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External Audio Editor for FCPX. Pro Tools? Wavelab? XML? Windows? Mac?

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Michael Wenz
External Audio Editor for FCPX. Pro Tools? Wavelab? XML? Windows? Mac?
on Mar 20, 2014 at 1:42:05 am

Hey guys, Thanks in advance! I always use this site for my technical questions with video. THANK YOU ALL!!!


I am wondering if some of you might be able to give me some advice on the easiest way to change my work methods. I have a monthly corporate project that I have been working on over the past two years and I am hoping to make the leap from windows to mac for all my video editing jobs... I am trying to be more portable on my macbook instead of being stuck using my recording studio for minor editing and audio fixes. Here is the situation...

ON PC
I download a large number of videos from YouTube as Mp4. The files open in Sony Vegas without any problems. I then am able to arrange all the songs on the Vegas timeline and then open a copy of each audio clip in my external audio editor being Wavelab. I then master the audio with my preferred plugins song by song. I usually have 60-90 songs and I am using my ears and my visual indications to make sure each video has comparable audio levels and is mastered and limited before playing for thousands on a large PA system. After matching each of the levels I close and save each open waveform and it is then over written in Vegas with the newly mastered version. One would say why dont you normalize or use the volume line to balance out the volumes in Vegas. I did try that long ago but there was definite inconsistencies in getting the volumes just the right level. If there was a pop or noise in the audio file the normalize function would not work properly and would not bring the meat of the file to the loudness desired. Raising the volume via. the mixer did not work well either cause there is a limit with how loud you can go with each clip. So I found that using my Waves Plugins on each file one at a time by ear was the only fool proof method....


ON MAC
So I am now diving in to using my Macbook Retina for some of my Video work... I have Final Cut ProX and I have really enjoyed using it for the first month I have had it. The only thing is need to process the audio files for each video clip individually and keep a very fast pace. On my mac I have a few options for audio programs.... I have Pro Tools, Wavelab, Soundforge & Logic. I can process the audio in each of the programs but it seems rather lengthy to get the desired results.


One thing to consider is I am often using duplicate videos from a past month and I have to Re-Master the audio for the same video clip cause the previous months audio using the Vegas/Wavelab combo. I would prefer to save the mastered audio with each video clip so I can save time when I am going to re-use it. I have a standard set of plugin settings I use on all my projects so the volume matches. My problem is with the re-encoding and mixing the audio & video back together. I dont want to loose video quality and I don't want to gain unnecessary size with each of the composite files. Now I really am an audio guy not a video guy (yet) but I seem to find myself stuck....


I could export the Aiff, master it in Pro Tools or Wavelab and re-align it in Final cut? Seems slow

OR

I could use windows to do all the audio mastering and then export to "final cut" with Sony Vegas 12. That still leaves me having to master each clip every time each month.


OR.... Any other thoughts???


Also Final Cut X shows the waveform of each clip cut in the middle instead of displaying the full waveform as other programs. Is there any other way to display the full interleaved waveform top to bottom?


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James Cude
Re: External Audio Editor for FCPX. Pro Tools? Wavelab? XML? Windows? Mac?
on Mar 20, 2014 at 4:19:00 pm

When you say you are pulling down clips from YouTube- do you have the rights to these clips? Public performance of someone else's footage is not free.


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Michael Wenz
Re: External Audio Editor for FCPX. Pro Tools? Wavelab? XML? Windows? Mac?
on Mar 20, 2014 at 4:39:02 pm

Yep we sure do the establishment pays thousands each year for ASCAP and BMI Thanks for asking friend! Your awesome we need more people like you!


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James Cude
Re: External Audio Editor for FCPX. Pro Tools? Wavelab? XML? Windows? Mac?
on Mar 20, 2014 at 5:10:07 pm

Alrighty then. That said- I wouldn't go bouncing between Windows and Mac trying to do your audio- that sounds like a lot of time wasted. I don't see why you couldn't do everything right in X. It accepts a huge number of audio plugins and you're likely to be able to do whatever you wanted to do in an external app directly there.


