Im­prove audio in Fi­nal Cut

Make your film sound as good as it looks with th­ese audio tips

Mac Format - - IMPROVE -

Edit­ing the audio that ac­com­pa­nies your film’s ac­tion is vi­tal to get­ting ef­fec­tive re­sults. Leav­ing audio to sim­ply cut in time with changes in the video is quite abrupt – although this can some­times work.

When tran­si­tion­ing from one scene into another, you’ll want to ex­plore op­tions such as hav­ing the audio start a lit­tle bit be­fore or after the pic­ture changes. This can lead the viewer com­fort­ably from one part of your nar­ra­tive to another. It’s also help­ful within a scene to al­low a per­son not in the frame to be heard mo­ments be­fore switch­ing to a cam­era that shows them. Done well, the av­er­age viewer won’t even pay con­scious thought to th­ese neat touches – not be­cause they’re worth­less, but be­cause with­out them the edit­ing can ap­pear harsh and jar­ring.

It’s also vi­tal to get the bal­ance of dif­fer­ent audio com­po­nents just right, and that’s where Fi­nal Cut’s Audio Lev­els tool comes into play. You might have no­ticed its most ba­sic form in the Dash­board in the mid­dle of the tool­bar – but we’ll also show you how to use mix­ing con­trols to ad­just the vol­ume of

Ex­plore op­tions such as hav­ing the audio start a lit­tle bit be­fore – or after – the pic­ture changes

one or more clips at a time. Even if your video con­tains only a voiceover or a score, don’t let it reach zero deci­bels. If that hap­pens, the sound sam­ple will be clipped, which means that valu­able in­for­ma­tion about fre­quen­cies is lost, and the audio will sound dis­torted. Alan Stone­bridge

Many ed­i­tors tend to treat audio as an af­ter­thought, but get it right and it can be in­cred­i­bly ef­fec­tive.

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