XDCAM clips are dual mono not stereo. And your FCP sequence needs to be set to dual mono, not stereo. This much I know. I can easily write an xdcam file to an XDCAM disk from my FCP 6.06. But I wonder what happens after that.
First, if I write XDCAM material with a stereo soundtrack to an XDCAM disk, do I need to count on my operator that when it is played back (I work at a TV station) that they will have chosen the appropriate panning to present a stereo image ?
Secondly, if I am pulling that same XDCAM material off of the XDCAM disk (let's say to make an SD DVD), do I have to make sure I have the dual mono layers panned left and right ?
My experience has been that XDCAM material often resists panning (in FCP - we have an AVID that has none of the dual mono/stereo panning problems that I am having) and I have never seen that type of pan-resist behavior in any media working with FCP from the beginning.
I'm not sure what your workflow is and why but The dual mono XDCAM clips work just fine in a stereo FCP timeline. It depends on what you're outputing to and why. I output to timeline codec or ProRes in stereo just fine. If I need to go back to XDCAM (EX MP4 in my case) I set the timeline to dual mono.
Without a purpose to your workflow it's hard to say what you should do but you can certainly hand off a stereo master without issue. I often shoot with a stereo shotgun mic because I want stereo ambiance so I'm quite mindful of this.
Thanks for the responses - it seems to be my lack of a rigorous problem-solving methodology (re: I'm lazy). I went back to the clips and was able to change what I thought I could not change previously.