When creating a video for How-to, commentary, presentation, or dubbing on Mac, you can use iMovie, the powerful video editing tool on Mac computers, to trim the video and add audio to it. iMovie has a built-in Voice-over feature that allows users to add a narration to the video. In this tutorial, I will walk you through the details of how to record a voice-over on iMovie.

Add Audio on iMovie

1. How to record a voice-over on iMovie

Since most Mac screens are pre-installed with a microphone device, you don’t need to insert an extra one unless you’re looking forward to higher audio quality.

Step 1 Open Voiceover

On your iMovie, click the Import button and add your movie to iMovie. Then, click the icon of Record Voiceover.

iMovie Record Voiceover Audio

Step 2 Start to record an audio

You may click the Voiceover Options button to set up the audio source for the voice-over and adjust the volume of the recording. You can also mute the original sound temporarily of this clip.

iMovie Record Voiceover Options

Click the big red button of Start Recording.

After a 3-second countdown, iMovie will start to run your video clip and the Voiceover is on the run. You may follow the playback and speak to your microphone.

When you finish adding voice, click Stop Recording.

Step 3 Preview and adjust the audio

To adjust and preview the audio, you need to click Done first. Next, you can click Start to preview the video along with the voiceover.

You can locate your voiceover in Timeline and drag it to reposition it.

iMovie Record Voiceover Reposition Audio

To set the fade-in and fade-out effect for your voiceover, you need to click on the green bar of it first. Then, click the 2 tiny pots on the bar to set a certain fading effect.

You can also adjust the playback rate of the voiceover by dragging its start/ending point to the left or right.

iMovie Set Voiceover Fade in Fade out

If you want to modify the volume of the clip, still, locate the green bar first. Then, move your cursor to the line that lies upon the middle of the bar. Click it and drag up or down to make it louder or softer.

So, this is how you can record a voiceover on your iMovie.

Tip: The Voiceover feature only captures the real-time sound through a microphone device. To record the playback like the sound from YouTube, Spotify, or some other online platforms on your Mac computer, you may switch to an iMovie alternative.

2. How to fix the ‘iMovie won’t record Voiceover’ issue

When iMovie won’t let your record a voiceover, you can try these methods to fix it.

  • Click the Voiceover Options and set the Input Source as Built-in Microphone.
  • See if you’ve set the volume in iMovie as the lowest, it this is the case, set the volume slider to higher.
  • Make sure the computer’s audio is not muted.
  • Re-launch iMovie and reimport the footage.
  • Unplug all the third-party microphone devices, including a webcam or headphone with a microphone installed.

If iMovie still fails to record a voice-over after you try all the methods, you may give up on iMovie and try another tool to record the audio.

Walkaround: Record audio with a professional Mac audio recorder

When iMovie won’t let you record a voice-over or you plan to record the system playback of YouTube or Spotify sound, you can use Aiseesoft Mac Screen Recorder to record an audio file and then add it to your video clip with iMovie.

Aiseesoft Mac Screen Recorder is perfectly designed for Mac users to record both high-quality video and audio on a Macintosh. With the program installed, you can easily start to record all sounds (speaker&microphone audio) on your Mac with just 2 or 3 clicks.

Aiseesoft Mac Screen Recorder

Aiseesoft Mac Screen Recorder VS iMovie:

Similar to iMovie, you can preview and trim the output audio file.

Unlike iMovie, Aiseesoft Mac Screen Recorder ensures you the flexibility for audio recording, you are available to decide the quality and format of the output file so that you can maximize the performance of the file and minimize the size of it. Besides, the program offers keyboard shortcuts for activating the audio recording.

Now, let’s see how to use the Aiseesoft Mac Screen Recorder to record audio on Mac.

Step 1 Install Aiseesoft Mac Screen Recorder on your Mac

Step 2 Choose Audio Recorder

On its interface, choose Audio Recorder. Next, you need to decide the audio source for your audio recording. Turn on the Microphone option to record a voice-over for your video.

Record speaker sound on Mac:

If you want to record some protected or hard-to-download sound from a published movie, YouTube videos, or Spotify music, turn on the System Sound to enable Aiseesoft Mac Screen Recorder to catch all the computer sound on your Mac.

Mac Screen Recorder Record Audio

Step 3 Start recording

You can click REC on the Audio Recorder window or press the hotkey “Ctrl + Cmd + S” to start recording.

The program will start to record sound from the chosen audio source. You can:

  • Speak to the microphone when you want to record a voiceover or dub for your video.
  • Launch the content like a movie, YouTube video, or Spotify song on your Mac when you plan to record the speaker sound.

During the recording, a panel will pop up. You can click Pause on it to take a break or skip those unwanted content, click again to resume.

Screen Recorder Panel

When completed, click Stop on the panel or press Ctrl + Cmd + S to end the recording. You may preview the audio and trim it as well.

If the movie is recorded perfectly, click Save and choose a destination where you want to keep it.

Step 4 Add the audio file on your iMovie

You can now open iMovie and import the target footage. Click Audio on the interface and locate the voiceover you just made. Drag it to the Timeline and add it to your clip.

iMovie Audio Sound Effect

Tips: You can add sound effects and background music onto the footage as well.

Still, on the Audio module, you can see all the exiting audio files including sound effects, songs, music, and audio capture files.

Select one and use your mouse to drag it to the Timeline, place it on a suitable segment.

3. How to add/record audio on your iOS iMovie

Recently, iMovie is available on iPhone and iPad. iOS users can edit their videos and add audios on it just on their mobile devices directly without importing it to a computer.

Here’s how you can add audio on your iOS iMovie.

Step 1 Get in the Menu

After you import a video on your iMovie, tap on the Add icon.

iMovie iPhone Add

Step 2 Choose Audio or Voiceover

On the menu, you will see many types of content you can add to your videos. Here, you need to check out the Audio and Voiceover.

  • If you choose Audio, you can input those sounds that are already on your device.
  • Or you can click Voiceover to record a real-time narration for your video.

iMovie iPhone Add Audio Voiceover

Step 3 Add the audio on your video

If you choose Audio, you can see three options for you to choose from. You can choose to add music, sound effect, or soundtracks on your video. Just select one and add target audio to your video.

After you choose Voiceover, you need to tap on Record. Then iMovie will start to record the sound from the built-in microphone.

Note: You’d better do the recording on somewhere quiet, otherwise, your video will be full of noise.

iPhone iMovie Ready To Record

Finishing recording, click Stop, you can preview the voiceover you just recorded. If you’re not satisfied with it, just Retake one. Tap Accept if you like the audio.


To record audio or voice over on iMovie is not difficult at all as you follow the steps above. Also, when iMovie cannot help you record the audio, just try Aiseesoft Mac Screen Recorder to create high-quality audio for your movie.

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