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Adjusting the audio level and channel configuration via the Inspector

From: Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9 Essential Training

Video: Adjusting the audio level and channel configuration via the Inspector

So, up to this point, we have mainly been focused on the art of video editing without specific emphasis on the audio. However, it's important to know that having good audio is one of the most important parts of the entire process. So, in this movie, we are going to take a look at some basic audio manipulations that you can do via the Inspector. So, I am going to go into 6.1, and I have my Farm to Table sequence loaded here. I have got everything edited in a basic rough cut. However, it definitely has some audio issues that I'd like to correct.

Adjusting the audio level and channel configuration via the Inspector

So, up to this point, we have mainly been focused on the art of video editing without specific emphasis on the audio. However, it's important to know that having good audio is one of the most important parts of the entire process. So, in this movie, we are going to take a look at some basic audio manipulations that you can do via the Inspector. So, I am going to go into 6.1, and I have my Farm to Table sequence loaded here. I have got everything edited in a basic rough cut. However, it definitely has some audio issues that I'd like to correct.

Before taking a look at the audio, let's make sure to open up the audio meters which I do by pressing this button here, and I'm just going to expand them, so I can see them pretty well. Normal sounds like the human voice should peak roughly right in here between -12 and -6. Quiet sounds can be quieter, and louder sounds can be louder, but nothing should really peak above 0 or it can be distorted. Generally, what I like to do is correct my main audio first in isolation which in this case is my dialogue, and then I can go back and turn on my supplementary audio and correct everything together.

So, when you do this in track-based editing programs, you just solo your track, and you have got to make sure that all of one type of audio like my dialogue is on the same track. In Final Cut Pro X, however, you solo clips. So, to solo a clip, I am just going to select it and then click on this button here or press Option+S. It's the only one in color, everything else is in black and white, so we are soloed on it. When I play back the main dialogue, I need to make some basic adjustments to make sure the audio is peaking properly.

I am going to open the Inspector, and again it's this button here, or Command+4. We want to make sure that we are on Audio tab, and we are primarily going to be focused right here on the Volume slider. Notice that when I drag to the right, this black line right here raises. And when I drag to the left, it lowers. You could either drag the slider, or you could actually also drag this black bar.

Notice that it gives you a visual indication when you are peaking. Anything that's red is distorted, and yellow is kind of right below that. What we're going to do, instead of dragging the black bar here is use the slider because it's really nice to be able to do this on the fly. I am just going to play Loop, and we know that we can play around by pressing Shift+Question Mark. So as it's looping, I am just going to adjust on the fly. All right, so I am going to press Shift+Question Mark and then ride this Volume slider accordingly.

(BD Dautch: It's not just here, it's worldwide, and in a way, like I said-- It's not just here, it's worldwide, and in a way, like I said--) So, BD is sounding pretty good without much adjustment. Let's move on to the next clip which is also BD, so probably not much adjustment there as well, Shift+Question Mark. (BD Dautch: ...people now are aware that getting it directly from the producer is the way to go... ...people now are aware that getting it directly from the--) So a little bit more adjustment there, and I will move on to Justin, Shift+Question Mark.

(Justin: ...I'd run my restaurant without all these farms, that's for sure. This is where the magic starts... ...I'd run my restaurant without all these farms, that's for sure. This is where the magic starts.) So, he required a lot more adjustment. There is definitely some other issues with his. He has a lot of background sound. But as far as levels, he is sounding good. We will fix the rest of the stuff later. We'll go on to Owen. I think that I am probably going to have to fix my Pre and Post Roll here because this clip is so short. Let's just go up to Final Cut > Preferences > Playback and go down to 1 second Pre- and Post-Roll.

I will use the keyboard this time, Option+S and play around, Shift+Question Mark. (Owen: Eating local is the way we should be eating. Eating local is the way we should be eating. Eating local is the way we should be eating.) Sounding good! And let's check out John Downey, Option+S, and let's bring our Pre- and Post-Roll back to 2 seconds and Shift+Question Mark. (John Downey: It's just a much better product, it really is. It's just a much better product, it really is.) He definitely has some issues with his background sound, but his voice is peaking right in the right place.

