FCP Quirk – importing 25fps audio (or 24,30fps)

Recently I ran across a mind-bendingly irritating glitch in final cut. I was trying to import audio that should be matched to 25fps video into a pal sequence. I absolutely could not get the audio to import at the correct rate (Well, nothing short of doing a speed conversion on it) The audio speed conversion is so hackish that I was afraid to even try it. Even audio exported from fcp would not play back at the correct rate when re-imported to the same sequence! This was a weird, mean glitch, and I lost a fair bit of sleep trying to troubleshoot it.

Happily I found two ways to get around this:

1) The simplest way to do it is to marry it to a video track. For whatever reason if there is 25fps video attached to the audio, then fcp will recognize it correctly. I have married audio to a pal quicktime (in quicktime pro) and been able to have it interpreted correctly.

2) The second way is the ‘better’ way, even if it is more difficult to set up initially. Final cut needs to convert all audio into a x frames per second format in order to put it on the timeline. It is a conversion that fcp does when you initially import any audio file. The interesting thing is that Final Cut sets the # of frames per second based on the “easy setup” that was selected when you first opened final cut. THAT is the tricky part. For this to work correctly you need to close all of your projects and select a pal 25fps easy setup. Next close and re-open final cut, create a new sequence, import your 25fps audio, and THEN copy and paste your audio into your initial project bin. You should have synced audio now!

I say 30fps as well because I know the 5D and some other cameras shoot odd framerates and have trouble with audio sync. I think this same technique (#2) will work for those framerates as well. Hopefully this will help the community lose less sleep over this one weird quirk.

~ by ross on March 24, 2010.

6 Responses to “FCP Quirk – importing 25fps audio (or 24,30fps)”

  1. Awesome! Works for me (I find the first way easier). Thanks

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  3. this really helped me! thank you very much!

  4. Thanks for this. I have been tearing my hair out all morning and I’m on a deadline.

  5. This post just saved us from a nightmare scenario on a feature. I followed the directions and the mind-bending sync problem was history. Many Thanks.

  6. That worked a treat! Thanks so much for posting this. The mixer thanks you too!

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