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Make Dual Mono work between FiLMiC Pro and FCP X 10.0.8 & 10.0.9

Now that we can record “stereo” 48 kHz audio with FiLMiC Pro, learn how to make FCP X treat it as Dual Mono.

By Allan Tépper | August 15, 2013

As I have covered in several recent articles and videos, it is now possible to record “stereo” 48 kHz audio using FiLMiC Pro on an iPad. However, most often pro video producers need to use that “stereo” recording as Dual Mono. Among those cases, sometimes we need to deactivate one of the two channels completely, while other times we need to have access to each one as independent monophonic sources, and be able to manipulate them separately. Ahead you’ll see how to do this using FCP X 10.0.8 and 10.0.9.

Undocumented improvement with FCP X 10.0.9

According to Apple, the recent upgrade to version 10.0.9 brings the following improvements:

  • Addresses issues resulting in green artifacts when using Sony XAVC media
  • Fixes several issues related to interlaced media and retimed segments which could cause exports to not complete
  • Includes stability improvements

The last point is quite vague, and I suppose it may be stretched to include “improved audio import interpretations”, and that’s exactly my point here.

As many FCP X users know, there is an option when importing material where the operator can ask the program to Separate mono and group stereo audio and to Remove silent Channels. Ideally, if FCP X can do this automatically during import, it will save the editor some time afterwards.

It wasn’t working properly with version 10.0.8, at least with this footage

When I initially imported the FiLMiC Pro “stereo” 48 kHz 1080p clips which I used in the recent article ENG mic comparison: Audio Technica BP4002 versus Electro-Voice RE50N/D-B, I was using FCP X 10.0.8 and these functions did not work properly. Not only did version 10.0.8 neglect to perform these functions properly, version 10.0.8 even prevented me from treating the thus imported material as Dual Mono after importing via the Inspector. As a result, with FCP X 10.0.8 I needed to re-import the clips with those functions de-activated during import so that later I could ask FCP X 10.0.8 via the Inspector to treat them as Dual Mono and then deactivate the unused channel.

Sudden improvement with version 10.0.9

Now that I am preparing this article and I have updated FCP X to the 10.0.9 (newest at publication time), I went to retest to make sure nothing had changed. I created a new Event and re-imported the same clips (plus other FiLMiC Pro “stereo” 48 kHz 1080p clips), and saw that everything had changed after the upgrade. Now with these options active during import, clips which contain a single mono channel are automatically imported as single channel mono, while those that contain material on both channels (i.e. María on one track from the mic of her BPSH1 headset, and her interviewee on the other track) are properly imported as Dual Mono.

Conclusion

I am glad that Apple improved the results of the two functions (Separate mono and group stereo audio and to Remove silent Channels) so they now work properly, at least with 1080p “stereo” 48 kHz clips from FiLMiC Pro. If you have already upgraded your FCP to version 10.0.9, take advantage of them, and see whether they work properly with other “stereo” 48 kHz clips footage too. If you are for some reason still at 10.0.8 and are avoiding upgrading for some reason, deactivate these options during import and then adjust them manually using the Inspector in Final Cut Pro X.

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