Auditions are a new feature in Final Cut Pro X that allow you to compare two or more shots in context in the Timeline. They are easy to construct, simple to use, and, even better, don’t require any additional CPU resources when loaded into the Timeline.
Auditions combine multiple clips into a single structure. While you can only view one clip at a time in an Audition, you can quickly switch between clips; which is their real power and benefit. There’s no practical limit to the number of clips you store in an Audition.
NOTE: Auditions can contain clips with audio, video, or both. This tutorial shows how to use video clips, but this same technique works for audio clips as well.
Auditions can be created in either the Event Browser or the Timeline. The benefit to creating Auditions in the Event Browser is that you can use them in multiple Projects. However, if you only expect to use an audition once, it is easier to simply create it in the Timeline. Most of the time, I suspect, you’ll be creating Auditions dynamically in the Timeline to help you select the best shot.
CREATING AN AUDITION
To create an audition in the Event Browser, select the clips you want to associate and select Clip > Audition > Create (or type Command+Y).
A new clip is created in the Event Browser with a blue Audition spotlight icon in the top left corner. You can look at its contents by selecting Clip > Audition > Open (or type Y)
To create an Audition in the Timeline, drag one or more clips from the Event Browser on top of a Timeline clip. When the underlying clip turns white, let go of the mouse.
Replace and Add to Audition. This replaces the old clip with the new clip as the pick of the Audition, meaning it is the visible clip in the Timeline, then combines both old and new clip into an Audition.
Add to Audition. This creates an Audition and adds the new clip to it, without changing the Pick.
NOTE: The Pick is the clip that is visible when you play an Audition. There can only be one Pick at a time in an Audition. If you need to cut between shots with an Audition, you need to use Multiclips, not Auditions.
WORKING WITH AUDITIONS
You edit an Audition from the Event Browser to the Timeline the same as any other clip. You can place them on the Primary Storyline, or as a connected storyline. Regardless of where they are placed, or where they were created, you preview them the same way.
Here’s where the benefit to using Auditions comes in. To instantly switch between different clips in an Audition simply click the left or right edge of the Audition Preview window. or press the left / right arrow keys. This makes it VERY fast to compare different shots to find the one you like the best.
To see the contents of an Audition, select the Audition clip and press Y (Clip > Audition > Open). This allows you to view the clips stored in an Audition. To change the pick, use the left/right arrow keys, or click on the edges of the Preview window.
Opening an Audition allows for fast changes. However, if you want to see what the clips look like during playback, you need to preview the Audition.
To preview an Audition in the Timeline, select the Audition clip, then choose Clip > Audition > Preview (or type Control+Command+Y). The playhead backs up a few seconds before the start of the Audition, then plays through to the end of the Audition clip.
NOTE: Playback loops when previewing Auditions, regardless of the current setting for Loop Playback (Command+L).
Notice when you change picks, the duration of the Audition in the Timeline changes to reflect the selected clip; plus, everything downstream shuffles to accommodate the changed duration. Auditions make previewing simple, because you no longer need to worry about trimming clips to fit for time.
To remove a clip from an Audition, display it in the Audition – using either the arrow keys or clicking in the Preview window – and press the Delete key.
You can “Finalize” an audition – similar to collapsing a multiclip in FCP 7 – by selecting the Audition in the Timeline and choosing Clip > Audition > Finalize Audition. Except, there’s no real benefit. Auditions can live quite happily in your Timeline, without taking up CPU resources. So, you can leave your Auditions in your Timeline with a clear conscience.
Another trick is to duplicate a clip in an Audition and apply an effect to it. This quickly allows you to compare different effects applied to the same clip. (For instance, the ram image in the screen shot below has an black-and-white effect applied to it.)
To duplicate a clip, select and open the Audition (Y) and display the clip you want to duplicate. Click the Duplicate button. The duplicate clip is now displayed.
Drag the effect you want to apply to that clip onto the Audition clip in the Timeline. Now, it becomes easy to compare the same clip containing different effects.
Once you start playing with auditions, you’ll discover they really simplify answering the question: “What’s the best shot to put here?”
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