Final Cut Pro: How To Lock Tracks and Why Do It?

In Final Cut Pro, you can lock audio or video tracks to prevent them from being changed after you have applied edits, such as transitions or effects. If you are working with a large number of clips, with multiples edits, your timeline can become cluttered and confusing at times. This can sometimes lead to mistakes made by accidentally deleting clips, moving audio and video clips out of sync and other accidents that can cause a lot of wasted time. Therefore, here is a handy guide to help you master the process of locking tracks in Final Cut Pro to protect your edit and help avoid unneeded duplication of your editing efforts.

What You Will Need

  • A computer with Final Cut Pro installed
  • A DV camcorder or deck
  • Video footage to edit

Step 1: Connect Your Camcorder

First, use a FireWire cable to connect your DV camcorder or deck to your computer. Connect the 4 pin connector to your camera and the 6 pin connector to your desktop computer. If you are using a laptop to edit videos, you may need to reverse the connection if your camera also has a 6 pin input connection, or you may need a 4 pin to 4 pin cable. Once connected, switch your camcorder to VCR mode.

Step 2: Open the Final Cut Pro Program on Your Computer

From the dock on the desktop screen, click on the icon to launch Final Cut Pro.

Step 3: Import the Video Footage into Final Cut Pro

Click on 'File | Log and Transfer' to open the log and transfer window. If your camcorder or deck has been correctly configured in Final Cut Pro (and is connected properly), you should see the video footage displayed in the event browser in the program.

Step 4: Create Clips and Tracks in the Project Viewer

Use the shuttle control and transition slider to go to points in the footage you want to capture. You will need to create In and Out points to serve as markers for clips to be captured. You can create clips one at a time or you can Log Clips and then capture them all at one via the Capture Batch command button.

(Tip - Before you begin capturing video clips and tracks of audio, you should go into settings preferences and make sure to capture the video and audio tracks separately, rather than importing them as a single file source. This will be especially important if you want to lock audio tracks and then replace the video footage originally synced with that track.)

Step 5: Lock the Tracks

Once you created clips and tracks that you would like to lock (in order to prevent changes or further edits on them), look to the far left hand side of the time line to view the various audio and video tracks that are in your project. Next, select the track you want to lock by clicking the in small green radio button circle next to the track name, and then, click on the small icon that resembles a pad lock. Once you click on the padlock, the track will be locked and you will not be able to delete, edit or move the track until you unlock the track. You can unlock it by clicking on the icon that looks like an unlocked padlock.

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