How to make an audio slideshow using iPhone voice memo and iMovie

Phew. Ok I just made an audio slideshow – I think, I hope.

Let’s begin at the beginning. I took some audio footage of a salon catwalk show at London Fashion Week last week. It was the Craig Lawrence A/W 2011 show which took place in Somerset House’s Portico Rooms on Saturday 19th February (9-11am). This designer is known for his craftmanship with knitwear so they chose to forego music and instead have a member of Lawrence’s team describe the materials and techniques used in each piece. My images are from Craig Lawrence’s Designer Profile on the London Fashion Week website.

I recorded the footage with my iPhone 4 using Voice Memos which comes as standard and can be found in ‘Utilities’. I have cut down the audio to seven looks (Looks Two to Eight) to avoid it getting boring for anyone not in love with knitwear. One minor fault already is that I only decided to start recording after I realised their strategy – half way through Look One.

After browsing through some posts I saw that publications often use Final Cut Pro to produce audio slideshows. Since I don’t have this software, I used iMovie which is also recommended. I didn’t flail into the audio slideshow unknown blindly though – I used an instruction video on vimeo.com to guide me – How to make an Audio Slideshow on iMovie – what a way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

If you are really impatient – here are the most important bits:

1. Open up iMovie. Save your images into a folder or onto your desktop and drag them into the project box. Single click to drag images and re-order them. Hovering over the images acts as rewinding and fast-forwarding whereas pressing the space bar is ‘Play’.

2. Drag your audio into the project box. When dragging it in you can choose which frame to start the audio on, and slide it around. Your audio will only run to the total length of your photos so double click on each image to change the number of seconds it stays on screen.You will have to listen to your audio a few times and note down the place each time you want to switch images – bear in mind any transitions you might put in too when matching your images to the audio (see point 6)

3. The toolbar below the preview pane has some useful tricks. The microphone is to record live voiceovers as you watch the images. If you add voiceovers, any music audio that you have already added with helpfully fade out.I didn’t have to record a voiceover because my original audio was just that.

4. The crop tool is also essential – images are set to the Ken Burns effect which zooms in on the image. However as my images were all models – i.e. portrait shots – I chose to click on Crop then choose Fit in order for the whole image to be seen. This means I have black bars at either side of my images but this can’t be helped when you’re using portrait shots.

5. The ‘T’ is for titles. Choose the title type you want, drag it to (usually) before your first frame where it will ask you to choose a background. I went for Pixie Dust because I couldn’t resist with the Industrial background. To change your text, click on the blue bar above the title frame and then type in the preview pane on the right hand side. Pixie Dust was one of the titles with locked in fonts so I couldn’t change the font but sometimes you can.

6. The rectangle cut into triangles is the Transitions button. Click on this to view different transitions you can use between images. I chose Cube and Fade To Black at alternates because I felt some of the others were too flashy for my material. I double clicked on these transitions once I’d placed them and lengthened them for 0.4seconds to 1second each – this is subjective of course.

7. To get it onto WordPress when I’d finished. I clicked on Share in the iMovie toolbar and chose YouTube – here you just pop in your YouTube username and password and select the file size etc. Then I inserted the video as usual into WordPress by entering the YouTube URL. Easy.

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Filed under Audio Slideshows, Equipment

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