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Working on Your Sound Mix? Learn How to Easily Remove Unwanted Audio in Final Cut Pro X

07.3.12 @ 10:01PM Tags : , , , ,

While it seems that Premiere gets most of the attention these days, there are still plenty of users who are cutting their work on Final Cut Pro X. Regardless of the reason, FCPX can be a little quirky in how it deals with audio and video, and some functions are slightly different than they were in Final Cut Pro 7. In this tutorial from Steve Martin of Ripple Training, learn how to remove unwanted sounds from your audio in Final Cut Pro X.

Thanks to ProVideo Coalition for the link:

While the actual idea behind removing the problem audio is relatively similar editor to editor, it’s a good look at how to do it using Final Cut Pro X. It’s always important to remember whenever you’re at a location to get as much extra sound as you can. Room tone can be very important, as well as getting tones of things like the hum from a lighting fixture. All of these can be used to create a noise pattern that can then be cancelled out in the final audio. As for physically getting rid of bad audio, laying down that room tone is going to help cover that cut you just made.

The best practice is to get the best audio you can on set, but if that’s not possible, sound design and room tone can help hide mistakes and make your overall product that much better.

Link: Ripple Training

[via ProVideo Coalition]


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Description image 31 COMMENTS

  • Maybe it’s only me, but I just can’t take FCPX seriously as a professional tool, especially when it comes to working with audio. Perhaps I’ll jump on the bandwagon one day when the software matures, but for now it just looks and feels like a toy.

    I think it’s great that Premiere is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Not to mention that Adobe seems keen on actually giving editors what they want, instead of taking the Apple route and trying to tell editors what they want.

    • john jeffreys on 07.4.12 @ 2:25AM

      Old “professionals” who fear FCP X and the change it brings going to start a diss thread here in 3..2..1…oh wait, it started already above me.

      Anyway, FCP X can sync your dual system dslr sound for you. All you do is highlight your external track and the clip you want to sync it to, and click “synchronize clips.” It happens instantly. Oh, and the whole dynamic timeline thing. And the ability to import individual .psd layers to make intricate title sequences. And the ease of use. And the full screen mode.

      Really, its just irrational to be using any other program to edit.

      • sonix_oynz on 07.4.12 @ 2:41AM

        Although FCPX circumvents procuring Plural Eyes, it seems to grapple with multiple video and audio clips, depending on content. I’ve had trouble with long clips in particular. I surmise this is one aspect of FCPX that will improve. Nevertheless, prior to my previous dual-audio shoot I made sure both cameras and Zoom clocks were the same, at least by the minute. In post, I can see the time-of-day of the a/v clips in the Browser and that really helps me help sync manually if FCPX can’t do it alone. And, as shown in the video, you can really zoom closer into the sample, unlike FCP7. I love that! Although I have X2Pro and Pro Tools, being able to work on audio more precisely oftentimes precludes a journey to Pro Tools.

        Well, I don’t give a rats arse if FCPX is considered junk by oldskool editors, in fact, I don’t give a rats arse what so-called “prose” use. Such oldguard arrogance can go to hades, and I’m sure at lot of “prose” don’t have as many clients and jobs as they claim to, or they’re talkin’ about s*it they did 5-10 years ago.

      • haha john jeffreys you are trollin’ so hard, bro, and i love it ’cause like 99% of the people here are so serious and professional that they fall for it every time.

        • …I take it you’ve never actually used FCP X but instead gather your opinions from amateur blogs.

          • I have, in fact, used FCX on a couple of really small projects, so my opinion comes from personal experience, not from amateur blogs. In all honesty, it’s a pretty cool piece of software and it has a bright future, but when it takes me twice as long to accomplish basic tasks because I have to re-learn the interface and the theory behind the interface, it just doesn’t seem worth it. Granted, I need to spend some quality time with the software to get to know it, but from the little I’ve used it so far, it just doesn’t feel right for me. I can’t explain it beyond that.

            Besides, I’m very efficient with Premiere Pro (even more so with CS6), so for now it seems like a no-brainer to stick with Adobe. They make a great set of production products that work flawlessly together.

      • First of all, John Jeffreys, saying that it’s irrational to use any other software is a bit short-sighted, don’t you think? There’s no doubt that FCPX is a cool piece of software. I mean that. It’s fast and it takes an interesting new approach to editing, and it’s likely that we’ll see more features like the magnetic timeline and audio synching in other major NLE’s in the next couple of years.

        But, on the other hand, FCX has a lot of features which are completely unnecessary, and frankly kind of stupid, for anyone who’s serious about editing. For instance, most of the browser buttons at the upper right part of the timeline. Why would I need a “Themes Browser” with prebuilt templates? Why would I need a titles browser with prebuilt animations, or a photo or music browser? Why would I ever use any of the amateur looking effects presets that came straight out of iMovie? And why the hell would I ever need the magic wand tool?

        The inclusion of features such as these is very telling in that it shows the market that Apple was really aiming for with this product: the budding videographer with little to no editing experience. While that’s a perfectly legitimate business plan, I don’t consider myself as part of that demographic, and I’m sure most people on here don’t.

