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Apple Final Cut Pro X: In-Depth

Lesson 18 of 42

Audio Key Terms with Q&A


Apple Final Cut Pro X: In-Depth

Lesson 18 of 42

Audio Key Terms with Q&A


Lesson Info

Audio Key Terms with Q&A

Wave forms visually represent the loudness of a sound loud sounds have tall spikes like the one with the little yellow top on the left hand side soft sounds or short like we see in the middle human speech, which is this example of the way form is bursting. Each syllable is a burst of sound there's always a slight dip in level from one syllable to the next. Although very short music is more continuous with less fluctuation and levels, the sample rate is we've already talked about this a measure of how many digital measurements samples of the audio was made per second and as we've discovered, the sample rate determines the maximum frequency response ah forty eight case sample rate is a perfectly good choice for most video projects. You can do a sample rate of forty for one, but most campers are preset to be forty eight just the way that cd's air preset to be forty four one both of them yield audio, which exceeds the range of human hearing at the high frequencies. Bit up is a measure whic...

h determines the amount of dynamic range in a clip the distance between the loudest and the softest passages ah, sixteen bit depth it's another good choice for most video projects editing at a higher bit ups like twenty four is a perfectly good thing to do for audio mixing but is not necessary for audio recording now audio recording for the census of music creation is a different environment we're talking video and audio audio for video was supposed to audio from music audio editing most of what we've learned about video editing also applies to audio editing we set ins and outs the same way and we edit it down to the timeline the same way this chapter covers techniques which are specific audio final cut ten supports a wide range of audio formats a f broadcast wave cf which is a generally a surround format wave formats which is on compressed a c which is compressed mp three which is an mpeg three compress file an mp for both un compressed on the left and compressed on the right there's a new section of the interface inside final cut that we have not yet talked about called the inspector I'm going to be exploring this mohr and morris we move out of editing and into effects the inspector is the place in final cut where we make changes to whatever has selected its keyboard shortcut his command before the inspector is crucial toe working with audio transitions in all effects it is not necessary at all for importing media editing or trimming by default all projects and final cut create a stereo mics though you can easily change this to surround if you wish you can not change it to monaural all audio settings and effects are applied to the clip though you can use compound clips which we talked about yesterday afternoon to apply and effect to a group of clips but settings effects are clipped based not track or layer based and just to reinforce because I want to have everybody not yell at me later this one is just absolutely crucial. Audio levels must never exceed zero devi during export they will exceed zero during mixing sorry during uh editing but that's because you haven't set your levels but as soon as you exported or lay it off to tape create a file from it your audio is destroyed we don't want that to happen also there's a lot of discussion and jim I know you know this because you spend your life in audio there's a lot of discussion on how audio gets measured there's there's average whips there's average levels there's there's loves levels there's are a mess levels there's peak levels there's v u levels audio is measured inside final cut on the scale called d b f s decibels full scale, which means all of my comments are related to peak levels, which drives most audio engineers nuts because they're used to working with average levels and final cut we're dealing with peak levels, not averages and the numbers that I share with you in terms of setting levels are base on those peak numbers weakened by plug ins that give us love's measurement and l ke a fest measurement and average level measurement, but those levels are a third party plug in there not supported natively by final cut I've mentioned that audio is log rhythmic and this is something that we haven't seen before. First text hiding underneath a graphic and second the graphic itself, which is thie audio levels the audio mees meters, which is what we see on the right measure audio levels zero d b at the very top is the loudest you can get, and the little numbers up above that say nine negative four indicate that the the audio is below zero it's not distorted, they turn red, we're in distortion. The thin yellow line that we see above the green bars is called the peak hold indicator and there's a peak hold indicator for each channel, the left on the left and the right on the right. Audio is measured a negative numbers because whoever invented audio hates people, and they like dealing with negative numbers, which means the larger the number, the soft of the volume. And as I said, for every sixty being level, the audio drops fifty percent, okay, two more things, and I think we're done with the definitions and all the hard, heavy lifting of math class today, there are two types of audio levels inside final cut relative and absolute a relative audio level is displayed. When you're changing the level of a clip, you're changing it relative to the level of which it was recorded. We're making it louder than the level at which it was recorded were making it's softer on the level in which it was recorded. The absolute audio level is displayed on the audio meters the absolute accurate measurement to the volume of the sound, whether you're listening to a single clip or the entire project, if you're new to mixing audio and you're distributing your project on the web, set the