EDL Considerations Before Capturing

Before capturing your media files, make sure you:

Read the following sections for additional information that you should consider before capturing your media files.

Maintaining Accurate Timecode

The accuracy of your captured timecode is extremely important when exporting an EDL. If timecode of your clips is inaccurate, online edits won’t match the original offline cuts. This can be fixed by the online editor, but you’ll lose valuable time.

Make sure you calibrate your incoming timecode so it matches the captured video stream accurately. For information on calibrating timecode, see Calibrating Timecode Capture with Serial Device Control.

Reel Name Restrictions in EDLs

If you plan to export an EDL, there are restrictions on the reel names you can use. The restrictions depend on the EDL format you’re using.

Reel name length
Reel name characters
CMX 340
1–253 characters
Numbers only
CMX 3600
8 characters
Uppercase alphabetical characters and numbers
GVG and GVG 4 Plus
6 characters
Uppercase alphabetical characters and numbers
Sony 5000
1–998 characters
Numbers only
Sony 9100
6 characters
Uppercase alphabetical characters; numbers; underscore (_)

When you export an EDL, Final Cut Pro automatically changes reel names that aren’t compatible with the selected EDL format.

Unique Reel Names for Each Tape and Timecode Breaks

Every tape that you capture from should have a unique reel name written on the label. It’s crucial to enter the correct reel name in the Log and Capture window while logging new clips to make sure Final Cut Pro requests the right tape during the batch capture process.

With professional video equipment you can often record tapes with user-programmable timecode. User-programmable timecode means that a videographer in the field can enter a starting timecode number from hour 01 to hour 23, which corresponds to the reels 01–23. This reduces the chance of error when logging because the reel number corresponds to the starting hour of the timecode on the tape. (Professionals rarely shoot with tapes longer than one hour at a time, so there is seldom more than one hour on a tape.) This system is only effective if you have fewer than twenty-four source tapes.

Creating your own reel names is especially important when using the mini-DV format. Mini-DV equipment generally can’t record with user-programmable timecode. As a result, each mini-DV tape you shoot starts at 00:00:00:00. Also, if you have a timecode break on your tape, the timecode may reset itself to 00:00:00:00. In this case, you should use a new reel name for each section following a timecode break on the same tape. For example, if the first half of the tape goes from 00:00:00:00 to 00:30:00:00 and the second half of the tape also goes from 00:00:00:00 to 00:30:00:00, you should give each section of tape a unique reel name.

To identify a tape with timecode breaks using multiple reel names
  1. Begin by labeling the tape with a simple reel name, such as 003.

  2. For every timecode break on the tape, log a unique reel name, such as 003a, 003b, and so on, as if each section were a unique tape.

    Figure. Log and Capture window showing the Logging pane.

    While batch capturing, when a message appears asking for the next reel (such as reel 003b), you must manually cue the tape to the appropriate position before proceeding with the capture.

If you entered the wrong reel name when you logged a clip, you can change the reel name in the Browser or in the Item Properties window.

To change a clip’s reel name in the Browser
  1. Select a clip, then Control-click in the Reel column.

    All reel names used in the current project appear as choices in the menu.

    Note: To change the reel name for several clips at once, select multiple clips in the Browser.

  2. Choose the correct reel name from the shortcut menu.

    Figure. Shortcut menu showing reel names.

    All selected clips are assigned the new reel name you choose. This information is changed both in the clips and in the original media files stored on disk.

Important: If you change EDL formats, your reel names may no longer be correct for the EDL format you selected. Final Cut Pro automatically replaces any incorrect reel assignment and inserts a note in the EDL indicating the old and new reel names.

Choosing a Timecode Track Used for a Clip

When you export an EDL, the timecode used is determined by each clip’s TC property. Ordinarily, this is the Source timecode track originally logged and captured with your media files. If you’re using Auxiliary timecode tracks with your clips and you want to export an EDL using the Aux 1 or Aux 2 timecode track, simply change the TC property of the clips to Aux 1 or Aux 2.

For more information about adding or modifying timecode tracks to clips and media files, see Working with Timecode.

Choosing a Sequence Frame Rate

The following sequence frame rates are supported for EDL export.

Sequence timebase (frame rate)
Timecode rate used in EDL
29.97 fps
30 fps
30 fps
25 fps
25 fps
23.98 fps
24 fps
24 fps
24 fps
24 @ 25 fps

Note: Final Cut Pro always uses the timecode assigned in the sequence’s settings.