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Final Cut Pro Audio Editing – Mixing and Mastering.

Today we are going to take a look at some Final Cut Pro Audio Editing techniques known as Mixing and Mastering. Time and time again we see the same mistakes being made in Final Cut Po X. We have all met the guy who spends countless days, tirelessly editing hours of footage. Once he has a near perfect edit, he somehow manages to forget that the audio also plays a vital role in creating a professional finished product. No matter how great your visuals, your project is only as strong as its weakest link and poor audio can leave you with an amateur end result.
First of all, if you do not Have the budget or the facilities to have your audio professionally mixed and mastered, follow these simple steps to create powerful, clean, Hollywood masters. Mastering will tighten up all of the audio parts in your project, acting as a subtle glue. Most people believe that the music or elements they are using have already been mastered and this is often correct. As a result, connecting various mastered audio files together within the FCPX timeline will create clipping and distortion.

Lets get started on Final Cut Pro Audio Editing – Mixing.

In the below example you will see some video and audio elements within the Final Cut pro timeline. All of the key framing we learned in the previous lesson, 101 has been applied and the mix is sounding good. In addition, all of the effects and dialogue used have been adjusted, and all of the volumes have been set correctly.

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Highlight all of the audio parts within the timeline and right click. This will create a compound clip which you can then name accordingly.
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We now have one audio track containing all of the audio parts, this is effectively a master output (stereo output). By adding plugins to this you are affecting all of the audio within the compound clip at once, i.e. mastering.
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Final Cut Pro Audio Editing and Mastering, what plugins to use?

I recommend using the below plugins in this order.
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I always recommend that you use a reference track and suggest using an audio source that sounds exactly how envisage your final product to be. Once you have selected a reference, simply adjust the plugin settings and fine tune your track so it sounds the same. Use the eq to sculpt the sound, perhaps slightly boost the high end and remove any low end below 20-30Hz. Then use the compressor to glue your track together with a low ratio and subtle threshold. Finally use the limiter to prevent your track from clipping and simultaneously add a few db to the final level.

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Do you need music for your next project?

Finally, why not head over to FCP Audio’s ‘SoundStack’ page where all the music is 100% Royalty Free. Furthermore it can be used for any purpose, and best of all, it is completely customisable! check out the Tutorial here.

Want to try it for your self?

No problem. Due to our kind hearted nature, FCP Audio have produced a FREE track called Untouchable. You can download this track here and get creative.