Slip, slide, advance, delay, J, L, swap, heads, tails. There are a multitude of ways to trim in FCP X.

Mouse over the end of a clip. Click , hold, drag. You just extended a shot. Do the same at the beginning, add a few frames at the head. Drag or use numerical entry. Click a cut point, nudge to extend or shorten. Press the “T” key, your cursor changes. A click and drag extends and shortens. Click and drag the middle of a clip with or without the option key, it slips or slides. Also, if you want to trim audio in a very specific way, there are 80 increments in a single frame. No more 3 frame dissolves to eliminate pops.

Numerical entry for a trim is easy, click an edit point and key in a number, and you can effect multiple clips at the same time. Want to make five seconds the duration of a bunch of clips, want to slip the same bunch by 3 frames? Select the clips then “–3” will will slip them by 3 frames or “Command D” then “5:00” will make them all 5 seconds. (A nice variation on this is making a bunch of shots 1 frame for storyboards or an image sequence.)

The magnetic timeline expedites trimming.

Let’s say an extension causes audio clips to overlap. FCP X moves one out of the way. This is the magnetic timeline at work. Consider extending an audio clip in another NLE…you may need to move another clip out of the way, you may be at your track limit and have nowhere to put the clip that’s blocking your way. Then an audio mixdown has to happen, original metadata is lost, you add a marker to explain what the source clip was, or name the mixdown in a way you hope will translate to the sound department. This is not uncommon.

It would be nice if you had unlimited tracks or could nest that audio, Compound Clips in Final Cut X lets you nest audio, or picture, or both and there’s no limit to how may pieces overlap.

Frames are at your mercy.

Why FCP X?
Audio, audio, audio

Music by T.D. Lind
On Spinout Records

Plug-ins used:

  • Ripple Training Callouts
  • FCPEffects 3d Perspective (discount FCPXPRO70)
  • MotionVFX mBehavior (discount whyfcpx20)

Mixed by Ted Caplan

Produced, written & cut by Mike Matzdorff @ miguma