Temporarily Excluding Clips from Playback or Output

In the process of fine-tuning effects in a sequence or experimenting with multilayer effects in sequences, it can be helpful to compare how the sequence plays with and without certain clips. In Final Cut Pro, you can exclude (rather than delete) a clip from playback.

Temporarily excluding a clip from playback and output is called disabling the clip. By temporarily disabling specific clips, you can focus on one clip to the exclusion of clips above or below it, or you can see how another clip would work in place of the original without removing it.

It’s helpful to disable a clip rather than deleting it, in case you change your mind and want to use it again later. Or, you may want to disable just the video or audio portion of a clip, so that you can keep the video or audio available without including it in playback or output. This is somewhat like muting channels in an audio mixer, except that you exclude playback of clips instead of entire tracks.

Temporarily Disabling a Single Clip

If, instead of disabling an entire track, you only want to disable a single clip temporarily, you can do so. While a single clip is disabled, it will not be:

  • Played back

  • Rendered

  • Output to tape with the rest of the sequence

To disable one or more clips
  1. Select the clip or clips using one of the selection tools.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Modify > Clip Enable, so the menu item is no longer selected.

    • Control-click one of the selected clips, then choose Clip Enable from the shortcut menu.

A disabled clip is dimmed in the Timeline, and its Clip Enable menu item is deselected.

To selectively disable a clip’s audio or video tracks
  1. Do one of the following:

    • Turn off linked selection, then select one or more audio or video items in the Timeline using one of the selection tools.

    • If linked selection is on, hold down the Option key to turn it off temporarily, then select one or more audio or video items using one of the selection tools.

      For more information about linked selection, see Linking and Editing Video and Audio in Sync.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Modify > Clip Enable, so the menu item is no longer selected.

    • Control-click one of the selected clips, then choose Clip Enable from the shortcut menu.

Individually disabled audio or video items also appear dimmed in the Timeline, although their corresponding linked items are not dimmed.

Soloing Clips in Multitrack Sequences

When working with multiple tracks, you may find it helpful to quickly demo one clip within a sequence to the exclusion of the clips above and below it on other tracks. This helps you focus very closely on how one clip is working in a sequence. This feature, called solo item, works by disabling all unselected clips in the Timeline that appear in other tracks at the position of the playhead. In other words, any clips that overlap the “solo” clip in time are excluded from playback.

To solo a clip
  1. In the Timeline, position the playhead on the clip you want to solo.

  2. Select the clip that you want to solo.

  3. Choose Sequence > Solo Selected Item(s) (or press Control-S).

    All clips in other tracks that overlap the selected clip are disabled.

  4. Position the playhead and play the sequence.

    Figure. Timeline window showing a clip item with solo enabled.
To reenable the disabled clips
  • Choose Sequence > Solo Selected Item(s) again.

Disabling and Soloing Clips and the Effect on Rendering

When working with multiple tracks in Final Cut Pro, you may find it useful to turn off or disable some onscreen elements to focus on a particular area of detail in a sequence.

There are two main ways to temporarily solo or disable items in sequences: at the clip level and at the track level. Depending on the type of sequence you’re working on, one method might be preferable over the other. Each has a different impact on the amount of sequence area that will require rerendering.

Clip Enable and Solo Item

By default, visibility is enabled for items in the Timeline. (To confirm an item in the Timeline is enabled, select it and see if Clip Enable has a checkmark in the Modify menu.) You can choose Modify > Clip Enable to temporarily disable an item so that it will not be played back, rendered, or output with the rest of the sequence.  In most cases when you’ve already rendered the sequence, disabling clips instead of whole tracks should minimize the amount of rerendering that is required. When an item is disabled, its Timeline representation will be darkened slightly.

When you disable a clip in a rendered sequence, only the duration of that clip requires rerendering.

To turn clip enabling on or off for a clip (or other item) in the Timeline
  1. Select the clip in the Timeline.

  2. Choose Modify > Clip Enable.

You can also use the Solo Clip command to disable the items in the tracks above and below a selected clip so that it’s isolated. In other words, you can exclude from playback any clips that overlap the solo clip. When you solo items in a rendered sequence, only the duration of the items that overlap the soloed items require rerendering.

To solo a clip (or other item)
  1. In the Timeline, select the clip or clips that you want to solo.

  2. Choose Sequence > Solo Selected Items (or press Control-S).

To turn soloing off for selected clips
  1. Select the soloed clips.

  2. Choose Sequence > Solo Selected Items.

Turning Track Visibility On or Off

You can disable entire tracks to hide their contents during playback. The clips on a disabled track are not visible or audible when you play the sequence.

When you disable a track, the duration of all clips in that track require rerendering.

To disable a track
  • Click the Track Visibility control for the track you want to disable.