FCP X: Compound Clip Secrets

Posted on by Larry

IMPORTANT NOTE: Apple changed the behavior of compound clips with the 10.0.6 update. Here’s an article that describes the changes.

Final Cut Pro 7 calls it a “nest.” Final Cut Pro X calls it a “compound clip.” Whatever you call it, there are some real benefits in knowing how to use it.

A compound clip is simply a collection of clips gathered together and treated as though they were a single clip. There are several advantages to doing so:

There are two places you can create compound clips: in the Timeline or in the Event Browser. Let’s take a look at both.


The principal benefits to creating a compound clip in the Timeline are to organize a complex edit or apply a common effect to a group of clips.

For instance, here, I want to consolidate all the selected clips into a single compound clip to simplify my edit. (OK, so this edit isn’t really that complex, my point here is to illustrate how this is done.)

To create a compound clip in the Timeline, select the clips you want to group together. One of the new features in FCP X is that you can create compound clips from clips that are not next to each other. In fact, they don’t even have to be on the same layer, nor contain the same types of clips!

NOTE: Compound clips can contain any combination of audio, video, titles, generators, still images or effects.

Choose File > New Compound Clip (or type Option+G) and all selected clips are coalesced into a single compound clip stored on a single layer.

The “curved hands” logo – which Apple likens to a connected clip – is the symbol for a compound clip. This icon appears in the top left corner of all compound clips.

At this point, you have several options:

Larry Recommends:

FCPX Complete

NEW & Updated!

Edit smarter with Larry’s latest training, all available in our store.

Access over 1,900 on-demand video editing courses. Become a member of our Video Training Library today!


Subscribe to Larry's FREE weekly newsletter and save 10%
on your first purchase.