Final Cut Pro: Understanding Tracks

When you are using Final Cut Pro, it can be helpful to understand what the timeline tracks are, and how they can help you to edit your media file. There are a number of timeline tracks on display in the Final Cut Pro editing suite, and these can show you how to save certain parts of your track while editing in order to prevent damage, and also you can save the rest of the process by cutting down on the amount of work you do at the start. Learning what each of the tracks does in Final Cut Pro will help you to edit your clips and audio smoothly.

Track Lock

Track locking is perhaps one of the most important buttons that you can use in Final Cut Pro. The Track Lock button protects the track that you are working on, and prevents you from changing it while you are editing around it. This means that you don't over-edit something valuable by accident, and also means that you can work quickly without worrying about the impact that it will have on other parts of the track.

Auto Select

Another vital part of the track listing, the auto select button lets you see what parts of your track will be effected by tricks such as copying and pasting. If you don't want to effect all of your track with a single action, then you should check that this button is not activated before you begin working.

Clip Overlay and Keyframes

These two buttons show what type of effects you have on the tracks. For example, the overlay will show where you have video transparency, while the Keyframes icon will show which parts of your track are affected by the keyframes editing work (if you have done any of this previously).

Source and Destination

These track controls are vital when it comes to working with tracks, as they will determine where you can place your clips in the Viewer window. This means that when you add a clip to an audio file, and then do work which means adding more clips using Insert or Overwrite, the audio file which you created is left intact, and is not distorted by the adding of extra frames.

Visibility Button

The visibility button means that you can choose to display the contents of a file, or not, as you wish. When you are operating a track which is invisible, this will be darkened in the timeline. This can help you to be clear about which parts of your track can be seen by viewers.

Track Height

The track height button allows you to see the relative sizes of the tracks being displayed, so that you can better fit them into the viewer box. There are four different display sizes which allows you a good choice between too small and too large, so you don't have to worry about fitting all of the tracks in together.

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