Final Cut Pro: Understanding External Audio Monitors

The first step to understanding and manipulating audio in Final Cut Pro is to know how to properly connect the external audio monitors to your editing system. When you connect your external audio monitors or your speakers, always make sure that they are properly connected to the built-in computer audio output or audio interface. It is also important that the audio interface is properly configured in Final Cut Pro for you to maximize the use of this program.

Step 1: Setting up the Audio Monitoring Environment

Aside from having a good quality or high performance speaker, it is also important that you have a good audio monitoring environment. The shape as well as the material of the room is important.

Step 2: Connecting Self-Powered Speakers

To connect self-powered speakers to your computer, you first need to connect the main left audio output of your audio interface to the left speaker. After connecting the left audio output, you then need to connect the main right output of the audio interface to the right speaker.

Step 3: Configuring Sequence Audio Outputs

Although Final Cut Pro is unable to support editing of speaker assignments or multi-channel surround sound mixing, you can configure your system so that you can monitor certain types of 5.1-channel surround sound files.

There are 2 ways you can configure your sequence audio outputs. The first is to use the 5.1 monitoring audio preset. This way is suitable if you already know that you will be dealing with a 5.1-channel surround sound audio file in your sequence. All you need to do is just assign to your sequence the 5.1-Monitoring audio preset.

The second way you can configure your audio outputs to 5.1-channel surround sound audio files is to use the Match Audio Outputs command in Final Cut Pro. This will help you automatically configure the sequence audio outputs.

Step 4: Configuring 5.1-Channel Surround Sound Monitoring

To configure 5.1-channel surround sound monitoring using the Media Audio Outputs command, you first need to import a multichannel surround sound audio file to Final Cut Pro. After importing the multichannel surround sound QuickTime audio file, edit the multichannel clip in the Timeline. You then need to choose Sequence and then Match Audio Outputs. You will see a notification stating that changes will be made to the audio outputs. Just click OK.

Once you see an alert stating that the changes have been made, verify the audio output assignment of each track. To do this, just control-click the Auto Select control or Lock Track control of the track. After this is done, you can now connect your 5.1-channel surround sound speaker system.

Step 5: Setting the Muting the Sound System and Monitoring Levels

Mixing audio often requires you to monitor a consistent volume setting. It is important to remember that any changes to the volume should be done through Final Cut Pro and not through the volume setting of the speaker or the external audio outputs itself. However, if your entire audio track needs some adjustment, you may need to make adjustments on the overall volume setting of your audio.

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