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Edit to the Beat in Final Cut Pro

Here is a quick tutorial showing you how to edit to the beat in Final Cut Pro, in order to fix some shaky camerawork.


Often in a piece of audio there are a few beats that go together quickly, and when this happens we are given a wide range of options. Here we have media from a canoe trip, and used such a piece of Audio. Let’s dissect a few of the ways we can edit to quick beats.

Now this one really saved some bad camera work. As you can see there are only a few decent moments in the whole clip. Using the beats to show the canoe move from point A to point D  made it possible to use parts of the clip otherwise may not have been able to be used.

By adding three edits at each of the beats, I can then slip the clips to show the canoe in three separate spots along the river, and on the third edit that clip continues on for another 1.5 seconds.

Another Way to use these three beats is to use a freeze frame, and then enlarge the two short clips on the beats. In this shot there is just a quick grin to the camera, so to get the most out of it we are going to use the single best frame of the grin for an extra second. After editing the freeze frame into our sequence, we will place an edit on the beat in the center of the freeze frame. Next bump the scale of each clip 40%. One trick I use in a situation like this is to go into my Toolbox, and grab my CROSSHAIRS. Then what I do is set the center of the crosshairs right on a specific point, in this case I will use the smile, typically I will use an eye, or even both eyes. and then as I move from clip to clip I have a common point to sync up the images. In this particular case on the third beat I cut to another shot.

One more example. Here is a great underwater shot of minnows feeding on a piece of bread, and then a bigger fish comes and takes it away. Let’s repeat the moment that the big fish gets the bread on every beat, and then on the last beat let the clip continues on for another second. After getting the frame the fish hits the bread synced up to the beat, add an edit on that frame, and copy the incoming clip. Move the playhead to the next beat, paste, and repeat. I will roll the edit points back two frames, so we see the fish approach.
The color correction on the finished piece makes a big difference.

I hope this was helpful. I realize that there were a number of things mentioned in this video, that I didn’t explain the step by step. Many of the other video tutorials go into more detail on some of the functions used in this video. The Add edit vs the Blade tool video tutorial in particular is one you should check out, and at GeniusDV.com you can find thousands of tutorials that will help you become more efficient, but  if you really want to become proficient at Final Cut Studio, you should make the decision to get some hands on training. Choose either our Orlando Florida training center, or have us come to your location, and train your whole team. Contact us today!
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