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Michael Wenz
Re: External Audio Editor for FCPX. Pro Tools? Wavelab? XML? Windows? Mac?
on Mar 20, 2014 at 6:32:08 pm

Thanks, yeah I am not looking to go back and fourth between OSs. I could do the processing on Mac with wavelab or pro tools. The thing is I don't want to compress the video at all. I would like it to be the same as my FCP export.... I'm not really a video expert, I am an audio guy. Final cut x does not show full waveforms. As in top and bottom. I need a visual cue showing the wave is maxed out solid and mastered. Hitting a limiter. I can't really tell with the waveform size in final cut. I wish I could see the full waveform...


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James Cude
Re: External Audio Editor for FCPX. Pro Tools? Wavelab? XML? Windows? Mac?
on Mar 20, 2014 at 7:22:10 pm

Rectified waveforms are just a different way of visualizing the same data. What you see in FCPX is the actual mixed level of the waveform at any given time. You can easily spot over-saturation without even playing a clip by looking for red and yellow peaks. You can also show reference waveforms for the original vs current mix settings via Preferences>Editing>Show Reference Waveforms.

This is just my opinion- the audio tools in X are far from perfect but the speed and convenience of avoiding any round tripping may trump the qualities of an external wave editor for a lot of workflows.

Bottom line- there's no one workflow that fits all. It sounds like you need to spend some time with the tool you've chosen and see what works for you.


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Michael Wenz
Re: External Audio Editor for FCPX. Pro Tools? Wavelab? XML? Windows? Mac?
on Mar 21, 2014 at 12:23:08 am

I do have that setting checked, when I put my mastered audio clip in I am going to guess all the peaks will be red. I actually knew about that... I wish I could just open a copy with wavelab and do the processing like I do with vegas on windows. I guess for now I might just get the entire projects audio files mastered on windows and "save for final cut" with Vegas. Really a pain though...

One thing I am thinking might help would be to create subclips with the audio and video together... This way I could do it all in like 30 mins or so... Thanks again


Anybody else have a good work method with Final Cut/Pro Tools/Wavelab Etc. ?


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James Cude
Re: External Audio Editor for FCPX. Pro Tools? Wavelab? XML? Windows? Mac?
on Mar 21, 2014 at 2:01:47 am

I don't quite understand what specific function you need in wavelab that you're not finding in FCPX? Are you talking about a normalization of levels or something else?


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Michael Wenz
Re: External Audio Editor for FCPX. Pro Tools? Wavelab? XML? Windows? Mac?
on Mar 21, 2014 at 3:42:55 am

Ya know your right...I am still very new to using Final Cut as it is a gift from my employer and I was not seeing my AU plugins correctly. Turns out a old free VST I had was causing some of my better plugins to not load.I think I am getting some where. I still am having a hard time seeing 1/2 the waveform but I think I can use my visual cues to make sure I am hitting the same volume to keep things uniform. I bet I could get them all the same level and export the waveform for final inspection before the final is created.

I am wondering now how to process it and keep it clip by clip specific. I know I am a bit of a newb with video, with audio I am a pro but this has proven to have more of a learning curve. Thanks again!


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Michael Wenz
Re: External Audio Editor for FCPX. Pro Tools? Wavelab? XML? Windows? Mac?
on Mar 21, 2014 at 4:05:40 am

So now I made the clip with the desired effect nested so it is one compound clip. Seems like a great idea. However if I go to arrange 90 of these clips on the timeline I will have 180 AU plugins... Seems like a bit much. Any way to process the clip, this may be the type of question that a few months will seem like a no brainer...


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Michael Wenz
Re: External Audio Editor for FCPX. Pro Tools? Wavelab? XML? Windows? Mac?
on Mar 21, 2014 at 5:10:17 am

Still scouring the web for the answer. I am wondering how the compound clip processing works. Is the plugin eating up resources while nested in a compound clip?

I guess this is my first real attempt with a non linear editor. If I could get a good workflow this potentially could save me loads of time. So far I have gotten the results I am looking for with the plugins I wanted to use.


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Michael Wenz
Re: External Audio Editor for FCPX. Pro Tools? Wavelab? XML? Windows? Mac?
on Mar 26, 2014 at 3:40:20 am

Just an update, I was able to use the AU plugins and a combo of the built in audio loudness tools. I am finding the workflow much more useful after alot of trial and error.


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