The Audio/Video Settings Window

The Audio/Video Settings window establishes the video format you are working with. You use this window to configure your editing system by choosing a video and audio format for capturing and editing, remote device control settings, and which video and audio devices you use for output and external monitoring.

To open the Audio/Video Settings window
  • Choose Final Cut Pro > Audio/Video Settings.

Learning About Audio/Video Presets

You usually only need to change Audio/Video settings when you install a new video interface, connect a new VTR, or change the format you are capturing and editing. For example, if you connect a PAL DV camcorder for capture and output, Final Cut Pro needs to be set up with the appropriate capture and sequence settings, such as the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the video frame (720 x 576), the video and audio devices you are using to capture from, the video codec (DV - PAL), and so on. Because it can be time consuming to change each individual setting in the Audio/Video Settings window, Final Cut Pro comes with several kinds of presets that are preconfigured to work with common video formats and devices.

There are several kinds of presets, each accessible from the corresponding tab in the Audio/Video Settings window:

  • Capture presets: These determine the dimensions, frame rate, codec, and interfaces used when capturing media files to disk. This group of settings is used during capture and usually matches the format of your source tapes. Different capture presets allow you to quickly set up Final Cut Pro to capture a wide range of video formats. For details, see Capture Settings and Presets.
  • Device Control presets: These settings establish how a camcorder, VTR, or other video or audio device communicates with Final Cut Pro via remote control protocols and timecode. You choose a device control preset whenever you connect a video or audio device for logging, capturing, or output. For more information, see Device Control Settings and Presets.
  • Sequence presets: These determine the video and audio formats of a sequence, such as image dimensions, frame rate, codec, color space, sample rate, and bit depth. Unlike a capture preset, which determines the format of captured (incoming) media files, a sequence preset determines the format used during editing, which affects real-time performance and your output format. New sequences automatically use the settings specified in the currently selected sequence preset, but you can change a sequence’s settings after it has been created by choosing Sequence > Settings.

    Important: When your media files’ settings and sequence settings don’t match, you usually see a red render bar in the Timeline, indicating that all the media needs to be converted to the sequence settings before real-time playback or output. In most cases, you’ll want to use matching capture and sequence presets so Final Cut Pro doesn’t need to render media files just to play back. For more information, see Sequence Settings and Presets.

  • A/V Devices: This tab allows you to choose which video and audio interfaces you use for external monitoring during editing and for output to tape. These settings determine if and how you monitor external video and audio. For details, see External Video Monitoring.

    Note: Unlike the other tabs, the A/V Devices tab does not have a list of presets to choose from. However, they are included with every Easy Setup.

Viewing a Summary of the Current Presets

The Summary tab of the Audio/Video Settings window shows the currently selected capture, sequence, and device control presets, as well as settings in the A/V Devices tab.

Figure. Audio/Video Settings window showing the Summary tab.

You can check this tab to see how your editing system is currently set up, make quick changes to your editing system configuration by choosing a different preset, or create an Easy Setup containing a custom combination of presets. For more information about Easy Setups, see Creating and Modifying Easy Setups.