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Activity Forums Apple Final Cut Pro X 4-channel audio, anamorphic settings, and markers anyone?

  • 4-channel audio, anamorphic settings, and markers anyone?

    Posted by Michael Garber on June 28, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Hey y’all,

    Well, I’m done b*tch*n’. On to figuring out this behemoth! I’m not doing any major projects, just trying to run FCPX through it’s paces. So here goes…

    Has anyone brought in any 4-channel audio yet? Do you know the best methods to deal with it in the timeline if you don’t need to use all 4 channels at any given time? I’m currently trying to figure out the best ways to deal with audio while editing. I’m very much used to editing audio while I edit picture. But this seems to be much harder with FCPX. Am I crazy on this point?

    Also, I brought in some 4×3 anamorphic 720×486 footage. FCPX sees it as regular 4×3 footage. There doesn’t seem to be a switch anymore. Anyone out there know if there’s a way to get New FCP to see the footage as native anamorphic?

    Last, markers aren’t as robust anymore. That said, adding them in the viewer is delightfully easy to do while playing back footage. But, adding them to the timeline seems to be a pain (given the old method – you could drag a marker into the timeline and it would treat it like a subclip who’s in and out is dictated by the next marker).

    I’m also noticing lots of timecode and viewer wonkiness. I thought that hitting arrow-up is supposed to take you to the beginning of the clip, but it takes you to the shot above it in the viewer.

    More questions to come, I’m sure. Glad the Cow and all its experts are here for all this!

    -Michael

    Gregor Queck replied 12 years, 8 months ago 3 Members · 18 Replies
  • 18 Replies
  • Simon Ubsdell

    June 28, 2011 at 9:57 am

    [Michael Garber] “Do you know the best methods to deal with it in the timeline if you don’t need to use all 4 channels at any given time?”

    If you go to the Inspector for your 4-track clip, either in the Browser or a clip already edited into the Timeline, you can use the Audio/Channel Configuration pane to enable or disable tracks as you please – (much better than FCP7 in this case!).

    [Michael Garber] ” 4×3 anamorphic 720×486 footage. FCPX sees it as regular 4×3 footage”

    Yes, this is an issue – see the thread about this below. Anamorphic scaling doesn’t appear to be implemented yet, though someone has suggested that if you run your footage through Compressor you can flag it appropriately, but I haven’t tried this yet so I don’t know. I am hoping that in future this will be an additional option in the Inspector/Video/Spatial Conform pane which is currently limited to Fit, Fill or None – none of which address the anamorphic issue. For now, you have to edit your footage into the Timeline, apply a 133.33% X scale, which you can then copy and paste (Opt/Cmd/V) onto all your other clips. Seems crazy but I haven’t found another way of doing it. It does suggest that the anamorphic timeline settings are not actually anamorphic but rather square pixel!

    I don’t use markers much so I haven’t explored that side yet. Finally, I can’t explain why Up Arrow is not working for you – it seems to work fine here. It does annoy me a great deal that it’s got a kind of “slinky” dynamic behaviour that is obviously meant to be cool and funky but actually slows you down quite a bit, especially when you expect the playhead to move instantly.

    Simon Ubsdell
    Director/Editor/Writer
    http://www.tokyo-uk.com

  • Michael Garber

    June 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks, Simon! That will come in handy. Good to know that you can change the audio from the timeline because that could get very frustrating if you lose audio tracks.

    I’m starting to kind of get the overall idea behind FCPX – it’s all about the metadata. So, instead of dealing with turning off an audio track in the timeline (which I know you technically could do), it’s more about dealing with switches and flags in order to keep i things organized and in check.

    I discovered the Metadata Editor last night and found a setting in there for Aspect Ratio. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show up after you select it. I was able re-export from separate timelines in FCP7 so the flag was turned on.

