Audio is an often over looked aspect of a final video project. But the audio in a presentation is as important as the video components. The normal person will be able to put up with bad video and good audio better than they will be able to put up with good video and bad audio. The human eye is just much better at filling in the gaps than the ear is. Paying attention to the audio components will go a long way in making a production look professional. Audio editing is a very complex process. FCP has relatively good basic editing tools, but a dedicated audio program may be needed for greater control of audio.
- Gain an appreciation for the importance of audio
- Understand the basic use of Filters on audio
- Control Levels over time
The Audio Tracks are the way that multiple audio files are organized and edited through final cut pro. Track Targeting and Stereo linking are methods used to edit and arrange audio in conjunction with video clips. Watch these video tutorials to get a better understanding of these concepts.
Simply Audio Filters
Just as there are filters available for video clips, there are filters for the audio components of a composition as well. After an audio track is selected in the time line, and audio filter can be applied by selecting a filter from the audio filters collection under the Effects menu. There are filters available to clean up some basic audio problems (remove hum, clean up strong S sounds, etc) and several special effects (such as reverb). There is help inside of FCP for each filter. Once a filter is applied to a clip, it can be modified by double clicking on the clip to open it in the Viewer window. That window has an Filters tab that can be used to control all the filters on a clip. This Filters tab has a great deal of power in it, but is rather complex to use.
In addition to audio filters, audio transitions are also available when two audio clips butt up against each other. Not often of real use, but worth noting.
Changing Levels Over Time
Changing audio levels over time is one of the main tasks that people wish to perform. The basic example of this is that they want the sound track for a clip to come up from silent to full volume while another clip fades out (such as a voice over fading out while music starts up)
A video tutorial designed to guide guide you through the process of mixing multiple audio levels.
Markers are objects that create reference points within areas on audio and video clips for alignment or note making purposes. This video tutorial explains how to use markers for very precise aligning of audio to specific moments in a video clip
Common Problems Regarding Audio:
“How do I ‘delete’ or erase the original audio of a clip?”
- To delete audio, you need to unlink the audio from the video. Then you can select only the auio and delete it. To unlink audio and video, select the clip in the timeline. Then go to the Modify menu and uncheck the Link option. Now deselect you clip by clicking an empty spot in the timeline. You should now be able to click and select only the audio portion of your clip and delete it.
“I have music videos on a cd in mpg format. I want to get them into Final Cut so that I can edit them. I was trying to import them and it kind of worked – they were in my bin but they would not play back. Is there something I am missing? I tried to import them as video files. I went to the help section in FCP but I couldn’t really find any solutions that I understood.”
- This is probably something you’d want to have one of the technical staff look at to know for sure what is going on but I can think of a couple things it might be. First you may just need to render the video. Final Cut can only play video in real-time that is in certain Quicktime formats, and in most cases the format must match the Sequence Settings. So if you import video of another resolution (pixel dimension) or of another format (mpg, avi, etc) Final Cut must create a render file to play back from that is essentially your original file converted into the appropriate Quicktime format. To do this you would move the clips from your bin into the timeline and then go to the Sequence menu and chose Render Selection (to rending a selected clip) or Render All to render everything in the timeline. To know if this is going to work if you double click a clip in the bin it should open in the Viewer. It may not play back but you should be able to see still frames. If you can’t get anything to appear in the Viewer the chances are you will need to convert your mpgs with a program other than Final Cut such as MPEG Streamclip or ffmpegX.
“How can I add another audio track to the timeline and what is the best way to add subtitles to a piece? I was trying the “Text-lower 3rd”, but was wondering if there was a better way going about that.”
- To add tracks make the Timeline or the Canvas the active window, then go to the Sequence menu and select Insert Tracks… The Insert Tracks window will pop up and you can specify the number of video and audio tracks you want to add. Remember that most audio you use will be stereo with a left and right channel so you will probably need to add two audio tracks for every piece of audio you want to use.
- As far as subtitles go Lower 3rd would work. Also you could use the one called Text and set the Origin control to something like (0, 80) which would position it at the bottom of the screen with a Center alignment.