Absolute or Relative?
It's up to you, as you'll discover in this week's episode of MacBreak Studio, in which Steve and Mark from Ripple Training continue their exploration of the feature enhancements in the 10.1.2 update to Final Cut Pro X.
It's a common task to animate audio levels to change over time – for example, to “duck” a musical sound bed so that the volume lowers during the times that someone is speaking, and the music doesn't compete with the words. The result of this ducking is a series of keyframes along an audio clip. You may then decide during your final mix, that the overall audio of this clip is too low or too high. This is where relative level changes come in. By making a relative change, you can raise the overall volume without losing any of your keyframed changes.
Absolute level changes, on the other hand, will force an entire clip to a single level. While the level you select is still “relative” in the sense that if you select for example “-3db”, it will be 3db lower relative to its original volume (which is always set to 0db), the entire clip will be set to -3db and any keyframes that you may have added to the clip will be deleted. This option is useful if you want to remove all your keyframes and set the clip back to its original state of 0db.
Steve mentions that these new commands (Modify > Adjust Volume) do not have keyboard shortcuts, but they do. What happened to him in this video is what may happen to you: if you have created your own custom keyboard set before updating to 10.1.2, the new keyboard commands will not appear. You can tell this because when he opens the Command Editor, at the top left it indicates a custom set rather than the default set. So if you don't see the keyboard commands in the Modify menu (Control-L for Relative and Option-Control-L for Absolute), open the Command Editor (Final Cut Pro > Commands > Customize) and switch back to the default set, or assign these shortcuts in your custom set.