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Recording a narration track to explore script ideas

From: Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

Video: Recording a narration track to explore script ideas

So you've got a visual storyboard and even a few text lines attached to each character or clip in your placeholder. Maybe you wrote the text for the narrator to record, and now you want to kick back and hear a rough version before entering the recording session. That's going to be a little hard to do when no one's talking right? But you can record a rough narration track or even script lines using the Record Audio tool in Final Cut Pro. It's a perfect way to bridge the gap from thinking through a story scene or segment, to actually listening to it. Let's start in the Project Library and open the Record Audio project.

Recording a narration track to explore script ideas

So you've got a visual storyboard and even a few text lines attached to each character or clip in your placeholder. Maybe you wrote the text for the narrator to record, and now you want to kick back and hear a rough version before entering the recording session. That's going to be a little hard to do when no one's talking right? But you can record a rough narration track or even script lines using the Record Audio tool in Final Cut Pro. It's a perfect way to bridge the gap from thinking through a story scene or segment, to actually listening to it. Let's start in the Project Library and open the Record Audio project.

In this project, you see the four clips that were edited in the previous movie. Now the job here is to record the audio, but when there's so much space between each line, and the lines are fairly short, you might want to take an extra moment to simply trim each clip to be more the length of the actual text itself. Now what we want to do is select the clip, move the playhead to the beginning and read the text, where's the money and stop it. Now a great trick that we're going to apply is from the Edit menu, and it's called Trim End; that shortcut, Option +Right bracket is a terrific one to use in this situation. So that's what we're going to do, and notice it trims to the playhead.

So next thing we're going to do is select the next clip, and do the same thing, we're going to play from the beginning and read the text. Don't worry it's safe, you can give yourself a little bit of breathing room if you want, and now I'm going to simply press Option+Right bracket, select the next clip and let's read again. Now wait just a minute, and Option+Right bracket one more time, No you wait. I'm running this show.

And right bracket, there we go. So now I can press Shift+Z and spread these out. They may look the same length but they're not the same length, they're a little bit closer to the amount of time it'll really take to read these lines, that's great. Now we want to actually do the recording. So we'll go up to the Window menu and choose Record Audio. Few things to keep in mind here: we want to make sure that we've selected the correct event destination, our event with all our clips is DP Storytelling, so you're actually going to be creating an audio clip.

Go ahead and choose whatever input device, if you have a separate microphone and external mic you want a plug-in, you can choose that. And now position your playhead to the beginning of the project and go ahead and hit Record. A little trick that I use is that if there is a clear male/female voice that goes back and forth, I try to raise or lower my voice just a little in each direction to sort of help imagine the text being read by the actors of the characters, or the narrator. Let's go ahead and record. Where's the money? Don't worry it's safe.

Now wait just a minute. No you wait. I'm running this show. And we have a voiceover clip that appears beneath the clips in the primary storyline and we can play that clip. (Audio Playing) Where's the money? Don't worry it's safe. Now wait just a minute. No you wait. I'm running this show. Very cool so you can continue on. Well, let's go ahead and close the Record Audio window, and in the timeline I'm going to right-click, I'm going to say reveal this in the Event Browser.

So just as I said it does actually record a clip, (Audio Playing) Where's the money? and it makes that clip accessible in the Event Browser. If I right-click on the clip I can also find this clip on the desktop level, and here it is as well. (Audio Playing) Where's the money? So in Final Cut Pro, we can also record a narration and we don't have to be recording our tied to these placeholders. So in this case, I'll just position my playhead at the end of the clips and actually I'm going to go back to my Record Audio window and start recording.

This story is about Delicious Peace, and what will happen is that Final Cut Pro will automatically insert a black gap clip and attach the voiceover to that clip. Whether you're working on a documentary that requires narration, or trying out some new script ideas, don't forget the Record Audio option within Final Cut Pro can help.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X
Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

39 video lessons · 11746 viewers

Diana Weynand
Author

 
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  1. 5m 54s
    1. Welcome
      1m 20s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 34s
  2. 16m 21s
    1. Exploring different types of storytellers
      7m 9s
    2. Identifying story elements
      5m 9s
    3. Finding the essence of the story
      4m 3s
  3. 15m 6s
    1. Organizing footage into folders
      5m 29s
    2. Creating a disk image as a contained workspace
      4m 51s
    3. Importing folders and stills as keyword collections
      4m 46s
  4. 22m 52s
    1. Adding keywords to make clips accessible
      3m 33s
    2. Using favorite tags to call clips into action
      7m 16s
    3. Making notes to capture observations
      4m 1s
    4. Performing a complex search
      2m 28s
    5. Prepping clips for editing
      5m 34s
  5. 28m 47s
    1. Finding the meat of the clips
      5m 11s
    2. Don't be puzzled over your first edit
      4m 27s
    3. Creating project versions and developing story diversity
      5m 16s
    4. Putting story threads in order
      7m 25s
    5. Sculpting the story within the timeline
      6m 28s
  6. 46m 5s
    1. Trimming distractions from a story
      6m 48s
    2. Compounding thoughts into one primary story project
      9m 52s
    3. Evaluating the project for story content and pacing
      7m 1s
    4. Fine-tuning the edits in a project
      7m 36s
    5. Refining the primary sound bed
      7m 55s
    6. Organizing separate story segments into independent storylines
      6m 53s
  7. 24m 11s
    1. Storyboarding a narrative script using placeholders
      7m 22s
    2. Recording a narration track to explore script ideas
      4m 40s
    3. Changing pitch in a temporary narration track to identify different characters
      5m 27s
    4. Adding sound effects to create depth
      6m 42s
  8. 41m 2s
    1. Embellishing the story with cutaways to B-roll footage
      9m 3s
    2. Finessing cutaways to enhance the story
      5m 3s
    3. Editing and arranging a still-image storyline
      6m 22s
    4. Applying the Ken Burns effect to still images
      6m 33s
    5. Altering your story's "look" using the Color Board
      8m 4s
    6. Applying effects to enhance story elements
      5m 57s
  9. 28m 57s
    1. Retiming to lengthen or shorten music and clips
      6m 48s
    2. Adding freeze frames to end or start sections
      6m 40s
    3. Video finishing touches
      8m 6s
    4. Audio finishing touches
      7m 23s
  10. 1m 7s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 7s

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