Tuesday, June 9, 2015

My Top 5 Under-Appreciated Shortcut Keys in Final Cut Pro X



I'm an editor who relies big-time on shortcut keys. They are faster, they take advantage of more of the software's features, and on top of that, they show that you're a real pro! Here are some shortcuts that I find don't get as much love as they should:
5. Override Connections 
The Tilde key (~), used in conjunction with the trim tool (T)
This is called the ‘Override Connections’ command, and it basically freezes any connected clip while you trim a clip in the main storyline. Connected clips are one of the biggest complaints from editors first trying out FCP X, because they take some getting used to. This can be a way around that struggle

4. Lift from Storyline / Overwrite to Primary Storyline
Command + Alt + Up-Arrow / Down Arrow
Another way to move clips around without getting shafted by those pesky connections is to remove them from your primary storyline. In their place will be a black slug. I use this multiple times in any project.  If you overwrite on top of a clip that is already in the storyline, it will retain the storyline clip’s audio. It will either change it to an audio-only clip, or create an L-cut with the audio and keep the unaffected video in place. 

3. Insert Gap
Alt + W
This will insert a black ‘slug’ into the selected storyline (defaults to main storyline) at the playhead position. This used to be a standard operation in previous versions of FCP X, and it still is, but for some reason not a lot of people know about this one 

2. Solo Clip
Alt + S
Unfortunately this only works with audio, but it can be very useful when you have a lot of clips playing at once, and you want to just hear the dialogue, or a specific sound effect. Just select the clip to be soloed and hit alt + s, and the other clips will all go grey. Press it again to un-solo the clip. 

1. Holding the Command Key for precision adjustments
Command + Drag element
I used to get pretty frustrated at the lack of precision when trying to set audio levels, and it didn’t take long to appreciate the effect the Command key has on taming the speed of your adjustments. My mouse speed is set pretty fast, like most editors I know, so the command key really comes in handy. This applies to other operations as well, pretty much anytime you’re dragging a clip, a level, or a position. 
What are some of the keystrokes that you find really helpful? What did I leave out?