[This article was first published
in the December, 2004, issue of Larry's Final Cut Pro HD Newsletter]
Many Final Cut projects can be mixed directly in Final Cut, especially using the new audio mixer that appeared in version 4. However, projects with more complex audio demands are more easily mixed using audio software like ProTools, Logic or Deck. As I am a big ProTools fan, this technique describes what you need to know to move audio out of, then back into, Final Cut Pro.
If you expect to do your final audio mix outside of Final Cut Pro, plan your project accordingly:
Once you have locked picture, that is, you are sure your video timings won't change, you are ready to export your audio.
You can do this one of two ways:
AIFFs can be read by any audio editing package. OMFs, which are far more flexible, are generally only readable by audio workstation software; for instance, DigiDesign's ProTools (if you are using ProTools LE you'll also need to purchase the DV Toolkit option ), Bias' Deck, or Apple's Logic.
The benefit to using OMF files is that all clips remain individual clips, so you can move them between tracks, each with separate volume and pan controls, as well as adjusting their in and out points and adding customized fades.
When you export an AIF, all clips on a track get consolidated into one large clip.
To export your audio as a Stereo AIFF
Export all your audio into separate audio pair files, then combine them in your audio editing application.
To do this:
To export your audio as an OMF file
Note that OMF files contain all the audio from your selected sequence, so the files can get fairly large. (There is a 2 GB limit on OMF files, so, if you are doing lots of tracks for a long program, you'll probably want to break you sequences up into individual acts for mixing.
Getting your audio back into Final Cut
Regardless of whether you are exporting as AIF or OMF, you'll need to get your finished audio back to Final Cut. When you are ready, export your final mix as a stereo AIF file.
Then, inside Final Cut, import that final AIF mix into your Browser.
Larry Jordan is a post-production consultant, and an Apple-Certified Trainer in Digital Media, with over 25 years experience as producer, director and editor with network, local and corporate credits. Based in Los Angeles, he's a member of both the Directors Guild and Producers Guild.
Text copyright 2004 by Larry Jordan. All rights reserved.
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