FCPX miniDV 4 track audio editing

For a project I am working on, I needed to edit miniDV footage that had been recorded with 4 track audio. I know minDV is old technology, but the recording situation and facilities I was using this. Part of my process was to figure out how to save out clips of each take or segment as seperate movie files, while keeping the audio intact as 4 channels as recorded. This was new to me and took some figuring out. The reason for exporting as clips was so that I could get FCPX to synchronize the footage from all 3 cameras.

  1. Assuming the DV footage was imported as a longer video, containing multiple takes, import it into FCPX and use the blade tool (shortcut ‘b’) and slice the video up to seperate each take/cut.

01_slice_video_sections

2. Select all the clips in the timeline.

02_select_all

3. Right click on one of the selected clips and click ‘expand audio components’.

03_expand_audio_tracks

4. My DV footage had four tracks of audio, as you can see below. Select all the clips of one track of audio.

04_select_track

5. We want to assign each track a seperate role. In the modify menu, click on assign roles and you will see the default roles available.

04b_existing_roles

6. I wanted to create additional roles that fit my content, which makes it easier to keep track of things. So, I clicked on edit roles.

04c_edit_roles

7. In the role editor, click the + in the lower left and add 4 New Audio Roles. Click ok.

04d_add_roles

8. You should have 4 new audio roles with the names you assigned. Click ok.

04e_added_roles

9. With all clips of one of your first audio track selected, assign your new role to it. Do the same with each additional audio track in your timeline.

05_assign_roles

10. Now that your tracks have been assigned roles, you can right click on the track and collapse audio components.

07_collapse_audio_components

11. Select range selection.

08_range_selection

12. Select the first clip that you wish to export from the timeline.

09_select_clip

13. File/Share/Master File

10_share_master_file

14. Since this is DV video, I chose the DV Video Codec as I was happy with the file size and video quality output.

11_video_codec_select

15. I chose Linear PCM as the audio codec to maintain quality. Instead of Quicktime Movie, set it to Multitrack Quicktime Movie so that you can export a file with all 4 audio tracks.

16_multitrack_qt

16. Add audio tracks until you have as many as you need. Assign roles and set them all to mono.

17_mono_track

17. Save your preset and you just use that next time, instead of filling all of this out. Click next.

18_export

18. Name your output file. I used the Camera number and a letter.

19_name

19. For each additional clip on your timeline, you will select the clip, and output a master file. Since you saved a preset with your output settings, you can select it instead of filling it all in each time.

20_save_preset

20. That’s it. I know that it is a bit of a tedious process, but it was the only way I could find to take my DV footage and put it in a form that could be synchronized with multiple cameras while keeping the audio tracks unchanged.