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Mixing Multicam Audio in Apple Final Cut Pro X

In this tutorial, Cord3Films' Glen Elliott demonstrates how to mix audio from multiple off-camera sources in a multicam edit in Apple Final Cut Pro X.

Configuring Audio and Video Channels

Switching audio sources in the Angle Editor is pretty rudimentary--just a straight cut from one audio source to the next--but often when you’re doing a more complex edit, you actually need to do a mix of audio. In the wedding example shown here, I might need to use the groom source mixed with the officiant source and so on.

Fortunately, Final Cut Pro does have tools to give you access to all of those audio sources simultaneously. To begin mixing, highlight the multiclip, then go up to the Inspector and select the Audio tab (Figure 5, below).

Figure 5. Selecting the Audio tab in the Inspector

Once we’re in the Audio tab, under Channel Configuration, you’ll actually see all the channels that are associated with this multiclip (Figure 6, below). The first four channels you see are our video angles and then the next three are our separate audio angles, which actually correspond with the clips that you saw in the Angle Editor.

Figure 6. The Audio tab

Basically, it’s listing every audio source in the Channel Configuration. By default, only one is checked. You do have the ability to check all of them and activate all of them. As you do this, you’ll see them light up in the Angle viewer (Figure 7, below); however, nothing changes on the timeline.

Figure 7. Angles light up as they’re checked in the Channel Configuration.

In order to see these audio sources show up in the timeline, you have to right-click on your multiclip and choose Expand Audio Components, or press Ctrl + Option + S (Figure 8, below).

Figure 8. Expanding Audio Components

As soon as you do that, you’ll see the audio tracks expand in the timeline and you’ll have access to all of your audio. Additionally, you can toggle on or off various channels as needed. For example, if we’re going to do this edit and we don’t want to deal with any of the on-camera audio--we’re going to do our mix only with the three off-camera audio sources--we can simply uncheck all of our on-camera audio and it’ll disappear from the list (Figure 9, below).

Figure 9. Removing the on-camera audio from the edit

Likewise, if we need to add more audio sources in, we can recheck them in the Channel Configuration panel.

When you hover over top of the audio, the cursor automatically becomes a range selection tool, which actually is brilliant because that’s the only thing you’re going to be doing down here is dragging out ranges and ducking or raising audio to create your mix (Figure 10, below).

Figure 10. Selecting, ducking, and raising audio

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