I’m in the middle of another busy summer of broadcast editing on Final Cut Pro X and I’ve come to the conclusion that FCPX needs a fourth edit mode. Intrigued? Read on…
There is no doubt that FCPX is a fast editor to use. No NLE comes near to the speed it can assemble clips on the timeline by skimming, marking and adding.
But I think Apple could turbocharge FCPX more with a fourth edit mode that could really speed things up.
Fourth edit mode- are you crazy? Possibly, let’s looks at this a little further:
There are three edit modes at the moment in FCPX
By default (or selecting Shift 1) FCPX will set to do a video and audio edit
Shift 2 will set to do a video only edit
Shift 3 will set to do an audio only edit.
Pretty basic stuff and I’m sure you’ve all gone through those a thousand times, but let me suggest an example where my fourth mode would come in handy.
Let’s call it ‘Video with Audio disabled.’
Imagine editing a news story that is made up of an interview and B Roll. Having assembled the interview bites in the Primary Storyline, you now need to cover over the interview with B roll. The B roll footage used needs audio of course.
By doing a video and audio edit, not only do you take all the tracks selected on the clip, you also take them at the volume set in the inspector. If the footage is of multiple locations, sound levels and different tracks for boom and lav mics, you don’t gain (sorry) much by setting the levels across clips or, as it happens a lot in news, a complete feed.
So you end up drowning the interviewee in B roll audio.
Back to the fourth edit mode (Shift 4 anybody?) This would perform a video and audio edit, but with the audio disabled so that you can go into the inspector afterwards and set it on a clip by clip basis (or multiple clips if you use the Timeline index)
So you can quite happily paste B roll all over your interview and hear what the actual interview was about. Get all the shots right and then go back and add the effects to your liking.
Why not use the match frame trick?
Yes you can edit video only and then Shift F (might have to do this twice) to matchframe to the clip and then Alt (Option) R to replace the clip with a clip with audio audio. A lot of clicks and not always reliable.
You would still then have to go through the clips selecting the audio components you require.
Well, just an idea, but one that would speed things up considerably for me. Now back to trying to work out how to assign a shortcut to a custom video role…
Peter Wiggins is a broadcast freelance editor based in the UK although his work takes him around the world. An early adopter of FCP setting up pioneering broadcasts workflows, his weapon of choice is now Final Cut Pro X. You can find him on Twitter as @peterwiggins or as he runs the majority of this site, you can contact him here.