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During Editing
You've laid down your sequence, you've got your clips sounding consistent relative to each other - now you should check for peaks.  In Final Cut, this is as simple as picking Mark Menu -> Audio Peaks -> Mark.  Markers will appear above the sequence anywhere there's a peak.  Now, you could just pot down the gain on those clips, but if you do that you'll lose the consistency between your clips' audio levels.  So instead, you can hack out the individual peaks themselves.

You can do it by hand, or you can do it with a single step in Soundtrack Pro.  Read on ...

If there are just a few peaks, use your arsenal of audio editing tools to carve them out: the mixer, gain envelopes, and the razor tool can all fix peaks.  But if there are a lot of peaks, you might want to use Soundtrack Pro - heck, it's so easy you might want to use it even for a couple of peaks.

We'll use what's called a limiter.  Its job is simply to, well, limit the peaks of the sound to keep them away from the digital threshold.

Right-click on your sequence in Final Cut Pro, and select Send To > Soundtrack Pro Multitrack Project.


In Soundtrack Pro, we want to apply the limiter to all of the audio that's on one or more tracks.  So, for each track, click on the track near its name ...

... then apply the Adaptive Limiter in the Effects tab at the bottom left of your screen.

B2B-Audio-Step2.png... Repeat this process for each audio track that you want to limit, and you're done.  Seriously.  Now, the loudest parts of your soundtrack will stay just perfectly below the 0dB threshold.

So here's the "hard"est part (which still isn't hard): getting the audio back into Final Cut.  Export the audio from Soundtrack Pro (File->Export), and bring it into your project in Final Cut.  You'll probably find it easiest to create a new sequence (maybe with the same name plus " - Corrected" at the end?), drag in the original sequence, mute the original sequence's audio track, and drag the newly exported audio onto a different track.


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Clipping, and Limiting Audio 2 (Back to the Basics series) was the previous entry in this blog.

Spectrum View in Soundtrack Pro is the next entry in this blog.

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