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Final Cut Pro X: Configure audio channels

Configure audio channels

Final Cut Pro assigns a default channel configuration for audio clips when they are imported or added to a project. You can change the channel configuration if, for example, you want to convert a stereo dialogue clip to two mono channels.

Final Cut Pro automatically groups channels into audio components according to how the channels are configured for the clip. For more information, see About audio channels and audio components.

In addition to changing the channel configuration, you can view and listen to audio components, add or remove audio components from a clip, and rename audio components.

Change the channel configuration

The number of channel options you can configure depends upon how many channels are in your source clip or compound clip. You can configure channels in several formats, including:

  • Mono: Single channel. In a surround sound setup, you can assign a mono channel to any surround channel.

  • Stereo: Left and right channels.

  • 5.1 surround: Left, center, right, left surround, right surround, and low-frequency effects (subwoofer bass) channels.

  • 7.1 surround: Left, center, right, left surround, right surround, left back, right back, and low-frequency effects (subwoofer bass) channels.

If you configure more than six surround channels, Final Cut Pro automatically adjusts the channel mix down to 5.1 surround during playback.

Important:   Changing the channel configuration resets all adjustments and edits made to audio components (including applied effects, disabled ranges, keyframe adjustments, and custom names).
  1. Select the clip in the Timeline.

  2. In the Channel Configuration section of the Audio inspector, choose an option from the Channels pop-up menu.

    The channels appear in the Audio inspector as separate audio components, each with its own waveform.

    Channel configuration shown with audio waveform

    If you have a clip with surround channels and want to assign a mono channel to a specific surround channel, select the mono channel waveform and choose a surround channel from the Channels pop-up menu.

    Note:   To change the channel configuration of a compound clip, first deselect Use Event Clip Layout from the Channels pop-up menu, and then choose another configuration.

To reset a configuration, click the Reset button .

View and listen to an audio component

  1. Select the clip in the Timeline.

  2. In the Channel Configuration section of the Audio inspector, click the disclosure triangle next to the clip name to reveal its audio components, and then skim over a component or play it back using the Space bar or the J, K, and L keys.

    Audio tab of the Inspector showing a clip's channel configuration

Add or remove an audio component

You can add or remove audio components in a clip. For example, you may want to remove unused components from a clip, or add components from inactive angles to the active angle in a multicam clip.

By default, all active audio components in a clip appear as selected in the Audio inspector and are arranged in the same order when the clip is expanded to show audio components in the Timeline. To learn more about viewing audio components, see Ways to view audio clips.

When you remove an audio component, it appears dimmed in the Audio inspector but is removed from the clip’s component arrangement in the Timeline.

  1. Select the clip in the Timeline.

  2. In the Channel Configuration section of the Audio inspector, click the disclosure triangle next to the clip name to reveal the clip’s audio components.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To remove a component: Deselect the checkbox next to a component waveform.

    • To add a component: Select the checkbox next to a component waveform.

      Audio tab of the Inspector showing a clip's channel configuration

Rename a component

Do one of the following:

In the Channel Configuration section of the Audio inspector: Click the disclosure triangle next to the clip name to reveal the clip’s audio components, and then double-click a component’s name and type a new name.

Audio tab of the Inspector window showing a channel waveform with the name "New name"

In a clip in the Timeline with expanded audio components shown: Control-click the audio component, choose Rename Component from the shortcut menu, and type a new name.

To learn more about viewing audio components, see Ways to view audio clips.

Important:   If you subsequently change the channel configuration, all custom audio component names are reset to the original name.

You can also choose a channel configuration when exporting roles as audio stems for mixing or post-production. For more information, see Use roles to organize clips and export audio files. If you choose an export file channel configuration that is different from that of your source files, the channels are exported in the following ways:

  • Stereo source exported as surround: The left and right channels are exported to the left and right channels of the surround file.

  • Surround source exported as stereo: The surround source is exported as a stereo (left and right channel) mix.

  • Stereo or surround source exported as mono: The stereo or surround source is exported as a mono (one channel) mix.

Last Modified: Mar 6, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Mar 6, 2014
  • Article: PH12575
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