    With markers, I was able to figure out how to manually make one a specific duration. However, it crashed the program! 😉 This is all hilarious. I really wish they had just called this a beta. In fact, that’s now how I’m thinking about it (and it magically makes everything “better”;). Once I started thinking of it in terms of troubleshooting and not being read-for-primetime, it kind of made me more interested in seeing how it works (or could potentially work). I just wish Apple had told us that, but moving on…

    I’m starting to wonder if markers are just not the way to log footage. Starting to learn about smart collections – maybe that’s the answer? I’ve read about selecting sections of the media and doing something. Anyway, I’ll be researching that today.

    [Simon Ubsdell] “It does annoy me a great deal that it’s got a kind of “slinky” dynamic behaviour that is obviously meant to be cool and funky but actually slows you down quite a bit, especially when you expect the playhead to move instantly.”

    I’ve been reading all the myriad blogs and posts that have been popping up and I see now how AV Foundation is a big part of FCPX. My guess is that the strange behaviour of the program is partially due to the need for Lion, which should be AVF ready. Also, I’m going to try to boot my system into 64-bit mode today. That might make some things run smoother. If you are on 10.6.8, that’s the only way to get the beta AJA driver to work.

  • Simon Ubsdell

    June 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    [Michael Garber] “I discovered the Metadata Editor last night and found a setting in there for Aspect Ratio. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show up after you select it.”

    Could you elaborate? This was the first place I looked for aspect ratio and I can’t see any metadata field relating to this let alone allows you to change it. Not saying it’s not there – some of this stuff is hard to find 😉

    Simon Ubsdell
    Director/Editor/Writer
    http://www.tokyo-uk.com

  • Michael Garber

    June 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Sure! Here’s all my steps. Select the clip and go to the inspector. Click on info. It’ll probably say “basic view” down at the bottom. Select edit metadata views and it’ll pop up a lengthy list of metadata options. It’s there under Aspect Ratio Info. As I mentioned, though, if you check it, nothing pops up in the view mode. I even tried making a special view mode with only Aspect Ratio selected and nothing popped up.

    Just got the AJA X driver installed on 10.6.8 and 64-bit mode. More tests to come.

  • Michael Garber

    June 28, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Ok, so figured out the way to turn channels on and off. That will help immensely. But how do I mix and pan the remaining channels? If I double-click on a clip, it drops down only a single track mono mix of the tracks. I can break apart the clip, but then they lose their connection to the video. Can’t seem to find a way to re-connect them. Maybe another way to mix?

  • Simon Ubsdell

    June 28, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks for that – unfortunately I had the same result in that none of the field changes actually stuck despite making a new metadata view.

    More worrying is that what we are actually looking for is not Aspect Ratio but Pixel Aspect Ratio (which is the flag needed in order to read an anamorphic source correctly) and despite an impressive array of metadata field options that was missing (I’m guessing Pixel X/Y Dimension is not it unless they’ve decided to change the nomenclature).

    Simon Ubsdell
    Director/Editor/Writer
    http://www.tokyo-uk.com

  • Michael Garber

    June 28, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    That is worrying, indeed. I tried selecting all those radio buttons and none of them came up in the info panel. Pixel ratio included. Just keep repeating my mantra: it’s really a beta. it’s really a beta.:D

  • Simon Ubsdell

    June 28, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    [Michael Garber] “only a single track mono mix of the tracks”

    You need to configure your channels as either mono or stereo in the Channel Configuration Pane of the Audio Inspector. And you need to use the Pan Mode selector under Volume and Pan to set your panning destination (some of the terms are a bit mysterious right now but you’ve at least got stereo left/right and I imagine dialogue will be centred mono).

    Simon Ubsdell
    Director/Editor/Writer
    http://www.tokyo-uk.com

  • Michael Garber

    June 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Thanks. I’m currently cutting a news piece for PBS on FCP 7 but mirroring my edit in FCPX to see how my workflow would change. My requirements for final output are: channel 1 needs to be SOT, etc… and channel 2 is VO. Original footage is 4 channel with 1 and 3 being camera audio and 2 and 4 being interview.

    I’ll try your recommends and report back.

  • Simon Ubsdell

    June 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    As to how you’d affect the levels independently of a multi-track clip (which is probably what you’re asking) I have no idea as yet!

    Simon Ubsdell
    Director/Editor/Writer
    http://www.tokyo-uk.com

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