Final Cut Pro X: Multicam Cookbook

Posted on by Larry

This “cookbook” is designed to provide a checklist to quickly create, view and edit multicam clips in Final Cut Pro X.

Creating a multicam clip is simple if you follow these instructions. A single multicam clip can contain video, audio, and/or stills. While you can mix and match codecs, frame size, frame rate and scanning, you will get the best performance if they match. The best way to match media is to optimize it. This standardizes all clips in the multicam into ProRes 422, though it won’t change frame sizes or frame rates.

NOTE: Multicam editing is NOT the same as audio mixing. Use multicam editing to edit your video, then, in a second pass, expand all audio tracks and work on your mix.

The easiest way to sync clips is to have Final Cut Pro X match the audio between all the clips. However, this can take time and requires the same audio on all clips. The fastest way to sync clips is using matching timecode (which is set during production) or to set a marker in each clip where the clapper slate “claps.” This marker needs to be the first marker in each clip.


  1. If you are using clapper slates and markers, set the markers before you create the multicam clip. If you are matching clips using timecode or audio, skip this step.
  2. Select all the clips you want to combine into a multicam clip in the Browser. Clips can be video, audio, or stills.

NOTE: The speed of your storage will determine how many clips you can edit at once. If performance is an issue, transcode the clips into proxies. You can edit at least 3X the number of clips using proxies than camera native media.

  1. Choose File > New Multicam Clip.
  2. In the dialog, give the multicam clip a name and determine how you want to sync the elements. When setting video parameters, don’t make the project frame size larger than your largest clip and match frame rates with the clip you expect to use the most.

NOTE: If you are not using audio to sync, uncheck “Use Audio for Synchronization.” This speeds the syncing process.

  1. After the multicam clip is created, set an In and Out for it in the Browser.
  2. To modify, add, or change the order of angles, double-click the multicam clip in the Browser to open it into the Angle Editor. (Click the small left-pointing arrow in the top center of the Timeline to close the clip.)
  3. Open the project into the Timeline that you want to add the multicam clip.
  4. Edit the multicam clip into the Timeline (generally, press E)
  5. Select View > Show in Viewer > Angles (shortcut: Shift+Command+7) to display the Angle Viewer.
  6. In the Settings menu, in the top right corner of the Angle Viewer, select the number of angles you want to view at one time (from 2 – 16).
  7. If you want to edit audio and video together, click the clip-with-waveform icon in the top left corner of the Angle Viewer so it changes to yellow.
  8. If you want to select a single audio track to play under the edit, while changing video, there are two steps you need to take:
    • First, at the top left of the Angle Viewer, click the Waveform button to change it to green, then click the angle that contains the starting audio source.
    • Second, click the Clip button to change it to blue, then click the angle you want to use as the first shot. Make sure this icon stays blue as you start your edit and you will only affect the video.
  9. In the Timeline, position the playhead at the start of the multicam button (generally, press the Home key).
  10. Select the Timeline, play the clip, and begin editing:
    • To edit the angles with the mouse, click a clip image in the Angle Viewer.
    • To edit the angles with the keyboard, type 1 – 9.
  11. Trim edit points using the Roll tool.
  12. Replace one edited shot with another in the Timeline either by Option+clicking the new image, or type Option+ 1 through 9.

NOTE: Final Cut Pro X does not flatten multicam clips. This means you can change any shot at any time without having to rebuild the multicam clip first.


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16 Responses to Final Cut Pro X: Multicam Cookbook

  1. Alej says:

    The Multicam clip workflow looks really powerful. Getting my hands on it and this article and your webinar excerpts have been eye openers so far.
    I’m having an issue though, I can’t seem to be able to change the length or any sort of setting (resolution, frame rate, etc) of the multicam clip on the multicam editor timeline (i.e. double clicking on a Multicam clip either from the project browser or if it was dropped on a project timeline).
    Is that possible to do? I have a lot of empty black space after moving and trimming the clips to the section they match.

    • Larry Jordan says:


      Good questions. A multicam clip is, essentially, a clip. This means that the ultimate frame size and duration is determined by the project you put it into.

      However, you CAN set code, frame size, frame rate and so on, when you first create the multicam clip: File > New > Multicam clip. The dialog that appears is essentially the same as the configuration dialog that appears when you create a new project.


  2. Robbie says:

    Hi Larry,
    This is gold! I’ve struggled at various times with multi-cam. This article should clear things up nicely.

    Thanks prospector.
    Cheers, Robbie.

  3. Hi Larry,
    Thanks for your work. I’ve been using multicams for many years and love them. However, I wish there was a way to correct camera jiggles without going back to the clip. Any thoughts?

    ALSO – sometimes I want to go directly to the clip in the multicam expansion that I’m working on, but when I click to expand, it doesn’t take me to the point of the footage I’m working on. This sure would help. Any thoughts?


    • Larry says:


      Thanks for the kind words.

      After reading your message, I did some homework.

      1. The easiest way to stabilize a camera in a multicam clip is to select the clip AFTER it is built into a multicam clip (double-click a multicam clip to open it in the timeline), then use Video Inspector > Stabilization. Leave it in Automatic mode, unless you know how the Stabilizer works.

      2. Yup, it would help. But it doesn’t.


      • Erica says:

        Thanks for your help Larry,
        That’s what I’ve been doing, and I often cut up the clip to a manageable size for the stabilization, rather than stabilizing an often long music clip. That makes sense too, right?

        Glad to know I wasn’t missing anything at least.

    • Andrey says:

      You need to park playhead on the frame you want to see in multicam and after double–clicking on a clip, you should get exactly on the same frame in multicam. Works all the time for me.

  4. Jacob Roggan-Smith says:

    I have created a multi-cam clip with 4 camera angles all set to 25fps, however the multi-cam is 23.98 and plays back at a higher pitch. From what i understand this can not be changed, however i have made all the cuts and it’s over an hour interview, is there a way to change the frame rate without creating a new multi-cam?

    • Larry says:


      You can’t. The frame rate is locked as soon you as you put the first clip into a project, compound clip or multicam clip. The frame rate is the basis upon which all your edits are based. You’ll need to create a new multicam clip.


  5. Kevin Killion says:

    Hi, this is very helpful, especially about dealing with audio.

    But, regarding this:
    “… Angle Editor. (Click the small left-pointing arrow in the top center of the Timeline to close the clip.)”

    At times, I am unable to exit the Angle Editor because the small left-arrow by the multiclip name is greyed out! What can I do then?

    • Larry says:


      It is grayed out because there’s no other project to jump back to.

      Create a new, empty project and open it in the Timeline. Then, open your Multicam clip. The left/right arrows now work.

      And, if you need to exit the Angle Editor and the left arrow is gray, simply open the empty project from the Browser.


  6. Wes says:

    HI Larry. Thanks for this. Quick question…im using a proxy workflow….if you create multicam clips and select automatic settings for size, etc., say for this example it is 1080p. And you are editing into a 4k timeline and the source footage is 6k (5760×3240), do I have to go back and change every multi-cam clip’s setting to 5760 or 4k or will the project automatically use the larger size footage when i reconnect to the originals? thanks so much.

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