So, that's okay for now. So I am going to un-solo my dialogue clips, and let's take a look at the rest of the audio. Basically, after you get the main audio sounding okay, you want to make sure that the rest of the audio is falling in line. The music should not interfere, but we should still be able to hear it. And if there's background audio behind any of our B-roll, we want to make sure that it doesn't drown out the dialogue. The music in this case is a special case because we probably want to start off full strength and then dip down when the dialogue starts.

So, in this sense, we are going to be making many adjustments within the clip. Instead of doing that right now, we are going to do that in the next movie when we talk about keyframing. So, let's not worry about the music for now. Let's go ahead and see how the audio behind this B-roll sounds with our dialogue. So, I am just going to select everything here and solo, which means that I am not going to hear my music. And let's go ahead and play and see how the audio of the B-roll is sounding.

(BD Dautch: There is definitely a movement happening. It's not just here, it's worldwide, and in a way, like I said, it's a renaissance. So many people--) Well, I didn't mind the ambience behind these first two shots, but this one is a little bit loud. So, I am going to drag this black line down. And as you can see, we sort of visually can see the waveform here, it's very low, and this one is a lot higher. So, I am just going to visually try to match that and then play back and see if that sounds okay. (BD Dautch: So many people now are aware that getting--) And let's go forward and play this one here.

(video playing) And let's lower that. We are probably going to actually have to remove that person talking right there. I will do that in the next movie as well. But in general, I think this is sounding a little bit better. So, the B-roll is no longer interfering with any of the dialogue, everything is sounding okay. Later on, when we add the music back in and also correct the problems with the main dialogue, everything is going to sound really nice. I am going to un-solo all my clips, Option+S.

Now, one thing about Final Cut Pro X is that by default all of my audio is located within the primary story line in the connected clips with my video even when the footage was shot with multiple audio channels. This tends to confuse editors coming to the program for the first time because it seems you can't treat each audio channel separately. However, if you click on the clip and then come to the Inspector, you can see that you do have some control over this. Specifically, let's take a look at Channel Configuration.

If I wanted to, I could switch this from Stereo to Dual Mono, and then I could twirl this down, and you can see that I do have multiple channels. Now, I can adjust each of these separately, or I can even turn them off and on. So, in this sense, if you have the main audio captured on say a Lavalier mic, and then you had some audio via your onboard camera mic, you could just turn off your onboard camera to get the clearest audio possible.

Now, in this case we don't have that situation, but it's a really good thing to know that you have that option to just turn off an entire channel if you like. Another useful thing you can do is actually look at both of these mono channels right in the timeline. To do this, I just right-click right here on the clip and choose Expand Audio Components. So, as long as you have dual mono channels, you are able to view them both, and now you are able to adjust them both separately if you like. To collapse these back up, I just right-click again, and say Collapse Audio Components.

Now, there are a couple of more audio adjustment options within the Inspector that we will explore a little later in the course. But for now, figuring out the audio levels and channel configuration is a good start in building the appropriate audio foundation for your sequence.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9 Essential Training
Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9 Essential Training

