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SUPER Indie Film Audio Editing done in iMOVIE then brought into Final Cut?

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Jeremy Cathey
SUPER Indie Film Audio Editing done in iMOVIE then brought into Final Cut?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 11:43:13 am

This is going to sound silly and make some people cringe I'm sure.. but I'm filming a very VERY independent documentary feature film just for fun and I'm hoping to one day play it for a movie theater audience (just one showing to some family and friends) and also might sell a few copies of it on DVD if everything works out.

I am using Final Cut Pro to edit the film together but I have a habit of utilizing this audio editing workflow:
1. Edit Video for a Scene in Final Cut
2. Export Low-Quality Version of that Scene
3. Import the Scene into iMovie
4. Import All the Audio Clips (SoundEffects/ADR/Foley) into iMovie
5. Edit the Audio Clips to Correspond to the Low Quality Video
6. Export the Audio as a .WAV file that I bring back into Final Cut.
7. Boom Goes the Dynamite!

I just want to know if this is the stupidest thing I could possibly do or if this is "okay" for this venture. This is a very simple independent project and the reason I'm so drawn to audio editing in iMovie is because I've used it for 5 years and am very comfortable with it. Will this method of audio editing be an okay route for me to travel for this venture? I will be testing the audio on a television often to make sure things sound okay, but as far as surround sound goes am I just out of luck completely? Or will a simple audio mix sound okay in the end, but just not amazing?

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. :)


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Kylee Peña
Re: SUPER Indie Film Audio Editing done in iMOVIE then brought into Final Cut?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 8:28:56 pm

I think that you'll eventually drive yourself crazy having to go back and forth between iMovie and FCP. It's very limiting because you can't make adjustments on the fly.

I would say learn audio editing in FCP and save yourself a lot of trouble later on. I mean, if it works for you and it's just a little side project, that's fine. But what if it becomes something more? What if you eventually want to do a proper mix on it? You can't because all your wavs have your sound files all baked in permanently, so you'd have to go back in and redo it.

Audio editing isn't really THAT difficult in FCP, what is it that draws you to iMovie? Familiarity? Or is there a function of it you like better? Just curious, I haven't been in iMovie for a while. Honestly, a quick run through something like the Apple Pro Training series books or some Ripple Training will get you pretty well up to speed.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: SUPER Indie Film Audio Editing done in iMOVIE then brought into Final Cut?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 9:55:48 pm

Do yourself a favour and don't do your final audio edit in an NLE. Easiest is to go to Sound Track Pro which allows for sub frame editing, surround sound panning, track and bus processing and decent EQ and compressor limiters. It is a simple workflow from FCP - much less of a hassle than iMoivie.

Going to iMovie only has familiarity to offer, not proper audio editing and processing control. The only NLE that has similar decent audio editing to STP is Vegas. Audio is so important to the quality of a final production that it deserves much better.


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Jeremy Cathey
Re: SUPER Indie Film Audio Editing done in iMOVIE then brought into Final Cut?
on Oct 19, 2012 at 12:10:10 am

I think it's mainly because of the "Noise Reducer" effect that iMovie has that has helped me out immensely over and over again. I've tried "Hum Remover" in Final Cut Pro but it's not the same.. Noise Reducer in iMovie really tones down the sounds and makes the important sounds pop without sounding too excessive. I agree that FCP sound editing would probably be the better choice but my fondness for the "Noise Reducer" effect in iMovie is pretty rock solid.. Thinking I might just bring every single sound and audio effect through iMovie and apply the "Noise Reducer" to each clip I feel that needs it, then export those sounds as individual .WAVs that I will then bring into FCP (or SoundtrackPro).. Would that work a little bit better? Thanks for your help. :)


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Michael Gissing
Re: SUPER Indie Film Audio Editing done in iMOVIE then brought into Final Cut?
on Oct 19, 2012 at 12:50:51 am

Sound Track Pro has noise reduction plugins that lots of people say is good. Personally I use iZotope as a plugin in Fairlight so I haven't used STP. NLEs only give frame based editing. STP will let you get sub frame.


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Jeremy Cathey
Re: SUPER Indie Film Audio Editing done in iMOVIE then brought into Final Cut?
on Oct 19, 2012 at 1:28:02 am

Okay I'm going to take your advice and try this avenue. I will try editing with Soundtrack Pro to see if it reduces noise/sounds the way I am hoping for (I'm sure that it probably will since it's -meant- for audio and iMovie really isn't). Thank you Michael!


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Kylee Peña
Re: SUPER Indie Film Audio Editing done in iMOVIE then brought into Final Cut?
on Oct 19, 2012 at 1:38:27 am

I would do as much audio editing in FCP as you can, and then you can send clips from FCP to STP after you have the edit locked. STP has a nice noise reducer, and there's a lot of nice time savers you can do to make this process easier. It'll definitely be worth the minor learning curve.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


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Jeremy Cathey
Re: SUPER Indie Film Audio Editing done in iMOVIE then brought into Final Cut?
on Oct 19, 2012 at 2:32:47 am

Will try my best to avoid iMovie and go with the more professional approach. FCP and STP will be my weapons of choice on this project.
Thank you for all your help Kylee!


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