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Fixing Audio in Final Cut Pro X

Learn how to fix common audio problems using Final Cut Pro X.

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Final Cut Pro X provides some excellent ways to fix audio problems.

First, let me play through part of this project.

Notice how there is a lot of background noise from the rescue equipment as they try to remove the trapped workers.

Let’s try to improve the sound quality of this clip by removing some of the background noise.

Now, since there’s a clip of music underneath the primary storyline, I can temporarily mute this clip so we can just focus on the rescue effort.

To do this, right click on the clip segment and choose disable. Notice the keyboard shortcut which is V.

Now, when I play through the project, you’ll notice the music has been muted.

Okay now, navigate to the window menu and choose show inspector.

The inspector window is something you’ll be using quite a bit, so it’s worth learning the keyboard shortcut which is command 4.

If nothing is selected within your project, you may see a window that says there’s nothing to inspect.

So select a clip in the timeline to reveal the parameters within the inspector window. You will notice at the top of the inspector window there are three tabs for video, audio and info.

For this exercise, go ahead and click on the audio tab.

Now, you’ll see controls a series of controls here. The volume slider will increase or decrease the volume of the selected clip.

You can use this instead of dragging the volume control line within the timeline. If you make an adjustment and you need to reset it, click on the down arrow for the parameter and choose reset parameter.

Underneath the volume slider you will see an option for the pan mode. If you’re new to Final Cut Pro X, leave this set to none.

However, for more advanced users, if you set this parameter to any other choice, you will have additional parameters that you can adjust such as whether a clip is panned to the left or right.

You’ll also see a disclosure triangle for revealing surround sound adjustments.

For now, I’ll set this back to none. Also, notice there is an equalization parameter. Click on the equalizer button to reveal the audio equalizer window.

If you are unfamiliar with control adjustments for specific frequencies, Final Cut Pro has various equalization presets that you can choose from.

For example, let’s say I want to enhance the frequency for human voices. Final Cut Pro X will give you a good starting preset with the graphic equalizer sliders.

Now, Final Cut Pro can also analyze your audio to provide for suggestions on fixing problems it detects.

Click the slide arrow to reveal a list of audio problems that can be fixed. So in this example, you can see that Final Cut Pro X has detected that there is background noise within the selected clip.

This is indicated by this yellow triangle. You will also notice there are options for fixing the loudness of a clip, and fixing audio hum.

This first parameter is for fixing audio that is not uniform, meaning the volume fluctuates between loud and soft volumes.

The second parameter allows you to remove background noise. And then third parameter allows you to remove 50 or 60 cycle hum.

This helps if you have electrical interface within a particular clip. Okay, let me play through the clip to conclude my point.

You’ll notice the clip with the rescuers has a lot of background noise. To fix the problem, go back to the audio enhancements window, and click on this check box.

Final Cut Pro will perform the magic for you. Okay, let me play the clip again. Hopefully you were able to notice a difference.

If your clip still needs some tweaking, you can experiment with this parameter slider to determine how much noise you would like to remove.

Now keep in mind that these automatic functions aren’t going to fix every scenario.

The whole point here is that Final Cut Pro X provides these simple tools to make your job easier.

Okay, you should now have the basics on how to fix basic audio problems.

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