I have been a FCPX editor since the day it came out, I am also an apple certified trainer in FCPX, lecturing at a top College in South Africa for 5 Years. I am also a qualified sound sound engineer.
I currently work in the TV industry here in South Africa for a large international company.
I feel that the audio round tripping in FCPX is only getting worse. When X2pro launched in 2012, it was a program that really solved an issue with getting into Pro tools (or any DAW that could accept an AAF).
However fast forward to 2018 and all I seem to get is error after error when exporting AAF's out of X2pro. Literally my last three 22 minute shows that I have tried to create AAF's from have all thrown up errors ,mainly due to the use of Mp3 audio, but other times there would be an audio file that couldn't be processed and it would either stop the export or cause massive issues on the timeline in Pro Tools.
Another issue I have found is that my audio and video is out of sync when inside pro tools, re-syncing the audio and then exporting your final mix, sees your final locked edit out of sync by the same amount that you re-synced by inside pro tools.
So I thought what the hell, lets move away from Slow Tools and AAF's all together and go into Logic straight via project XML's. Well low and behold was I only met with even more unexplained issues of the incorrect parts of audio files appearing on the Logic timeline.
I have been quite frustrated with the audio aspect of FCPX, we have been waiting for how long for a roles based mixer, with actual AU and VST support and there is only a few loudness meters that work with FCPX, also very frustrating.
I know everyone will say, create a compound clip of your roles (Thus creating sub groups for your D,M,&,E) and then process like that. but its so unintuitive as an audio professional.
My question is, do you think with Apple focusing on the Pro Market, employing professionals on their Pro Workflows Team, and really focusing on us again (Modular Mac Pro 2019 Holding Thumbs) we will see a better workflow inside FCPX (Mixer) as well as a better way or getting from FCPX to DAW's (OMF, AAF, Proper XML to DAW support?)
I love FCPX but I must admit, being able to use my waves, UAD, and iZotope plugins (With full functionality)and being able to export an OMF without doing a million and one steps (Creating audio only timelines) in premier really starts to save me time (Isn't that something that FCPX is known for doing)
I have come to dread the end of my edits where I need to go to audio as I just have no confidence in any of the workflows in place. The other editors at my job click 3 times and have a perfect OMF sitting in my folder for mix. There I am fart arsing about with X2pro, or logic trying to just get a usable Interchange file that has everything that was on my timeline.
No lies, I sometimes have way better luck using XtoCC and then exporting an OMF from there! WHY! do I have to use a competitors NLE just to ensure I can get to audio mix without any issues.
I totally agree with you, and thing audio has been mistakenly overlooked by the FCPX dev team. I was told two years ago that an audio based or similar mixer was coming by someone directly connected and who would know. But, two years, not seen anything. Very frustrating. But I'm hoping 2018 is the year of audio for FCPX.
I agree that audio should be a higher priority for the devs, for sure. Especially the interchange between Logic and FCPX... WHY ISN'T THIS PERFECT?? We know that the Logic guys are somewhere else, but it's really shameful that after all these years, they haven't really gotten it right.
That said, here are some things you can try with X2Pro that might head off some issues. Not sure if you're already doing these things, but it's worth a shot.
- contact X2Pro support, they seem to be good if you contact them, and may work with you to work out any conversion bugs.
- in our projects, we'll almost always embed the audio with handles into the AAF. In my experience, referencing media may cause some issues for audio files that are troublesome. You can optionally tell X2Pro to convert non-PCM audio when embedding, which is great for wonky MP3s.
- Is there a reason why you're using MP3s in your projects in the first place? 99% of the time, if we have to use MP3s, we'll convert them to 24 bit 48kHz wav files. There are just too many variables with badly formed MP3 files, why take a chance?
- bake-in weird stuff. DAWs in general don't know what to do with compound clips with audio in them that have been re-timed, for example. Think about how complex this could be... you can have compound clips within compound clips within compound clips, all with weird re-timing and speed ramps, embedded within each other. Even if you're not using the audio when you do this, best practice is to export-bake it in, then re-import a clean file.