Three Interesting Things About Soundtrack Pro 2

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the May, 2008, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe.
UPDATED August, 2008. ]

ImageOne of our major up-coming seminar sessions is showing how to use Soundtrack Pro 2 more effectively for mixing our Final Cut projects. (I long ago learned that the best way to improve my video was to improve the quality of my audio.)

To help me get ready for the session, I sent an email to the product management team at Final Cut Studio asking for some tips. They graciously responded and I want to share some of what I learned with you.

Question 1: Is there a way to change the default output from 6 channels to stereo so that it doesn’t need to be manually set for each project (this doesn’t seem to be a preference setting)?

Answer: Not really. Projects sent from FCP will match the FCP project’s settings. You could optionally create a “template” project (really just a blank project) with all your favorite settings, but that’s a slippery slope since you can’t actually “apply” that template to an existing project. It would give you a nice starting point though.

Question 2: Is there a way to change the name of a clip – i.e. to name sections of a clip, like subclips in Final Cut Pro?

Answer: Yes, you can highlight the clip and change the name in the ‘Details’ tab. Also, you can rename clips by right-clicking them in the bin and choosing “rename.” The details tab is much faster though.

Question 3: What equipment do you recommend to connect to the computer – both laptop or tower – that allows monitoring of surround sound. (The speakers I understand, its the digital interface that I need help with.)

Answer: I personally love the Apogee Ensemble, which is made to work beautifully with Soundtrack Pro. In fact, there is even a special software control panel for the Ensemble built into STP.

Bonus tip: While the conditions and results vary, you are best served by using real-time effects in multi-track projects, rather than from the Process menu in an audio file project. The effects behave much more reliably in multi-track projects.

I have an entire session devoted to making the most of Soundtrack Pro 2 in my upcoming PowerUp Seminars. Click here for more information.

UPDATED – August 2008

While the Apogee Ensemble is a great piece of gear, it’s almost $2,000. I found the PreSonus FireBox for about $179 works just as well. In fact, I’m taking it with me on my seminar tour to demo how to create, monitor, and output surround sound in Final Cut Studio. (Click here for more information about my 2008 North American Seminar Tour.)

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