How do you add voice recordings to movie maker?

Windows Movie Maker is a free video editing software included with Windows XP through Windows 10 that allows users to import and edit video clips, images, and audio files to create movies. Some key features include adding text, transitions, visual effects, narration, and background music. Adding a voice recording or narration track is a great way to enhance your movies in Movie Maker.

Narration helps provide context, deliver information, and make your movies more engaging and polished. By syncing your voice recording to the video, you can provide an explanatory audio guide for the visual content. This tutorial will walk through the steps for importing an audio track, recording narration directly within Movie Maker, syncing the narration track to video clips, and adjusting audio settings to optimize the narration.

Follow along to learn how to seamlessly mix voiceover narration with your video projects using Windows Movie Maker’s audio editing tools. With these simple steps, you can give your movies a professional sheen.

Prepare Your Audio

Before adding narration to your movie, it’s important to prepare high-quality audio recordings. When recording narration, use a microphone designed for voice recording, like a USB condenser mic, rather than your computer’s built-in mic (Source). Record in a quiet space without background noise. Speak clearly and evenly into the microphone. Position the mic close to your mouth but not directly in front.

After recording your narration, edit the audio clips in audio editing software like Audacity or Adobe Audition. Trim out any mistakes, gaps or background noises. Adjust the volume so the narration is loud and clear without peaking or distorting. Add effects like compression to even out the volume. Export the edited audio clips as high-quality MP3 or WAV files.

Make sure the audio files are formatted properly for use in video editing. Keep the bit rate high for best quality, like 192 kbps for MP3 files. Don’t apply normalization or other effects that could introduce artifacts when combined with video. The edited audio clips should sound clear and consistent for seamless integration with your movie footage.

Import Media to Movie Maker

To add audio files in Movie Maker, the first step is to import them. Here’s how to import audio into Movie Maker:

Open Movie Maker and click “Add videos and photos” on the Home tab. Navigate to the folder containing your audio files and select them. You can also drag and drop files directly into Movie Maker.

Movie Maker supports importing audio in these formats: .aif, .aifc, .aiff, .asf, .au, .mp2, .mp3, .mpa, .snd, .wav, and .wma (Source). The most common formats are .mp3, .wav, and .wma.

All imported media will appear in the “Collections” pane on the left. You can preview audio clips here before adding them to the timeline. It’s a good idea to organize your media into folders to keep your project tidy.

Add Narration Track

Here are the steps to add a narration track in Windows Movie Maker:

First, click on the “Tools” tab at the top and select “Narrate Timeline” [1]. This will open up the narration toolbar.

Next, connect a microphone to your computer and place it close enough to pick up your voice clearly. It’s best to use a dedicated USB microphone for narration if possible.

Then click the “Start Narration” button and begin speaking your narration while the video plays. Your voice will be recorded in real time and added as an audio track to the timeline.

When you are finished, click the “Stop Narration” button. You should now see the narration audio waveform added to the timeline.

To adjust the volume of the narration track, simply drag the circular handles on the audio waveform up or down. Test the levels by playing back that section of the video. Get the volume loud enough to be clearly heard over the video.

You can also use the “Split” tool to slice the narration audio as needed to sync it perfectly with the video. Just click and drag the tool at the points you want to split the track.

With the narration added and properly adjusted, your video is now ready for the final edit and export.

Sync Narration to Video

Proper alignment between the audio narration and video clips is crucial for a professional looking movie. However, it’s common to end up with misaligned audio and video due to differences in recording time or improper import settings. Here are some tips for syncing narration to video in Movie Maker:

First, check that the audio track length matches the video length. If they are different lengths, you may need to trim the longer segment to match. Select the audio clip on the timeline, click “Edit”, and use the trimming tools to shorten the audio duration.

Next, zoom into the timeline so you can inspect alignment between waveforms and video closely. If words are not syncing up with lip movements, you’ll need to shift the audio earlier or later. Drag the audio clip left or right on the timeline to line it up accurately.

For fine tuning, use the nudge buttons on the timeline toolbar to move the audio in very small increments. Preview frequently to check sync and make micro adjustments until aligned.

Finally, the properties settings when importing media can also impact sync issues. Adjusting import settings may help align audio better on the next attempt if trimming doesn’t work.

Apply Audio Effects

Windows Movie Maker comes with several built-in audio effects that you can apply to enhance your movie’s narration track. Some of the key effects to use include:

Volume – Use this to increase or decrease the volume level of your narration. This is helpful if certain sections are louder or softer than you want.

Fade – Apply a fade in or fade out effect to smoothly transition your narration audio. This can help introduce your voiceover and wrap it up cleanly.

