If you were to ask a filmmaker what are important elements that make up a movie, I can bet you that audio isn’t at the top of their list. But, fact is audio is extremely important. That’s why it’s good to know the different ways to edit and adjust audio while editing. Here’s all about audio in Final Cut Pro X.
Fixing Audio on Import
As I’ve previously mentioned, Apple has included several features in the import panel that can help save a ton of times. Some of those are for audio.
The first option helps by analyzing your imported media for any hum, hiss, or unwanted noise and reduces it. It’s also great if any of your audio was peaking or not loud enough.
Next you’ll see a checkbox for grouping dual mono, stereo, and surround sound tracks. This can be very helpful if you’re working with multiple tracks of audio.
The last audio-related option in the import dialogue box removes silent channels. Sometimes you may have a mic plugged into only one channel of the mixer. Any other channels you have will be silent. Final Cut 10 removes those unnecessary tracks for you.
Final Cut Pro X has made adjusting audio levels much easier! Instead of using the blade tool or creating keyframes, just use the Range Selection tool (found in tools drop-down menu or pressing “R”). All you need to do is select the area you would like to affect. Now, just drag the volume bar up or down. When you deselect the range, you’ll notice that FCPX has adjusted only the selected area and added fading keyframes on the left and right side of the range.
Another useful tip is Final Cut 10 has “faders” on the left and right end of every audio clip; just click and drag the green keyframe. Also, if you right-click on the keyframe, Apple has included linear, s-curve, +3db and -3db options for fades.
Not new to FCPX but something I’d like to quickly touch base with is pan modes. If you select an audio clip and open the Inspector, you’ll notice a little drop-down menu with several options. I’m not an expert on audio modes, but basically it allows you to configure which speaker the audio outputs to. You can choose anything from stereo to surround sound. And, there are presets already made for music, dialogue, etc.
In Final Cut X, when you import a video clip with audio, it will group them into one clip. But, some editors may need the audio separated. This is very easy to do. Just right-click on the audio/video clip and choose the “Detach Audio” option (or by pressing control+shift+S). This will make the audio portion of the clip a connected clip to the video.
The new Final Cut has a lot of beneficial features for those who use DSLR cameras. A great one is the ability to sync video clips (as long as there is some audio) with audio from a separate audio recorder. It’s very simple – just select both the audio and video clip in the Event Library, then right-click and choose “Synchronize Clips”, or press option+command+G on your keyboard. FCPX will instantly create a separate clip and process it in the background.
Apple has helped filmmakers edit audio with ease thanks to Final Cut Pro X. From visually showing any peaking to easily syncing audio clips. Hopefully as FCPX matures, there will be more intuitive features added that will make our lives easier.
Note: I apologize if any of the information above is incorrect. I am in no way an audio expert; I am just reiterating information I have heard or learned. If any info is incorrect or you’d like to add to it, please leave a comment below or email me. Thank you!