        That’s not to say that FCPX can’t be used professionally. It most certainly can, and I guarantee that there are a handful of editors who have completely switched from other NLE’s. But I can also guarantee that for every editor on the new Final Cut, there are a couple of Avid editors, a couple of Premiere editors, and couple of editors on the legacy version of FCP. The fact is that, while FCPX might be a good piece of software, it’s not the god-send NLE that you make it out to be, otherwise every single one of us would be using it and singing its praises. That doesn’t seem to be the case, now does it?

        I guess what I’m getting at is that there are different tools for different people. All that matters is that we create quality work. The tools that we use to do so don’t matter in the slightest as long as we’re using them for the right reasons. Just because FCPX works for you doesn’t mean that it works for me, and just because I use Premiere doesn’t mean that you should. They both do the exact same thing.

        And for the record, there is a fullscreen cinema mode in Premiere Pro CS6. Just hit Ctrl and the tilde key. And native .psd support is just as good in Premiere seeing as it’s a file format native to Adobe.

    • I’m a Premiere user and in general I love it, but I think it’s still seriously lacking in audio. That’s not such a problem since they started including Audition in Production Premium, which IMO is absolutely fantastic for film audio. For music, I prefer other DAWs, but for film I’ve yet to see anything better it.

      That said, back to Premiere’s audio deficiencies (or at least those in CS5.5, I’ve not used 6). Firstly, the effects are not really any good. Secondly, at the track level you can’t use presets for effects, which totally baffles me. Thirdly, some things are really buggy – the multiband compressor crashes literally every time I try to use it. Literally. It has never once worked for me. The EQ control panel disappears in the effects pane if I scroll down so the bottom of the EQ panel is in view. Fourthly, it would be really nice if raising the volume of a clip zoomed its waveform vertically in the timeline. Fifthly, the predominantly clip-based workflow (rather than track-based) has some annoying consequences, such as reverb being killed as soon as the clip ends, rather than ringing out. Can be fixed with nested sequences, but that’s inelegant to say the least. Anyway, rant over!

    • I love FCP X and do editing for a major, national network. Then again, my delivery point is the web, so the case might be different if the end product is a Hollywood film or broadcast (in which case, let’s be honest, Premiere would also be a joke.)

      While there are quirks, the dynamic timeline and clip management system are truly the future of editing. I don’t know how else to describe it. Apple doesn’t give editors (or any of its consumers) what they want; they give you what you didn’t know you wanted because, at the end of the day, you are just a single human being who eventually gets used to inefficient habits and patterns.

  • This is a useful tutorial, but the presenter’s vocabulary is way off. “Audio sweetening” is making an edited audio track sound better using e.g. EQ, compression, reverb, etc. What he is doing is “audio editing,” taking out undesired audio and replacing it with room tone. I also found hilarious his pronunciation of “sine wave” as “sinnah wave”…it’s pronounced “sign wave” for all us sinnahs.

    FCPX can do audio just fine, one simply needs to learn what one is doing with it. Compound clips are the way to apply FX to a “track” of multiple clips. I like each clip having optionally its own stack of FX, I like the fact sync is maintained by default, there is a fair amount of drill down required to do things but that’s OK, and I like that audio and video are more or less presented with the same interface in the same tool. But that’s because I do both at once, and when I’m doing audio for someone else’s project yes I use Pro Tools or Logic.

    My main complaint with FCPX audio is the 3rd parties don’t have all the plugins working in it yet. They will.

  • I remember when Apple removed the floppy drive in the new iMac. People were furious. how can they expect that computer to be taken seriously without a floppy drive? same thing here.

    • shaun wilson on 07.7.12 @ 5:36AM

      Some timely advice to all those editors out there bickering about programs vs programs – Station Wagon or sedan, van or truck, auto or manual, Star Wars or Star Trek, FCP or PPro or Avid or Lightworks – it does the same thing, pick whats right for you, use it, get the job done, shut up, stop bitching, move on, get back to work, get the next project in, go home, eat, talk to a human, feed the cat, go to bed. The End.

  • Aside from which editing platform is better, this tutorial is a waste of time. This type of technique is just second nature when it comes to an average or professional editor. I was expecting features from FCP X to enhance audio i.e.. get rid of hissing or pops during dialogue. The title says it all though.

  • I’ve come to like FCPX and wasn’t fond of it in the beginning at all. I haven’t tried Premiere CS6 yet, so I can’t comment on the improvements there, though I like the sound of some of the features like adjustment layers. The biggest thing for me and why I might get CS6 (I have CS5.5 and FCP7, or FC Studio 3 i guess technically, at home and CS5.5 and FCPX on my work computer) is I love After Effects and it makes my workflow simpler with Adobe’s dynamic link.

    • I keep hearing that dynamic link is full of bugs, though. I also use FCP X + After Effects and would love greater integration, but not enough to give up X’s benefits

      • I haven’t experience too many bugs with it. I’ve heard other people have had trouble but I haven’t, not to their degree anyway. How are you doing your workflow with FCPX to AE and vise versa? Are you putting it in Compressor and compressing with Uncompressed 8-bit and then into AE or XML or something different?

