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When editing in Final Cut Pro, there is never a right or wrong way to work with the application; it's finding a way that works best for you.  There's so many different ways in Final Cut to accomplish the same task; but sometimes we can find shortcuts to get there and optimize our workflow.  One of those features is the Add Edit function. 

The Add Edit feature is one of the most valuable editing tools when it comes to working with Final Cut Pro.  You can use the Add Edit feature to add edit points to your sequence as you play along.  They'll look like markers as you add them, then when you stop playback they will automatically turn into edit points.  You can use the add-edit function to place edit points based on a voiceover track; then you can place clips into the spaces that you've created. 

Let's assume you are making a 30 second commercial for an example.  You will start by editing the voiceover track onto A1.  Turn on the audio waveforms for the clips within the Timeline layout menu; click the audio waveforms option.  Using the audio waveform is essential when placing edit points.  You can use the audio waveform to help you decide where to place the edit points because it will be obvious where certain words of dialog appear.

timelinelayoutmenu2.gif
You will need to disconnect the audio track patches in your sequence.  It's also a good idea to lock the A1 audio track to prevent changes to the audio.

detach2.gif Next you need to insert a Slug onto your video track (V1) from the Generators menu and extend it out as long as your audio track is. 

sluggenerator.gifNow as you play through the sequence, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+V to place edit marks at each line of dialog.  Using the Blade Tool will do the same thing.  The nice thing about using the Add Edit feature is you can mark your edit points just by listening, for example, if you are trying to mark edit points based on the beat of a music track.

By using this method of editing you will increase your efficiency and your speed.  Adding edit points ahead of time allows you to replace areas of the sequence that are obvious edit choices and then go back and work on the areas that need more thought. 

Lastly, a tip:  You can map the Add Edit feature to a key on the keyboard.  This way you can press just a single key to perform the add edit function, instead of having to press Ctrl+V. 

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Utilizing Dual Monitors in Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

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