally dropped the ball with Movie Maker. With
their clout they could have if they wanted to, make a decent entry
level application to bundle with Windows. They didn't.
Movies typically have two streams. A seperate video and audio stream.
Real video editors of course can work on either seperately. Better
ones can support dozens of different tracks each set differently. You
can seperate the two with many utilites. The process has a fancy name
called demultiplex, often shortened to demux.
Many free tools do this.
Once the audio is seperate you can apply different levels to the
background music, and repeat the process for your voice over making it
The professional way is by adding what's called a envelope. Typically
this is a tool that overlays the audio track. You can set points
anywhere along the track thus raising or lowering the gain at will
depending on how many points you set and where you place them.
Better packages allow multiple tracks. When you render the movie, the
tracks get combined into a single audio track. So the end result is
your voice over would be of a higher volume while your backgroud music
would be as it should, soften in the background.
Way better, most better video editors come with many audio tools, the
main three being a Track Equalizer, a compressor and a noise gate.
These are almost required tools if you want your project to end up
A compressor is a combination audio level meter and tools to alter the
gain. A noise gate does as the name suggests by tweaking the attack
and decay times. A Equalizer allows you to raise and lower the gain
over a frequency range. This is how you can filter out or boost sounds
over a frequency range thus increasing midtones if you like while
raising or lowering lower and higher frequencies.
This is all very basic, simple stuff.
Rather then searching all over the net for a bunch of seperate tools,
take a few minutes and download a trial of Sony's Vegas or Movie
Studio. Both do all I said and way, way more.
Warning, once you try either, you'll never go back to Microsoft's
under powered klunky movie maker. In fact you'll kick yourself for
using it at all and wasting your time once you see how easy and
rewarding video editing can be... with the right tools.