Audio Editing 101: Audio Editing Basics


Audio Editing Basics

Creating quality audio is imperative to completing a quality video project. The sound should complement the visuals without distracting from the video’s content. Read on to learn a few important audio editing basics using Final Cut Pro.

Choosing Audio

  1. In the browser, double-click on the audio clip you’d like to use. Depending on how your audio was recorded, it will say either “Mono” or “Stereo” on the audio tab at the top of the Viewer window.
  2. Import songs and sound effects by going to “File,” selecting “Import,” and then “Files” in the Finder window. The clips you select will then appear in the browser by a speaker icon. Bring the clip you want to use into the browser by double-clicking it.

Viewer Window

  1. There is a waveform of your clip with pink and purple horizontal lines in it. The pink line represents the Level slider while the purple represents the Pan slider. Use the Level option to adjust the loudness and softness of your audio and the Pan option to choose which channel your sound comes from.
  2. There is a Drag Hand icon to the right of the sliders. This tool lets you move clips into your timeline.

Audio Levels

  1. Audio levels can be adjusted by using the Level slider or the pink Level line inside the Waveform. Adjust the level line by clicking and dragging until the levels have reached the sound quality you want.
  2. Now raise your clip’s audio level. Press play and monitor the audio meter. Normal levels are indicated by the color yellow while red levels indicate that your audio might be too loud. Ideal numbers range from -12 to -18 dBs.

Audio Pan

  1. Adjust the audio pan using either the slider or overlay option. When adjusting the audio pan, you’ll also have the option of using the slider or overlay features.
  2. The audio pan sets to -1 for stereo clips, meaning that the left track is heard from the left speaker while the right track is heard from the right. Reverse this by changing the value to 1 or change it to 0 if you’d like both tracks to be heard out of both speakers.
  3. The Pan slider lets you choose the speaker for mono clips.
  4. The Viewer window contains two yellow playheads, one at the top near the ruler and one at the bottom in the scrub bar. The top playhead shows the clip you’re working on while the bottom one plays the clip from start to finish.

Audio Editing Basics: Ask the Experts

The professionals at Disc Hounds are happy to walk you through this 101 guide. Give us a call and we’ll answer any questions you may have about audio editing basics.

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