Make Your FCP Timelines Sing By Roundtripping to Soundtrack Pro
COW Library : Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy Tutorials : Jiggy Gaton : Make Your FCP Timelines Sing By Roundtripping to Soundtrack Pro
This tutorial was created for those of us who don't have an audio studio within earshot when editing video in Final Cut Pro. As a studio owner, I do have a full Protools/Logic 8 setup at my disposal, but that means that I actually have to get out of my chair to get some audio processed. On my lazy days, I just do some of my audio editing within FCP, without ever leaving the timeline. There are many cases when I don't need an audio engineer nor a $1000 AKG microphone to get the job done.
Read on to find out how you too can be this lazy (or efficient, depending on how you see it) and expand FCP's audio editing capabilities using an integrated Soundtrack Pro project.
There are many times when you just need a quick edit to your audio track and FCP Studio users are in luck - just select the track you need to edit and right-mouse the tracks, choosing Send To > Soundtrack Pro Audio File Project. You are then asked where and how to save your new audio project.
Step 2: Make your tracks sing!
Once Soundtrack Pro opens and displays your new audio track or multitrack project, you can edit at will, doing all those things that otherwise you would have asked your audio engineer to do: adjust amplitude, reduce noise, add fade-ins and outs, etc., without ever even leaving your video-editing bay. If you chose to open a multitrack project, now is the perfect time to record a voiceover or mix in a soundtrack from your favourite iTunes number.
When done with your audible improvements, simply close Soundtrack Pro remembering to select Save when asked. :-)
Not only is this a big time saver, but it saves you from doing any audio editing using FCP's rudimentary audio editing tools.
Step 3 - Back at the Timeline...
Once Soundtrack Pro closes you should see the changes immediately. If you were editing an audio track, that track has been replaced with the new Soundtrack Pro project - check your bin to see, it's named [audiotrackname# (sent)]. If you had chosen to create a multitrack audio project in Step 1, then you will see a new Sequence added to your bin instead, also named likewise [sequencename# (sent)]. Double click that sequence in the bin to edit further in FCP.
To re-edit your embedded Soundtrack Pro projects, just right-mouse the item in the bin or on the timeline, and select Open in Editor. FCP knows what to do, and in a moment or two you are back where you were during Step 2 of this tutorial.
For the geeks in the crowd, we call this "roundtripping," but not to be confused with anything we used to do in the '60s.
In this tutorial you have successfully used a round-tripping method of editing an audio track on the FCP timeline, without ever leaving your chair. If you got stuck, or need some clarification, let me know in the Comments, below. You can also find me in any of The COW's Final Cut Studio forums (including Final Cut Pro and Soundtrack Pro) to get more info or to suggest another tutorial.
Jiggy Gaton is an expat living in Kathmandu Nepal, running a small A/V studio with family and dog. He is an author/cartoonist, filmmaker, and overall geek from way back. Not the kind of geek who would ever be sitting in a Star Trek Captain's chair - more likely to be sitting on the back of a 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet somewhere out in the middle of the Himalayas - but only when he's not behind his Macbook Pro hacking out whatever needs to be done in the studio.
And hey, if you've ever wondered what it's like to run a studio in Kathmandu, check out Jiggy's COW Blog, as well as more great stuff by the rest of the herd.