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Recording a narration in Movie Maker 2

Movie Maker 2 makes it really easy to record a voice narration over your movie. The program even has a built-in recording wizard that allows you to record over a microphone while you watch a preview of your movie.

This feature is very useful, and allows you to quickly narrate descriptive videos. For example, if you are selling a house, you could film all the rooms and later record a running commentary to go with it. Another great use for a voice track is in creating picture slideshows. You could take pictures from your digital camera, lay them on the MovieMaker timeline, and then record a narration for your “slideshow!”

To use this function, you’re going to need a microphone. Fortunately, most cheap desk microphones work fine for voice recording. For the best results, you may want to invest in a headset mic – the earphones will give you real-time feedback of what your voice sounds like. This allows you to annunciate clearly and correct for voice-popping and inadvertent mouth noises.

To use the voice track wizard, simply press the “Narrate timeline” button located to the left of the timeline. When you click this button, the narration wizard will pop-up and give you some recording options. Most of these are pretty obvious … you can click “show more options” to see more recording choices. You’ll need to pick your recording device (your sound card) and plug a microphone into your computer’s microphone-in jack.

Inside the pop-up wizard is a microphone level bar that moves up and down as you speak. If this bar does not appear to be moving, your microphone may not be set up properly. Setting up a microphone for the first time can be frustrating, but here are the major things you should check.

  1. Your microphone isn’t set as the “recording device.”
    You may need to go into your sound properties panel, and make sure that your microphone is set as your recording device. You can also do this within Movie Maker’s recording wizard.

  2. The “microphone boost” is on or off.
    If you find that your microphone sounds distorted or is too loud/soft … your microphone boost may be on or off. You can find this option under sound properties under the advanced settings button. You can try altering this option, also called “Mic 20dB up,” to get the best sound quality.

  3. The sound isn’t loud enough.
    Make sure that you are getting good sound levels within the MovieMaker voice wizard. Try to get the sound meter near the red, but not to the topmost red bar … if your sound is set to high, your voice will distort. You can also increase the voice track volume after you lay it down in your timeline.

Once you’ve got your microphone working, you can record your narration. The narration wizard will play your movie, and you can record your dialogue while watching the movie preview. When you are done talking, click “stop.” The wizard will try to save the voice track file onto your hard drive … you should save this audio file inside your project’s main folder to keep your files organized.

Moviemaker 2 will automatically import your narration into your collections. To place it in your movie, simply drag the audio-clip onto the timeline. You can then move or trim the ends of the voice track, and change the volume level with the volume button.

The “narrate timeline” option is done very well in Movie Maker, and this is one function that Movie maker 2 does better than competing products.

Next: Working with Multiple Audio Tracks


You can find more useful home-video "tips and tricks" like this one at Mighty Coach - they even have an online-video course that teaches you to edit video on your home computer!


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