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Editing music in FCPx - what's your technique

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Trevor Asquerthian
Editing music in FCPx - what's your technique
on Jan 2, 2014 at 10:26:32 am

Kicking the tyres on 10.1...

First up I thought I'd edit some music.

Last time I was here I seem to remember that it worked best for me to switch what I was focussing on into the primary.

I can put music in the primary, and edit with it. When I'm happy I'll drop it into secondary and carry on cutting pictures/dialogue etc

But if I then want to tighten the edit and lose a couple of bars in the music I get stuck. Typically I would do this by marking in & out & ripple deleting.

There doesn't seem to be a way to move audio only clips back to the primary.

If I try and edit in the secondary (which in many ways would be preferable) any marks in and out mark the primary only. If I then goto in and blade the secondary I instantly lose the out mark.

If I try to blade during playback (Cmd-B) having selected the music secondary, I can only blade once as FCPx keeps the selection pre blade point so this gets cumbersome.

Another trick I have in track based NLEs is to checkerboard the music edit and have them overlap, both to help ensure a tight music edit and to make the transition smooth. I can do this in secondaries but have to nest the music as a compound clip to keep just one connection point. I'd rather nest them as a secondary storyline, but this storylines seem unnecessarily linear (as if they are one track in the old world).

Now editing music like this is our bread and butter, so I'm sure there's a myriad ways you are all doing it / tutorials on the web, so fire away at my ignorance and I'll learn from the barrage;-)

Thanks



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Andy Neil
Re: Editing music in FCPx - what's your technique
on Jan 2, 2014 at 5:39:16 pm

I do most of my music editing in the secondary storyline. This is because I often have story in the primary and I add music much later in the process. Here's some ways you can tackle the problem.

I don't use IN/OUT or Blade for the exact reasons you stated. If you want to use playback, what I'll do is select the secondary and then press play and use markers to mark my edit points. Then grab the range tool (R) and with snapping on, drag between the ranges and hit delete. You can do several cuts this way as the markers follow the clips.



You can also do the checkerboard method in secondaries. I do this all the time. Just SHIFT select all the audio in the secondary and hit CTL+S to expand the audio elements. It doesn't matter that you don't have a video element, you can still expand the audio tracks and overlap them just like this.



While you can nest your music inside a compound clip, I don't use that often. I find it cumbersome to jump into the compound, edit it in the primary and then trim the compound in the master project. The only time I break this rule is if I'm planning on using the cut up music in another project.

Hope this helps.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Bret Williams
Re: Editing music in FCPx - what's your technique
on Jan 2, 2014 at 8:29:09 pm

If you have clip skimming on and hover over the clip, then mark in and out applies on that clip or secondary. Like the range tool.


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Trevor Asquerthian
Re: Editing music in FCPx - what's your technique
on Jan 3, 2014 at 12:41:24 am

Thanks

The skimming doesn't work as I need to play to mark music beats. The markers are a workaround, although they seem a bit flaky as to wether they mark the primary (gap) clip or the selected secondary.

I've tried putting the music in a multi cam clip and editing within that - which seems better than a compound clip to be honest, but still clunky. The control+s trick to checkerboard I had forgotten, so thanks for that.

All in all I still can't see myself putting much work FCPx's way for the moment, which is a shame as I really like the organisation (keywords, used sections, rejects etc).

See you in 11 months when there is a new version out to tempt me again...



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Nikolas Bäurle
Re: Editing music in FCPx - what's your technique
on Jan 3, 2014 at 3:09:50 am

In my opinion you don't need in and out points or markers to edit music. I have never actually used them when editing music and i have to do that a lot. In Avid and FCP7 I prefer adding an edit at the first point, then i listen for the beat I want to continue with and then add an edit at the next point. Personally I think its faster.

In X I've mapped blading to cmnd + b, so It works just like adding an edit in Avid or FCP7. Now, the one problem with the magnetic timeline is that when cutting detached audio the part after the cut will move up to an open gap if you have effects or smaller clips above the music. Turning it into a storyline like Andy suggested is the best solution to keep it in place. it doesn't take more time than deciding what track to use like in a traditional NLE

A lot of X newbies have problems with the magnetic timeline. It took me a few months to get used to it but then it clicked. At first it seems that FCPX is less flexible, compounds and storylines do feel like workarounds at first, but when you finish a project and need to move stuff around FCPX is so much cleaner. I'm a very neat editor, and i really hate making or dealing with vertically huge timelines when its not necessary. When I do encounter them when taking over projects its always a pain in the ass, especially when flexibility is sometimes just an excuse for being sloppy.

Trevor, don't give up that quickly, just see it as a different way of doing things, once you figure out and get used to X you might not want to go back to traditional timelines.

"Always look on the bright side of life" - Monty Python



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Trevor Asquerthian
Re: Editing music in FCPx - what's your technique
on Jan 3, 2014 at 9:38:09 am
Last Edited By Trevor Asquerthian on Jan 3, 2014 at 9:38:31 am

Thanks for the response Nikolas

[Nikolas Bäurle] "In my opinion you don't need in and out points or markers to edit music. I have never actually used them when editing music and i have to do that a lot. In Avid and FCP7 I prefer adding an edit at the first point, then i listen for the beat I want to continue with and then add an edit at the next point. Personally I think its faster."

Er... how is adding an edit not just like adding a mark or marker?

Mark in.... Mark out.... Extract

Add edit... Add edit... Go back and select between edits... Extract

[Nikolas Bäurle] "In X I've mapped blading to cmnd + b, so It works just like adding an edit in Avid or FCP7."


