FCP X: Use Compound Clips to Rename Clips

Posted on by Larry

When you are cutting multiple interviews into the same project, it can be hard to keep track of who’s speaking. This can be REALLY embarrassing if you ID the right person with the wrong name.

So, here’s a suggestion sent in by Jay Jackson, from the University of Michigan School of Information.

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My colleague Ben Armes and I here at the University of Michigan were working on a video in Final Cut Pro X with numerous clips of different people speaking. As you know, after a while, it’s easy to lose track of who is saying what in a clip. But, there’s an easy solution.

You can make a single clip a compound clip. Although “compound clip” implies more than one clip being combined, the compound clip effect works on just a single clip.

This is particularly useful because instead of calling the clip “Speaker One,” you can name the clip with a few words about what the person is actually saying. Then on your timeline, you’ll be able to easily see what each clip is about. This makes it particularly useful for “reading the timeline” from left to right and checking the flow of the story. Then, if necessary, you can move one person to a different position for a better overall edit.

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Larry replies: Jay, this is a great tip.

To create a Compound clip – either in the Event Browser, or the Timeline – select the clip you want to convert and do one of the following:

Give the compound clip a name and link it to an Event. Since this is already a Timeline clip, the default settings for the compound clip will match the settings of your Timeline.

Here is an example of what Jay is talking about – a single clip converted to a compound clip in the Timeline with a name that reflects what the speaker is talking about.


While we can rename clips in the Event Browser, the big advantage to this technique is when you have multiple quotes coming from the same clip. Renaming clips won’t work in that case, but this compound clip technique does.


Here are two other articles I’ve written on Compound Clips:

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One Response to FCP X: Use Compound Clips to Rename Clips

  1. Jacob Cichy says:

    How would this differ from duplicating a clip and renaming the duplicate.

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