Changing the Offset of an Audio Clip

When you add an audio clip to the Timeline, the clip plays back from the beginning of the source audio file. The point in the audio file where the clip starts playing is called the offset. By default, a clip’s offset is zero, the beginning of the source audio file. You can change the offset so that the clip starts playing from a later point in the source audio file. (In Final Cut Pro, this is known as a slip.) This allows you to use the audio from a later part of the source file without splitting the clip.

To slip (change the offset of) a clip
  • Select the clip, then Command-Option-drag left (toward the beginning of the project).

    Figure. Clip before offset adjustment.
    Figure. Clip after offset adjustment.

Once you have changed the offset by dragging to the left, you can also drag to the right to change the offset.

Note: You can only drag the offset to a later part of the clip’s source audio file, not to a point before the beginning of the file.

When you change the offset of a clip, the waveform moves inside the clip’s boundary to indicate the change in offset. The length of the clip stays the same. If you slip past the end of the media, looping files repeat and non-looping files play silence. For looping clips, notches appear to show the point at which the clip starts looping.