Working with Audio and Multicam Clips.

Working with audio in Final Cut Pro X has always been an interesting experience, sometimes the new tools make adjusting audio extremely easy and quick. Other times is can be infuriating. One of the things I do that is part of my workflow is Multicam Editing. I use this on everything from 2 camera corporate shoots to 4 or 5 camera wedding or event shoots. But mixing multiple sources of audio with muticam can be kind of a pain in FCPX. Or so I thought.  I was at a workshop talking to other Final Cut Pro X users when we started to talk about J and L cuts for audio. I was saying how I use it all the time, just not for multicam and how I usually end up manually syncing audio or duplicating the muticam clip to use a different audio stream. that is when it hit me. The J and L cut expanded audio feature. Let me explain.

In a muticam you can not break apart clipped items but you can expand your audio and video. (great but why would you make a J cut with sync’d event audio, you probably wouldn’t) but what if after making the first few edits, you expanded audio. Then you go to your next edit, make sure each clip had a different audio source, then I extend the audio all the way to the beginning and to the end. Repeat this for as many audio streams you want to mix together. Then before your start editing take your primary storyline audio and drop it to -96 (turn it off). [if you already started to edit you and select all the clips past your edited clips that have the expanded audio then use your inspector to drop the volume by clicking and dragging on the number in the audio tab]. The last step is to edit video only. This makes attaching audio much easier to a multicam shoot. Also remember if you need separate channels from a camera like a Lav (I had a soundboard mix) and a shotgun, you can always add audio only after your sync your clips. Then turn off one channel, in the inspector now you have a mono audio track only.



AVCHD Camcorders and Extracting 5.1 Surround Sound

So a post on FCP.CO was asking how to import footage from an AVCHD camera that shoots with 5.1 surround sound. So after a little looking around I found that both iMovie and Final Cut Pro X, well and Final Cut Pro 7 do not support importing the 5.1 audio. The reason for this is the Apple’s AVCHD converter reduces sound from 5.1 channels to 2 channels (stereo). From what I can tell apparently iMovie handles the mix down properly but Final Cut Pro X does not.
Well I did not want to use a mix down so I looked for a work around that would allow me to use the 5.1 audio. If you use Shedworx’s VoltaicHD you can extract the 5.1 audio, then you can run that audio through compressor. Once you have a 5.1 surround sound quicktime file you can connect that audio to your video.
I have created an more detailed PDF you can download it Here (PDF)
You can also download a droplet of the compressor settings I used Here (QuickTime Audio 5.1 Surround)