levels of your mix so that the audio meters air bouncing between negative three d b and negative six d b broadcast uses different specs. Cable uses different specs theatrical digital uses projection uses different specs, but for the web, having your master levels bounce between negative three and negative six is a really good choice. The l cast meters from meter plugs that meter plugs dot com slash l cast provide measurements that meet the calm act, which means that our audio levels for broadcast have to be essentially the same as commercials and you could get plug in meters to do that. And jim, one of the things that I heard during the chat is, can we have stuff go out to proto? Ls and the answer is yes there's ah program called x to pro from x to pro net, which converts final cut projects into projects which could go to pro tools. We can also export from final cut to go to adobe audition, but in both cases it requires third party utility software great. Thank you lotta folks were asking about that perfect one last thing we talked about reference way forms, and we turned them on by enabling a check box inside the the editing preferences where it says show reference way forms and if you notice the picture on the left, we don't see any ghosted back wave forms, but if we look at the picture on the right, there is some ghosted back audio levels that make it look like your audio was recorded at full volume reference. Way forms show ghosted audio way forms as if the actual wave forms were amplified the maximum amount these could be useful when trying to mark clips containing very low audio levels, and they are turned on and off with a preference, and they have no effect on output. One more thing, key frames this is the last definition. A key frame is how we're gonna animate audio levels. Changing during playback on that key frame is defined as a point of change during playback. If we want something to change during playback, we use key frames were goingto introduce q frame's with audio levels because it's easy to understand, but we're going to use key frames a lot tomorrow when we talk about animation in effect, we always use key frames in pairs there's always a starting position there's always an ending position there's a starting point to the volume in unending point to the volume and we make that change using key frames so that's where we're headed, the last thing I cover is going to be analysis and how you adjust the analysis and more importantly, why you would want to adjust it and when you'd want to move it to other applications. The audio analysis and noise reduction inside final cut is okay and much better than it was in final cut seven because it didn't exist there at all. But there are much better tools out there, and all of them revolve around the fact that everything we hear everything we hear is based on that frequency range of twenty to twenty thousand cycles when we remove noise. Noise is not something separate from human speech but it's all part of the same range of frequencies, so the trick is to remove noise without damaging human speech and that is a whole lot easier to say than to do another question yeah, this is from caleb bail can you touch on bit rate I filmed the wedding last year using a zoom age for for the first time and apparently recorded audio separately on a different bit rate than I needed then when I tried sinking the audio in the video I found the audio was different frame rate bit right determines how many samples per second or recorded and most of the time final cut does a good job of reconciling forty eight well hang on time out bit rate is different from sample right if by bit rate you are actually meaning the level of the speed at which the audio clip was compressed because you were recording it as an mp three file bit right is determining the quality of video or audio compression which determines file size which ultimately determines audio quality hopefully you don't record mp three audio that would be bad you want to record a f or wave audio which is un compressed final cut does not like compressed audio so if you actually recorded mp three audio our mp for audio you need to convert the audio from a compressed form mpeg three or mpeg four into un compressed for the purposes of editing inside final cup so if by bit rate you mean you compress the file you need to run it through a program like apple compressor or emp extreme clip or handbrake or adobe media encoder and convert the audio from whatever it is into a linear pcm or a f or wave file all three words mean un compressed audio you want to convert it to forty eight k forty eight thousand samples per second and a sixteen bit depth which determines dynamic range forty eight k sixteen bit depth if by bit rate, however, you don't mean the fact that it was compressed because compressed audio will cause problems with final cut if by bit rate you actually mean sample right here there's an issue final cut will deal with two different sample rates forty eight k and forty four one standard for video in the standard for audio cd and you could use them interchangeably on the same timeline if on the other hand some low end consumer cameras and low end audio recorders and I used zoom every day but I have to change the menu settings to get it to work you can record a thirty two bit thirty two thousand sample right speed. The problem is this is going to cause your audio and video to drift out of sync if you have files which are compressed mpeg three mpeg four files which are recorded at a sample rate which is very low thirty two or twenty two thousand samples per second it's important that you run it through a compression program and converted to a f or wave which air to un compressed formats forty eight thousand samples per second and a sixteen sixteen bit depth to get the dynamic range you want, once he comes in his un compressed, then final cuts can edit it. And you're not gonna have any sink drift. And you're not gonna have any audio and video out of sync.

