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Final Cut Pro X Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Adjusting the audio level and channel configuration via the Inspector


From:

Final Cut Pro X Essential Training

with Ashley Kennedy

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.
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  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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Final Cut Pro X Essential Training
6h 55m Beginner Mar 14, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Learn how to build and refine your story with the redesigned editing toolset in Final Cut Pro X. In this course, author Ashley Kennedy focuses on getting you comfortable with each aspect of the editing process in Final Cut—from preparation and organization, to editing and refining, to audio and effects, to media management and exporting. Each stage of the postproduction workflow is explained thoroughly and concisely, and uses real-world examples from both narrative and documentary workflows.

This lynda.com course and its exercise files are not compatible with Final Cut Pro X v10.1 or later. If you are running Final Cut Pro X v. 10.0.8 or 10.0.9, please do not upgrade your software to v10.1 if you would like to use these exercise files. For more information, please see the FAQs tab.

Topics include:
  • Understanding nonlinear editing
  • Creating and organizing events
  • Organizing footage with keywords and ratings
  • Playing and marking clips
  • Performing Insert, Append, Overwrite, and Replace edits
  • Moving and removing clips
  • Trimming in the timeline: performing ripple, roll, slip and slide edits
  • Working with connected clips and multiple storylines
  • Adjusting audio levels, EQ, and more
  • Performing a multicam edit
  • Adding and animating video and audio effects
  • Working with motion effects, speed effects, titles, themes, and generators
  • Performing primary and secondary color correction
  • Importing and analyzing footage from multiple platforms
  • Managing media and project data
  • Sharing and exporting projects
Subjects:
Video Video Editing
Software:
Final Cut Pro
Author:
Ashley Kennedy

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Final Cut Pro X Essential Training.


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Q: Why are the exercise files not compatible with my version of Final Cut Pro X?
A: The exercise files for this course require Final Cut Pro X 10.0.07 or higher. Final Cut Pro X upgrades are free in the Apple App Store and we recommend upgrading your software if you are able.

 

Q: The exercise files aren't working for me in Final Cut Pro X 10.1.
A: This lynda.com training and these exercise files are not compatible for FCP X v. 10.1 OR 10.0.7 and earlier versions of the program. If you are running FCP X v. 10.0.8 or 10.0.9, please do not upgrade your software to v. 10.1 if you would like to use these exercise files.
 
Note: We are currently in the process of updating this training to be compatible with v. 10.1 and later, but that training won’t be available for several weeks. We appreciate your patience as we optimize this training.
 
FYI: If you’ve already upgraded to v. 10.1 and would like to use these exercise files, then it is actually possible to work with them to a limited degree. Simply follow the directions in the “Using the Exercise Files” movie of this course to place the Final Cut Events and Final Cut Projects folders in the appropriate location. Then, from within FCP X 10.1, choose File > Update Projects and Events. Choose Locate > and navigate to the appropriate location.  Your projects and events will be updated, but the file structure won’t mirror the experience within the current training.  If you are new to FCP X, it will likely be confusing to follow along through some of the training.  Again, we recommend that you check back for this training in several weeks to get the optimal experience.
 
Also, because FCP X exercise files are not backward compatible, you won’t be able to use the exercise files if you have FCP X v. 10.0.7 or earlier. You will need to upgrade to v. 10.0.9. Apple only offers 10.1 in the App Store, but if you have not yet upgraded to OS X Mavericks, you can click the Install button for 10.1 and the App Store will ask if you want to download an older version of the software (10.0.9). If you have already upgraded to Mavericks, unfortunately downloading FCP X 10.0.9 is not possible.
 
 
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