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Phil Brockett
FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 6:12:14 pm

The FCPX discussions, tutorials and marketing blogs do not seem to talk much about the sound features of the new program.

Does FCPX incorporate Soundtrack Pro? Given the brief descriptions of the sound correction features on the tutorials out there, it doesn't look like it has many ways to really work on sound other than the apparently limited options offered in FCPX?

Would someone please discuss this. Thanks.


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John Pale
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 6:49:01 pm

Does not incorporate STP.

Has noise reduction, hum filter, and a fair number of fx presets. Keyframing and mixing is abysmal. Extremely cumbersome, even to do a dimple audio dissolve. The trackless timeline makes any kind of traditional mixing techniques impossible. To make matters worse, you can't export yet for further mixing in any audio program (no AAF, OMF or XML).


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Dan Hayes
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 8:48:00 pm

Is there any "mixer" interface, or does all volume adjusting happen on the timeline, clip by clip, adjusting with the mouse?



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Chris Harlan
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 6:51:16 pm

Phil, Soundtrack Pro is gone, though some of its features have been incorporated into X. You can also now use 3rd party plugins. My feeling is that, on one level, the audio features are better than FCP7 but not as robust as Soundtrack Pro. Being able to edit audio sub-frame was, for me, one of the most exciting features. I do hear that a simple audio crossfade is more difficult., though I haven't tried it On the down side--and for me it was an absolute deal breaker-- the concept of tracks has been completely removed from the program to facilitate the magnetic timeline. This has created all sorts of delivery and compatibility issues. Buying an Automatic Duck utility will allow OMF, so you CAN get your audio into ProTools, Logic, et al., but not in any kind of pre-sorted fashion. As I say, this was a deal breaker for me. Maybe it will be sorted out in the future. Who knows?


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 6:54:34 pm

Phil, I didn't get as far as a mix--the lack of audio tracks stopped me cold--so I would listen to what John is saying above, as he has clearly tried it.


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Geert van den Berg
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 7:17:05 pm

Soundtrack Pro is not gone officially yet... it's part of Logic Studio!


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 8:37:57 pm

True enuf! I forgot. Curious to see if it makes the next suite.


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Phil Brockett
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 8:41:11 pm

I was afraid they did away with audio tracks. What made FCP 7 so nice was the ability to round trip to soundtrack pro in a nondestructive manner if FCP didn't have the tool needed to modify/fix audio. Latest project had 20 tracks of audio and I could easily see situations where more tracks are needed. Now I understand why Adobe and Avid are looking good, especially with their change over offers.


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David A Fenton
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 8:37:43 pm

Better than FCP7, worse than STP. Ultimately I think they will re-introduce dedicated audio lanes.


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 9:41:15 pm

That would be nice. It would be a step toward making it usable for me. What about mixing? As I said, I didn't get that far. John Pale's experience seems to have not been good. What is yours? How exactly do you mix without tracks?


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 10:21:05 pm

There is no mixer panel. You can mix by rubbing-banding key frames in the timeline. One handy feature is the region tool, which lets you highlight a segment of a clip and then drag down the volume level. This automatically adds 4 audio key frames.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Dan Hayes
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 10:47:14 pm

[Oliver Peters] "There is no mixer panel. You can mix by rubbing-banding key frames in the timeline."

Are there keyboard equivalents to allow you to raise or lower a clip's volume 1db or some set amount?



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Matt Gal
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 10:56:59 pm

Are there keyboard equivalents to allow you to raise or lower a clip's volume 1db or some set amount?

Yes.

On a selected clip press. control - or control + to lower or raise by 1db



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John Pale
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 10:24:33 pm

[Chris Harlan] "John Pale's experience seems to have not been good. What is yours? How exactly do you mix without tracks?
"


Thats a good question. An even better one, is how do you mix without a mixer? It doesn't have that either.

Audio keyframes still exist, however in order to effectively use them, you have to "step into" the individual clips to see the associated audio tracks. Granted, its only an extra step, but in a more traditional timeline, they are always visible and can be worked with easily.

I was actually having a bit of fun getting used to the editing paradigm in FCPX. I think video wise, I can see this working well, with a bit of refinement... but I really can't see how you can work with audio effectively within the program.

Don't even get me started about timecode.


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 10:33:29 pm

Wow. That's a bummer.

Am I wrong--is this whole trackless thing there to make the magnetic timeline work? Seems like a poor tradeoff.

Here's a call to FCP X evangelists--do any of you see more evolved audio mixing features that will be able to coexist with the magnetic timeline, or is it an either/or situation?


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 11:19:41 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Here's a call to FCP X evangelists--do any of you see more evolved audio mixing features that will be able to coexist with the magnetic timeline, or is it an either/or situation?"