Class Description


  • Import media into Apple Final Cut Pro X
  • Use its media management tools to organize your files
  • Explore the endless possibilities for creating amazing video effects and dig into audio.
  • Sharpen the skills you need to edit, trim, and combine clips to create a dynamic, engaging final cut.


Apple® Final Cut Pro® X has been rocking the film editing world since its initial release in 1999. Today, eleven upgrades later, the video editor's users number in the millions and its editing tools have powered major motion picture and small screen edits. Join Larry Jordan to learn what makes this video editing software so powerful, versatile, and indispensable.

Now an industry standard video editor alongside options like Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro X encompasses pro-level editing tools for Mac. Final Cut Pro is a Mac-only program with professional tools that blow the free video editing software and budget video editors like iMovie, Adobe Premiere Elements, and Movie Maker out of the water. The video software can handle everything from 360-degree video to Hollywood-level productions. But navigating those advanced editing tools is a daunting task for beginners. Pretending Final Cut Pro is an intuitive, beginners program will only leave you frustrated and missing the biggest features.


Whether you are brand new to editing, self-taught, or a seasoned pro, this course will take your editing skills and Apple Final Cut Pro X mastery to a whole new level, from upload to save.

Apple Final Cut Pro X


Larry Jordan is an internationally-renowned consultant, digital media analyst, and trainer with over 35 years of experience as a television producer, director, and editor with national broadcast and corporate credits. He is recognized as the foremost trainer in both Apple Final Cut Pro (Mac) and Adobe Premiere Pro (Mac and Windows) where his informative and entertaining teaching style provides video editors around the world with unique resources to increase productivity and enhance their skills. Jordan is on the faculty at both USC and Video Symphony and the host of the weekly podcast.


  1. Introduction

    Larry Jordan says a majority of the Final Cut Pro X technical help questions he answers stem from jumping right into editing without understanding how the software works. In the first lesson, learn what to expect in the class and why, when you edit videos, you start with organization.

  2. Key Terms

    Video editing tools are often confusing for newbies because of the terminology. Walk through the jargon you need to know and key concepts for Final Cut Pro to get started on the right foot.

  3. System Configuration and RAID Storage

    Final Cut Pro X can run on any Mac except for the Mac mini. Here, learn the best system set up for video editing and learn how to make your budget go the farthest when setting up a computer for video editing, and why storage, not the computer is most important.

  4. Q&A with Creating an Efficient Workflow

    Video editing with Final Cut Pro is just as much about the actual tools as it is about creating an efficient workflow. In this lesson, find the answers to some of the biggest questions in the workflow.

  5. Interface and Media Management

    Understanding the Final Cut Pro X interface helps you navigate through the program from one step of the workflow to the next. Explore Final Cut's single window interface and the three broad sections, as well as where to find the hidden windows and what they do.

  6. Importing Media Part 1

    Final Cut Pro will import any videos supported by your computer, from files that already exist on a hard drive to videos from a camera's SD card. Walk through the import process and options, from basic options to marking favorite locations, when working with files that already exist on the hard drive.

  7. Importing Media Part 2

    Final Cut Pro will also import your media for you from a camera. Larry walks quickly through what's the same when importing from a camera and points out the important differences when using different import methods.

  8. Ratings and Keywords

    Creating a video often means working with multiple, long video files. This lesson walks through organizing video clips to make finding the exact clip you need easy. Larry then walks you through creating the actual project and getting started in the video editing process itself.

  9. Reviewing Clips for Edit

    Time to dig into editing -- but where do you start? Reviewing the available clips to see what to include is a good place to start. Larry walks you through the process, from the keyboard shortcuts, to marking a clip.

  10. Importing Clips

    Once you've identified some clips to work with, it's time to actually add them to your timeline. Jordan walks through the different options from using keyboard shortcuts to mark the in and out to using a simple drag and drop to the timeline. Whichever option you use, Jordan says, don't worry too much about getting it exact because you can fine-tune further later on.

