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Fixing Final Cut Pro out of sync problems

If you are experiencing a sync problem with Final Cut Pro, 90 percent of the time it is because you are mixing audio sample rates, and Final Cut Pro is having a difficult time in resolving them to match.

First, verify that every clip within your browser window is exactly 48Khz.

If you see any sample rates that are not 48Khz, and your sequence is a DV-NTSC 48Khz sequence, then your sequence will may drift out of sync as Final Cut Pro tries to resolve different sample rates.

A real warning sign, is if you see a sample rate that is very close to 48,000 like 47.998, or 48.086. Since these are not standard DV sample rates, Final Cut Pro encountered a problem while recording the audio. You will need to re-record and re-edit this clips to your sequence.


If you are using Final Cut Pro 3.0, you will deffinately want to convert all of your audio CD's or MP3's to 48Khz. DO NOT leave them as 44.1Khz files. You can use iTunes of QuickTime Pro to convert your audio files to 48Khz before using them in Final Cut Pro.

The worse culprit is mp3 files that have really strange sample rates like 256,000 or 128,000. These will deffinately cause problems, especially if you are using Final Cut Pro 3.0

One of the new features in Final Cut Pro 4.0 is the support of Audio Units, but I still continue to convert all of my audio files to 48Khz. Using Audio units supposedly eliminates the need to convert sample rates, but I am still suspicous of mixing them.

One other common problem I have discovered, is that on some older G4 models. 1Ghz machines and below had two different firewire ports that talk to the same controller. This means if you have your camera or deck hooked up to one port, and your firewire drive hooked up to the other port, there can be a conflict. To fix this, loop all of your firewire devices so you are only using one firewire port.

Apparantly, this was fixed in the G4 1.25 and later models.

Finally, I have recently come across users that have upgraded to Panther 10.3.1 using Final Cut Pro 4.1.1 reporting that their sequences are drifting out of sync. This may be a temporary incompatibility issue, or just a fluke. For the time being I reccomend using Final Cut Pro 4.1.1 with OS X 10.2.8

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HOW TO EXPORT FROM AVID TO CREATE A DVD was the previous entry in this blog.

How to apply effects to Avid titles is the next entry in this blog.

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