How to Edit Video on an iPad – sound mix









This lesson deals with what film editors used to call track laying: which translated means the editing and mixing of two or more different audio tracks in order to create an enriched soundtrack to your film.

Whether that be a feature film, short film, wedding video or a film about your dog, all of them will benefit from a soundtrack which has different elements.

Elements? Sounds like: dialogue, car doors opening and closing, rain, wind, music etc etc

Even a modest short film or home movie can benefit from the use of at least one music track. Though be careful of using copyrighted material. Some artists will let you use their tracks providing you give them a credit plus a link to their iTunes site; one artist has gone further, Moby offers a free license to use his music. Moby was the first one that I know to create a site where you can download his music and obtain a license for free. You will find a link to Moby’s site at the bottom of this post.

The iPad seems to come with a limit of two audio tracks but you shouldn’t let that hold you back. Though the iPad does have a gremlin in the way it works with audio tracks but I have found and easy way to get around that.

I am using a few clips from a short film I made about an English painter, Andrew Dixon. I interviewed him then later in the day I filmed Andrew painting by a canal. In this example I will show you how to have an opening shot with music; then as we cut into Andrew painting I add a voice over and finally cut to him in sync. Notice how I start with music then fade it down as I get into the painting sequence. Then as the interview ends I fade up the music to end the piece.

Let’s get started.

First here the cut sequence:










Looking at the image above you can see the shots in the top of the timeline. Then come the two audio tracks.


The top BLUE track is sync effects: Andrew walking through the grass, sound of him painting and his sync interview.

The bottom GREEN track contains the music, a track called ROCK FACTORY.

iPad Gremlin

Unfortunately the iPad throws in an automatic slight fade down when the shot of Andrew walking through the field cuts in. I would have preferred to have my music kept higher at the start then have a longer fade out under his painting.

Using Music Track as Spacing

As you can see the music track appears to be in three pieces even though you only hear it at the front of the film and at the end. This is because iPad would not allow me to have a section of music at the front followed by a space before the end piece of music came in.

The way I found around this was to insert a section of the music again. I made this second section last until the place in the film where I needed to hear the music again. I then dropped in the music again for the third section which is the music you hear at the end. Then I dropped the audio level down to zero for the middle section.

I have used the middle section of the music track purely to space out the section 1 of the music and section 2, so that the end piece only comes in where I want it to.

How to create a fade up or down

You TAP on the section of the audio track that you want to fade in or out. Below you can see I have highlighted section 1 of the music.



Once you have TAPPED on the section you will see TWO YELLOW ARROWS appear.






You then slide one of the arrows depending on whether you want a FADE UP or a FADE DOWN.

You will also see that a SLIDER has appeared below the track. This enables you to control the audio level. When you have music playing under someone talking you will need to control the audio level so as to not drown out your interviewee with music.

Shoot and Edit Your Home Movies like a Pro (eBook with video examples + storyboards)


Many thanks to Andrew Dixon for use of his interiew.

Here is Andrew’s site:

Here is Moby’s site:

Here is the sequence again.