How do you work with audio in your NLE when it doesn’t have tracks or a mixer? This week on MacBreak Studio, our lead editor Travis walks you through his audio finishing process, which is all based on Final Cut Pro’s powerful Roles feature. If you haven’t fully explored using Roles in your own workflow, you’ll want to check this out – I think you’ll be surprised at how easy the combination of Roles, Lanes, and the Timeline Index make it to organize a complex audio mix.
Travis starts out by explaining his definition of audio finishing and playing a short film with a mix of dialog, sound effects, and music. He demonstrates how to assign roles and subroles, and how to create your own, and then how you can view roles in their own lanes, easily reorder the lanes, and expand and collapse them, all in the Timeline Index.
Once he’s properly tagged his audio and normalized his clips, he creates a compound clip out of his project, which then automatically puts every role into a master submix, so that you can apply level adjustments, and audio sweeting filters like EQ, compressors, limiters, etc. onto all the clips in a specific role, e.g. dialog or sound effects, at once.
It’s a powerful, flexible workflow that many folks aren’t aware of. There are a few things that could use improvement, however, and Travis discusses those at the end of this short demo – primarily, the fact that once you go back into the compound clip to adjust a specific clip, you can’t hear the changes you made at the compound clip level. Addressing this would really make the entire audio finishing process inside of FCP better.
Check it all out above and let us know what you think in the comments below. And if you want to learn more about how to use Final Cut Pro, we have some recommendations for you.