  11. Editing an Interview Demo

    In this essential lesson, see a finished clip and walk through how the interview was assembled. Larry outlines the fundamentals of assembling an interview -- using techniques that work with any type of video edit -- in Apple® Final Cut Pro® X.

  12. Replace Edit and Timeline Index

    Continue to work with the timeline with tricks for replacing clips. Larry walks through simple methods, like using a drag and drop, to more advanced options like the three-point edit, as well as timeline tricks for working with chroma-key. Learn replacement edits along with other timeline tricks in this lesson.

  13. Compound Clips and Auditions

    Compound clips and auditions are specialized functions inside Apple Final Cut Pro. An audition allows video editors to compare clips easily. A compound clip is a project inside of a project. Walk through the how, why and when for these advanced features.

  1. Editing Review

    Jump back into video editing with the editing review that launches day two of this three-day class. Larry reviews the first part of the class and gives you insight into what's next.

  2. Trimming Part 1

    The way clips are assembled in the final video plays a big role on how the final video influences the viewer's emotions. Larry mixes the art of clip trimming with the tools inside Final Cut Pro.

  3. Trimming Part 2

    Trimming isn't always adjusting the beginning and end of a clip. Larry walks through the process of creating a slip trim, as well as tricks like trimming multiple clips at once.

  4. How We Hear

    Jumping into audio, learn the basic terms to audio editing, how we hear, and get started on understanding audio tracks inside Final Cut Pro.

  5. Audio Key Terms with Q&A

    Continue unraveling audio editing with key audio terms that aren't specific to Final Cut Pro. Learn how sound is visually represented and how to set levels for the best sound.

  6. Audio Basics, Meters, and Inspector

    Work with levels and audio inside the Final Cut Pro timeline by diving into the video editor's basic audio tools. Larry walks the class through levels, audio meters, keyframes and more. Learn how to eliminate a cough from the audio, how to reset parameters and more.

  7. Audio Q&A

    Audio is a big component to understanding video editing. Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions with this quick lesson using questions from students just like you.

  8. Dual System Sound and Audio Analysis

    Video and sound are sometimes recorded separately -- often when the mic built-into the DSLR or GoPro used to record the video isn't great at capturing audio. Larry walks through the process of syncing audio to the clip with double system recording along with the audio analysis tool that allows Final Cut to conduct an automatic analysis and fix some audio problems.

  9. Multicam Editing Part 1

    Editing video shot with multiple cameras is a common task in the video industry -- and Final Cut Pro has tools designed just for the task. Larry walks through the basics of multicam editing and getting started with the multicam feature. Learn how to group the cameras, create a new multicam clip and adjust the order using the angle editor to prep the workspace for working with videos from multiple cameras.

  10. Multicam Editing Part 2

    Once the footage is grouped and ready, follow Larry through the process of finessing those multiple feeds into a cohesive video. Start with setting the audio to a single camera, then move into switching the camera angles with a simple click and more advanced multicam tools.

  11. Transitions Part 1

    Transitions help make moving from multiple cuts a smooth experience. Learn the keyboard shortcuts for transitions, timing transition adjustments, and adjusting a transition with a roll trim.

  12. Transitions Part 2

    Creating transitions is an art -- learn the three main types of transitions, when to use them, what emotions transitions bring, and working with transitions in Final Cut Pro.

  13. Formatting and Animating Titles

    Titles reinforce key pieces of information, Larry says. Learn how to use titles, how long to leave titles up, where to place titles, and how to format titles in Final Cut Pro.

  1. Additional Effects

    Titles aren't the only type of special effects you can create inside Final Cut Pro. In the first lesson of the final day of the class, get a peek at what's up ahead, including how to add video stabilization, correct rolling shutter, work with images and create special effects like the Ken Burns effect.

  2. Editing and Trimming Review

    Recap the editing and trimming essentials to review what Larry says is the most essential thing to understand on using Final Cut Pro. Larry puts all the editing and trimming together in a final look at the process.

  3. Changing Speed of a Clip

    The speed of a clip can create drama. Learn how to manipulate the timeline with techniques like freeze frames, variable speed, and slow motion. Decipher the retime menu and learn the tools for manipulating time.

  4. Inspector Effects

    The Inspector inside Final Cut Pro allows video editors to make changes, from adding video stabilization to adjusting the aspect ratio. Follow Larry through the Inspector Effects to learn the special effects hiding in this menu.