See my original post for why CMD-B isn't working for me in a secondary.


[Nikolas Bäurle] "A lot of X newbies have problems with the magnetic timeline. "

I'm not really a 'newbie' as I gave 10.0.0 quite some time, and looked at 10.0.3 and 10.0.6 and now 10.1.

I'm freelance and work on a wide range of normal and not-normal NLEs. And LEs. Which had the original magnetic timeline ;-)

I don't have a problem with the magnetic timeline - it is one of the things I like about FCPx. But marking up and editing music is fundamental to editing professionally in just about everything but News so I was surprised to see a lack of chatter about it in my searches. Hence the question. And very few concrete answers so far as to a way to deal with it - but maybe I should've asked in the more incendiary forum...


[Nikolas Bäurle] "Trevor, don't give up that quickly, just see it as a different way of doing things, once you figure out and get used to X you might not want to go back to traditional timelines."

I work for broadcasters, production houses, OB companies. They choose the hardware/software for the most part. I bet I get considerably more work offers asking for Pr in the next 12 months than FCPx. And they will both be dwarfed by MC and (to a much lesser extent) FCP7.

[Nikolas Bäurle] ""Always look on the bright side of life" - Monty Python"

Edited on Avid (or maybe Lightworks) ;-)



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Nikolas Bäurle
Re: Editing music in FCPx - what's your technique
on Jan 3, 2014 at 11:12:02 am

[Trevor Asquerthian] "Er... how is adding an edit not just like adding a mark or marker?

Mark in.... Mark out.... Extract

Add edit... Add edit... Go back and select between edits... Extract "


Ok, I agree when doing it in Avid or FCP7 it doesn't make much of a difference. I just never liked doing it with in and outs. But since X does in and outs differently, I feel that its much faster to blade in X. But again, this is my subjective opinion, everyone likes to do things a little differently.

[Trevor Asquerthian] "See my original post for why CMD-B isn't working for me in a secondary."

I'm sorry, but I don't see that as such a problem. Blade, highlight the clip after the cut and blade again...


[Trevor Asquerthian] "I don't have a problem with the magnetic timeline - it is one of the things I like about FCPx. But marking up and editing music is fundamental to editing professionally in just about everything but News so I was surprised to see a lack of chatter about it in my searches. Hence the question. And very few concrete answers so far as to a way to deal with it - but maybe I should've asked in the more incendiary forum.."

I'm aware of that, editing music is fundamental to my work as well, being a professional and all :-) Perhaps there is a lack of chatter because very few are having this problem. This forum can be very incendiary, you just need to find the right topic :-) Xs keyframing is always a good one :-)


[Trevor Asquerthian] "I work for broadcasters, production houses, OB companies. They choose the hardware/software for the most part. I bet I get considerably more work offers asking for Pr in the next 12 months than FCPx. And they will both be dwarfed by MC and (to a much lesser extent) FCP7."

I completely agree. I also work for broadcasters and production houses. Most of the jobs I get are still Avid and FCP7, and I seriously doubt that will change anytime soon, as long as it still works. The FCP7 places I work for are not planing on updating to the tube anytime soon, and I don't know of any clients who are asking for X, many don't have a clue what you are editing with. A few months ago a client asked for an Avid editor, when I got there they gave me Final Cut files :-)

I did however freelance at a Star-News company here in Berlin from February to Oktober on X, very fast turnaround. We would have not been able to do it as fast on 7, simply because of the render times. And I know a few editors who were perfect for it and didn't get the job since some of them never even touched X, and were actually pretty arrogant about it. Of course, X is still a niche NLE's but its catching up.


[Trevor Asquerthian] "[Nikolas Bäurle] ""Always look on the bright side of life" - Monty Python"

Edited on Avid (or maybe Lightworks) ;-)
"


Are you sure about that? The Life of Brain was released in 1979... I'm guessing they used something like a Steenbeck.


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Mark Morache
Re: Editing music in FCPx - what's your technique
on Jan 3, 2014 at 3:35:48 pm

The problem here as I see it is not that it's difficult to do things like this in X, but X is so powerful, it's deciding which way is your favorite.

Instead of trying to pull your music in and out of your primary storyline, go ahead and cut the music in the secondary storyline, and make matching edits to all your other lanes as well.

You can map a keyboard shortcut to blade all of the lanes at once. I've mapped it to shift-cmd-b. Blade all of your lanes at the in and out points of your music edit, select and delete the clips.

Your music in the secondary storyline will be cut into two separate storylines now, but you can merge them back into one by selecting all the clips inside both and hitting cmd-G, as long as the clips don't overlap at all. In fact, you can select the first clip inside the first secondary storyline and shift-click last clip inside the second secondary storyline clip to select all the clips between the two, then merge them.

Another way to make your music edit is to turn your timeline into a compound, make the edits, then break the compounds apart again. After you break it apart, the compound will still live in your event, but you can either delete it, or keep it as a snapshot of your project before your trim.

Many ways to do the same thing. X rocks.

---------
Don't live your life in a secondary storyline.

Mark Morache
FCPX/FCP7/Xpri/Avid
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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Craig Alan
Re: Editing music in FCPx - what's your technique
on Jan 3, 2014 at 8:19:48 pm

[Andy Neil] "select the secondary and then press play and use markers to mark my edit points. Then grab the range tool (R) and with snapping on, drag between the ranges and hit delete."

Thanks great post. I use the range tool but often feel like a klutz with it. This will help. Still struggling with different behaviors for different types of clips in the timeline.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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