Equalizer – The equalizer allows you to boost or cut specific frequency ranges in your narration. For example, you may want to reduce lower frequencies that cause “boominess.”

Compressor – A compressor effect helps even out the dynamics in your voiceover, reducing loud peaks and bringing up quieter sections. This creates consistently leveled audio.

Chorus – The chorus effect simulates multiple voices speaking in unison. Use subtly to thicken and enhance your narration vocal.

Applying these built-in audio effects while previewing your movie gives you powerful control to polish and enhance your voiceover narration track.


Preview with Narration

Once you’ve added your narration track, the next step is to review the full video with the narration included to make sure everything looks and sounds as you intended. Here are some tips for previewing your movie project with narration:

Go to the beginning of your project timeline and click the Play button to start playback from the beginning. Listen closely to ensure the narration audio is clear and at the right volume compared to the video and any other audio tracks.

Pay attention to the timing and sync between the narration and video content. If the narration feels out of sync or starts too early or late, you may need to adjust the placement of the narration track on the timeline.

Consider adding transitions between video clips if the narration continues over edit points. This can help smooth out the flow.

Make note of any spots where the narration feels too long or short compared to the visuals. You may want to edit the narration recording or time the video edits differently.

Check for spots with long pauses or silence in the narration. You may want to trim or edit the gaps for better pacing.

Listen for audio quality issues like pops, uneven volume, echo, or background noise. Fix any problems with the raw narration audio before finalizing.

Preview on different devices like phones or speakers to check the mix. Make final audio adjustments before exporting if needed.

Take advantage of being able to freely preview and review with the narration added. Make any synchronization, timing, pacing, or audio tweaks necessary before finalizing your movie.

Export Movie

When exporting your narrated movie from Movie Maker, it’s important to choose the right export settings to preserve audio quality. Select an output format that supports high-quality audio like .mp4 or .mov. Avoid compressed formats like .wmv as these can degrade the audio.

Under the “Save Movie” menu, check the box for “Best quality for playback on my computer.” This will export the video at the highest resolution and bitrate to minimize quality loss.

For audio, choose “Stereo (high quality)” and a bitrate of at least 128kbps. This will ensure your narration exports cleanly and at CD quality. Avoid lower bitrates as they can introduce artifacts and distortion in the audio.

When sharing your narrated video online, it’s best to upload the high-quality master export. Video sites like YouTube and Vimeo will encode your video for streaming, so you want to start with pristine audio. Avoid re-encoding your video at lower settings before uploading, as this can compound compression artifacts.

If file size is an issue, aim to reduce the video bitrate while preserving higher audio quality. You can also edit the video resolution and frame rate as needed without impacting the audio.

Following these tips will help you export and share your narrated Movie Maker projects with optimal sound quality. Focus on high-bitrate stereo audio and minimal compression to do justice to your narration work.

Tips for Better Narration

When narrating a video, focus on developing an ideal narration style, improving your vocal delivery, and working effectively with scripts.

Ideal Narration Style

Aim for a conversational, engaging tone that sounds natural. Speak clearly and not too quickly, with proper enunciation. Avoid a monotone voice by varying your pitch and inflection. Sound authoritative yet approachable. Make your narration style match the video style and context.

According to the TechSmith blog, “The final element of great voice over work is ensuring that you pronounce each word correctly and that you speak clearly enough to be understood. Avoid mumbling or running words together.”

Improving Vocal Delivery

Do vocal warm ups before recording to relax your voice. Breathe from the diaphragm for better breath support. Watch your posture. Stay hydrated. Listen critically and re-record parts as needed until you achieve a smooth, polished vocal delivery.

The MotionCue guide recommends to “listen back to each recording – if anything sounds off, simply re-record that section.”

Working with Scripts

Script everything out word-for-word to avoid mistakes and rambling. Read over the script to familiarize yourself with the flow before recording. During recording, highlight each line as you record it to avoid losing your place. Feel free to deviate slightly from the script to sound more natural, while retaining the key messaging.

According to eLearning Industry, “The single best tip for successfully narrating your DIY video lesson is to script everything out ahead of time. With a complete script in hand, you’ll avoid rambling, repetition, or losing your train of thought.”


In summary, adding narration to your Windows Movie Maker video helps enhance the viewing experience and provide important context. By scripting out your narration and recording with proper equipment in an ideal setting, you can create high quality voiceovers. Sync your audio track with video, apply audio effects as needed, then preview your work before exporting the final video.

To continue learning about video production with Movie Maker, check out Microsoft’s support documentation on getting started and adding narration. There are also many helpful video tutorials on YouTube that walk through the process step-by-step.

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