Controlling the Audio Mixer with a Control Surface

After you have connected a control surface and configured Final Cut Pro to work with it, you can use it to remotely control the faders, panning sliders, and buttons in the Audio Mixer, giving you control over multiple tracks simultaneously, as well as more fluid, tactile control over your audio mix. For more information about setting up a control surface, see Connecting a MIDI-Based Control Surface.

Preparing to Use a Control Surface

A control surface can perform exactly the same actions that the Final Cut Pro Audio Mixer is capable of. In Final Cut Pro, audio level and pan information is stored in clips, not in tracks. When a track does not contain a clip, the corresponding track fader level is set to –∞ dB.

Important: The Audio Mixer must be open or the control surface has no effect. To open the Audio Mixer, choose Tools > Audio Mixer (or press Option-6).

The Audio Mixer can control audio settings in the Canvas (and Timeline) as well as the Viewer. You can choose which window the Audio Mixer affects by choosing an option from the Source pop-up menu in the upper-right corner of the Audio Mixer. If you choose Auto, the Audio Mixer controls the most recently active window (Canvas or Viewer).

Adjusting Levels, Pan, Mute, and Solo Using a Control Surface

Once your control surface is properly configured, you can open a sequence and begin mixing. Adjustments you make on the control surface are immediately reflected in the Audio Mixer, and the reverse is also true: changes in the Audio Mixer are immediately reflected in the control surface.

To use a control surface to mix audio in the Timeline
  1. Double-click a sequence in the Browser to open it in the Timeline and Canvas.

  2. Choose Tools > Audio Mixer (or press Option-6).

    The Audio Mixer appears with faders corresponding to tracks in the Timeline. The motorized faders on the control surface automatically adjust to reflect the current fader levels in the Audio Mixer. Pan settings, mute buttons, and solo buttons are also updated to reflect the current Audio Mixer status.

  3. Adjust a fader on the control surface.

    The corresponding fader slider in the Audio Mixer automatically moves to the same position.

  4. In the Audio Mixer, drag a fader slider up or down.

    The corresponding motorized fader on the control surface automatically moves to the same position.

Adjusting pan, solo, and mute controls in the Audio Mixer also updates the control surface, and vice versa.

If your sequence has more tracks than your control surface, you can switch to the next fader bank to control additional tracks. For more information about fader banks, see Working with Fader Banks.

Using Control Surface Transport Controls

You can remotely control playback in Final Cut Pro using the transport controls on your control surface. The current timecode of your sequence (or clip in the Viewer) is displayed in the Time Display readout on the control surface.

Important: The Audio Mixer must be open or the control surface transport controls have no effect in Final Cut Pro.

The play, rewind, fast-forward, and stop buttons on the control surface work in the same way as the transport controls in the Viewer and Canvas. You can also jog frame by frame using the jog/scrub wheel on the control surface.

Control Surface Commands Supported by Final Cut Pro

In addition to the main functions described above, the following control surface buttons can be used to trigger Final Cut Pro commands.

Control surface button
Final Cut Pro command
Jog/scrub wheel
Jog only
Arrow keys
Same as control surface
Function keys (F1-F8); modifier keys (Command, Shift, Option, Control)
Same as control surface
Save, Undo, Cancel, Enter
Same as control surface
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