78 video lessons · 39887 viewers

Ashley Kennedy
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 6m 16s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      5m 16s
  2. 23m 30s
    1. Understanding the world of nonlinear editing
      5m 2s
    2. Understanding how FCP X works: A new take on story creation
      1m 48s
    3. Taking a tour of the FCP X interface
      8m 59s
    4. Accessing additional tools
      6m 23s
    5. Getting to know the projects for this course
      1m 18s
  3. 24m 41s
    1. Creating and organizing events from scratch
      5m 20s
    2. Organizing footage with keywords and ratings
      8m 19s
    3. Performing searches and creating Smart Collections
      4m 59s
    4. Displaying event data
      6m 3s
  4. 42m 11s
    1. Playing and marking clips in preparation for editing
      7m 16s
    2. Understanding different types of editing tools
      6m 20s
    3. Making the first edits: Using Insert and Append edits
      7m 31s
    4. Changing shots: Using Overwrite and Replace edits
      5m 54s
    5. Performing video- and audio-only edits
      3m 45s
    6. Moving clips within the primary storyline: Swapping shots and creating gaps
      3m 28s
    7. Removing material from the primary storyline
      3m 44s
    8. Understanding timeline navigation: Snapping, skimming, zooming, and panning
      4m 13s
  5. 23m 58s
    1. Trimming clips: Using the Ripple tool
      9m 9s
    2. Manipulating transitions: Using the Roll tool
      5m 36s
    3. Changing clip content and position: Performing Slip and Slide edits
      5m 40s
    4. Using the Precision Editor for fine trimming control
      3m 33s
  6. 14m 2s
    1. Connecting clips to the primary storyline
      7m 0s
    2. Understanding the features and limitations of Connected Clips
      3m 40s
    3. Working with secondary storylines
      3m 22s
  7. 31m 23s
    1. Adjusting the audio level and channel configuration via the Inspector
      8m 47s
    2. Keyframing audio in the timeline
      4m 57s
    3. Repairing audio problems automatically
      5m 25s
    4. Adjusting audio EQ
      4m 46s
    5. Recording audio
      4m 4s
    6. Syncing audio from multiple sources
      3m 24s
  8. 25m 6s
    1. Nesting and breaking apart clips
      4m 1s
    2. Performing quick extractions using Top and Tail edits
      6m 16s
    3. Auditioning clips to try multiple editing options
      4m 9s
    4. Working with markers
      4m 57s
    5. Customizing the keyboard and workspace
      5m 43s
  9. 14m 28s
    1. Syncing your multicam group clips
      6m 47s
    2. Performing a multicam edit
      3m 53s
    3. Refining the multicam edit
      3m 48s
  10. 1h 26m
    1. Working with basic motion effects: Transform, Crop, and Distort
      10m 32s
    2. Using motion effects with still photos and graphics
      6m 25s
    3. Adding and adjusting transition effects
      7m 46s
    4. Adding and adjusting video effects
      6m 26s
    5. Adding and adjusting audio effects
      4m 30s
    6. Keyframing video and audio effects over time
      6m 18s
    7. Copying and pasting effect properties
      4m 15s
    8. Creating and adjusting titles
      7m 18s
    9. Working with generator effects
      6m 46s
    10. Adding animated themes
      4m 7s
    11. Creating freeze frames
      3m 51s
    12. Using speed effects to retime clips
      8m 2s
    13. Working with layered Photoshop files
      6m 19s
    14. Understanding rendering options and preferences
      4m 4s
  11. 36m 15s
    1. Analyzing footage for problems
      3m 49s
    2. Following a proper color correction workflow
      10m 29s
    3. Apply multiple color corrections to clips
      3m 41s
    4. Using color correction templates
      3m 11s
    5. Using automatic color correction tools
      6m 15s
    6. Performing secondary color correction with color masks
      4m 30s
    7. Performing color correction adjustments using shape masks
      4m 20s
  12. 18m 54s
    1. Taking a closer look at the import and analysis options
      5m 56s
    2. Importing from cards and file-based cameras
      4m 14s
    3. Importing iMovie projects and events
      1m 58s
    4. Capturing from tape
      3m 18s
    5. Making a tape archive
      3m 28s
  13. 16m 13s
    1. Managing events between different drives and destinations
      6m 13s
    2. Managing render files
      2m 56s
    3. Collaborating and archiving
      7m 4s
  14. 34m 38s
    1. Sharing projects using presets
      7m 41s
    2. Exporting a hi-res QuickTime movie
      3m 46s
    3. Using Compressor to export with custom settings
      7m 54s
    4. Exporting a still image
      1m 22s
    5. Exporting to DVD or Blu-ray with chapter markers
      5m 33s
    6. Exporting stems out of the timeline using roles
      8m 22s
  15. 14m 1s
    1. Solving offline media problems
      10m 29s
    2. Troubleshooting data and settings corruption problems
      3m 32s
  16. 3m 28s
    1. Next steps
      3m 28s

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