Final Cut Pro: Device Control

Final Cut Pro uses device control presets to determine how it will control a device, such as a camcorder. Final Cut Pro has many device control presets, so it is unlikely that you will have to create your own. When you connect a device to your computer, you will be able to choose from the device control presets offered by Final Cut Pro. In some instances, you may want to control how your external device and Final Cut Pro communicate, so you may need to customize the device control settings. While it is rare, Final Cut Pro may not have a device control preset that matches up with your device, so that is another reason to customize the device control settings.


You will need to enter a name for the device control preset you are creating. Final Cut Pro will save the name you enter and the preset will be on the list of available device control presets.


For the protocol settings, you will enter the protocol that your camcorder uses. Most digital video devices use FireWire, while most professional equipment uses RS-422. If you are using FireWire, you will need to pick either Apple FireWire or Apple FireWire Basic, depending on which protocol your camcorder is compatible with.

Audio Mapping

You will need to know how many audio tracks are available on your audio or video deck for audio mapping. The options that Final Cut Pro gives you will depend on which protocol you selected. For FireWire devices, you will be able to choose either two audio tracks at 16-bit resolution or four tracks at 12-bit resolution. Final Cut Pro will not detect audio track capabilities for RS-422 devices, so you will need to enter this information manually.

Time Source

Depending on the format of your tape, you will need to select which timecode track you want Final Cut Pro to read from. For Vertical Interval TimeCode and Linear Timecode, you will have the option of allowing Final Cut Pro to pick the time source for you.


You will not need to enter a port if you have connected a digital video camcorder, as FireWire is automatically used. For all other equipment, you will need to let Final Cut Pro know which port you have connected your device to. Your options will be your modem or USB port.

Frame Rate

You will need to enter the timecode frame rate that you captured your film with. If you captured video in standard NTSC or PAL modes, you will choose 29.97 frames per second for NTSC and 25 frames per second for PAL. If you shot your film using 720p high definition, your best bet will be 59.94 frames per second.

Capture Offset

You will only need to enter a value for the capture offset settings if you are using a non-digital video device. When Final Cut Pro imports video, the software will use the device control connection and video input. Being that two unique methods are being used to import the video, it is possible that there will be a timing difference between the timecode value and video frame. You will need to figure out the frame offset from the video and calibrate your timecode.

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