Adding Tunes to Your Video
Adding Tunes to Your Video
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Adding Tunes to Your Video

By Olivia Harlow

Now that you’ve digitized your memories for life, it’s time to amp up your recordings and make them even more special! One fun way to add zest to your old photos and videos is by including music. Whether it’s background noise to a photo slideshow or dominant sound for a silent film, a tune or two adds a layer of intrigue to your content.


Choosing Your Music

If you’re adding music to a slideshow, the song you choose can be upbeat and/or include lyrics. However, if you’re including a song on a talkative video with already low sound quality, lyrics and a strong base can make it harder to hear what’s being said in the original footage and distract from what’s happening. (That said, you can always fade the volume during more crucial moments and apply full sound during quieter instances.)

If there’s a song that resonates with you most or is tied to a specific memory from your film, you might want to consider downloading it for your slide or video. The more personalized, the better!

Think of the mood you want to portray when selecting your music, and keep in mind that if you plan to show your creation publicly (or use it commercially) there are legal limitations to what you can and cannot use.


How to Add Music in iMovie

In iMovie—an app that comes with any Apple computer product and can be used for slideshows and movies—you can select songs from GarageBand (another Apple app) or your iTunes library. Additionally, you can add sound effects that are available through the app, as well as personalized voiceovers.

Once you’ve imported (or drag and dropped) your digitized video content into your iMovie timeline as a new project, you can add audio accordingly. Do this by following these steps:

  1. Select “Audio” above your browser.
  2. In the sidebar, select the iTunes, Sound Effects, or Garage Band symbol—depending on which you plan to pull from for music.
  3. Contents of the selected item will then appear in list form. Browse for your desired clip, and drag it into iMovie’s music area. This is located below your timeline.
  4. Now that your music is added, you can position it (so that it starts at a certain time in your video), trim it (shorten it to desired length, normally to match the duration of your visual footage), and edit its sound levels. Because any exterior audio is its own entity and is tweaked in this separate area of your timeline, any changes made in your music or video are independent and do not affect one another.


How to Add Music in Final Cut Pro

In Final Cut Pro—a downloadable video app—you can select any available songs stored on your computer, as long as Final Cut supports the format. (Final Cut allows all AAC, AIFF, BWF, CAF, MP3, MP4, and WAV files.) Similar to iMovie, you can also add other sounds and voiceovers, if desired.

Once you’ve imported your project into your Final Cut timeline, you can then add music accordingly, using these steps:

  1. In the upper-right corner of your timeline, click on the “Music and Sound” icon. This will open a browser, from which you can select your song choice. (Keep in mind that this means you already need to own or have downloaded the song you’d like to use.)
  2. Select a music file or source in the browser, and drop it into your timeline. (You can choose multiple if you’d like.)
  3. Drag the file so that it aligns with your movie, and edit it to your preference. Just like in iMovie, you can trim the file or edit its volume and how it fades in and out, to your liking, using right click buttons and exploring your options.


Music enhances emotion, and when watching a nostalgic stream of photos or a sentimental video, a song can make a huge difference! Make your special moments all the more special with a song that fits your story!

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