Create test media for Final Cut Pro

Learn how to create known-good media in Final Cut Pro that you can use to isolate an issue.

If you’re having issues with Final Cut Pro, you can create known-good media to troubleshoot an issue. Using known-good media can be useful for a wide range of troubleshooting situations, including when media may not play or export as expected. The steps below show how to create an Apple ProRes 422 Master File using media included with Final Cut Pro, which you can then use to help isolate an issue in Final Cut Pro.

Install Pro Video Formats and Additional Content

Before starting, make sure you’ve installed Pro Video Formats and Final Cut Pro Additional Content. You can install these options using the App Store. In Final Cut Pro, choose Final Cut Pro > Download Additional Content, then click Updates in the App Store. If you haven't installed these options, they'll appear in the Updates pane.

Add a placeholder

  1. Open Final Cut Pro.
  2. Choose File > New > Library.
  3. Enter "Test Library" as the name, press Command-Shift–D, then click Save to save the library to the Desktop.
  4. Choose File > New > Project. If "Use Automatic Settings" appears in the button in the lower-right corner of the dialog, click the button so "Use Custom Settings" appears instead.
  5. Name the project "Test Media," then click OK.
  6. Choose Edit > Insert Generator > Placeholder, or press Command–Option–W. In the Video Properties window, click OK. The placeholder appears in the timeline. Press Shift–Z to zoom the placeholder to fit the size of the timeline.

Add a sound effect

  1. Click the Photos and Audio button in the top-left corner of the Final Cut Pro window.
  2. Click Sound Effects.
  3. Enter "ascending" into the search field above the Browser. A file called "Ascending" should appear in the search results.
  4. Drag the "Ascending" file to the timeline, and drop it below the Placeholder file in the timeline.
  5. Press Shift–Z to zoom the timeline.
  6. Select the Placeholder clip in the timeline, then drag the end of clip to match the end of the Ascending sound effect.

Share the project as a Master File

After you create the project, share the project as an Apple ProRes 422 Master File.

  1. Choose File > Share > Master File, click Settings, then set the destination settings as follows:
    • Format: Video and Audio
    • Video codec: Apple ProRes 422
    • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
    • Audio file format: QuickTime Movie (Linear PCM)
    • Select the "Include chapter markers" checkbox.
    • Open with: Do Nothing
    • Roles as: QuickTime Movie
  2. Click Next.
  3. Enter "Test Media" as the name, press Command-Shift–D, then click Save to save the file to the Desktop.
  4. Click Close when the Share Successful notification appears.

Use test media

To test Final Cut Pro using the test media file, create a new library, and create a new project. Then, import the test media file into the new project. Try to recreate the issue. If the issue doesn’t occur when you use the test media, media in the affected project might be the cause. If the issue persists, you'll need to take further steps to isolate and resolve your issue.

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