By Lori Spencer


When producing your video project, you might want to record a new audio track to mix with or replace the existing audio on your video. For example, maybe you want to add narration to a documentary film. You can accomplish this from within your video editing program, such as Windows Movie Maker for PC (or iMovie for Mac).

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll be using Windows Movie Maker. However, the basic audio recording functions are the same in iMovie and most other movie-making software programs.

Step 1

Purchase a good quality external microphone for recording your audio track. While you don’t have to invest in a top-of-the-line microphone, plan to spend at least $50 to $100 for a microphone of sufficient quality. Same goes for headphones; if you don’t already own a good pair, it’s well worth it to invest in headphones that will give you the cleanest and most accurate sound possible.

Step 2

Plug the microphone into the mic jack on your computer. (You may need an adapter if the plug is too large for the jack.)

Step 3

Plug your headphones into the computer’s headphone jack.

Step 4

Open your movie project file in the video authoring program (in this case, Windows Movie Maker).

Step 5

Place the cursor in the audio area of the time line at the point where you want the narration to begin. (The audio track area is located just below the video time line.)

Step 6

Press Narrate Time Line. The narration wizard will appear. Select your recording input as microphone.

Step 7

Test your recording levels and adjust the microphone volume level accordingly. Play back the test recording to make sure you are getting enough gain on the microphone without distortion.

Step 8

Press Record and speak normally into the microphone. The narration wizard will play your movie to help guide you during recording of the voice track.

Step 9

Press Stop when you are finished recording. The track is automatically inserted into the audio area of your movie time line.

The narration you recorded is saved as a Windows Media Audio file (WMA). By default, the narration file is saved in the My Videos/Narration folder on your computer.

Step 10

Work with the track by selecting it with your mouse. Now you can move it around, trim the beginning/end and adjust the volume level in the mix. (For example, you can layer the narration track over background music or the audio on your existing video.)

Step 11

Save your movie project with the new audio track when you are done editing.


You can record the audio track in a separate audio recording program such as Audacity or WavePad. This gives you more control over the sound and the ability to add effects and perform more advanced editing tasks.

To add a prerecorded audio file (such as an MP3, WMA or WAV file) to your movie, use the Import function to import the file into your Collections pane. Then drag the audio file into the time line and insert it at the point where you want it to play.


Key Concepts

  • record narration video
  • record audio video
  • audio video recording
  • windows movie maker
  • apple imovie software
  • video authoring software


Resources (Further Reading)

User Bio

Lori Spencer has written professionally since 1986. She is the author of three nonfiction books, is writing her fourth and provides content for eHow and LIVESTRONG.COM. She also produces and hosts a weekly radio show. Her subjects of expertise include history, media, music, film and the performing arts.


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