Final Cut Pro X 10.0.6 introduces amazing tools for editing and managing Audio Channels in any clip or timeline. Here are the basics of using them with a Multiclip. I’m focusing on audio channel editing only in this article. For the basics of multiclip editing, see the “Final Cut Pro 201 - Multicam Editing” lesson here on macProVideo.com.
I’ll use three takes of my multicam shoot and create a new multiclip, then open it in the Multiclip Editor. Here is the first place I can set up my audio channels for editing.
I can select an angle, then in the Inspector’s Audio tab, in the Channel Configuration section, I can arrange my audio channels, for this specific clip only, to be in any configuration I need. I can make a stereo clip dual mono, I can make a 4 channel audio clip dual stereo pairs, or 4 mono channels, etc.
Next I’ll drop my multicam clip into a Project timeline and do my on-the-fly video edit. I’m only concerned with the video angles first.
Now I’m ready to edit and mix the audio. I can right-click any angle in this timeline and chose “Expand Audio Components” or Control-Option-S. This is NOT the same as “Expand Audio/Video” (Control-S). This expands ALL Audio Channels in the Multiclip that are Active for that Angle to edit independently of each other.
With a specific clip selected in the timeline, go to the Audio tab of the Inspector, to the Channel Configuration section, and you can manage the audio channels for this timeline angle. You have access to ALL of the audio channels in the Multiclip. You can change their configuration and enable/disable any individual channel you wish.
Now I notice that with my audio components expanded, when I mouse over one, my Range tool is automatically activated. I can select a range in any individual portion of an individual angle, grab the level bar and move it up and down to adjust the volume level of just that portion of audio. I can Option-Click on the level bar of any audio channel to create keyframes.
Select a range and hit the “V” key to “mute” that specific range. Once muted, it has editing handles on each side of that area. To remove the muted range, either select a range around it and hit “V” again, or grab either edit handle and drag it towards the other to collapse it.
Control-A will open and close the Audio Animation section, for each individual channel. This allows directly working with pan and filter keyframes, inside the timeline, for each channel individually.
If I grab the In or Out point of a specific audio channel and pull it towards the center of the clip, it simply mutes that outer area of that channel. If I pull outwards to expand it, the magnetic timeline function takes effect and I can create J and L cuts with that individual audio channel. Using the Shift key while dragging an audio channel edit point trims all channels together. When I’m done I can Control-Option-S to collapse them back down.
With the ability to configure, keyframe, mute sections, apply filters and trim all of the individual audio channels in a multiclip, for any individually edited video angle, a whole universe of fast, easy, intuitive audio editing possibilities opens up for complex audio mixing in a multicam edit. This causes the complex to become simple, fast, easy, amazing!
Ben Balser studied educational psychology at Loyola University, and after retiring from a 20+ year IT career, now produces, consults, teaches, and rents equipment for media production as a full time job. As an Apple Certified Master Trainer, he runs the Louisiana Cajun Cutters FCP users group, teaches Final Cut and Motion courses regularly in Louisiana at Louisiana State University’s Performing Arts Academy and annual Teen Filmmaking Bootcamp, Delgado Community College, The Orchard, and for AATC facilities across the USA. He has consulted for higher education, government, and private production facilities, as well as for film, video and broadcast projects.