Final Cut Pro X (FCPX)

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Getting Started

  • Open up the external hard drive and select the band’s folder.
  • Open the band’s folder in the Finder and copy the name of the band from the band’s folder.
  • Open Final Cut X, create a Library and paste the name from the band’s folder as the Library’s name (an Events folder will automatically be created with today’s date).
  • The library is organized by day, month and year. Events (purple box w/ a star in it) contains the video and mixed audio files from the band’s session. Libraries contain Events and Events contain Projects.


The Library

  • The Library icon is comprised of four purple boxes with stars in the middle.
  • A library is created for each band and it will contain all of the band’s songs (about 2-3 songs per band).
  • Think of the library as a collection of events (the icon for an event is a box with one star in it). It’s where all of the various elements (engineered audio, video angles, station’s lower third, etc.) from the band’s session are held.

Library With Arrow.png

The Event

  • The event icon is a purple box containing one star.
  • An event contains all of the video angles and engineered audio files from the band’s session. It can also contain other elements such as KDHX’s lower third.
  • The event is contained within the Library and is located on the upper left hand of the screen just below the Library.

Event 2.png

Importing Footage

  • To begin editing the footage you need to import it into the Event folder in the Library you just created.
  • Click on the arrow located in the top left corner of the window or select file, import media.

File Import Media 2.png

  • Once you select this, a window will pop up in Final Cut that allows you to find the files you need.

Totally Different Filename.png

  • Select the external hard drive and find the band’s folder.
  • Before selecting “Import All” there are a few settings in the right portion of the window that you need to check.

Import Settings 2.png

To the right under Transcoding select “create proxy media”. To the right under Files deselect “copy files to library” and select “leave files in place” To the right under Video select 
“Analyze for balance color”. 

Proxy Mode

 When you are editing, use proxy media not original media. 
  • The difference is based on how much data is used. Proxy media uses less computer resources (lower resolution) than original media (higher resolution).
  • Before you export you will go back to original (optimized) media.
  • If you are in a project that doesn’t have proxies then select all of your videos in the events folders and right-click and select “transcode media” and make proxy.

Create Proxy Media.png

  • If your project does have proxy media make sure you are editing in proxy mode by clicking on view in the top right hand corner of the screen and selecting proxy.

Proxy View.png

The Multicam Clip

  • A multi-cam clip is made up of two things: 1) the engineered audio track and 2) the corresponding video angles for that individual song.
  • To make a multi-cam clip select (hold down the Apple button as you left-click each element) the engineered (mixed/mastered) audio from the session and the corresponding video clips from the session.
  • Once all of those elements are selected right-click and choose “New Multicam Clip”.

Right Click New Multicam Clip.png

  • Save the new multicam clip and name it after the title of the song.

Multicam Clip Settings.png

  • Once the multicam clip is created, right click on your new Multicam clip which is located in the event with all your footage and denoted by four boxes in the top right corner.

Multicam Icon.png

  • Then select “open in angle editor”.

Open in Angle Editor.png

  • Once the multicam clip is open, you should see four different tracks stacked on top of one another.

Multicam Clip Timeline.png

  • By default, the track on the top is marked as the monitoring angle which is indicated by a lighter gray background color for that track.

Monitoring Angle Selection.png

  • At this point if you haven’t already you’ll want to name each track based on the type of video such as “wide angle” or “mover”.
  • To rename the tracks simply click on the text located on the top left of the track and type.

Renaming Tracks.png

  • Next you'll need to sync up all the audio and video and making sure that all the video is inserted in the correct order.
  • Select the track containing the GoPro footage as your monitoring angle. To do this, click on the screen icon on the top left of the track. It should turn purple indicating that the track is now the monitoring angle and this footage is what will appear in the viewing window in the top right.
  • In order to sync everything, start with one track and move the footage in this track so that it matches the monitoring angle as close as possible.
  • Then, making sure the clip you’re working with is selected meaning it is outlined in yellow, click on the arrow to the right of the name of the track and select “sync selection to monitoring angle”.

Sync Selection to Monitoring Angle.png

  • When you click this a progress bar will appear at the top of the screen and once it is done processing the clip should jump to where it need to be within its track.

Syncing Progress Bar.png

Synced Clip.png

  • Repeat this process for each track until all the footage and audio is synced.
  • One multi-cam clip should contain the footage and audio from all three songs a band performed.

The Project

  • Now that you have a multicam clip you need to create a new project in order to edit it. To do this hit file then hover your mouse over new and select project.
  • You will create a separate project for each song that you are editing.

File New Project.png

  • For each project, name it after the song title you are working on.

New Project Settings.png

  • Once the project is created, it will appear as a clapper icon in your event.

A Project For Each Song.png

  • Double click the Project & it appears in the timeline on the bottom half of the screen.

Open Project.png

Empty Timeline.png

  • Select and drag the multicam clip into the timeline.

New Project Timeline.png

  • Right click clip and select “Active Video Angle” and “Active Audio Angle”.

Active Video Angle.png

Active Audio Angle.png

  • Once you have selected which video & audio will be active then in the canvas window you want to select the film strip icon on the upper left so that when you make your edits you are only editing the video and not the audio.

Film Strip Icon 2.png

  • Select the timeline and press the spacebar and select the video angles you want from the canvas as the video plays.

The Timeline

  • You can create a sequence in the timeline by dragging elements from the Projects and Events folders to the Timeline or by double clicking on them.
  • When working on a Project in the timeline it will have an icon of a clapper in the upper left of the timeline.

Clapperboard Icon.png

  • When working on a multi-cam clip it will have four boxes as its icon in the upper left of the timeline.

Your New Multicam Clip.png

  • When multiple things (Projects, Events, etc.) are open you can use the right and left arrows in the upper left of the timeline to click between the different sequences

Timeline Arrows 2.png


  • You’re just “telling the story” of the music that is being performed. Show them “what you are hearing.” Try and be conscious of the the instrumentation when making edits. If at some point in the music the guitarist has a solo and one of your video angles has a nice medium or close-up shot of the guitar then that would probably be a good shot to use. If you don’t have a nice medium or close-up shot to go to don’t worry about it. An establishing shot (wide-shot) will do just fine.

  • Apple + “T” puts a basic crossfade in the beginning of the clip or the end of the clip depending on where you click the mouse on the timeline. Do most of your editing with cuts and only use dissolves when you have to.

  • Wherever the mouse is physically on the screen changes what it does so be careful where you place the mouse. When the mouse is placed on the lower section of a clip it will work on the audio. When it is placed on a higher section of a clip it will work on video. When its placed on the edges of the clip it will allow you to trim the project. The video/audio elements can be dragged from the Events section and placed directly onto the timeline.

  • Changing something like the color correction in the multi-cam clip will change it in the project file. By changing the source footage (original video file) the change will show up in the multi-cam clip and the project file. The advantage of affecting the multi-cam clip footage is that the effect shows up in the project that is using that footage, but the original footage remains unaffected by the change i.e. color grading for a special look for a project. The project will have that special look but the original footage remains unaffected. The advantage of effecting the original footage is that the fix in the footage will be reflected wherever the footage is used; such as color correcting footage that has a color balance that is off. Once you color correct the original footage that correction shows up wherever the footage is used.