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Audio problems with Final Cut Pro

They most common problems related to audio problems with Final Cut Pro is mismatched audio sample rates.

I highly recommend that you make sure all of your audio files within Final Cut Pro are set to the same sample rate. Mismatched sample rates and audio codecs within Final Cut Pro can cause a variety of problems. These problems include:

Timelines that drift out of sync
Audio pops
Audio Distortion
Sluggish Playback
Audio Level Problems

The most common culprits are audio CD files or mp3 files. If you are using mixed sample rates, the problem is almost crippling for Final Cut Pro 3.0 users. Final Cut Pro 4.5HD offers improved performance in dealing with mixed sample rates, but it is deffinately worth your time and effort to make sure all your imported audio files are the same sample rate.

The DV specification supports 32K, 44.1K, and 48K sample rates. Most professionals religiously shoot their footage using the 48K sample rate or (16 bit). Be careful! Many consumer video cameras have a default audio setting of 12 bit (32k audio). If you forget to change this, your best bet is to make a new dub of your DV tape and re-sample the audio at 48K.

If you have having audio or sync problems within Final Cut Pro, take a quick look in the Browser Window, and verify that every clip has a sample rate of exactly 48k. If not, this could be why you are having problems.


Since the most commonly used sample rate for DV is 48K, I recommend converting ALL of your audio files to 48K before using them within Final Cut Pro.

An easy way to convert audio CD's, or mp3 files to 48K .aiff files is to use iTunes.

Inserting an audio CD into the Macintosh should automatically launch iTunes. Next, go to the iTunes menu and select 'preferences'.


The next step is to configure iTunes to automatically convert any audio files within it’s library to 48k, using the aiff encoder. To change the default settings, click on the custom setting pull down menu. The good news is, once you have changed these settings, you will not need to change them again, unless you re-install or update iTunes.


Next, you need to specify where you want the new (converted) audio files to be stored. Click on the advanced button and change the location of the music folder to a new location. I prefer saving my converted audio files straight to the Apple desktop.


Then, all you need to do, is highlight the individual tracks that you want to convert and navigate to the Advanced menu, and select 'Convert Selection to AIFF' Then import the new converted files into Final Cut Pro.


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Pleasantville Effect for Avid was the previous entry in this blog.

16:9 in Final Cut Pro is the next entry in this blog.

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