There are no tracks in Final Cut Pro X.
This fact really throws folks at first because it seems that tracks would be required for some very basic editing, compositing, organizing, and exporting functions. However, Final Cut's magnetic timeline, connected clips, and use of Roles obviates the need for tracks and makes the entire editing process much more fluid as a result.
Roles are a form of metadata. Final Cut Pro automatically assigns roles to every clip in your timeline: video clips, titles, and audio clips. It often intelligently assigns dialogue, music, and effects roles to audio clips. You can easily review role assignments in the Timeline Index, and reassign roles in the Inspector or by using keyboard shortcuts.
When sharing your work, you can choose which roles to export (for example, by turning off titles or music) and even export your roles as separate Quicktime movies – typically performed so that you can hand off your work to a dedicated sound editor with DME “stems”: dialogue, music, and effects each contained in their own audio file.
This week on MacBreak Studio, Steve Martin from Ripple Training shows us how to extend the functionality of Roles with Subroles. You can assign subroles to any role, thereby splitting that role into multiple components. For example, you could split your sound effects into explosions, gunshots, foley, and other. By doing so, you have more granular control over just what clips to hear and to export.
Steve shows us how to view clips by role in the timeline, how to create and assign subroles to clips, how to enable and disable subroles, how to access the subroles when exporting, and finally how to create a preset based on your subrole export preferences. If you haven't explored roles and subroles yet, this episode is a must watch.