Apple noted in their FAQ that they will add a feature for metadata tagging of audio for export. I hope this means there will be a quick and straightforward method for tagging audio and then a means for associating particular tags with particular export tracks.

So for instance, instead of patching a hard track in the timeline to a particular output channel, you'd point all the audio tagged as "dialog" to A1 and A2 and all the clips tagged "NAT" to A3 and A4 and clips tagged "music" to A5 and A6. Or whatever channel layout you want. This way the magnetic timeline can do its thing, automatically sliding collisions out of the way while preserving the channel output layouts the editor prescribed.

I've also put in a Feedback asking them to take this a step further, adding a sort of "view" for the timeline that would collapse all the audio clips into compound clips that represent each output channel. This would permit master mixing of output channels and clear visualization of the track outputs for QC. Who knows if they'd take that suggestion, but I think it would be pretty cool and would address many of the complaints associated with not having hard tracks in a timeline that was designed not to have hard tracks.

Best,
Andy


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Dan Hayes
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 10:44:52 pm

[John Pale] "Don't even get me started about timecode."

Oh , please do.



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John Pale
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 11:10:10 pm

[Dan Hayes] "Oh , please do.
"


Well, for one thing....there is no way to see the source timecode of the individual elements in your timeline.
No overlays for that, like in FCP 1-7, or anywhere else in the UI.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 11:22:33 pm

There also isn't any way to set starting timecode for the timeline. They need to add that too. It would also be nice to have the big timecode floating window back.

Best,
Andy


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John Pale
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 11:29:00 pm

There's a lot of room to the right and left of the dashboard TC display for more info....its just that they decided it wasn't important, I guess.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 11:35:51 pm

[John Pale] "There's a lot of room to the right and left of the dashboard TC display for more info....its just that they decided it wasn't important, I guess"

Not every desired feature can make a 1.0. There is a lot of room for a lot of improvement all over FCPX. I hope they deliver on it's potential.

Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 11:26:56 pm

You're f---ing joking?! Really? That's dumb.


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John Pale
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 16, 2011 at 11:31:51 pm

[Chris Harlan] "You're f---ing joking?! Really? That's dumb.
"


Really. I am trying to have an open mind about things, but I keep running into stuff like this...you definitely can tell they did not have any input from actual editors in creating the UI.

The auto save works great though. I've had 30 crashes in two days and not lost a second of work.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 17, 2011 at 4:33:50 am

I was crashing a lot. I deleted and redownloaded. Seems to be a bit better.

I miss tc overlays too.


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John Pale
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 17, 2011 at 3:49:15 pm

I'll have to try a re download. Seriously, I've never had anything crash so much. I installed on a clone of the same drive I run FCP7 on quite smoothly.

I'm not joking about the auto save though. Its really phenomenal. I didnt lose a single edit in all the crashing.

Back to the audio.... The keyframing (automation, rubber banding, or in FCPX speak "audio animation"), is really very cumbersome in it's present form. FCP classic, Avid and Premiere are way easier. Premiere really leads the pack, having submixes and busses.

I'm really hoping they add a way to instantly show all your audio tracks (not just a single waveform on the video) and arrange them logically in the timeline using metadata tags.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 17, 2011 at 4:31:32 pm

[John Pale] "I'm really hoping they add a way to instantly show all your audio tracks (not just a single waveform on the video) "

Select-all, control-s?


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John Pale
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 17, 2011 at 7:32:58 pm

Hmm. That does nothing. What were you expecting it to do?

Perhaps its because these are Compound Clips. Its all DSLR footage with double system sound.

I can see both tracks of audio (2 lavs on separate tracks) if I use the Clip/Break Apart Clip Items command, but then they are no longer Compound Clips....you can't recollapse them without making them a brand new Compound Clip from the timeline individually. In order to keyframe easily, I also have to make the clip sizes gigantic, which really slows down the interface.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 17, 2011 at 7:52:22 pm

[John Pale] "Perhaps its because these are Compound Clips. Its all DSLR footage with double system sound."

Yes. Compound clips you would have to "open in timeline" first. Control-s shows audio and video in the main storyline with out divorcing (or "break apart") the a/v.


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John Pale
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 18, 2011 at 2:50:03 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Yes. Compound clips you would have to "open in timeline" first. Control-s shows audio and video in the main storyline with out divorcing (or "break apart") the a/v.
"


Thanks for clarifying that.


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Dan Hayes
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 17, 2011 at 7:17:06 pm

How does it handle panning?



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Bret Williams
Re: FCPX Sound
on Jul 17, 2011 at 3:54:50 pm

They didn't have TC overlay in v1. I remember having to match frame to figure out the source tc quite often. But not something I need very often. I thnk tc overlay was v2 or even v3.


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