In this Final Cut Pro tutorial we’ll take a look at the Gain Adjustment Window and how you can use it to make audio adjustments en masse to your FCP sequences.
Typically I recommend going through the audio of your FCP sequence with a fine tooth comb — spending quality time adjusting the levels (as well as EQ and pan) of each piece of media. With nearly every project I cut, I do a complete audio mix once the picture is locked (or send it out to get mixed by a professional sound engineer). However, there are times when you’ve got to make global audio adjustments and fast. If your entire piece is too low or too high, use the gain adjustment window to globally change the levels in your timeline.
In the gain adjustment window move the slider up or down to raise or lower levels. This little known tool will normalize your timeline either relatively or absolutely. Choosing “absolute” will raise or lower all audio by a specific number of decibels. “Relative” will adjust the media so that the audio peak is at the level you set.
Tip: One trick for remembering this Final Cut Pro shortcut… “L” stands for level. It might be cheesy, but think “I have the OPTION to COMMAND the LEVELS to change.”
Clients can be notorious for claiming levels are too low or too high for an entire video (this often has more to do with how they are listening to it — cheap computer speakers can spell disaster). Sure, you can try to let them know that you’ve mixed the video to broadcast standards and maybe they’ll take your word for it… but in times when you’ve got to make those major changes use the gain adjustment tool to get the job done fast!