      • Many things that AE does, Motion can do, with much greater integration with FCP X. I’m constantly gobsmacked by workflows that rely on fading up static layered PSDs, when you could build something fantastic in Motion in 5 minutes. Great looking animated text and much more besides, editable directly in FCP X, all from one template.

        (AE does many other things as well, but for 2D objects in 3D space, and most titles, Motion is great.)

        • Motion gets a bad rep because the built-in templates are fairly cheesy car commercial grade gewgaws. But it’s not a bad program and the integration is fine. You just get slightly more hip junk in AE. Building your own from scratch, or 3rd party, would even things up a lot, and I agree using Motion makes sense if you are using FCPX.

      • HUGELY buggy. Still. CS6 is a marginal improvement, but to make the CS6 package THE nle bundle, they need to have dynamic link working perfectly.

        • Sad to hear. FCPX is buggy in its 3rd party support but internally it is reasonably stable.

  • Chris K Jones on 07.5.12 @ 5:10PM

    Got to agree with everything positive above, I am using FCPX in fully professional capacity every day and it rocks. It has also enabled me to use the 5D2 shot content much more efficiently than in fcp7. Also the 5D converted pro res files look superb. It’s fast, sometimes too fast for most editors and does the job. If you guys can’t be bothered to really get FCPX down then that’s cool, carry on clicking away in FCP7 and Premier, I will see you when you get done editing (eventually) and you find I have stolen all your clients. Oh by the way I’ve edited for the BBC since 95 on Tape, Avid Systems both Mac at Windows, FCP and Adobe, Quantel and Lightworks.

  • Why must you all keep comparing the two? They are DIFFERENT! like SD is its own media aside from HA, which is different than 2K, etc.. They are two different tools that make things easier for the editor depending on what he/or she might wants to accomplish. Video Houses in the dead-lands of Arizona have already adopted both, they use both side by side. You;d be a fool to rule out FCP7, you’d also be a complete tool, to rule out FCPX. Try em, if one doesn’t do it for you, SO BE IT…

    I mean… If something were to happen where technology, times, industry, or even Apple themselves stop supporting FCP7, which seems to be a possibility, then good luck to the “professional fanboys,” true professionals could careless less and do tend more towards what will help them in a job, in the end.

  • Professional or not is kind of irrelative. Does the tool work for the work you are doing?

    As freelancers, we are beholden to what our clients put in their shops. I would LOVE for everyone to go back to AVID. But I don’t see that happening. In the commercial world, i can say for a fact, from LA to SF no one has switched to FCPX. Not the right tool. Its FCP7 or AVID.

    However, FCP7 gets harder and harder to use on a daily basis. As everything around it gets upgrades, there exists more and more conflicts. So freelancers users on FCP7 will HAVE to learn something new real soon, be it AVID, ADOBE or APPLE. I would not be too resistant to change OR to committed to your current tool.

    I sometimes wonder if there are a bunch of car mechanics, sitting in a garage or on some gear head forum, arguing about which wrench is better.

    • I completely agree! As someone who does a lot of freelance editing on the side, I make it a point of business to be up to speed on every NLE that I can get my hands on.

      As for the mechanics sitting in a garage, I think you would enjoy this:

      • Cameras and editing applications don’t make movies, and they are just tools, but my argument is always that it doesn’t matter what industry you’re talking about, people passionate about those industries will want to debate all sorts of things. Here is a note at the end of that post from the author proving that pretty much any industry is obsessed with gear and small details that don’t necessarily matter in the end:

        This little post got a lot more attention than I had expected. The most interesting thing to me is that it’s now been reposted to forums involving gun collecting, coffee tasting, audiophiles, automobiles, computer programming, videography, racing bicycles, and (I should have known) various tools. All of whom identified with it. So I guess I learned today that it isn’t just photographers who act like we act. Apparently it’s people.

  • This is literally the most basic tutorial I have *ever* seen, on any program on working with sound in post. I suppose it teaches you a few FCPX tools, albeit basic ones, but copying and pasting ambient sound over an unwanted spike in the time hardly dictates a video of this length. Plus it’s hard to take a video seriously when A) the vocab is all over the place and B) the keying on that green screen is god awful. C’mon, it’s a video directed towards editors, that’s such a simple thing to mess up just put a 2% choke on the bloody thing at least.


  • The pros now have to relearn Final Cut Pro X after using previous versions
    The amateurs have to learn Final Cut Pro X.

    That is the problem people.
    Both professionals and non professionals are learning to use Final Cut Pro X at the same time; hence we are all learners right now and the persons who understands the concept quicker will be ahead.
    The Pros might not like this at all.

    I am a non pro, Final Cut Pro X is just easy to understand and the quality output is great.
    I have tried the others and they seem to clunkly and overloaded with goodies. I really like to make my own goodies. I would have never been an editor if it weren’t for Final Cut Pro X. I just could not figure out the others; their layout really turned me off. With Final Cut Pro X you can get the same results as the others if you learn the software and be inspired. It is really not for the Amateurs only.
    Come on forward thinkers.

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