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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
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!