Ability to remove one person's voice in iMovie?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ckesten, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. ckesten, Mar 28, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011

    ckesten macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2008
    New York
    Hello -

    I am using iMovie 11 and have searched for an answer with no luck.
    I have a scene where 2 people are talking and one talks over the other. I'd like the ability to remove one of the voice at a point in time.

    Appreciate the help in advance.
  2. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    iMovie doesn't show the audio as separate tracks, so you can't do it.
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Even if iMovie did show the separate audio tracks there is no way to know if the source audio contains isolated tracks of each person.

  4. chrisd1974 macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2009
    London, UK
    iMovie probably isn't the best choice for this. Because the movie file is already 'mixed down' it's hard to separate sounds, but it might be possible to minimise the unwanted sounds

    If you can get the audio into an audio editing programme like Audigy or Logic I have the following thoughts:

    1 - Stereo separation
    Was the video recorded in stereo and where the people standing on opposite sides of the shot? If so you might find less of the unwanted voice in the left or right channel. You could therefore pan completely left at the point of the offending crossover, then bounce the audio file as a mono file.

    2 - Tone / Frequency
    Are the voices different in tone? By using a very narrow parametric eq you may be able to dial out the words by reducing the gain on the frequencies of the unwanted voice. In MS Logic the EQ facility has a function which allows you to see the frequencies of an audio file graphically.

    3 - Relative volumes
    Is the unwanted voice quieter? If so a noise reduction plugin might work to reduce the unwanted voice further.

    4 - Repeated words?
    Is the problem word said somewhere else by the speaker? If so you might be able to cut and paste the word from another part of his speech over the unwanted interruption

    5 - Generally removing the other voice
    Where they are not overlapping it will be easier to remove the other voice, just use the audio editor's tools to silence the audio file when the other person is talking

    Once you've done all your audio editing you'll need to bounce and export the audio file then drop it back into iMovie, silencing the original sountrack.

    Free tools you can use for all of this include Quicktime for separating the audio file, Audigy (for audio editing), or ideally Logic.
  5. chrisd1974 macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2009
    London, UK
    Wow - I just called logic MS Logic. Ultimate slur!! It's because I'm on my work computer surrounded by microsoft products unfortunately!!
  6. floatingspirit macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah, but your answer still ROCKED! Nice one.

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