  5. The Effects Browsers and Generators

    Video editors can create their own videos directly inside Final Cut Pro using Generators, a tool that's helpful for creating backgrounds for infographics and other items. Larry walks through the Generators and how to use them, along with diving into the Effects Browser interface.

  6. Blend Modes

    Blend Modes originated in Photoshop, but introduce some interesting special effects for video editors as well. Learn how to use blend modes, change the opacity for regular clips and picture-in-picture, and more in this lesson.

  7. Effects Q&A

    Dive into the most frequently asked questions on special effects as Larry explores questions posed by students just like you.

  8. Simple Effects

    Final Cut Pro has a number of different special effects options. Larry walks you through the most useful special effects and how to use them, so that you'll know how to manipulate those oddball effects too.

  9. Intro to Color Correction

    Color correction is a big enough task that entire careers are dedicated to the task. Learn what you need to know on color correction basics to successfully create a color-corrected video inside Final Cut Pro.

  10. Video Scopes

    Final Cut Pro uses three main video scopes -- the waveform monitor, the vectorscope, and the histogram. Larry walks through how to use each tool in color correction.

  11. Color Correcting for Video

    Learn what colors are most essential to get right and how to manually adjust color in videos inside this lesson. Work with the vectorscope and waveform monitor to edit color in a video.

  12. Color Correcting Skintone

    If the skin color is off, the entire video looks off. Larry walks you through how to adjust skin tones. Every skin tone is different -- this lesson is designed to give you the tools and know-how to correct for every skin tone.

  13. Color Correction Q&A

    Dive into the most common questions on color correction with this short lesson taking questions from students.

  14. Audio Effects Part 1

    Visual effects are only half of the special effects equation. Walk through audio effects, from manipulating audio levels to creating a stereo mix.

  15. Audio Effects Part 2

    Continue digging into audio special effects with advanced techniques inside Final Cut Pro. Work with channel filters to mix voice and music and the limiter filter to correct audio that's too soft.

  16. Exporting and Sharing

    After all that editing, how do you share your video? Walk through the export process, from exporting an XTML and a master file to sharing to YouTube directly from Final Cut Pro. Learn about exporting to different file formats and video formats, including .mp4.


a Creativelive Student

Absolutely one of the best & easy to follow teaching / learning sessions for this product. Larry has a great approach & insight into delivering a wealth of information from his years of experience that budding video engineers will certainly benefit from with a product that is powerful & great to use. I'm enjoying the journey to better understand & use this great product, expanding my experience in producing awesome video presentations. Great work Larry, & also huge fan of creativelive Keep up the great work you all do to assist budding producers in mastering their skills. Noel Blake Melbourne Australia


Final Cut Pro with Larry Jordan has been of enormous help to me just stating in FCPX. Larry has a unique way of getting the message on the basics across in an easy to understand manner. I have not yet looked at the entire course as I am practicing the steps as I go through the course. Many programs of FCP are not presented in the easy to follow manner thatL array does so well. I am 100% delighted with my purchase. I am in Sydney, Australia, and, due to the time difference it is impractical to view courses live. So I had to purchase on trust which in this case was a good choice. It would be good if Creative Live could perhaps rerun programs so overseas folks could view them at a convenient time. The courses still need to be purchased as I find it best to run it on another monitor and put what is taught into practice. Well done and thanks for the special offer in July.

a Creativelive Student

Attending this class was really a life-changing experience. Larry is a wonderful teacher and clearly on top of the program and methodology, and the way he structured the course, did frequent reviews and constant technique reminders (naming keyboard shortcuts as he did them, for example) really added a lot to the presentation. The depth of the class was very much appreciated, and his command of a complex subject showed that it was possible. I have wanted to understand FCP for several years and have only gotten the beginnings of a handle on it in the last 6 months or so. This class was an exponential knowledge upload and I hope will allow me to do lots of things I've only wondered about. I thought Jim was a good foil for Larry and did a nice job keeping things together, even when there was a technical problem. The value for me of being able to sit through the class before deciding to purchase was huge, and I am very much looking forward to reviewing the videos as questions come up. The class was very thorough and I didn't feel anything was being left out. Thank you so much for making it available.

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