Final Cut Pro: How To Use the Audio Controls in the Viewer

When using Final Cut Pro, the audio controls that you see in the Viewer are the same audio controls that are available via the Video tab. The main functions of the audio controls are to allow you to navigate through the audio in your clips and sequences, set your In and Out point markers, and create split edits. The guideline below will go over some of the main audio controls that are available in the Viewer and how to use them.

Zoom Slider

The zoom slider allows you to zoom in and out of the waveform. To use this slider, all you have to do is press the shift key and drag the thumb tabs that are on either side of the waveform. This will allow you to zoom in or out, while moving the visible area of the waveform into the direction that you're dragging the thumb tab.

Level Slider

The level slider adjusts the volume of the audio clip that you have selected. If you do not want to use the slider, you can change the volume of the audio clip that you have selected by entering a number into the dB field, which is located to the right of the level slider.

Drag Hand

The drag hand allows you to drag the audio clip that you have selected to the Canvas, Browser or Timeline. You will use the drag hand quite often, because if you click directly on the waveform, the playhead that is within that frame will also move.

Level Keyframe

The level keyframe button is located to the right of the level slider. This button allows you to adjust the audio of your clip over a predetermined amount of time.


The reset button will delete all marked keyframes of the audio track that you have selected. The keyframes that will be deleted are the keyframes that are located on the level overlay and the pan overlay. When the keyframes are deleted, Final Cut Pro will also reset the audio levels back to their original captured states.

Pan Slider

Depending on what type of audio that you have opened in the Viewer, the pan slider works in two different ways. If you are dealing with stereo pairs, the pan slider will adjust both the left and right stereo placement of both tracks at the same time. There are various output settings that you can drag the pan slider to. The default setting is -1, which sends both channels to their respective outputs. A setting of 0 creates a mono mix by sending audio tracks to both speakers. A setting of +1 sends the left track to the right output and the right track to the left output. If you are dealing with single, mono tracks, the pan slider will allow you to pan the selected audio track between the left and right output channels.

Waveform Display

The waveform display area shows your audio as a graphic. By clicking on the waveform display area, you will be able to move the playhead to the exact frame that you have selected.

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